Episode 6: Language and Power

In this episode, we discuss the definition, importance of language, and the power it holds over our lives.

We also take a look at some of the direct effects of negative, and discriminatory language policies within the Danish educational sector, and the consequences of said laws on ethnic minorities in Danish society. 


  • One of the criteria for a residential area to be classified as a Ghetto and included on the “ghettolist” is that over 50% (not 30% as mentioned on the episode) of the residents are of non western nationality or heritage. 
  • The category, non-western heritage, includes descendants of immigrants, which means you can be a Danish citizen, and still be included in the statistics as one of non-western heritage. 


        Non-western is a very problematic category/term, which is discriminative                    in itself and used for discriminatory purposes.


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Jim Cummins, Professor working on language development and literacy development of learners of English as an additional language

Jim Cummins

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr.Phil fields of interest: Linguistic human rights, minority education, language and power, links between biodiversity and linguistic diversity, multilingualism, language policy, global (subtractive) spread of English, integration, ethnicity, racisms (including linguicism, linguistically argued racism), gender issues.

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas

Effects of Busing on Test Scores and the Wellbeing of Bilingual Pupils: Resources Matter by Anna Piil Damm, Helena Skyt Nielsen, Elena Mattana and Benedicte Rouland.

Effects of Busing on Test Scores and the Wellbeing of Bilingual Pupils

Policy proposal of the Ghettolaw

Policy proposal of the Ghettolaw

“Stigmatised, marginalised: life inside Denmark’s official ghettos” article in The Guardian by Emma Graham-Harrison and Janus Engel Rasmussen in Copenhagen.

“Stigmatised, marginalised: life inside Denmark’s official ghettos


Episode 5: Follow The Money

In Episode 5, we talk about the motives, intentions and economic incentives in so-called “antiracism” and activism in the rapidly evolving debate on racial justice. So many people are desperate to know what they can do to not be racist. Brands and organizations have gone out of their way to appear as positive actors in a precarious racial discourse. Books about systemic racism, such as Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility have been selling out of bookstores in recent months. 

It has become morally hazardous to be perceived as racist in any way, and while widespread intolerance of racism important, that cannot be the only driving factor for trying to be antiracist. Actually fighting against racism through productive dialogue and responsible behavior is vastly more important that just appearing to do so.


Episode 4: Words Matter

Words can inspire great deeds, heroic actions, and confidence in us all as individuals but also as groups within society, and within society itself. 

They can motivate us to do the right thing in the face of massive resistance, and help us find the strength needed to overcome any challenges.  

We can choose to use words inclusively, to build bridges, and influence the lives of our fellow human beings in a positive manner, create understanding, and common ground where it may have been extinguished or absent.

The opposite is also true and throughout history, we have seen how words have been used to justify and legitimize vicious, and barbaric acts of violence, murder,  and systemic oppression denying certain groups in society, equal opportunities, and or other basic human rights based on their gender, religion or ethnicity. 

Ever since the murder of George Floyd, one of the words we have been unable to escape and rightly so is Racism. 

It has been used often, defined, and explained but yet it still seems to be willfully misunderstood. 

Is the lack of consensus or the “misunderstanding” simply based on ignorance or the immense complexities of the term Systemic Racism? Is it a collective, societal denial, a refusal to acknowledge society’s actions, and the consequence thereof, thereby absolving anyone of blame or the shame? Or is the pushback, a counteraction, by malevolent forces in society who are not willing to relinquish their privileges so that others may share those exact same privileges, or do all of these reasons intersect.

Whatever the answer, words matter!

They are our tools and they have been weaponized in this struggle. They can help us move forward or keep us in an endless loop that keeps reproducing the same outcomes.