Sweden's representative to the United Nations said today he had received a satisfactory explanation from U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young on why the American recently described Swedes as "terrible racists."
"He didn't mean to single us out, and he can't remember using the word 'terrible'" Ambassador Anders Thunborg said after what he called a "very friendly" 30-minute meeting with Young.
At the end of a two-week African tour last week, Young talked withreporters about racism and said Russians were "the black in Queens," a borough of New York City. He called Swedes "terrible racists."
Thunborg told reporters he did not visit Young to make a protest but only to get an explanation. The Swedish ambassador said Young told him a journalist had asked him if Swedes were racists, and he replied that they were.
"He said he didn't mean to single us out and that he also knows what we are doing" to integrate foreigners into Swedish society, Thunborg said. Sweden has an extremly small black population.
"He said he thinks that we are all racists in this generation, all over the world, that it is not natural for blacks and whites to be together yet. I mean they are trying, yes but it is still difficult."
Thunborg said Young told him that several days before making the controversial remarks on racism he had received and accepted an invitation to visit minister of international aid and cooperation. No date was set for the visit.