When I read Sumaya Jirde Ali’s Facebook post and realized what she was going through, I was completely stunned. Not now, I thought.
“Racism is racism!” This is the cry that shook the ground during one of the biggest demonstrations of the decade: George Floyd – Black Lives Matter at the Storting 2020. I appealed and the response from the demonstrators was overwhelming. We roared with anger, grief, and fighting power. And believed that the voice would carry far.
Racism travels From place to place, people to people, between apartments, houses, classrooms, restaurants and bars. It can be obvious or hidden. It can be expressed in words, actions and attitudes. It can be packaged and interpreted as humor, silliness, or comedy. It is in no way less offensive or less dangerous.
Racism dehumanizes man. Racism is reducing a person’s character to secondary, and that’s not good. And with each other one becomes an individual “More Human” than the other. Often it’s about skin color, and darker skin makes a person less valuable.
Now a famous Norwegian comedian has expressed such disgusting thoughts loud and clear in a bar in Oslo, without much protest.
“You’re too dark to be here.”, the comedian told 24-year-old Sumaya. This is racism! He then tried to get support from the other bar guests: “Do you agree she’s too dark to be here?”. Nobody said anything.
The comedian is an old man, a great white man of high stature. He looks aggressive and pleads with her “shutup your mouth” again and again. The whole thing must have been very scary for Sumaya, limiting her options to respond, run away or act in other ways. This incident clearly shows power and powerlessness.
One of the reasons why the silence in the room while this was going on allowed racism and hate speech to flourish afterwards. The now closing comment fields are proof that hate abounds. Racism grows every time it is ignored or pushed away. It is a social problem. Such We can’t do that.
Calling yourself non-racist or saying you “don’t see skin color” isn’t enough. We need to see and point out what drives racism forward, what creates division and hatred. Be brave and speak. Courage to be against racism. Only then can change be created.
Anti-racism and the fight against racism is one of the cornerstones of a representative and participatory democracy. How we treat each other shapes us. It affects our psyche and our social systems.
Sumaiya is forced A big responsibility. She spoke courage, courage, and again and again. It is a struggle that costs more than one can measure or see. The declarations of support for Sumaiya show that there are many of us in this struggle. At the same time there is deafening silence. This silence must be broken. The silent majority must be on the field!
A racist knows his role Gained knowledge, cares, chooses and acts – for example, when a comedian shouts racism at a young woman in a bar in Oslo and tells her to shut up.
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