I’ll be in Iceland and then Norway all next week, and my visit coincides with the Anders Behring Breivik trial that just began.
Racism fascinates me to no end, and I will say that Nordicism, the ideology of racial supremacy or a master race, will weigh heavy on my mind as I watch the reactions to the trial. I wonder, how do Norwegians really feel about race?
I did a racism round table in my home a few months back and what I got out of it was that as a white woman, I have no idea what it is like to experience differential treatment on a day-to-day basis because of what I look like. Three of the participants in the round table were not white and when I said I felt superior but it wasn’t because I was white (I meant because I think I may be the missing link between man and woman, but so far nobody will co-sign this theory, I’m guessing because I have no boy-parts but I mean that my mind is just not very girly) the reply I got was, well you will never know. Meaning I don’t walk into a room or a store or a doctor’s office and get treated like a second class citizen because of the amount of melanin in my skin.
This was very confronting for me, it made me see I may walk around not having to feel something very ugly, and maybe it did have something to do with my sense of freedom and self-esteem. It took a minute to sink in, because since I am not racist and don’t know anyone who is a blatant racist, I wouldn’t think it was a day-to-day offense, sometimes subtle in its ugliness. But according to my friends who were at my round table, all with master’s degrees, one who is a physician, it is a daily occurrence for them, to be treated a certain way because they were not white. This blew my mind, but what really blew me away, was that when I shared this with other white friends, a few of them sort of dismissed these stories, saying maybe they were being over-sensitive. Wow, to straight-up deny someone’s perspective and personal story is to me maybe the biggest offense of all. The bigger wow part was that most of the white friends who had this response grew up privileged in all white communities, places they said they never heard anyone speak like a racist. Well I have to point out the obvious, if you live somewhere and everybody looks the same, of course you are not going to hear racism. But if like in Norway’s case, you open the northern socialist gates of asylum and welcome in hundreds of thousands of refugees with dark eyes, skin and hair, who are suddenly dating your daughter or getting a job you want, then I guess racism and superiority would show up. It certainly did for Anders Behring Breivik.
I wonder if Norwegians feel a sense of superiority in being considered a master race? An underlying feeling of self-worth? Or as my friends suggested, a deep unconscious sense of security that comes with being white? Do all white people feel this?
This trip also coincides with me reading Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak- Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. I will not only be playing cards with my 86-year-old grandmother all week but doing some heavy thinking on race.
I want to tell you I personally have a bone to pick with that bastard Breivik. I was so excited to watch Rupert Murdoch’s family empire go up in flames or at least half a summer’s worth of juicy news and then wham! out-of-nowhere, like the devil’s hand maiden himself, this nutjob Breivik stole the whole show. And the Murdoch story disappeared. Poof! Gone. I remember questioning if Rupert Murdoch himself somehow timed that whole thing or was the devil himself and just with a snap of his fingers made it so.
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