I was planning to report some happy uplifting, enlightening, positive, inspiring and good news. You know excitement of warm weather, summer, good spirits and hope for the future. But, F’’k that !!!
While standing in front of a Mall, in the center of Bergen town, where I reside, I was waiting for a friend. We were to meet and go for our ritual evening run, in the Norwegian mountains. A solemnity routine that helps cope with everyday challenges, in life. But it never happened! Why?
I was about to have a throwback hellish nightmare, this strange encounter of a past that had hallmarks of police harassment in New York City, some 30 years ago. Life couldn’t be more stressful. Was this a visit from my past? I thought, what is happening? What could be the reason, for this? Could this be the new testing ground of what’s in the media, around the world? Is America’s race problem resonating here? With all the recent migration, insidious terror threats, cast a shadow of suspicions for the other, meaning people of foreign origin. I had an intuition earlier realising more than ever, that this can go so very wrong here in Norway. Insightfully I saw this was coming.
Two plain clothed, blond Norwegian police suddenly rolled up on me from nowhere. A young man and woman, no more than early to mid-thirties asking me;
“Snakker du Norsk”? (Do you speak Norwegian?)
Apprehensive, cautiously I stated yes, in a very civil, polite manner, the police demanded my ID, without offering me a reason? I was being profiled. You see, I am 6’3’’, a powerful built African American.
I politely asked what is this about? Why am I being profiled ? They didn’t comply to my request but insisted on seeing my ID. ‘’Just give me your ID!’’…still not giving me a reason. I asked why they did not give me a reason, and they adamantly refused, and continued harassing. It felt like my world, was being rocked! This incident reminded me of my past.(See blogpost,“Excerpt from my Journey.”) My mind raced through, a number of issues, concerning current state of political discourse. Xenophobia toward foreigners is a conversation that is looming in the consciousness of Norwegians. I am not the enemy. How they get it wrong by putting everyone in the same context.
At a stalemate, the plain clothes police demanded that I come with them if I didn’t want to give up my ID. Refusing, since they didn’t give an explanation, and I wanted to make a complaint. I refused, then called my lawyer. She advised me to give my ID, to them so I wouldn’t have problems with immigration authorities later. With reluctance I followed that advice, feeling my rights as a human being violated, they continued to check my status. It felt like an eternity standing in front of the doorway to the mall. In public, while lots of people passed by, becoming a public spectacle for approximately 15 minutes.
I am a permanent resident of Norway and have been for the past 22 years. So why this now, why now? I still feel that I am a vibrate intelligent father of 4 sons, still working very hard to make my dreams to become a reality.
The current atmosphere of migration, the exodus of Blacks from Africa, pouring into the European nations, a unsettling force, this new wave of migration creates a solicitude of xenophobia, profiling people like me and other people of color.
With all the negative media from the U.S. about police brutality, murder and violence against men of color has sparked a new, convergence of white supremacy; even with a Black President in Office. He has been aggressively attacked by white conservatism, with overt disrespect for the Office of The President of The United States Of America. What kind of message does that send to other nation’s other political leaders who model or copy what America does?
If the President of the United States office, is debased by his race, even being qualified, referred to, being called N’’’r monkey, terrorist, not satirically but just hate for The President as a man of color is unprecedented in these times. What message is that sending around the world, to other governments and political leaders? When people of color are living and trying to contribute and make there way as good citizens and human beings.
I`m concerned that these images in the media, are dangerous and detrimental toward the progress in the civilized democratic world, particularly within the human rights area, but are we accepting these images of coverage as becoming the new norm? Where the protection of the outsider is paramount, in countries like Norway and other European countries, when a lack of understanding and the propensity of racial profiling creates a negative attitude towards people of color. This lack of understanding for the historical implication, for the economic inequalities and social injustices of African Americans and Black people and their experience. It divided nations based of racial oppression for centuries.
Norway is a country of 5.2 million people, of a predominant white population. People of color, don’t represent any power base. About 1,5 percent are of African, Afro American descent. About 6 percent of the population are Non-European.
I am thoughtful. I hope I am able to continue to live in peace and harmony in the Norwegian society, without suspicion, harassment or of any form or hidden agenda or experiment of racial profiling or being look down upon as the other. But as equals, but for now I must continue to live with the reality of this very unpleasant experience that has shattered my trust enough to put this out in the public domain. It took several days to recover psychologically from this incident and get back to being my normal energetic ambitious happy person/human being.
Thanks People for reading.