Sunday, January 29, 2012

Do not dream, demand!

Demand not a dream today but a reality. If someone is looking down on your ability or simply cannot stand you because of your skin, you must demand to be. Tsunamis make many very sad. All human catastrophes of a natural or unnatural causes make many suffer. Many move out of their cocoon and act. I see the world filled  with voices of hope. It reaches out. We help how we can. Memories come rolling in: Haiti, Japan, Italy, Missouri and many other places. Here we can help and have helped.

I move back to the individual on the skin level. I say demand justice. I did not say be violent. Let those who are violent learn not to be. My heart fell last evening when I saw Jessi, that is what I want to call her as I recall Jessi Jackson, on TV last night. Jessi is a woman in Oslo. She says that she dares not step out in the evening since somebody hit her on the basis of having a black skin. Someone struck the castle of her skin. She was in the central part of the city just taking a walk. Her tears were near. She said that she knew that most Norwegians were not like that person who hit her. Police asked people to report these cases. Recently I heard that the problem with racism is that some people who are not hit openly like Jessi do not even know it when it is happening to them. They do not identify it. So they do not report it. Society must wake up. Many in Norway say that racism is subtle. It is not openly seen. I differ. It is visible and identifiable and can be quontifiable and actionable so that the few who want to be retrogressive can learn.

I am refusing to believe that racism will not go away. Someone has even put it in a famous saying, that when it goes, we shall invent something else for the basis of discrimination. I surge with fury. I do not want to dream now. Dr. Martin Luther King has and had a dream, it is time for that dream to be fulfilled. I was sad and glad when I heard Jimmy Carter on Intelligence Sq. BBC talking about racism last year. He said it was unfortunately still so rife. A few days later Obama unveiled the great sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I love the man and his words. We must go beyond his speech and spill into action, for this man had and has a dream which by now should have rocked the world. I know am up against ethnic forces here and there. I know it is possible to get people interested in many other things so that they act on other more powerful levels. I know it is possible to fascinate people with possibilities. I know the media can do much in this. I know writers can. I know it does not work to see very few people of another color on TV screens and only see them when they are in trouble. For Jessi and her types have a profession. Jessi and her type have families. Jessi and her type have many things that the media often forgets.

This is January. On 19th January most media reflected on Dr. King. I did not see anything here on TV. I know I said do not dream. I mean you could have shown something about how to make this dream come true. Besides, I was closely watching what would happen on the 26th of January. It is the day Benjamin Hermansen was killed for being black in 2001 in Norway. At the beginning Norge was shocked. Thousands of people came out in protest. The street action was impressive. It has petered out. Perhaps that is natural. But something else should have grown in its place. As long as the racism issue is left to a few people who speak themselves hoarse and often are from the visible discriminated minority, nothing will happen to change things. I did not see the action that I would expect from Human Rights Watch and other organisations. I did not see Amnesty International lighting up candles here. I would like to see more focus. I would like to see this burden come off the shoulders of individuals and move to institution. Dreams should not be possible in institutions, the individuals in them must make dreams live. Act and demand justice. Never be ashamed to say where we are hurting. This is what weakens human endeavor for change.  It is not possible to only make a little noise and go. The police must follow up their word. Ways of identifying offences must be made known to all and not just to the often discriminated people.

Libraries following the legacy of Deichman are powerful here. So, this week I am reading a little book Rasisme forklart for barn by Walid al - Kubaisi and published by Pantagruel Forlag in 2001. It was soon after Benjamin was killed. The foreward is by his mother. Marit Hermansen. Her pain is tangible and I know it never died. Why has ours died? There is another book on Benjamin Hermansen. A big book and colourful. Both these books should have been on forefront display the whole of the month of January and books and films on Dr. King, Gandhi and others. In the lectures of the week held in differerent libraries, I saw nothing focused on history or race. Instead I stumbled on a book about neggers. On this one I will write another day in subsequent articles.

This is a problem we must address as deeply as we can and we can reach many people. It does not go away by not looking too straight at it. In the big book, young people expressed themselves to a newspaper in words I shall shortly quote when I get it, here below. All this has gone into hiding somehwere. We surely must do better as society which actually functions on the basis of equality.. or likestilling. It is meaningless to have gender equality when not all human beings are not seen to be equal because of their skins. We all have the wounds of old and of late. July 22 2011 is also steeped in unacceptance of the 'other' in many forms.


  1. Philo, your writing is rich with casually yet poignantly written observations. "I am refusing to believe that racism will not go away," is a stand we all can take.

    The way you made the statement is not just a factual claim (that racism will not go away) but a stand you are taking that quietly, firmly, passionately "RACISM WILL NOT GO AWAY".

    As you also said, "I know it is possible to fascinate people with possibilities."


  2. Determination to free the human race from the shackles of racism without replacing it with any other demeaning human creation. I like, I like and join in to stop dreaming.. . . Join in to start working on realising the dream.

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