I was completely horrified when I saw the videoclip five days ago, where a white policeman put his knee on a black man’s neck until he lost his breath and died. How completely disquisting. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that a policeman actually murdered a defenseless man, or the fact that his collegues did not stop him.
Off course, this is just one of many examples of the US police abuse of power. But I’m glad that I’ve not yet seen so many people that are defending the cops. Even those guys may understand how brutal and unforgivable this is. But a thing that bothers me, though, is when people in Sweden, where I liv, point finger at USA and claim this racist power abuse to be something typically American. Sure, it might not exist at the same level in Sweden, but I don’t think we should bash America’s treatment of black people, without condemn the systematic racism in our own country.
Sweden has, for a long time, been a very left wing country. We like to boast ourselves and point finger to the US. And we always have. But let’s face it. We have racism here in Sweden as well. In the justice system, in the courts and in the police. We have a so called “small talk” racism, especially in classical working class jobs in industries. I’ve seen it myself and it’s e bigger problem than you could imagine. Off course we can condemn this racist attack in the US, but let’s not be all too unaware of the racial discrimination in our own country.
When it comes to discrimination of people of coulor, I as a white person, have a responsibility to stand up whenever I see it. And so do you and everybody else. You might think that I’m making difference of people now, but it’s just a fact that white people, in general, don’t know how it is to live under structural racism. It’s easy for us to say “that’s no big deal” when we havn’t lived through it for generations and generations.
People of color have fought long and hard to crush racial opression. But as long as white people continue to ignore it or maybe even justify it, we are a part of the problem. Only together we can end this. But then we have to see our own part in it, instead of ignoring the racism when it’s right in front of us…
I don’t say you have to be a white knight or a hero with a cape. It’s the small things that matter the most. Things in our daily life. When somebody tells a racist joke, or use the N-word, maybe a relative, or at the working place, or when a collegue of yours, are exposed to racism, rise up and say it’s not okay. I know it’s hard, especially when it’s your boss you have to stand up against. I’m not the best man either and you should know that I chose my conflicts wisely. But the last years, I’ve been better to stand against racism.
We will always remember George Floyd. May he rest in peace. And remember that Black Lives Matters. Always. From USA to Sweden.