There are a lot of blanket statements being tossed about the internet these days. Such as how white people can’t endure or have an opinion on racism. It’s a blatant overgeneralisation, but what’s worse, it ties into an intuitive dehumanisation approach taken by today’s many opposing ideologies, virtually flooding Twitter and platforms alike.
Let me start with an anecdote, please bare with me.
Malmö, Sweden, circa 1993. It’s a hot summer day. Some local boys have gathered outside our neighbourhood corner store. Mainly Arabs, but a few Somalians and Kosovo-Albanians, too. Brothers, cousins, friends, barely any girls. Some are playing…
A societal underbelly whose flesh we ate and regurgitated over the grey of the inner-city, while wearing its flayed off skin like some Lecter-esque visors of apathy.
Cinematic perhaps, but quite the reality.
We were boys in a world reduced to a few block’s radii of ethnic diversity edged with racism, clan feuds, tabbouleh, Donell Jones tunes and the odd hand grenade explosion or shooting.
Möllevångsgatan (aka Arab street) was an urban free-for-all; a cluster of clashing cultures, amid which we formed a brotherhood based on class and sentiments. Iraqis, Iranians, Somalians, Kosovo-Albanians, the list goes on. Our mother tongues…
There I was, an eleven-year-old, stuck between a block of abandoned offices and a defunct parking lot with a screwdriver pressed against my ribcage. He demanded what was mine with eyes that spoke a language of their own. I was told to either hand over one of my cigarettes — our currency at the time, back in the nineties — or he would push the sharp object into my lung. My friend did not help me nor did he run. We froze, as did time.
It taught me three things: (1) taking seemed easier than earning, (2) life was cruel…
Essayist on Life | Viking — I replaced my axe with a pen, and now my bloodstained sneakers smell of lingonberry jam.