tisdag 24 december 2013

Hate - Article in Sydsvenskan

On November 25th Sydsvenskan did a series of articles about hate in Sweden and i was among the interviewees. Among all the interviwees, they needed a person of African decent so I said I was glad to participate and share my experiences of racism growing up as an African in Sweden. Alot of things came up like the n-word, racist structures just everyday things that I, and many Africans jave experienced here in Sweden.
I've been thinking alot about identity and how many people of African decent view themselves. And many, as myself, would never introduce myself as a Swedish or a Swedish African even though you are born and raised here in this society. One might ask why. Well there are several reasons for that. First I have never been perceived as a Swede because of my skin. Africans among other minorities are a very visible group and do not fit in to the general view of what a Swede is perceived to be. Now, many organizations are working to change this picture but there is a long way to go before that view will be change. So I have always said that I am an African, Ghanaian or Ethiopian. I've never ever presented myself as a Swede. Except for when I've felt like doing some social experiments. Sometimes people will ask me: "So where are you from? And so i answer: "I'm Swedish I'm born here". The look on their faces are priceless. After 20 seconds of silence The reply: "But no, where are you REALLY from?". This just proves the general perception of what a Swede is. So having heard this kind of questions will not make you relate to "Swedishness". This is not really a problem for me as I am really proud of where I come from and despite the fact of being born here I don't feel Swedish. I can relate to Sweden but I just don't feel Swedish. And that's fine with me. But what about those who are born here and don't feel connected at all to their parents country or culture? That is more problematic. If you go to America in most cases that I've seen, it wouldn't matter where your parents come from, as long as you're born there, you're America. But i do understand the differences in culture which of course affects this issue. 
Anyway, here's Sydsvenskans article that I was in.