Perspectives of systemic racism in Norway & Europe.

Kenny Kal
6 min readMay 30, 2020

My heart bleeds and eyes are soaked this week reading online tabloids and social media feeds about the unjust killing of a black man George Floyd. Killed by a white policeman , with his full knee on George Floyd neck, his body pinned in full incarceration by the other two policemen, while chained in handcuffs. George Floyd was lynched to death by the very system that swore the oath to protect him, the police working under the federal government of the United States. George Floyd was killed by four policemen for suspected forgery of a $20 bill. Rest in Power , George Floyd. Justice will be served!

I Can’t Breathe

I can’t breathe , please I can’t breathe George Floyd begged for help to let him breathe for once. The echoing of George Floyd words begging for help have traumatized my well-being and I can’t just get them off my mind and feelings. The racial killing of George Floyd is not just trending news for America, it is global, very grotesque and heartbreaking news to read. If you are ignoramus to this news and the events that have occurred during this week and prior to the killing of George Floyd, you are indeed a prop for racial bias.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere — Martin Luther King Jr.

This brings me back to my story as an African , black man living in Europe. And many others people of color, creed, ethnic groups and asylum who have migrated to Europe to seek a better life, running way from oppressive regimes, living war torn countries and so on. Although my odyssey to Europe was purely academic, I truly support, stand and applaud the courage and tenacity of each story of the migrant and asylum seeker in Europe. And while we are working here, we are helping our families and extended families have better access to good education and livelihoods. This in itself should be applauded highly. Note that, I am avoiding using the word ‘refugees’, while it is globally accepted nomenclature I find it discriminatory labeling anyone with that , because that is what fuels racism and racial discrimination in contemporary societies today.

Racism and racial discrimination are two sides of the same coin , and this is a core issue surrounding the death of George Floyd in the United States. Racism is not just the color of one’s skin , it is hostile and prejudicial behavior towards someone different from your own race, sex, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. To many this racism is implicit, done unconsciously without full knowledge of creating boundaries for oppression and to others its biological racism, explicit support of racial bias , actions, attitudes, and behavior, mostly driven by state politics. I have fallen victim of cyber racism , been called all sorts of names which do not define me, here is the excerpt of a racial abuse I encountered on platform and I did report this to the platform. Explicit racism…

Important to note that, most racism that exists today is born from implicit racism which embodies the greenhouse for systemic racism, police brutality for example in the United States, mostly associated to black people and many black people since slavery and the civil rights movement have lost their lives due to systemic racism. Islamophobia, xenophobia, nationalism crusades and white supremacy all nurtured and incubated under the auspices of implicit racism.

Unearthing the core root problem of contemporary racism is economic empowerment which is central to systemic racism (implicit) and racial discrimination across many states especially America and Europe driven by political and social actors within the fabric of the states. Implicit racism is currently what exists today, in Norway and Europe at large. Systemic racism exists today in silos of recruitment systems or processes , access to employment from non native persons is hard to fathom. While most people will be qualified to take on skilled work , the lack of skills to speak the Norwegian Language is mostly used as an excuse to drive implicit racism in Norway. Systemic racism in Norway is manifest also in access to housing, it is easier for a horse to pass through the eye of the needle than for an immigrant to get access to housing, the scrutiny is very high. Obviously it not that they can’t afford to pay housing , final decisions from most house owners are driven by implicit bias. I have personal experience going through form of racism, but I also observe that themes surrounding diversity and inclusion is gaining ground in Norway and I support that.

A snapshot review of a survey by Pew Research in 2016 population sample on Europe showed the following results.

Pew Research ,2016

Again I must confess that Norway is a beautiful and peaceful country with great people , so the problem obviously is not with the people but the systems that creates and drives implicit bias within the society.

What could Norway and Europe learn from the ongoing news on the death of George Floyd and the fight against racism?

Nurturing and incubating systems that creates opportunities for racism and discrimination in any form bleeds explicit racism at some point in the future of the country. The American template of systemic racism is an epitome of a society that nurtured and incubated a racial system since slavery and the civil rights movement specially for people of color. And unconsciously and systemically implicit bias has grown in the US, where the 911 emergency line is the tool used to supporting this systemic racism. This should serve as warning and example of the consequences of racism. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Racism matters

Silence and not highlighting and punishing racial discrimination makes any person or system accessories to crime for racism. While in Norway ,victims of discrimination of any form have legal entitlement to free legal representation, if I recall right. However, the education concerning intersectionality should be expanded to systems within Norway to fight implicit racism or bias. Silence for implicit racism is an cancer that tumors to the whole society and this is evident in America right now. Unless efforts to extinguish implicit bias or racism , diversity and inclusion in Norway and Europe will not be realistic.

George Floyd outcry for help to breathe once small was denied by four white policemen props of racial system , and that institution is the police run by the federal state. While Norway and some countries in Europe have a good respectable police systems that protects everyone in the society , implicit racism still exists in the fabric of society. And that need to be addressed and removed NOW!

In memory of George Floyd, I Can’t Breathe

If you deny anyone access to employment because of the color of their skin color

I can’t breathe

If you deny anyone access to education because of their ethnicity

I can’t breathe

If you deny anyone access to housing and social services because of their nationality

I can’t breathe

If you deny anyone their basic human rights because of their faith

I can’t breathe

If you show hostile attitudes to and stigmatize migrants and asylum seekers because you can’t speak the same language

I can’t breathe

If you are Islamophobic to anyone in your society or community

I can’t breathe

If you are xenophobic to anyone in your society or community

I can’t breathe

If you support political parties that fertilizes the grounds for implicit racism

I can’t breathe!

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Justice for George Floyd.

RIP George Floyd



Kenny Kal

Wannabe writer, wannabe best-seller. Low carbon preacher & people and planet first. Openminded to life and criticism.