21 Questions with Quianna Canada:
DaRealNordicBlack Talks Racism in Norway
One day I was on YouTube watching some videos about police brutality, researching information on “Tube” as well as off, on countries that have the least police shootings and came across DaRealNordicBlack Talks Racism in Norway. Well, his video is actually called, Racism in Norway howsoever, you should watch his videos if you want to get a unique perspective on race relations. In his video Fed Up of Xenophobic Racist Norwegians! Robert Gillan, DaRealNordicBlack, talks about this form of attitudinal, affective, and behavioral prejudice toward immigrants and those perceived as foreign and how is mentor, Neely Fuller, has inspired him. Without further ado, here are 21 Questions with Quianna Canada:
Quianna Canada: It’s apparent that you are American, and after to listening to your videos— in one video, you mentioned living in New York. Where were you born and raised?
#DaRealNordicBlack: FYI, I never said that I lived in New York but may have mentioned the influence that NYC has had on me as a youth and even now, still a bit—by way of hip hop music and other reasons. I was born in Oklahoma at an army base called Ft. Sill. I grew up as an army military brat and so I was raised at various places but spent a great deal in Germany, as my dad was stationed there.
Quianna Canada: Your video talks about being the First Black Nordic man in Norway. Is that an accurate expression? How would one determine, that they are the first black person living in an area in Norway?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Lol! No it was just a play on words, trying to ruffle some feathers I guess lol!—which by the way, seemed to capture some folks attention or imagination—and may I also add entices some to either do more reading or research on the subject.
Oh! and the name is #Darealnordicblack, so in the words of the rap mogul Birdman, “Put some Respek on my Name!” Lol! Just joking, anyways it initially just meant that I am a black guy living in a Nordic country and that I am keeping it real and honest with all my opinions, thoughts, and rants. Especially since it seems like most if not all black people living especially in Norway are not speaking out as much when it comes to certain issues like racism, discrimination, and immigration.
In fact, most foreigners are very tight lip about it and for various reasons—but that is a whole other subject. Also to answer the other part of this question, of course, if one wants to determine if a person is the first or only black person living in Norway they would need proof but that is something that I never claimed.
Instead, I claimed to be the ONLY outspoken black person on YouTube living in Norway keeping it real if you understand now what I mean, or at least, the first. People can go and check the timelines for themselves when videos were published! So it speaks for itself. I also would like to add that I encourage black people or non-white people here in Norway to speak out.
Also, and I know this may sound kind of crazy, but, sometimes when one comes off arrogant, it sparks a flame in people. So, I admittedly say that I may a bit—do that with daring others to get involved in the discussion; but, I don’t over embellish to the point where I speak of nonfactual things or talk of achievements that I have not gotten or things I haven’t done. It’s all about confidence building and if African people all over the world realizes the history we have and us Africans having the greatest influence on all cultures worldwide,as the saying goes in the ancient temples in Egypt to know thyself, then would others being oozing with the same confidence.
It’s all about confidence building and if African people all over the world, and realizing the history we have—and that, us Africans having the greatest influence on all cultures worldwide. As the saying goes in the ancient temples in Egypt “..to know thyself, then would others being oozing with the same confidence…”
DaRealNordicBlack on Relocating to Norway
Quianna Canada: What year did you move to Norway? What inspired you to move?
#DaRealNordicBlack: In 2012, my wife and I thought why not! It was time for a change of scenery and I encourage other African-Americans also to realize—like the old sayings go, “the world is your oyster.”
DaRealNordicBlack Talks Racism
Quianna Canada: You did a segment called, RACISM IN NORWAY, a six-part series (I believe). In what way is Norway racism similar to American racism?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Well it is similar in the fact that it exists here, although like I pointed out in a lot of my videos on YouTube, it is one of the least talked about subjects here (In Norway), almost taboo-ish in a way.
It may relate to a few parts of America like Portland, Oregon, for example, and other remote areas which claim to see themselves as the beacon of hope—as some Utopia. Let’s just say Norway as a whole is that “microcosmic space” if that makes sense.
Quianna Canada: You received a little backlash from the Nordic community which can be expected when we put anything on social media. YoutTube is not excluded. Why is the subject of racism in Norway important to you?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Of course, I received backlash from all over but not in the beginning believe it or not; and definitely, not so much until the day I made a video criticizing the racist group that made its way out here to Norway called Soldiers of Odin, which had its roots from Finland.
At that point, it seemed like a legion of internet racist trolls and keyboard warriors started to dislike my videos. I mean they even backtracked and disliked all of them and employed help even. Lol! But it’s all good, I will stay on course with speaking my mind on anything and everything!
Let me be also fully clear, the subject of racism—period—is important to me and like my self-appointed mentor says, “Racism should be the first and only priority…”Now, we as a people need to deal with—because of the great effect that it has on all areas of human activity worldwide.
So, if I happened to be in China, Zimbabwe or Norway, I would have spoken out against racism. I think it was more about the timing than anything.
Quianna Canada: In one of your videos—you mention Kongoslandsbyen or “Congo Village.” For viewers and readers who are not familiar with Kongoslandsbyen, in your words, tell them what it is.
#DaRealNordicBlack: Congo village or Kongolandsbyen in Norwegian, was a racist, colonialistic, disgraceful, and just flat out sick event that was erected in 1914 that has been a part of Norwegian history. It put African people on display as if they were zoo animals, hence, some coined it as the “human zoo.” It was resurrected in 2014, marking the 100th year anniversary of it. It is worse than the racist Dutch’s Zwarte Piet “blackface” holiday tradition, and by the way, that still goes on every year.
Quianna Canada: Norwegian-Sudanese artist Mohamed Ali Fadlabi and Swedish-Canadian artist Lars Cuznor decided to rebuild the zoo, and said, “rebuilding the Congo Village was a way to spark discussion about colonialism, racism, and equality in Norway.” Is Kongoslandsbyen an appropriate way to have a discussion about colonialism, racism, and equality in Norway?
#DaRealNordicBlack: In an appropriate way, keyword! No, I don’t (think it is) at all. The shock and awe factor definitely will or can catch attention but it also can get attention in a negative way. It just quite frankly, in my opinion, is just a disrespect to the African people—either living here in Norway or in other areas of the diaspora; even in Africa, including my own and other African person’s ancestors who may have been affected by this directly or indirectly.
There are definitely many other ways that awareness could have been brought to that subject. It seemed to me that the attention (and) as you read the articles and see the smiling faces on the creators of this recreation, of the Congo village, seem to have been wanting to be all about them rather than racism or colonialism.
To be quite frank, whenever one talks about racism, colonialism, and slavery, it shouldn’t be a laughing matter or nothing to celebrate. Just like when Mel Gibson made the movie The Passion of the Christ, and how white people and subjugated black folks, including myself, in our post traumatic slave syndromic state just wept and bawled all over this white actor—depicting white Jesus being brutally tortured and mauled.
In the same way so should slavery, racism, and colonialism. It should be—detested and appalled, especially by black folks worldwide if nobody else; although, it too should be condemned worldwide by all people, in the same manner, but I know that would be wishful thinking.
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Quianna Canada: Do you believe Kongoslandsbyen is fostering racism? If so, please tell us why?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Yes, in a way it does. Absolutely! If black folks don’t take it serious, as I eluded to in my previous answer to question 7, how do you think the rest of the world gonna take it, along with other factors, which I wouldn’t have the time to get into. As well, you think the International Jewish community would take the holocaust lightly in any way? Or the creators just-a-smiling for photo-ops and “hahain” and “hehein?” Nah, I don’t think so man!
DaRealNordicBlack Talks on the Killing of a Black Teen
Quianna Canada: You talked about the stabbing of Benjamin Hermansen, a Ghanaian boy in Oslo, Norway. Were you in Norway when it happened? If so, what was it like knowing a crime like this—that is so common in the United States has now, made its way to Norway?
#DaRealNordicBlack: No I wasn’t!
Quianna Canada: Did you protest?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Not applicable (was not in Norway).
Quianna Canada: Did you march n Youngstorget in 2011 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Again, not applicable didn’t get here until 2012!
Quianna Canada: Do you feel Joe Erling Jahr, Ole Nicolai Kvisler, and Veronica Andreassen should have received more time?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Of course, absolutely! Like we have in the states with the hate crime laws, and the “amount of years” that follows—and with certain restrictions and limited liberties that follow.
Quianna Canada: Not that you’ve been to prison in Norway, and if you did, I’m sure you’d be deported. From what other Norwegians may have told you about prison, how do they differ from American prisons?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Yes, like the Michael Moore documentary film, Sicko,“and in his latest called “Where to Invade Next,” it’s like a hotel, real talk. In some cases, the person can even leave the prison to their child’s school events, trust me I’ve seen it.
DaRealNordicBlack on Discrimination
Quianna Canada: In what way have you been discriminated against in Norway?
#DaRealNordicBlack: In my typical everyday life, as all others are that are non-white. In any other country, no matter where we are, let the truth be told.
Like I said in every area of human activity, like in the states, but way more stealthy, hidden, or refined, howsoever, all ending with the same the result in the end: unfair treatment. As compared to if you were white in Norway, they like to say or use as a codeword for being white. One of the code words for being white and born in Norway they say Ethnic Norwegian or in Norwegian Etnisk Norsk.
Quianna Canada: How did the discriminator’s actions make you feel?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Like, ‘all of them from whatever country they come from—ignorant!’
DaRealNordicBlack on Racial Awareness
Quianna Canada: Other than your videos, what are you doing to bring awareness to racism in Norway?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Well in my everyday, whenever I communicate or (when I) come into contact with a non-white person that I suspect is going through it silently, alone, and or who I just suspect doesn’t know much about their rich and beautiful culture or history, especially the African people, in this African diasporic area, which I happen to now live in called Norway; and speaking of which, in fact I am hoping in the future to start and develop a sort of workshop/school on Saturdays here in Norway.
It will focus on educating and giving awareness to the rich African history and cultures that we as African people, like myself, and others across the entire diaspora, share and possess—which is second to none. It stands alone in its greatness without rival, and in fact, inspired and sparked all others.
Quianna Canada: Is employment difficult for blacks in Norway much like it is in the United States? And, for African-Americans looking to Norway for refuge from police brutality and racism, what would you tell them?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Absolutely. For blacks, employment is more difficult here in Norway than any other documented legal worker from any country. Now by saying that I noticed, I mentioned documented legal workers meaning the ones who have legal stay and some sort of status in Norway.
Even the ones that don’t have so much legal status as of right now but even as we speak the legislative bodies here are trying to fight and make a way for them to have certain rights. And as such, I suspect that in the future even those people, when their time comes, will springboard and jump ahead of blacks as some already have—which I am a witness of.
Now I am mentioning and mainly talking about black people and employment as a whole here in Norway and not being specific to African-Americans. To stay true to the question, but even that can be a little tricky, people need not be fooled by us few so-called “token blacks.”
Now as for refuge from brutality and racism is concerned, for the time being—racism, discrimination, and unfair treatment or practices—no matter if it is to a lesser degree here than in America or Canada or all other countries in the world, is here alive. Discriminatory practices are being used every day here, absolutely. Now when it comes to police brutality, this is definitely not as present at this point. Police brutality towards us blacks hasn’t definitely made it way here yet, not saying that that won’t ever change in time.
Quianna Canada: Would you recommend Norway to African-Americans?
#DaRealNordicBlack: Yes I would, as well as the rest of the world not only Norway. Not to sound so damn repetitive but it is time that us black people and especially “not-so-well-traveled” African-Americans (that is) particularly the younger generation needs to make the world our oyster.
Meaning as long as we have the means, freedom, and ability to take full advantage of exploring the world, and to see it first hand, in which gives one a great sense of what is really going on in the world today—as you know it…to see and find out which ways one can contribute.
Quianna Canada: An agitator is a person who actively supports some ideology or movement with speeches or actions. I consider myself as one and an activist as well. Are you an agitator? What about an activist?
#DaRealNordicBlack: I guess yes, by your definition, it would make me an agitator most definitely! Well as far as an activist, if it’s meaning: to act upon what I believe, I definitely am closer than I ever have been in my life to acting upon the things that I wholeheartedly believe in.
I am closer than I ever have been, and so, yes activism has already started for me. But for me personally, to say and I feel that I am an activist, I personally haven’t reached that point. Like the Muslims say inshallah, “If God wills it to…”
I personally feel when it happens for whatever, then I guess I will know it and claim it but like I said, the groundwork for me is in its infancy stage I guess if you want to call it that.
Quianna Canada: For anyone saying you should come back to America, what would you tell them?
#DaRealNordicBlack: I would ask them, for what? Not that I’m opposed to it or haven’t planned on coming back in the future. No prophet was ever loved in his home but upon return, was celebrated as a king in some way, I’m just saying! Ya never know! Lol!
Quianna Canada: What’s next for you?
#DaRealNordicBlack: The world is my oyster! Well, I dropped exclusively to this blog site, one of them when I spoke about the workshop on Saturdays or the weekends. African-centered classes for starters. I got plenty of ideas, it’s all about the execution as you surely know as well…