Mikael Hertig, maj 2017 GPL LICENS CC0
By Mikael Hertig
CIVILIZATION AND ORIENTALISM
"I think we should introduce civilization. It is such a good idea" (Mahatma Gandhi)
IS CIVILIZATION A GOOD ID OR SPECIAL WESTERN, SELF EXPERIENCED QUALITY?
Racism is a specific current historical problem and not just a human rights principle.
The violations in the United States are absurd. But they are not alone.
When we demonstrate in Denmark, we also direct our anger at police violence and administrative repression against minorities other than those of African descent. In France, a black man was killed almost in the same way as Floyd in Minneapolis. Racism begins in the hearts and ends in up in violence not just in US. Colonialism was a European phenomena, as was also slavery in its origin
In Denmark particularly, our large minority are people of Arab / Middle Eastern / North African descent.
As far as people of African descent are concerned, in Denmark we have to some extent forgotten our own colonial past - both the Africa, India, the Caribbean and Greenland. But when we adress our protest against racism, we address it as an universal phenomena.
Moltkes Mansion - Copenhagen - financed by sugar, slaves, rum triangle Virgin Islands.
As for blacks with Danish slave past in Denmark, they fill nothing in the Danish consciousness. They probably should, though there are few. We do not see Moltke's Mansion as created by wealth, built on sugar, slaves and rum. We do not see the white sugar beet that can be grown in Denmark as the new business model that outperformed the triangle trade.
Administrative Out og Home Removals of Greenlandic Children in Denmark
In these days, forced placement of children by Greenlandic parents in Denmark In one of the cases I am dealing with, the plea is based on the fact that Greenlanders in Denmark do not speak Danish.
Forgotten are the international conventions, our endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights, but worst of all: The simple Danish administrative law's provision on counseling obligations.
Racism here exists in the municipality and is practiced in the best sense. Now as always
Decolonization of the Mind
If #blacklivesmatter wants to patent racism because of the massive and brutal repression of blacks in the United States, it may be excused, but hardly defended.
What I have learned from my personal Greenland experience is that, as a Dane, I have to give up my programmed beliefs. They have it freeing myself, my habitual thinking, my inherent superiority, which is embedded in my perception of myself as 'civilized'.
The Inventory of the Inner "Pig Dog" (Scweinehund) - (Kurt Schumacher, 1933) is about the constant self-settlement that is needed if in practice one wants to get to face one's racist prejudice. One must try to see the stranger as an equal being with its own culture and dignity. I think that "Decolonizartion of Our Minds" should be a common proces between the former colonizers and the subalterns.
There is a conscious, manifest racism. We are also up against it, and it is certainly important. When it becomes visible to the world, the time has come for some necessary settlement.
But then there is the unconscious, nested, latent. And it is not a particular American phenomenon.
Civilization and the idea of being civilized is, on this basis, a not yet realized idea that no culture has a patent for.