From Iceland — Empty Words On A Movement, Yet Full Of Hope

Empty Words On A Movement, Yet Full Of Hope

Empty Words On A Movement, Yet Full Of Hope

Published June 19, 2020

Photo by
Atli Freyr Steinsson

I have never felt so discriminated against, but I have never felt so privileged.

I have never had so many things to say to the world without being able to find the words.

I have never felt so selfish yet I have never felt so much compassion for people I don’t know. The people of the race to which I belong, yet have never belonged.

I’ve never felt so connected to my body, my brown skin, yet I have never felt my body so displaced. So far away from those who look like me, whom I feel I should be with.

However, my privilege lies in the fact that I do not share their experiences. Their abuse. The injustice they face. The hurt they have experienced. Yet I feel like I have felt it all.

Racism is strange. So tangible yet so hard to grasp. A spectrum which most view as one-dimensional. A singular act of intentional hurt across races. But racism lies much deeper.

Our entire lives are racialised.

However, those who are the most privileged of all are those who cannot say to which race they belong.

Whiteness. A fake race which no-one can explain. Yet it seems to define all that exists.

But what do these words mean anyway?

Do they mean anything at all?

To someone who does not recognise the system from which they benefit.

The system which upholds their privilege.

The system which affects all who are not white.

But who am I to speak?

My privilege is also upheld and I do not wish to lose it. I do not wish to experience the abuse, the brutality, the discrimination. Yet I yearn for it so bad. As I feel that my body will then be connected to my brothers and sisters.

But will that help? What can I do? How can I help?

Is it money that is needed? Further education? My words? My body?

I feel helpless and detached. I yearn for the future—a future without racism in any shape or form.

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