Former Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, listening to Black Hebrew Israelities speaking in DC, could not resist engaging in a dialogue with them. The results were captured on video, where it can be seen that the exchange left Ólafur uncharacteristically speechless.
The Black Hebrew Israelites are probably a better-known phenomenon within the United States, and while their individual beliefs may vary, they generally believe themselves to be descended from the original Israelites, and are very active in espousing their beliefs publicly.
In a video posted last March, Ólafur can be seen watching and listening to a group of Black Hebrew Israelites known as the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK). When the interaction begins, the main speaker of the group reminds the crowd of the brutality that white people inflicted upon Black people in the 1950s and 60s, and that white people in their seventies today were engaging in those activities at that time. When the speaker asks the crowd, “Am I right?”, Ólafur then steps forward to say, “Well in general, but-”
This gets the speaker’s attention, and he welcomes Ólafur to engage. “But I’m not from the United States,” Ólafur says, and then adds that he is from Iceland. The speaker responds by asking if there’s a difference a white man born in the United States and a white man born in Iceland apart from their national origin.
“We come from the Vikings, and the Americans come from the British,” Ólafur says.
Undeterred, the speaker presses the point that white people all come from the same “seed”, that being the seed of Edom, an ancient kingdom in the Transjordan. And this is where the scripture begins.
The speaker recounts the story of Isaac and Rebecca having Esau and Jacob (which Ólafur helpfully points out is from the Old Testament), concluding that the first white person on earth came from a Black woman. “Could be,” says Ólafur, and the speaker says that Ólafur seems to know the Bible.
The ISUPK speaker has one of his colleagues consult Genesis 25:23-25, which the speaker takes to be an allegory about the origins of white people and Black people, adding further that white people are actually red. Ólafur agrees with this assessment, impressing the ISUPK speaker further, who tells the crowd that “a white man comes up here and he accepts the fact.”
After having scripture read to him for a while longer, Ólafur excuses himself, saying he intends to go home and read this chapter again. The ISUPK speaker laughs, wishing him well by telling Ólafur, “You gave us enough. You have a good evening.”
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