OK, so, there's a story in the news here right now about a young girl - she was only 15 at the time - who was raped by four young men, 3-4 years older than her, here in Oslo almost two years ago. Our courts work ridiculously slowly, so the case has only come to trial now. The guys hit her and pulled her hair, threatened to beat her and called her a whore, then forced her to go down on all four of them in a shed. What's almost worst - I mean, obviously the girl's experiences were the worst, but this is the part that really breaks my heart - is that her mother actually heard part of the assault as it happened. :-o Her mother called her on her cell phone, completely by coincidence, while it was going on, and somehow the cover on the phone got pushed up so that the call was connected. So the mother had to sit there and listen to her daughter screaming and crying and shouting No! No, please!! and who knows what sounds the guys were making. I'm sure she understood what was going on. Has anyone seen that movie, Eye for an Eye? It's basically the opening scene of that movie, in real life. I can't even imagine how this woman must have felt when she realized what was happening to her child ... and there was nothing on earth she could possibly do to stop it. :-(
Anyway ... back to my question. Am I a racist? Because hearing about this case - just seeing the headline was enough - my immediate thought was that whoever did that were immigrants. In fact, it's wrong to even call it a thought. It's my first instinct. The idea is just in my head fully formed as soon as I hear the basic facts of the case. Gang rape in Oslo = it must be immigrants. The first real thought I guess is who would call me a racist because of my reaction?
Now, granted, I don't know much about this case. I only know what I've read in the paper ... there's an article here. So I'm just assuming something right off the cuff, just making random assumptions based on pretty much nothing. Right? Oh, I'm such an awful racist. Aren't I?
Has everyone heard about Norway Cup? It's the biggest football tournament for children and young people in the world (when I say football, I of course mean European, aka real, football ;-) and it's held every summer here in Oslo. It usually goes pretty smoothly ... everyone's happy to be playing and there's very little violence and things like that. But this summer there was a fracas, one team made a lot of trouble. They were disqualified - they didn't have their papers in order, a whole bunch of paperwork that they had ignored, whataver - and they started fights after that. My question came up then too. I thought about writing this blog post then, but I didn't get around to it. (Quel surprise. :-) I was going to write it though ... because as soon as I heard about that story too - football team creates fights & trouble at Norway Cup - that same instinct kicked in, and the same thought, or whatever, came into my head - Oh, those guys must be immigrants.
And then we're back to my initial question - am I a racist? I think a lot of people would call me one ... because if that's my instinctive reaction, I must just dislike immigrants. Mustn't I? But then, in the Norway Cup story, more information came to light, and guess what ... they were immigrants. It was a team made up entirely of immigrants. So what does that make me?
I don't consider myself a racist. I like to think that I give people the benefit of the doubt and judge each individual on his or her merits. But I am willing to bet a lot of money that these four guys in the rape case are all immigrants. Not one ethnic Norwegian in the bunch. And I'll go further. I'm also willing to bet money that they are members of a particular group of immigrants - Muslim immigrants. I'd bet a lot of money on that.
Now, am I a racist, or where do you figure this comes from?
3 days ago