One brave Black woman in Sweden is making waves across the globe.
Tess Asplund, 42, was one of many on-lookers who were on hand to witness a group of neo-Nazis from the Nordic Resistance Movement took to the streets of Borlange, Sweden on Sunday, but she was fed up standing on the sidelines so she stepped out.
“It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street,” she told The Guardian. “I was thinking: hell no, they can’t march here! I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it’s not okay.”
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That impulse brought her face-to-face with the openly racist group as she stepped to them in a courageous act of defiance and raised her closed fist, a symbol widely used by Black people around the world as a representation of solidarity and strength in the face of prejudice, hatred or adversity. While Asplund was proud to take a stand against the NRM, she wasn’t quite prepared for the firestorm that followed after learning that a photographer had captured the moment on camera and that it had gone viral by Monday night.
“I am in shock,” she said. “The Nazis are very angry, so I am a little ‘Oh shit, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, I want peace and quiet.’ These guys are big and crazy. It’s a mixed feeling, but I am trying to stay calm.”
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The photographer who snapped the photo was on location reporting for the anti-racist foundation Expo out of Stockholm Sweden. Expo representative Daniel Poohl says Asplund’s act was an accurate reflection of the Sweden’s modern-day multicultural climate. “We now live in a multicultural society, so it makes sense that it was a black woman.”
Although apprehensive about all the new-found attention, Asplund says she’s also hopeful that her actions will spark “something positive.”
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