The op-ed editor in Aftenposten, Knut Olav Åmås, is obviously provoked by Sylfest Lomheim's interpretation that "nordmann" - approximately translated as "Norwegian" (noun) means someone who is ethnically Norwegian, and that the term "Negro" (neger) is appropriate in normal Norwegian (language) usage.
Åmås overarching point is that the Norwegian Language Council, as it is, tries to be, or whatever, shouldn't just feel responsible describing Norwegian language and usage, but also for critiquing it. In other words, who is a Norwegian isn't just a linguistic issue, it's a political one.
The Norwegian collective psyche suffers from a serious "us vs. the others" neurosis. When NRK - the Norwegian broadcasting corporation - routinely talks about Jews/Moslems/etc. as opposed to "Norwegians," it's obvious that Norwegians, as it were, can't reconcile themselves with the fact that belonging to a nationality doesn't mean minimal compliance to some kind of ethnic standards.
I'm probably a good exemplar myself. I've traced my genealogy back hundreds of years, and nearly all my ancestors come from an area about 100 km by 300 km in inland-Norway. I am related to myself in numerous ways. You'd be hard pressed to find someone as firmly rooted in "ethnic Norwegianism" as me.
I know what it means in practical terms to live up to these standards. I'd have to study in Norway, marry a Norwegian woman of the same socio-economic class as me (children of educated parents whose origins are in rural Norway, ideally Eastern Norway), settle in a suburb west of Oslo, but not too far away. Attend church at lifecycle events but remain in the State Church. Get involved in some kind of Nordic athletic event.
I did none of these things, of course; but that certainly doesn't make me any less Norwegian. My great-uncle wrote in his memoirs how unfair it seemed to him that he was considered a native of Eidsvoll because he was born there, while his father, who moved there, was never fully accepted. Similarly, I'd probably find it somewhat easier being accepted in Oppdal, where my family goes back hundreds of years, than someone who moved there fifteen years ago.
Whatever your circles are in Norway, you can find an "us" that is different from "them." The ethnic Norwegians are a narrower circle than those who are Norwegian by citizenship; those who are native-born Norwegians are a narrower circle than those who are citizenship by any means. It is driven down to the town you live in, the neighborhood you grew up in, the dialect you speak.
A lot of Norwegians face serious cognitive disonance when they see Korean-looking girls in bunad, or Pakistani-looking politicians representing mainstream political parties, or Somali-looking people speaking Oppdals-dialect. These people do Norwegian things but simply don't look the part, or so it appears.
Åmås is right to frame this as a political issue, but it is indeed more than that - it's an issue of identity. Jagland ducks the issue by defining anyone to be Norwegian who has Norwegian citizenship, but you can't blame him.
The distinction made in the public debate appears to be between someone who is legally Norwegian (i.e., has that citizenship) and someone who is ethnically Norwegian (where it gets more messy).
It gets messy because nobody is entirely comfortable with a narrow definition of ethnic Norwegianness (where do I fit in, for example), but a broad one is also awkward. And then there are minorities, such as Sami, Kven, and Gypsy Norwegians who are ethnic, but no less, authentic Norwegian minorities.
The reality is that we each have a mix of cultural heritage. Take most Norwegians, and you will find that their parents, grandparents, etc., come from different places that may look superficially similar but have important differences.
So my point is this: perhaps the definition of Norwegian in any but a legal sense is losing its meaning. We speak Norwegian, though with different dialects, we derive our cultural frame of reference from a wide range of sources - local, regional, national, from abroad, etc.
Of course, that would take a cultural shift in itself. But work needs to start.
The political debate is pretty profound, though. If we no longer have a nation of ethnic Norwegians, then Norway no longer is a nation-state, i.e., a state built to be the home for a nation. Instead, Norway will become a society that is part of the broader Nordic, European, and global community; but also with unique characteristics. What those characteristics are, remains to be determined. But it is time for Norway to write a new constitution.