A letter of thanks to Hommaforum and Hannu of Scripta

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Hommaforum, a Finnish hate forum where people reveal their xenophobia and racism anonymously, tried to pull a fast one on Migrant Tales by making up a story about an Ethiopian victim called Dawit. The aim of the email and the story that was published and taken down was supposedly to discredit and shame one of Finland’s most outspoken blogs against racism. 

Did they succeed? Not by a long shot. Migrant Tales has published some 1,800 postings. We have many faithful visitors. We have as well some who dislike us so much that they lose sleep over this blog.

Apart from analysis about cultural diversity in Finland, comments by associate editors like JusticeDemon and Mark add value to our forum. Migrant Tales wouldn’t be anything without them.

After reading over 30,000 comments on our blog, I have learned an important lesson: It’s an utter waste of time to debate with those who are challenged on the tolerance front. We seek proactive answers, while the latter seek to be indifferent.

Apparently, Hommaforum is riling mad about a posting by Fadumo Dayib, Run Nigger, Run, which was published this week

Why did this Dayib’s account anger them? Because a Somali, a woman, had the guts to tell her experiences about racism in Finland. This was too much for the people of Hommaforum to take. For some men, Finnish machismo is manifested through racism. That’s why they feel especially threatened when a woman from Somalia can outdebate them.

Another matter that the perpetrators wanted to unsuccessfully show, or claim, is that we don’t check the reliability of our stories. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything I write on this blog I take responsibility with my real name. Contrary to many, I am not anonymous and do so because I believe in what I do. I take responsibility for what I write.

The grand majority of our stories are based on reliable sources like newspapers, NGOs and others. We do some investigative reporting with good results and sometimes, hardly ever, we publish directly.

Another factor you have to understand is the motive. The site is Hommaforum, who apart from spreading racism in this country, one of its aims is to deny racism, even if it sounds surreal.

The action taken against our blog is similar to a bogus Finland Democrat Party story in November 2012 published by Turun Sanomat in which former PS MP, James Hirvisaari, was supposed to be a founding member.

Turun Sanomat was chosen as a target because it help spread Helena Eronen’s racist blog entry about sleeve badges last year for different ethnic groups.

Dayib’s opinion piece that was published on Migrant Tales is the reason for Hommaforum’s actions.

In the face of the latest prank, I would like to personally thank them for showing how threatened they feel by our cyber presence.

Migrant Tales is no Turun Sanomat and neither do we have the backing of Finland’s third-largest party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS), never mind the symbol of ethnic intolerance in this country, Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation. We’re a small and humble forum that has grown out of nowhere thanks to our arguments and the support of our readers.

The question that interests Hommaforum is if we we’ll stop speaking out against racism in Finland. The answer is a flat no.

Back in 2008, I was about to throw in the Migrant Tales towel but one Scripta member thought he would strike us off the cyber map by calling a social-media lynching mob to our site. I was amazed and emboldened by the attack.

If that attack wouldn’t have happened, it’s doubtful that Migrant Tales would exist today. Thank you Hannu (Onkko for Hommaforumers  and Internetsi for others). If there is one person that boosted our blog from the beginning, that person has got to be Hannu.

The moral of this story? The more you hit us and the more you notice us, the stronger we grow and the weaker and more isolated you become.

I’m more than certain that in 20 years or sooner, Migrant Tales will be judged as a forum that had the courage to speak out against racism while your hate site, Hommaforum, will be studied as an example of how racism got a beachhead and spread in Finland.

In many respects reading what you write on your forum is like listening in 2013 to a white racist speaking in the 1950s in Alabama about blacks.

How come you don’t write your comments with real names? Why so much inflated bravado, anonymously? Are you afraid that your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be shamed by what you write?

Yes, that must be the reason.

And hey, thank you Hommaforum and Hannu of Scripta for making us stronger today.

 

  1. Enrique Tessieri

    khr, it was launched from Homma with the blessing of that hate forum. Some of these people not only hate immigrants but Finns from certain regions as well. They are a disgrace to this country and a good example of cowardice. They aren’t patriotic but a bunch of anonymous thugs. They don’t have the guts to say what they claim with their names. What would you call such a person? A coward, full stop.

  2. Enrique Tessieri

    khr, are you involved in some way with Hommaforum? Are you a visitor from that site to test our opinions and to report obediently back to them?

  3. D4R

    Im not surprised that they invented this kind of lie, Hommaforum originated from fear and spread of myths and lies, the people who participate in there spread to eachother myths and basless lies, lies will eventually destroy hommaforum. They felt threatened by this Somali woman Faduma of how elequently she wrote with decent english skills unlike theirs and it’s just hard for them to swallow, remember she belongs to the ehtnic group that they demad all the time in hommaforum.

  4. kiakkovieras

    Are you afraid of the truth.. you deleted my comments in order to live in your own delusion?

    I will just post it again. Screenshots will prove your censorship. That is a way of doing politics in dictatorships, which is proabbly what ET and his followers want.

    kiakkovieras – undocumented entry on December 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Everyone can judge the truth by comparing the stories of Enrique and the thread on hommaforum (backed by screenshots and google cache).

    Just check:
    http://hommaforum.org/index.php/topic,90301.0.html

    And find out out if this was a concerted effort, or just one guy. You’ll also find out if the person on Hommaforum just “tried” to pull a fast one on Migrant Tall Tales, or if he actually succeeded.

    But I fear nobody will see this mail on this blog. Censorship is a strong force on this blog. I wish they were as diligent in checking their stories.

    I know for a fact there is one more prominent story on this blog that is false. There probably is more, but I know one for sure. Enrique and his brainwashed cohorts do not doubt any stories submitted as long as the stories support their world view.

    • Mark

      Klakko

      Which other story is supposed to be false? I mean, the story you know is false is the one that you presented. No medals for that. But what about the other story. And why didn’t you focus on that story rather than make one up?

      This blog is not censored. This blog will not tolerate hate speech instead of proper argument. Some people are just too stupid to know the difference.

  5. vesajarv

    Hello,

    Don’t worry, I am not returning, but you asked a question, that no one seems to want to answer, so here it is: This is at least a false story:

    http://www.migranttales.net/abde-hussein-shows-how-we-can-beat-racism-at-its-own-game/

    The falseness is usually very hard to detect, because there’s usually some part true in the story, the other part is just “dramatization”, which I suspect is also the case in the “run, nigger, run”-story. Think about the incident, where a strange woman smacked the child of a mother. Can the writer confirm, that this has really happened or that it happened like she describes: she obviously wasn’t there, and the later comments of her reveal, that she doesn’t even know the mother, or the child. It’s just some story she has heard. She did a mistake by writing it, even though she might herself believe it’s true. It’s a nasty story, that shows finnish people in a very negative light. See:

    “The mother implored the spectators, tried to appeal to their decency and humanity, but to no avail. ”

    This is terrible. Yes, I believe finnish people can be reluctant to actively offer help, but they DO help, if they are asked. This is, where the writer simply went too far. To say something like this, to accuse finnish people of this, just based on some story she’s heard – it’s wrong.

    and YOU! You link this story here, no questions asked.

    People have a right to get upset over this story, to get angry. It’s nothing to do with racism, or some “finnish machismo”, or what was this Tessieri’s “proper argument”. You disagree? What if I would write to my blog about a story I heard, that some immigrant group X harassed a young girl in the street and claim it is true. Is it Ok to you if I do that? You don’t get mad over it? Anybody?

    Mark: “This blog will not tolerate hate speech instead of proper argument”

    Here’s one question for you to answer:

    “In the United States it took hundreds of years to finally ignite the spark of the Civil Rights Movement on December 1, 1955, when a Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus.

    Those of us who aren’t white and are proud of our origins, are waiting as well for that Rosa Parks moment. ”

    Here Tessieri is comparing the situation in Finland to the situation in the Alabama 1955. Is this proper argument or hate speech?

    I tell you it’s not a proper argument, it’s GARBAGE.

    Is it any wonder, that some finnish don’t like you, Tessieri. You insult finnish people, finnish culture, finnish history. You have done it so many times in this blog. Well, I was fed up with it – and still am.

    You can discuss racism without insulting people. DO IT!

    It seems that you are deliberately angering people, provoking, what do you aim to achieve with that? To fight against racism? – you really think THIS is the right way. Think again.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Vesjarv, Kiakkovieras et al…Why are you so reluctant to speak with a real name but prefer to change pseudonyms at every turn. I have spotted three.

      Your angle and approach to the issue of intolerance is easy to uncover and full of flaws. First, you believe, as a white Finn, that racism is a minor matter in this country; secondly, your whole argument is, like your generaliztions about other groups, that you can shame somebody with one example.

      If people in the Civil Rights Movement in the US followed your advice, I’m certain that we’d still have the Old Jim Crow laws in force.

      Here’s a question back to you: Why do you feel so offended by what we write on Migrant Tales? Do you feel that it judges Finland wrongly? Or shouldn’t you be attacking those that are spreading racism in this country? Aren’t they the real culprits?

      Take for example our most recent story about a black anchorman of Sweden who got harassed in a racist manner in Turku. What do you think about what happened? What should our reaction be if this type of behavior happens? Here’s the link: http://www.migranttales.net/racist-harassment-of-a-black-svt-anchorman-at-a-hockey-tournament-in-turku-finland/

    • Mark

      Vesajarv

      The falseness is usually very hard to detect, because there’s usually some part true in the story, the other part is just “dramatization”, which I suspect is also the case in the “run, nigger, run”-story.

      At first glance, one might have suspected that you wanted to replace the world of anecdotal storytelling in social media with a precise and factual rendition of people’s daily events and experiences. I mean, I can see the strength in that argument, even if it would only appear at all realistic to a total dimwit. But then, reading on, it’s actually clear that you don’t like anecdotal storytelling and you would replace it rather with … wait for it … anecdotal storytelling. In other words, the only thing you offer for us to believe that these stories are ‘false’ is that you feel, somewhere in that cavernous gut of yours, that the stories don’t sound true, to you! Well, I’m glad you stuck to the verifiable facts there, fella!

      How much more honest of you it would have been if you had simply said that I choose not to believe these people’s stories, but I have no proof either that the sorties happened exactly as they wrote them? Too difficult? No, much easier and satisfying to claim that these stories are in fact FALSE.

      The run-nigger-run story was one of the best-written accounts of racism by one of the people who had experienced it that has ever come out of Finland. That girl is an absolute gem! Not only did she experience a quite appalling level of racism from a group of locals, but also experienced institutional racism from the police. But is she bitter? No. Is she blaming all Finns and calling Finland a racist country? No. In fact, she urges her readers to understand this experience as only a small part of Finnish culture, though sometimes vocal and very distressing. She brings perspective.

      You should be singing her praises to the rooftops, because she is exactly the kind of immigrant that the anti-immigration bunch say they want to have – people who can see racism as an isolated incident, and are not trying to give Finland a bad name. But do you support her? No. You call her fantastic penmanship ‘dramatisation’. You are not fit to tie her shoelaces mate. She is clearly far smarter, more talented and more able to talk about these topics than you ever will be, Vesa!

    • Mark

      Vesa

      Yes, I believe finnish people can be reluctant to actively offer help, but they DO help, if they are asked. To say something like this, to accuse finnish people of this, just based on some story she’s heard – it’s wrong.

      That is so lame, it’s laughable. First, the ‘they’ that you refer to above did NOT HELP in this particular case. Though why you would try to generalise a reaction like this, I don’t know. But, as a social phenomenon, it’s rather well-known that bystanders in Finland can be particularly passive when it comes to violence or suffering on the street. Clearly, not all, but a high enough number that it gets discussed, and it also gets discussed as a Finnish thing, by Finns too. In fact, my wife was discussing exactly the same topic to me, a week ago.

      She was driving the car through the town when she saw a man who had fallen over in the street, struggling to get up, clearly disorientated, and people were simply walking past, on a busy street. She parked her car nearby, walked back to the spot and there was still no-one there helping, and she approached the man, and as she did so, another man also decided to help (my wife is rather attractive!). The old man on the floor was bleeding quite heavily from a cut on his head. She asked the other passerby to phone an ambulance, and she gave the man comfort till it arrived. He did not smell of alcohol, even though from his appearance, you might have suspected he was a drunk, but he was an older gentleman, looking weatherbeaten in the face. My wife was shocked that people were just walking past.

      Now, my wife is a Finn, so by definition, she is a Finn helping a stranger, as was the other man who phoned the ambulance. This demonstrates that some Finns do stop. But the reality of this situation is that MANY Finns did not, and this is a quite common experience. My wife asked me, ‘why are Finns like this?’ Now you can attack my wife for being wrong, but this kind of generalised comment is very common when talking about this kind of passivity.

      Also read Fadumo’s story again. She is not ‘accusing Finns’. Most of the time, she refers to the people as bystanders and spectators, and she refers to them specifically, even asking if anyone saw the attack that day, to please offer themselves as a witness to the police. Only once does she generalise in any way, just as my wife did, and ask the question ‘Why do Finnish people do this?’ And yet you still want to home in on that tiny comment, take huge offense from it, and then imagine that Finland and Finns need defending from the ‘accusations’ of this foreigner, all the while ignoring what actually happened in that event, and whether it is justified to generate discussion and soul-searching. But no, you will not do any soul-searching when it’s a bloody foreigner telling you to do it, and that’s the plain fact of the matter!

      Given that no-one actually stopped to help, she is justified in asking that question. Her point was why are ‘some’ Finns passive about violence or suffering in a public place towards another individual. Indeed, the attitude of some Finns towards beggars on the streets of Helsinki is another case in point.

      Here Tessieri is comparing the situation in Finland to the situation in the Alabama 1955. Is this proper argument or hate speech?

      Well, it’s certainly not hate speech, by any definition. But I can see why you see it as such, because you are in the mode of ‘cultural self-defence’, and that has a nasty habit of distorting every single comment made by a foreigner.

      Is Enrique dramatising the situation in Finland by comparing it with a segregated US? Yes, he is. But he does have a point, even if he isn’t making it so well. American civil society did not properly face the issue of equal civil rights for all members of society until the civil disobedience and civil rights protests made the issue front page news and a talking point. Until then, it was just taken for granted that blacks had a lower status in society, with everything that that entailed at that time. In fact, people argued that they had it too good, even, much like some argue today that immigrants have it too good, in spite of all the evidence that tells us immigrants are among those with the lowest status and highest vulnerabilities in Finnish society.

      Finland hasn’t yet had that full-blown public discussion about immigrant rights and equal status. This is extremely surprising given that social inequalities is a HUGE topic in Finland and all the Nordic countries, given the history of the welfare state model. In fact the only drivers in the public discussion come from those political parties that want to further stigmatise and marginalise immigrant groups, even to the point of the Minister of the Interior suggesting immigrants should be Christian! I mean, come on…the fact she can say that and still have a job speaks volumes about the general climate surrounding these issues in Finland.

      So Enrique is right to point out that it needs some kind of jolt to properly bring this topic into focus and into the public discussion in Finland. The problem nowadays is that the social inequalities are NOT as obvious as they were in 1950s America, and that makes them easier to ignore or dismiss. But the evidence really is unequivocable. Others will individualise the problem, and say it is not society’s problem that these groups ‘fail’ or have a lower status, that it must be their ‘lower’ cultural abilities. That is just plain racist, but it is yet an extremely common opinion in Finland. And it goes well beyond a mere nationalist notion of Finns somehow being culturally superior or advanced. The belief is that there is something in the nature of Africans that means they fight or create a ‘low-level’ culture. Dress, music, speech, speaking etc., are all criticised for being somehow an expression of a lesser culture. Of course, if it’s rap music, you can get away with these ‘dislikes’, but the racial overtones are very clear.

      So, far from being ‘garbage’, Enrique’s point is a good one, a relevant and topical one – at what point does Finnish society seriously ask itself how does it ensure that immigrants, especially black and Muslim immigrants, will enjoy an equal status in Finnish society.

      You insult finnish people, finnish culture, finnish history.

      Like I said, you are stuck in cultural self-defence. Many writers and commentators ask questions of Finns, and Finnish culture. Indeed, one could argue that MOST cutting edge art and cultural commentary is in some way critical of the traditional or mainstream culture. Meanwhile, it is very common to see history as the story of past mistakes, from which we must turn away, strive towards something better, which is in itself a criticism of the prejudices and vanities of previous generations of Finns. Yes, there is the lauding of the war veterans and older values, especially among the populist right, who are all too eager to raise the flag to a mythic past, a Golden Age, threatened by the pollution of modern day cultural interchange. But that’s bollocks, of course. The path of modern Finland has been mostly progressive, without doubt.

      It seems that you are deliberately angering people, provoking, what do you aim to achieve with that? To fight against racism? – you really think THIS is the right way. Think again.

      Of course, you are absolutely right to point out that a person like yourself, stuck in cultural self-defence and hiding a covert racism behind the respectability of modern populism, is very unlikely to be persuaded by Enrique’s arguments or reporting. In fact, I imagine his style, provocative as it is, would completely rile with you. Enrique does reach after dramatic gestures and devices to get the points across, but the points themselves remain substantial and important nonetheless. In fact, the fact that he’s making you discuss the issue is a sign of the success and need for such voices. It takes all kinds, to make a society, and to make a society that is capable of change and improvement. The question you should ask yourself, instead of falling back into fake outrage and having to defend the whole of Finland and every single Finn from any kind of cultural criticism, is ‘what if…’, what if Enrique has a point? Is there something to learn from this perspective that he is offering? You see, the truth is, that no matter how radical or provocative the commentary, there is usually something quite important that can be learned from it, providing you don’t pull out your steed and jousting stick at the first sign of criticism against your very insecure Finnish identity.

      Finland can survive Enrique’s mild criticism. Finland doesn’t need you to defend her, or her reputation. But that doesn’t mean that Finland cannot make progress in understanding its place in a ‘multi-ethnic’ world.

  6. vesajarv

    Here we go again. This is your tactic, you are deliberately understanding me wrong, so that my whole time is wasted on defending myself from you overly silly analysis of me – instead of discussing the matter itself. This is not about me, stop attacking me.

    I play along with you this time.

    Ok, let’s put it more simple. Fadumo doesn’t have the right to tell a story she has heard as true. The story insults finnish people. The story is far too detailed, she would have had to be there witnessing it for it to be an accurate description of the situation. It is quite evident, that she is not able to confirm, that what she said happened. So what do you say to this? You wrote a lot but missed the important question: Do YOU accept it?

    Mark
    “Is Enrique dramatising the situation in Finland by comparing it with a segregated US? Yes, he is. But he does have a point, even if he isn’t making it so well.”

    Mark, thank you for your honesty. You CAN communicate your thoughts without unnecessary provocation.

    • Mark

      No, I absolutely do not accept it. By your criteria, no friend could ever stand up for another friend, because the story was not a first hand account. By that definition, the media could never report, and politicians could never act…need I go on?

  7. vesajarv

    “the media could never report, and politicians could never act…need I go on?”

    Well, I don’t know about you, but I personally wouldn’t want to live in a country, where the authorities, media would just believe peoples word and not check the facts.

    And this case. You should be very discreet, when you tell story like that, blaming of people should be avoided.

    What is true in this story what is not? Maybe the ‘recently’ wasn’t that recently, or maybe the mother didn’t actually report the incident to the police. I don’t know, useless to speculate.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Well, I don’t know about you, but I personally wouldn’t want to live in a country, where the authorities, media would just believe peoples word and not check the facts.

      My advice to you? Check Jussi Halla-aho’s “facts” and while you’re at it, go and check James Hirvisaari’s as well.

      You have to get over it and acknowledge that this country is as much yours as it is mine. Since it is my country and that of many others you may not like, we have the right to express our views freely. We have the same rights to you and, importantly, the right to be treated as equals in our society.

  8. vesajarv

    I’m sorry, Tessieri, but this is still not about me. This is about you not being able to handle criticism for your writings. I have just criticized one of your postings (a valid criticism) and what do you do? You run and hide. Mark has to defend you. All you do is rely on your cheap tricks: your made up accusations and your attempts to change the subject. Why don’t you participate? Why don’t you defend your own postings? What is your excuse?

    I could show you other examples from your postings, where you have been out of line, dishonest, twisted peoples words, left relevant information out…but what would be the point? You are obviously not going to be responsible person. You would just hide behind Marks back.

  9. vesajarv

    Hi,

    Today my attacks here feel quite silly. I have some criticism for this site, but I admit, I have really not presented them in a constructive way.

    To me, you seem to be more creating ravines than building bridges over them, between the immigrants and the natives. That’s basically it, figuratively put.

    The same criticism applies also to me and my comments on this site.

    The text I wrote yesterday is quite terrible and unfair. Sorry about that, Tessieri.

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