A possible cartoon depicting white privilege in Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

The cartoon below pictures pretty well how white privilege works in the United States, according to Bicultural Mom. How would the same cartoon look if we’d draw it for Finland? 

Would white Finn be looking at the black person from a much higher height and state: “We are a good country that believes in social equality (tasa-arvo). You have a right to most of our social services but we’ll deny you one very important matter.”

There is a pause of silence and then the white Finns speaks:  “I will keep that a secret from you because you are supposed to figure it out.”

The white Finn looks away from the black person and whispers to you: “That secret is equal opportunities.”

The image above is one of many anti-racism cartoons that you can find on Ampersand by Barry Deutsch.

Do we know any artists out there who would like to do cartoons for Migrant Tales?

Thank you Glenn Robinson’s Community Village Daily Activist for the heads up! 

  1. Depressed 4 Reason

    I was reading an article and i stumpled an interesting quotes that i wanned to share with you. This is some what, related to migrant tales, it’s aim, goal:

    History always fix things… think of all the great thinkers who were burnt, tortured and imprisoned for telling the truth. Think about the things they went through, all the turmoil around them, all problems they caused to the authorities of their time, all the atrocities they needed to endure – after a few centuries, all their efforts paid off. Shutting them up did not stop history from revealing their wisdom. Truth can be hidden for a while, but nature takes its course regardless of men’s attempt to change it.

    • Migrant Tales

      Depressed 4 Reason, there are many cases. I have always admired people like yourself who have the courage to speak out even if they are a small minority. That takes real courage to be in such a situation. Time is the final judge of our words. Your example points to sensible and just ideas like inclusion and social justice. Time will make people who promote an all-white Finland to look like h****s asses in the future. No offense to the horse, however.

  2. depressed 4 reason

    Migrant tales : Depressed 4 Reason, there are many cases. I have always admired people like yourself who have the courage to speak out even if they are a small minority. That takes real courage to be in such a situation. Time is the final judge of our words. Your example points to sensible and just ideas like inclusion and social justice. Time will make people who promote an all-white Finland to look like h****s asses in the future. No offense to the horse, however.

    Thanks for your kind words. Have a good day.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Rhymes and Reasons, and welcome to Migrant Tales. You have a lot of good music on your blog. Thanks for the link.

  3. Hannu

    Rhymes so you are saying we have huge problem because of our slave history in finland? To your info slavery was outlawed somewhere early 1300s in here…. Last in written history was when russia took slaves from finland.
    And sexism… Finland was one of first countries to give womans right to vote and according to study woman gets about 98% of mans salary and difference can be explained by “non stat factors”.
    And white priviledge……… So you are claiming that we in finland have things well because we suppress/suppressed blacks? WHAT BLACKS! We got everything before blacks came here.
    Study atleast something about country before you comment. I forgive enrigue because hes traumatized by something or dropped in his head.

    • Migrant Tales

      White privilege, Hannu, is happening right now at this moment. The cartoon depicted the United States. I asked for some suggestions on how a similar cartoon, with a dark and white Finn, would play out.

      I have been traumatized by many things in my life but not by what you claim. Probably one of these was seeing so much hatred, war, strife, racism and utter disregard for other people during my long journey from Los Angeles to Finland via Argentina.

      Despite everything, I am still standing and with my trusty keyboard.

  4. Hannu

    Where that white priviledge is happening and how.
    And do you understand you make same claims than certain people in 1930s, were oppressed!.

  5. Depressed 4 Reason

    Migrant tales: I have been traumatized by many things in my life but not by what you claim. Probably one of these was seeing so much hatred, war, strife, racism and utter disregard for other people during my long journey from Los Angeles to Finland via Argentina.

    Despite everything, I am still standing and with my trusty keyboard.

    I feel like i am in the same boat with enrique. i seen all that too, and still standing, refuses to give up. I guess enrique, we’re made of solid elements. 🙂

  6. Depressed 4 Reason

    Where that white priviledge is happening and how.
    And do you understand you make same claims than certain people in 1930s, were oppressed!.

    I think white privilege is happening in finland as a form of, not granting for their rights to colored people,also suppressing them intentionally.

  7. Laputis

    Actually one thing amazes me.

    Slavery hasn´t existed in Finland for many centuries. Yet in Estonia it did exist for long time in form of serfdom. The Estonians themselves were literally slaves, and at some point of history (it was in 17-18th century) it was even possible to sell and buy Estonian serfs. The owners were German landlords. Serfdom was abandoned in Estonia in beginning of 19th century.
    Due not so good economical condition also nowdays Estonians often have to be nearly “slaves”. The ones, who make some of most dirtiest and heaviest jobs in Finland are Estonians. Look at construction workers, agricultural workers etc., they very often are Estonians. And they often work at lower salaries than Finns do. Estonians often live in worse conditions than Finns do.
    But nobody here in this blog cares about Estonians. Because they have white skin and light eyes, you know. Even though their role often has been not more pleasing than that of Afro-Americans in plantations in America.

  8. justicedemon

    Laputis

    nobody here in this blog cares about Estonians

    Well, let’s see. Ricky and I, and some other contributors here, have been active for many years in lobbying for the rights of workers from the new EU Member States, and most particularly in making sure that they join and gain a voice in Finnish trade unions. One of the outcomes of that work was the SAK information point in Tallinn. Unlike SAK (which nowadays grudgingly admits its mistake), we also lobbied against transitional obstacles to labour migration from the new Member States in the middle of the last decade, correctly predicting that these obstacles would merely result in a massive increase in the intra-Community commercial services trade while hampering collective bargaining on behalf of posted workers. An indication of how far we have managed to get SAK to shift its general views on migrant workers over the last 15-20 years can be found in a recent booklet.

    When reading this new publication, please bear in mind that it comes from an organisation that would not allow a foreigner to serve as a shop steward before the mid-1990s. Interestingly, there are one or two workplaces that still try to apply this unlawful exclusion – google the phrase “luottamusmiehen tulee olla Suomen kansalainen” to find them.

    What have you been doing to help Estonian workers, Laputis? What have you done to show how much you care?

  9. Hannu

    Justicedemon so you have lobbied for slavery, good for you….
    Its always hearthwarming and fun to know that there is someone who lobbies for ones who do job for 3e/hour….

  10. justicedemon

    Hannu

    You are the statistics king, so show us the collective agreement that has such rates and show us the Finnish trade union that negotiated them.

    Our cards are on the table. What have you been doing to help migrant workers? Other than spreading lies about them?

  11. Mark

    Laputis

    Care to offer any stats to back that up? Just as an observation:

    And they often work at lower salaries than Finns do = they undercut Finnish tradesman in their pricing

    Estonians often live in worse conditions than Finns do = they live in rented accommodation.

  12. Hannu

    Justicedemon, telling them what they should receive and actually helping them to file claims.
    And there is of course no such agreement but goverment and unions are teethless and that is one of first things what needs change before any more movement.

  13. Asian (Realy I am Chinese so I know my own reality)

    Tim Wise on tosi hyvä puhuja. Valitettavasti hän on useimpien liberaalien halveksima. Hän kuulema valittaa liikaa tyhjästä. Rasismi kuulema kuoli 60-luvulla.

  14. Laputis

    Mark:

    would you say exactly same things “they undercut Finnish tradesman in their pricing” etc., if instead of word “Estonian” we would put word f.e.”Somali”?

  15. Laputis

    Justicedemon:

    “When reading this new publication, please bear in mind that it comes from an organisation that would not allow a foreigner to serve as a shop steward before the mid-1990s. ”

    I am afraid I can´t read that bucklet. I don´t know Finnish language enough well.

    “What have you been doing to help Estonian workers, Laputis? What have you done to show how much you care?”

    Why you ask me such question? I am not Finnish, and I don´t have Finnish citizenship.

  16. justicedemon

    Laputis

    What you said was

    nobody here in this blog cares about Estonians

    I have showed you what many of us have been doing and now it’s your turn to say what you have done. All you can say in response to this is

    Why you ask me such question? I am not Finnish, and I don´t have Finnish citizenship.

    Since when did you have to be a Finnish citizen to care about something and act on your concerns?

    The plain fact is that it’s you that doesn’t care and doesn’t act. You thought you could score a cheap debating point and now that it has blown up in your face you are pretending not to understand.

    • Migrant Tales

      –I don’t think that is nor should be any requirement to become active in the society.

      Seppo, your comment is what sensible Finns and immigrants think.

  17. justicedemon

    Hannu

    Have you also assumed the associated unlimited risk liability on behalf of migrant workers with actionable claims against their employers? That’s what SAK unions do.

    In my experience the most effective way to help migrant workers is to get them into unions and then agitate within those unions to ensure that they get the right services and are able to network effectively.

    Simply telling someone that they have rights is not enough. You must also show that there is a practical way of claiming those rights. I find that a well written half page brief for the union legal department works like magic when it comes to cutting through the cobwebs of local and regional union bureaucracy that can otherwise stifle legitimate concerns.

    • Migrant Tales

      –In my experience the most effective way to help migrant workers is to get them into unions and then agitate within those unions to ensure that they get the right services and are able to network effectively.

      Totally agree, JusticeDemon. If immigrants aren’t organized they will be used and exploited by employers. We have seen that before and will, unfortunately, in the future. The whole point here is that immigrants can accomplish a lot in Finland by joining hands with Finns. A trade union is a good place to begin.

  18. Hannu

    “In my experience the most effective way to help migrant workers is to get them into unions and then agitate within those unions to ensure that they get the right services and are able to network effectively.”

    Thats exactly what i have been doing, “get in union and be aware of your rights and if necessary fight for it”.
    I have red (translated), with bad english translation, “general agreements” for 3 workers and checked way more than that individual cases about some part of agreement. I always tell people that they should be in union and that what i say is just my intepretion and that im not qualified.
    I have asked and “demanded” info about their salaries and working hours/conditions and actively telling them when its breach of general agreement.

    Im not lawyer, im electrician, so i think this is more than excepted.

    I “only” provide links and succestion what to do but for sure there has been atleast one case when “employer” was convicted on “kiskonnan tapainen työsyrjintä” and two cases where “employer” was convicted to pay more and pay what wasnt paid. Those are cases where one i helped told what happened, there is dozens of cases where i dont receive any info.

    I do my best in my own time with my own resources.

    • Migrant Tales

      Good for you, Hannu. But please get off those hate forums. There is still hope!

  19. Mark

    Laputis

    would you say exactly same things “they undercut Finnish tradesman in their pricing” etc., if instead of word “Estonian” we would put word f.e.”Somali”?

    Yes, of course, if it was true. And what would be the problem with that if it allows Somali migrants to get productive work?

    Oh, wait for it….

    complaint no.1 – they don’t work
    complaint no 2 – when they work, they are taking jobs from Finns
    complaint no 3 – when they work, when they are not taking jobs from Finns, they are jumping off balconies for not good reason and are giving Finland a bad name!

  20. Hannu

    Complain 1, true. Fact is that they dont have skills or education to work in finland.
    Complain 2, partly not true, i assume they mostly work in places what wont exist withouth somalis. Translator and “social worker in vastaanottokeskus” etc. But if they work they are directly competing work places with our youth who suffers 20% unemployment.
    Complain 3, what?

  21. Mark

    Hannu

    Complaint 1, true. NOT true. Unless you want to ignore the 45% of Somalis that do work.

    Fact is that they dont have skills or education to work in finland.

    Neither do ALL 14-year old Finnish kids, but do you poke the finger at them? We are all somewhere in the early to middle part of the spectrum of skills-education-job at some point in our lives.

    Complain 2, partly not true, i assume they mostly work in places what wont exist withouth somalis. Translator and “social worker in vastaanottokeskus” etc.

    Okay, here something to take home and study Hannu:

    Breakdown of Somali employment in Finland (2006), by gender: male, female

    Professionals – 6%, 1%
    Technicians – 6%, 4%
    Clerks – 6%, 2%
    Service workers, sales workers – 7%, 59%
    Craft and related trade workers – 6%, 1%
    Plant and machine operators – 11%, 25%
    Elementary occupations – 47%, 6%
    Unknown – 7%, 6%

    1% of Somali women work in the skilled agriculture or fisheries.

  22. Hannu

    1. 9 of 10 of somalis are unemployed.
    2 14y old finn isnt illiterate.
    3. employment… whats amount and wheres your source. It can be truth but seems more like stats about ones who are actually employed.

  23. Mark

    Hannu

    1. 9 of 10 of somalis are unemployed.

    Look, Hannu, if you are going to bash Somali’s, at least get your facts right. Unemployment is, based on those speaking Somali as a mother tongue, 43.3%. There are also adults outside the workforce for various reasons, including being mothers at home or conscripts. So, the employment rate is actually 29.8%.

    However, if you take the first wave of Somalians, from 1989-1993, their employment rate is 58%, which compares to a general population employment rate of 69.9%. That is likely to be a much truer picture, as it takes time to adjust, and many have only recently arrived in Finland.

    2 14y old finn isnt illiterate.

    Hannu, you missed the point. Neither do they have, in your own words, the ‘skills or education’ to take part in the workforce. The point is, we have all been in that position before and have still managed to progress into the workforce. Given the longer term trends for Somalis in Finland, that also appears to be the case for them too, IN SPITE of the greater challenges they face.

    Source. I’ll look it out for you – it was a 2006 Eurobarometer of some kind.

  24. Hannu

    Ok, now i want sources.
    You miss point where employed vs not working is 1 to 9 on somalis. as i said. childrens or old enough or something else and they arent in “work force”.

    Enrique i dont know, i know that somalis who currently come here are mostly illiterate.

    • Migrant Tales

      –Enrique i dont know, i know that somalis who currently come here are mostly illiterate.

      I would take that with a generous pinch of salt.

  25. Mark

    Hannu

    Here is the source. Note the base source is statistics Finland. h tt p://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/studies/tn0807038s/fi0807039q.htm

    So, that was a bit disingenuous if you also included children in your 1 in 9 statistic, considering no-one ever counts children when presenting employment statistics, unless you compare dependents to non-dependents. Also, the more schooling immigrant children are getting in Finland, the more opportunities they will have in the Finnish labour market.

  26. Asian (Realy I am Chinese so I know my own reality)

    On aika mielenkiintoisaa, mite ihmiset elävät menneisyydeksä. Te jauhaatte siitä miten maahanmuutto on ongelma. Nyt kysyisin, katoaisiko kaikki Suomen etniset ja rotu ongelmat sillä, että maahanmuutto lopetetaan kokonaan. Mitä te aijotte tehdä niille “maahanmuuttajille” joilla on suomen kansalaisuus, mutta ovat yliedustettuina työttömyys tilastoissa. Näyttäisi siltä että kaikki ei-Eurooppalaiset pitäisi karkoittaa maasta jos oletamme maahanmuuton olevan ongelmien syy. Mikä on näiden maahanmuutto- ja monikulttuurisuuskriitikoiden kanta?

    Vastauksia?

  27. Hannu

    Mark yes they do when we count “huoltosuhde”. Just exactly what i said. working vs non working.
    And enrique you can take that salt, it was said by official who actually work with them.

  28. Mark

    Hannu

    You did not say working vs. non-working. This is what you said:

    9 of 10 of somalis are unemployed.

    That is a big fat LIE, Hannu, and it makes me very angry that you try to justify it. There is no basis to justify this. No-one who works in the field of social welfare or employment would ever present the dependency ratio as being equivalent to the rate of unemployment.

    If you have any intellectual integrity at all, you will admit that you misrepresented the figures, maybe unintentionally, and move on.

    When unemployment rates are calculated, it is the number of those who are IN the labour force (which does NOT include the retired or children) but who are not working and are looking for work. There is NO other way to calculate it.

    The dependency ratio is the number of people working to the number of people not working, i.e. including children and retired or people with illness.

    The dependency ratio of an immigrant population is always likely to be high, because the size of the older generation is small, while the number of children might be high than the national average. This in no way is a negative, if one of the justifications for immigration is that it is an alternative method for boosting the replacement rate of a population.

  29. Hannu

    You may have misunterstood what i said and i take my responsibility to not be native english….
    It still stands that one of nine somalis work.
    And that your “is always probably high”….
    2008 there were 10 immigrant groups over 500people who did better than finns. Youll find countries like Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana from that list, maybe we should inform our racists that they dont see all?

    And replacement of population? Nicer way to say genocide?
    We do have stable reproduction rate thank you.

  30. justicedemon

    Hannu

    i know that somalis who currently come here are mostly illiterate.

    You know?

    Not that totally debunked Vuorio opinion again? Or do you have any real basis for this view now, other than your own racism?

    By the same reasoning, I know that you are an alcoholic kiddie fiddler, Hannu. Based on an off-the-cuff remark made by a Thai policeman, and prefaced with a huge disclaimer about lack of expertise and competence.

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