Abagond: Colorblind racism

by , under Julian Abagond

Comment: Every time we stray from the real issue behind racism (=ethnic background) we are flirting or committing  colorblind racism. 

A familiar colorblind racist counter-argument commonly heard from anti-immigration groups is why whites are treated unfairly? Why was Jussi Halla-aho fined for defaming a religion and inciting ethnic hatred but nothing happens to you if you insult whites and the Lutheran religion? Why aren’t such people fined for hate speech? 

Another example of colorblind racism in Finland  was seen in May 2011, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party made a  public statement that the best way to challenge racism would be to end positive discrimination. Thus in the PS’ and colorblind racists’ mind, the only way to attain “social equality” in our society would be by denying that ethnicity plays any role in racism.

A happy-go-lucky colorblind racist would claim: “Let’s be equal and pretend that ethnic background does not matter [when in fact it does].”  

Below is a good blog entry on Abagond that gives us a good idea of how colorblind racism works. 

______

By Julian Abagond

Colour-blind racism (1970- ), also known as aversive racism,  is racism that acts as if skin colour does not matter – even when it does. It is the most common form of racism among white Americans who grew up after the fall of Jim Crow in the 1960s. It takes the place of Jim Crow racism, the meaner, more naked white racism common in the 1950s and before.

Political correctness and the idea of hate speech grew out of colour-blind racism. So did the welfare queen and model minority stereotypes. It helped to spread the word “African American”.

Colour-blind racists say things like this:

  • It’s not race, it’s economics …
  • It’s not race, it’s culture …
  • It’s not race, it depends on a person’s background …
  • I’m not prejudiced, but …
  • I’m not black, but …
  • One of my best friends is black.
  • My cousin married a black man.
  • I voted for Barack Obama.
  • I don’t see you as black.

And believe things like this:

  • I am not racist.
  • Blacks are not willing to work hard.
  • Blacks want everything handed to them.
  • Blacks hold themselves back, not racism.
  • Blacks are unfairly favoured, whites are not.
  • Blacks do not want to live with us (or eat at our table).
  • Blacks live in the past. They need to get over it and move on.
  • Blacks need to pull themselves up from the bottom like everyone else.
  • Blacks cry racism for everything even though they are the racist ones.

Notice how white people never seem to do anything bad.

While they would agree with most of those statements, they would have a hard time saying them straight out like that. Race makes them uncomfortable. Their statements would be more long-winded and watered down, throwing in phrases like those from the first list, even the one about the cousin.

They seem to think that if they do not say the words then racism will somehow go away by magic. As if racism is just a matter of words.

They rarely think of themselves as “white” and avoid saying the word “black” in public, even when they are thinking it. Their supposed colour-blindness is a front.

For example, I have heard white people talk about someone who I knew had to be black just by the way they bent over backwards to avoid saying the word “black”. Yet when they left the room and thought I could not hear, they said “black” just as plain as day, as if they were talking about their dress.

They avoid the word “race” too. Instead they use words like “culture”, “background”, “ethnicity”. That is why they like the word “African American” so much: it seems colour-blind.

They are not as mean or violent as Jim Crow racists, nor do they wear their racism well. Unlike Jim Crow racists, they are willing to vote for a black man for president. But they still look down on blacks and still believe the stereotypes, adding some of their own.

They are not as colour-blind as they think. The only colour they are truly blind to is white.

Read original story here.
This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

  1. Jssk

    This “colorblind racism” seems to only apply to white people. Therefore they are placing whites on different position than negros. Is this article not racist then?

    To be honest, it seems like this term is invented to be used as a buzzword against reasonable arguments. Yes, ethnicity does play a role in racism. Positive discrimination due to ones ethnicity is a textbook example of racism.

    • JusticeDemon

      Should we add remarks like yours to the list above?

      Positive discrimination due to ones ethnicity is a textbook example of racism.

      So you disagree with paragraph 4 of article 1 of ICERD, then?

      Special measures taken for the sole purpose of securing adequate advancement of certain racial or ethnic groups or individuals requiring such protection as may be necessary in order to ensure such groups or individuals equal enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall not be deemed racial discrimination, provided, however, that such measures do not, as a consequence, lead to the maintenance of separate rights for different racial groups and that they shall not be continued after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved.

      Could you explain precisely how you would rephrase this provision, or is it your view that the outcomes of historic injustice should be perpetuated through some human enforcement of Exodus 20:5?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Your point, Jssk, that positive discrimination is racism is what I’d call a good example of colorblind racism.

      We are not robots that are all equal and the same. We’re different, that’s a reality. How does society adapt to our diversity and takes it into account? Why would it take such a matter into account? Because it is the most effective way of dealing with such a matter. Our society has, for example, different learning institutions for different types of people.

  2. Mark

    Jssk

    Gosh, so much ignorance jammed into a single comment – congratulations!

    We really don’t use the word ‘negros’ anymore, Jssk. What decade are you living in?

    Whites are more often in power, and so colourblind racism, like all forms of racism, apply more to white people. However, in theory, anyone can use colourblind racism as a way of avoiding taking any responsibility for the issue.

    However, this does not create ‘equality’, as you seem to imply, and so talking about white colourblind racism is not somehow breaking with ‘equality’, as you also imply. Talk about fudging the issue!

    Positive discrimination is necessary in sectors of society were self-regulation and external regulation have failed to end discriminatory practices. It’s as simple as that. Not the best solution, but in many ways, it’s left as the only solution when folks refuse to do anything to bring equality for blacks.

    I guess you absolutely refuse to see the need for it, prefering to call it racism. Ignorant pup!

    • Jssk

      Jssk

      What reasonable arguments, by the way?

      “We really don’t use the word ‘negros’ anymore, Jssk. What decade are you living in?”

      I used it to mean persons of african descent. Whats wrong with that?

      “Whites are more often in power, and so colourblind racism, like all forms of racism, apply more to white people.”

      For example in Finland you can be a prime minister, no matter if you are black or white and so on. If the white majority doesnt want to vote for a black canditate for some reason, i dont see the problem. I dont think racism is anymore common among whites than it is among blacks on average). Positive discrimination is a downward spiral.

      “when folks refuse to do anything to bring equality for blacks”

      What exactly do you mean by bringing equality to blacks? Does this mean the employer, for example should choose the less talented black instead of more talented white?

  3. Yossie

    And the people here are color obsessed! You people ignore all else and only look at the race. Black person didnt get a job? Must be because of racism right? No need to investigate any further. For you its always about the race.

    With that kind of mindset, race will always stay as an issue. The goal should be that race plays no role. I get the feeling you might not want that.

    What you want is the different entry lines for different ethnicities. You seem to want to first look at the color. With that I cant see racism going anywhere, when you are so obsessed with making the race to be an issue.

  4. Mark

    Yossie

    And the people here are color obsessed!

    I love colour, especially black! 🙂

    You people ignore all else and only look at the race.

    Black person didnt get a job? Must be because of racism right? No need to investigate any further. For you its always about the race.

    Yossie – your opinion, as usual, is horribly oversimplified, but I guess on the issue of racism, you really do struggle to get more than two brain cells to work at any one time.

    If a black person doesn’t get a job, there are all sorts of possibilities – in Finland, employer surveys have shown that some employers do not choose people who are ‘visible minorities’ for no other reason than they think they won’t fit in with the existing workforce. Whether that workforce is known to be racist or whether it’s just an assumption of the employer doesn’t really matter, because the outcome is the same, discrimination. We’ve had Finnish employers openly admitting this kind of discrimination here on the blog and defending it even, perhaps unaware that they are even breaking the law.

    Second, immigrants, a proportion of whom are black, are usually the first to be made redundent during a down-turn for a company. The reverse is also likely to be true, that they are the ‘last’ to be recruited in times of growth. This is convenient because the last in first out rule can then be applied with less fear of the discrimination backlash.

    Third, a person can be refused a job for all sorts of reasons. But in a country where blacks are more likely to be unemployed, in spite of having relevant and equivalent qualifications, then you would naturally have to think what else is stopping entry into the job market.

    Yes, there is every reason to investigate further. It’s not about having preconceived notions or foregone conclusions. Why you would misrepresent our views here on MT about this, I don’t know, unless you were out to paint us as ‘colour obsessed’. Still, no matter how stupid you try to make our position here to be, it’s really quite easy to correct you, though I do get fed up that you don’t bother to listen to these corrections!!!

    The goal should be that race plays no role.

    That’s not entirely true. If you say that race plays no role in your discussion of why the black person didn’t get the job, then that can be a convenient way of talking about the fact that you didn’t think they would fit in. Clearly race must play a role if only to guarantee that race is not being discriminated against. We don’t protect ourselves against racism by ignoring it Yossie. There is nothing wrong in acknowledging race, and it’s probably healthy to do that, as long as it’s not in a negative way.

    What you want is the different entry lines for different ethnicities.

    Really? Where have we said this? The only thing we’ve done is provide the rationale for positive discrimination. Call this what you want, but if Joe Public absolutely refuses to give up its racism, and equality is promised in the Constitution, then more active measures must be applied. If you cannot be bothered to self-regulate, and it’s clear that many whites cannot or refuse to, then some kind of redress has to be applied.

    But really, what we are talking about is not giving unqualified people jobs, but rather ensuring qualified people get the opportunity to do the job for which they trained. That’s not a different entry line, that’s just AN ENTRY LINE, and better than NO entry line.

    Race is the issue in a society where black people find it harder to find work in spite of their qualifications. Just because you are uncomfortable with that doesn’t mean it will go away.

    Don’t complain to us if some of your fellow citizens are racist to the extent that blacks really do struggle to find work just because their skin is darker than yours.

    But hey, complain about us, because we will talk about the issue, that’s really smart!!! 🙂

    • JusticeDemon

      …the last in first out rule…

      A few collective agreements have recently included very soft regulations to this effect, but otherwise there is no such rule in the Finnish labour market.

      Employers who adhere consistently to fully transparent recruiting practices and give proper and objective justifications for their decisions have nothing to fear.

  5. Sasu

    Pieni muistutus valkoisille. Kun te valkoiset sanotte että rotu on pikku asia niin te vain osoittate omaa etuoikeutta. Värilliset joutuvat pohtimaan heidän rotuaan ja ihonväriä koska se merkittsee selviutymistä. Jos värilliset eivät olisi ketsineet keinoja käsitellä rasimia, olisimme vain iso joukko masentuneita ihmisiä.

  6. Sasu

    Rotu ja etnisyyt eivät teknisesti ole sama asia. Rotu on sinun ulkonäkö ja etnisyyt liittyy syntymämaahan ja kulttuuriin.

    Sinä voit olla etniseti suomalainen mutta rodullisesti värillinen. Se riippuu vain ulkonäöstä.

    Voisitko korjata koska toi sekoittaa jo pahemman kerran.
    Tessieri

  7. Mark

    A few collective agreements have recently included very soft regulations to this effect, but otherwise there is no such rule in the Finnish labour market.

    Thanks for the clarification on the situation in Finland, JD.

  8. Mark

    Sasu

    Not sure what you mean to say when you ask for clarification that race is not the same as ethnicity. It’s not used in this way in the article. The implication as I understood it was that some racists deliberately try to speak about ‘cultural’ or ‘ethnic’ differences as a way to justify segregation on the grounds of difference as a kind of substitute argument for ‘racial segregation’, the latter of which is more easily recognised as overt racism.

    • Sasu

      Tarkoitan että niisä on se ero. Meidän tehtävä on huomata milloin kyseessä on oikeasti rotu eikä etnisyyt. Etnisyyt ja kulttuuri ovat vain kiertoilmauksia joilla ilmaistaan rotua.

      Vain rasistit puhuvat rodusta joten värisokeat rasistit kiertävät juuri sen sanan.

  9. Anukakkosaukko

    This comment fell short of our community standards and was deleted by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

    Red card

    Commenting from multiple accounts.

  10. Mark

    Tarkoitan että niisä on se ero. Meidän tehtävä on huomata milloin kyseessä on oikeasti rotu eikä etnisyyt. Etnisyyt ja kulttuuri ovat vain kiertoilmauksia joilla ilmaistaan rotua.

    Vain rasistit puhuvat rodusta joten värisokeat rasistit kiertävät juuri sen sanan.

    I’m not sure if it can be summed up so precisely, that only racists talk about race to the exclusion of other things. No doubt there are many ways to talk about all these topics and concepts in ways that reflect different levels of understanding of racism or the practice or defence of racism.

    • Sasu

      Eikö värisokea rasismi ole juuri sitä. Kiertoilmausten käyttöä.

      Miten sinä määrität värisokean rasismin? Olisi kiva kuulla.

    • Mark

      Color blind racism appears in several forms. As a political response to the politics of anti-racism, it is the claim that discrimination is a thing of the past and that race-conscious public policies are no longer necessary. This is premised on the idea that equal opportunity exists for all and that we live in a meritocracy, where individual effort will be rewarded. This ‘individualisation’ of values hides several elements of discrimation as it works on a societal level, related to accumulation of wealth, health and educational resources and opportunities.

      On an individual level, colour blind racism best describes how those on the Right reverse accusations of made by anti-racists so as to accuse anti-racists of racism, accomplishing two tasks – going on the offensive, and enjoying the task of labelling their opponents as hypocrites. The simplistic notion is that ‘if I wasn’t thinking about race at the time I refused you a job, then how can I be a racist?’ The assumption that racism is only and ever a consciously held hatred or dislike of a particular race is false and simplistic, but many use this definition as a way of denying any kind of racism in themselves. In that sense, colour blind racism is one of the key modern forms of the denial of racism.

      Several definitions of ‘colour blind racism’ can be quite revealing of what’s involved, in my view:

      “Most whites don’t see white as a race. Like a fish in water, they don’t think about whiteness because it’s so beneficial to them.”

      and this from the American Sociological Association:

      “Those who favor ignoring race as an explicit administrative matter, in the hope that it will cease to exist as a social concept, ignore the weight of a vast body of sociological research that shows that racial hierarchies are embedded in the routine practices of social groups and institutions”.

  11. Jssk

    Should we add remarks like yours to the list above?

    So you disagree with paragraph 4 of article 1 of ICERD, then?

    Could you explain precisely how you would rephrase this provision, or is it your view that the outcomes of historic injustice should be perpetuated through some human enforcement of Exodus 20:5?

    Well, i apparently disagree with the article. You dont need to favor an ethnic group to make sure it enjoys human rights/fundamental freedoms. If it doesnt, the problem is somewhere else.

    • JusticeDemon

      Finland ratified ICERD on 14 July 1970. This key instrument of international law has been ratified by 175 countries, including the entire developed world.

              Just so you know what you are disagreeing with.

  12. Mark

    Jssk

    I used it [the word negro] to mean persons of african descent. Whats wrong with that?

    It ignores 40 years of civil rights activism across the world is what is wrong with it. Do you really not know that that ‘negro’ is not used to refer to blacks, except in some very limited historical contexts? Gosh, what stone did you crawl out from under!

    For example in Finland you can be a prime minister, no matter if you are black or white and so on.

    Really?

    If the white majority doesnt want to vote for a black canditate for some reason, i dont see the problem.

    Even if that reason is racism?

    I dont think racism is anymore common among whites than it is among blacks on average).

    And this clearly shows your complete lack of understanding about what racism is. You seem to think it is only some kind of negative opinion, or perhaps some kind of natural out-group antipathy, which all groups show equally. Am I right?

    What you seem to have no clue about is the fact that racism is about power, and who has it and how it is gained or maintained: Think, is white power, whether a majority power or not, used to undermine the rights and privileges of blacks, whether a minority or not?

    If you think blacks have equality in the Western World, then you really do have your head up your arse. The legacy of discimination against blacks remains well-entrenched, in the US and in Europe, except nowadays a great many people believe that just because overt racism is now taboo, then equality reigns. Such naivety is almost criminal.

    Blacks throughout the Western world suffer segregation, poorer health, poorer educational success, poorer opportunities, poorer abilities to accummulate wealth and resources, suffer greater crime, greater punishment for crime, poorer representation in the media, poorer political representation and so on and so on. And if you think that this is down to some limitation in black individuals, then you would be the worst kind of racist, in my book.

    All of this is backed up by decades of sociological research and evidence, so don’t even start trying to pick holes in it.

    Is it really inconvenient for you to accept or understand the full extent and consequences of white people’s racism towards blacks? Perhaps you think that ‘all is well now, let’s go back to what we were doing’?

    Positive discrimination is a downward spiral.

    A downward spiral to allow blacks an opportunity to work and succeed? Are you joking? Positive discrimination is one of the last-resort tools for law-makers to try to preserve the rights of minorities to have equal standing and opportunity in society.

    Does this mean the employer, for example should choose the less talented black instead of more talented white?

    And this is your pièce de résistance ! So that’s it then, that is why blacks have not succeeded – they are not so talented?

    Yes, I think they should follow a system of rota, so that representations within the workforce reflect the local demographics of an area. Some companies use a rota, so that a 30% local black population requires 1 in 3 jobs are offered to the black community specifically. It’s not the only system, but I’m in favour of that kind of system.

    Why? Because when it’s left to white individuals to decide who is the most talented, it just so happens that whites seem to come out top again and again.

    I guess you don’t know about research that shows that simply changing the name of a job applicant to something recognizably black, like Latisha or Aisha, is the surest way of guaranteeing that in spite of your qualifications or experience, you will not get called to interview!

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/discrimination-latisha

    • Sasu

      Kannattaa muistaa, että voi olla rasisti itseäkin kohtaan. Tarkoittaa sitä, että värilliset ovat oppineet arvostamaan valkoista rotua ylimuiden. Värilliset ovat omaksuneet sortajien arvomaailman jotta kykenisivät helpommin selviytymään rasistisessa maailmassa.

      On paljon helpompaa olla unce tom, kuin pitää kiini omasta kulttuurista ja ylpeydestä omaan rotuun.

      http://abagond.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/internalized-racism/

  13. Jssk

    What, are you too hipster to tolerate that word? Well i can use the word “black” or “brown” too.

    Racism/xenophobia is more or less natural, why do you think it exists and has always existed? And are you saying that blacks have never undermined the rights of white people?

    “Blacks throughout the Western world suffer segregation, poorer health, poorer educational success, poorer opportunities, poorer abilities to accummulate wealth and resources, suffer greater crime, greater punishment for crime, poorer representation in the media, poorer political representation”

    And this all is because some whites are racist? Dont think so. And just because blacks are a minority we should give them reserved slots or something in the parliament right?

    “And if you think that this is down to some limitation in black individuals, then you would be the worst kind of racist, in my book.”

    Some black inviduals, not necessarily a racial “limitation” but social. We all know research is the will of god, im not even going to disprove all that “whites cause blacks to do crime” bullshit. If that floats your boat, ok then.

    Notice that the study you linked me is done in US. Doesnt necessarily apply here.

    • Sasu

      Se voi olla totta tai ei. Varmaan samakoe pitäisi tehdä Suomessa. On kyllä suuri todennäköisyys, että tulos olisi sama.

    • Mark

      Jssk

      What, are you too hipster to tolerate that word? Well i can use the word “black” or “brown” too.

      Not too hip to point out your ignorance. How can you be so far behind the times that you do not realise that ‘negro’ carries deeply negative connotations for many blacks?

      Racism/xenophobia is more or less natural, why do you think it exists and has always existed?

      And that makes it okay? I could argue the same for rape, murder, and pillage, all of which happen throughout nature! Now, let’s abandon all sanity and return to our natural ways!

      And are you saying that blacks have never undermined the rights of white people?

      Let me see, now, did I say that? Nope! Next. I would be interested to see you present an example, though.

      And this all [discrimination against blacks] is because some whites are racist?

      Yep, basically. Sorry if that comes as a shock to you. I dread to think what you will feel when you discover that whites actually made slaves of blacks.

      And just because blacks are a minority we should give them reserved slots or something in the parliament right?

      Political representation takes many forms, but if membership of parliament means winning a ‘first past the post’ system of election, and blacks never constitute more than 20% of a population in some areas, then in those areas, then where there is prejudice, it’s quite possible that that 20% has no political representation. And before you open that gob of yours, I’m not saying that every time a black person loses an election that it’s the result of racism. The world is not so black and white, Jssk, as you might imagine or wish.

      Some black inviduals, not necessarily a racial “limitation” but social.

      I see. Can you explain?

      We all know research is the will of god

      Do we all know? I thought research was where you gather evidence by means of a rigorous methodology, subject it to various analyses, consider its limitations, draw conclusions, and then submit it for peer review. I wasn’t aware that God had any hand in it. But then maybe I missed something that you, Jssk, you clever devil, have spotted.

      I’m not even going to disprove all that “whites cause blacks to do crime” bullshit.

      Good, because it’s not something that I brought up.

      If that floats your boat, ok then.

      I see. So, I’m a pervert if I think that there is a link between crime and poverty/deprivation caused by discrimination? Interesting.

      Whatever does float my boat, I can assure you that it is not a sense of superiority fed by a complete lack of appreciation for modern science, sociology, a grasp of historical context, or a sense of human dignity. Pick your way through that, meatball!

      Notice that the study you linked me is done in US. Doesnt necessarily apply here.

      I’m happy to leave that to people’s judgement.

  14. Sasu

    Pieni puollustus N-sanaa kohtaan. N-sana oli aivan normaali sana, kun puhuttiin mustista. Jopa mustat intelektualit käyttivät sitä itsestään. Se tuli pahaan huutoon vasta 1960-luvun lopuilla jolloin Musta tietoisuus liike nousi. N-sana nähtiin silloin valkoisten antamana nimenä ja alentavana. Mustat halusivat tulla nimetyksi itse hyväksymillään termeillä.

    • Mark

      Yep. Many older blacks still self-identify with being negro, and indeed MLK also used the term self-referentially. But Malcolm X wanted to break with the chains of past, literally and figuratively and felt the word was too closely associated with slavery, abuse and segregation.

  15. Jssk

    Not too hip to point out your ignorance. How can you be so far behind the times that you do not realise that ‘negro’ carries deeply negative connotations for blacks?

    Uh, how so? should i use fancy terms then? Oh wait it would be racist too according to Abagond’s article.

    And that makes it okay? I could argue the same for rape, murder, and pillage, all of which happen throughout nature! Now, let’s abandon all sanity and return to our natural ways!

    The difference is that xenophobia is a primitive instinct that even prevented people from getting killed/raped by other groups of people.

    Yep, basically. Sorry if that comes as a shock to you. I dread to think what you will feel when you discover that whites actually made slaves of blacks.

    What i ment to ask, are all those problems because white people are racist. Oh and by the way, arabs and other blacks kept and sold slaves aswell. Not that im trying to defend slave trade but its stupid to say that white man is somehow more vile than a black man.

    Political representation takes many forms, but if membership of parliament means winning a ‘first past the post’ system of election, and blacks never constitute more than 20% of a population in some areas, then in those areas, then where there is prejudice, it’s quite possible that that 20% has no political representation. And before you open that gob of yours, I’m not saying that every time a black person loses an election that it’s the result of racism. The world is not so black and white, Jssk, as you might imagine or wish.

    Prejudice is everywhere. different thing is how people manage it, do they blindly believe their prejudice or do they use reason.

    I see. Can you explain?

    Poverty, poor education and the concentration of ethnic groups (perhaps a mixture of these) for example. Now, the things i mentioned as an example arent necessarily caused by racism. Those things could be prevented by concentrating (in the case of immigration) on the quality of immigration instead of the quantity.

    I see. So, I’m a pervert if I think that there is a link between crime and poverty/deprivation caused by discrimination? Interesting.

    Yes, there is a link but it isnt absolute.

  16. tp1

    And there is your proof that black have made that term negative just by themselves, so that they would have one more excuse to call white people racists.

    Jssk has a point there, saying racism/xenophopia is natural, but I don’t fully agree that it would be normal case anymore in civilized societies. It is natural to fear unknown, but today we have (or should have) enough information so we all know that there is no reason to fear people because of their different colour.

    But in today’s racism I don’t believe the reason is fear. It’s more like a mental defect or god complex that make some people think they are of higher value than people of different colour.

    • Jssk

      I mentioned that its about how people manage their prejudice/xenophobia. Some believe it as absolute truth, some think more or less rationally.

  17. Mark

    tp1

    And there is your proof that black have made that term negative just by themselves, so that they would have one more excuse to call white people racists.

    Gosh, where to start?! First of all, your criteria for what constitutes proof appears to be somewhat shallow. Second, where on earth do you get the idea that blacks have made the term negative? The history of decades of slavery where blacks were referred in those times specifically as Negros is what has made the term negative.

    Likewise, the speed with which you jump to the conclusion that any suffering brought by the term is entirely self-inflicted suggests that you also believe that accusations of racism are mostly invented by the injured party? Am I right? You do realise that this is the typical guff you get from an abuser in regard to their victim?

    But in today’s racism I don’t believe the reason is fear. It’s more like a mental defect or god complex that make some people think they are of higher value than people of different colour.

    Or that they simply want to protect their privileges. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated, really.

    It’s nice to see you actually saying something negative about racists though. Why on earth do you choose to defend a slimeball like Allah-oho? Are you really taken in by his ‘I’m just defending free speech argument?’ Do you not think there were a million other ways to make the argument that never mentioned Muslims or Somalis? Or why not just badger the prosecutor to discover if it has come to their attention?

    Rather, it seems obvious to me that Allah-oho was not complaining about ‘double standards’ but rather, complaining about ‘THE standard’, which would prosecute him for ‘speaking his mind’. That he doesn’t realise that his own opinions are vile and offensive is his own short-coming, but why would you buy into it?

    I think a lot of people are buying into it simply because he’s bashing religion, and that is seen as okay amongst the more political-atheists of younger generations, who imagine that extremist religion is the great enemy and have little thought for our own inventions of evil in the way of right-wing extremism. Strange bedfellows, tp1. Be careful who you decide to jump into bed with, you might just find your throat cut in the morning – figuratively speaking, of course.

    • JusticeDemon

      Rather, it seems obvious to me that Allah-oho was not complaining about ‘double standards’ but rather, complaining about ‘THE standard’, which would prosecute him for ‘speaking his mind’.

      Indeed rather obviously so, as we have noted before in this thread. Halal-oho could have reported the Kaleva editorial to the police or public prosecutor for investigation and prosecution. He chose not to do so.

      Instead he chose to base his accusation of an alleged double standard on the fact that the Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN) declined to take up the Kaleva case. As an instrument of media self-regulation, JSN is careful not to usurp the role of the judiciary. This is stated explicitly in the guidelines for petitioners: “Jos ilmoituksen tekijä selvästi hakee neuvoston päätöstä samassa asiassa nostettavaa rikos- tai vahingonkorvausoikeudenkäyntiä varten, ei neuvosto käsittele asiaa tai lopettaa sen käsittelyn.” It is not the role of JSN to investigate the basis for civil or criminal proceedings.

      Halal-oho instead tried to proceed on the basis of an unofficial remark made by the JSN secretary. This, for him, was enough to establish a double standard. In other words, an unofficial observation made by the secretary to the voluntary self-regulation committee of a private sector industry somehow sets a national standard that determines the reach of criminal law.

      All Halal-oho needed to do to test this alleged standard was to report the Kaleva editorial to the police or prosecutor. Instead we have heard the absurd suggestion that the police or prosecutor had some kind of duty to take up this question with no such report.

      Of course, Finland is a Constitutional State, and the powers of prosecutors and the police are strictly defined in statute. Any such duty would have to be specified by law. The fact that, unlike ordinary defamation, ethnic agitation is not a complainant offence merely means that a prosecutor does not require the consent of any victim to proceed. It clearly does not enjoin prosecutors to proceed in all possible cases that come to their attention outside of their formal workload.

      Instead of reporting the Kaleva editorial to the prosecutor (and thereby making it part of the prosecutor’s workload), Halal-oho chose to concoct a parallel offence of his own, and it boggles comprehension to suggest that the victims of that parallel offence (Somalis and Moslems) were selected at random. He then specifically made that offence part of the prosecutor’s workload by addressing his article to the prosecutor by name.

      There is a standard and Halal-oho has now discovered what it is.

    • tp1

      The history of decades of slavery where blacks were referred in those times specifically as Negros is what has made the term negative.

      That’s not very logical. It the slaves had been called just simply black people back then, would you consider “black people” a negative term now at present time?

      Likewise, the speed with which you jump to the conclusion that any suffering brought by the term is entirely self-inflicted suggests that you also believe that accusations of racism are mostly invented by the injured party?

      No. But we need to now define “injury”. If A says something negative to B because B is black, there is no real harm done. But if A refuses to give a job to B because B is black, then there is harm done to B based on racism.

      We need to remember that talk and word don’t cause injury.

      Or that they simply want to protect their privileges. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated, really.

      I don’t understand what that got to do with racism? If I would want to protect some privilege of mine, I would equally protect it against everyone else, not just against people with certain colour. What would be the point of protecting it against just some people?

      And I’m not defending Halla-aho as such. I am defending people’s right to express their opinions no matter what. Even if they hate something or someone, they should have the right to express that. As long as no one is physically harmed, there should be no restrictions to what people talk or write.

  18. Mark

    Jssk

    Hipster? Fancy terms? Why don’t you just be normal and use the terms that people agree today are appropriate? Why make such a song and dance defending a behaviour that many find offensive?

    The difference is that xenophobia is a primitive instinct that even prevented people from getting killed/raped by other groups of people.

    Now I had to smile at this. So now even the foreigners in ancient times were rapists and murderers.

    but its stupid to say that white man is somehow more vile than a black man.

    We agree. And that is not anything I have said. I’d even indulge you and say that perhaps if blacks were in the position of whites in terms of early industrialisation and political power, then maybe they would have exploited other nations mercilessly.

    Poverty, poor education and the concentration of ethnic groups (perhaps a mixture of these) for example. Now, the things i mentioned as an example arent necessarily caused by racism. Those things could be prevented by concentrating (in the case of immigration) on the quality of immigration instead of the quantity.

    Concentration of ethnic groups can be the result of ‘white flight’, blacks only being able to afford housing in poorer neighbourhoods. While racism isn’t necessarily a sole cause, you even ignore how racism can produce the social ills that you put forward.

    Your solution is interesting. You would take only the best immigrants, qualified, experienced etc. In other words, to help those poorer countries develop faster, you would take their brightest most talented individuals and reward them by allowing them to migrate so as to exploit them for the benefit of Finland’s economy? Do you not see some problems with this approach? How can you protest against economic immigrants coming to the West for a better life when you yourself operate entirely on the notion that we should advance our own ‘better life’ at the expense of other nations, or should I put that, at other nation’s expense?

    • Jssk

      I didnt mean exatly the most qualified immigrants. Anything is fine, if they seek to support themselves. The unemploymend rate among somalis for example is around 70%.

      We should avoid so called economic refugees. And no, we shouldnt exploit immigrants.

      “Now I had to smile at this. So now even the foreigners in ancient times were rapists and murderers.”

      Sometimes, yes. Why do you think so many of ancient men died violently? there is no “noble savage”.

      And why should i feel quilty about colonial powers that exploited other nations?

  19. Mark

    That’s not very logical. It the slaves had been called just simply black people back then, would you consider “black people” a negative term now at present time?

    I think you’ve answered your own question here.

    No. But we need to now define “injury”. If A says something negative to B because B is black, there is no real harm done. But if A refuses to give a job to B because B is black, then there is harm done to B based on racism.

    That is certainly a matter for debate. One can say that threats of violence, or screaming at people, or calling them horrible things without any justification are all just ‘words’, but they can do real harm.

    Also, you fail to see the connection between ‘just words’ and the fact that someone is denied a job because he’s black or an immigrant. Attitudes give rise to actions, words give rise to attitudes. This isn’t simply about being preventative either, you really should try to understand how words can and are understood in a modern society to be quite capable of being injurious.

    What you are suggesting as a justifiable basis for Allah-oho’s ‘words’ would in fact also remove the basis for a great many laws: including defamation, libel, copyright, state secrecy, etc. In fact, on this basis, you could also remove all laws, simply on the basis that they are merely ‘words’ and therefore have no power. Having a piece of paper to say something belongs to someone else would be useless in your world tp1, because words have no power, no?

    What would be the point of protecting it against just some people?

    Seems crazy doesn’t it. Let me give you two scenarios, different in only a couple of small details and try to see what difference in meaning emerges:

    A council estate has recently been refurbished, with new houses and upgraded housing. The local population who previously occupied the houses, paying rent to the local authorities are looking forward to moving back into properties that are substantially improved and more like modern living accommodation. At the last minute, some other poorer people are giving the accommodation instead. How much outcry do you think there would be? How much understanding would there be?

    Now, imagine a completely similar situation and this time, the ‘poorer people’ are ‘out-of-townies’, people from another part of the country, who are being moved there because there are no resources left in the capital. How significant would this be and would it increase the sense of grievance? Now imagine those poorer people are from another country, and have recently arrived as asylum seekers to the country and have been moved into these spanking new houses. How would that effect matters? And if these people happened to look different and dress different, would this further increase the sense of alienation of those that thought they would benefit first?

    Clearly you can see that labels that define where you come from, your nationality, and your ethnicity can greatly affect how people perceive you as a human being and what your entitlements or privileges should be.

    I am defending people’s right to express their opinions no matter what. Even if they hate something or someone, they should have the right to express that. As long as no one is physically harmed, there should be no restrictions to what people talk or write.

    This is an extreme view that is at odds with the current values of a modern society. Maybe you are some kind of anarchist, but you really cannot pretend to be mainstream in these views. They are simply not reflected in the world in which we live, i.e. Europe, Finland, USA etc.

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