There’s more than one way to put intolerance on the defensive. Abde Hussein wrote on Thursday an encounter he had with a young unemployed white Finn, who said in public that he was a “monkey” and “living off welfare.” A discussion ensued but to make a long story short, the young white Finn turned out to be the monkey (no insult intended to these primates).
Without getting hot under the collar, Hussein turned the insults hurled at him against the young man, who was ignorant of Finnish grammar, unemployed and living off welfare.
The encounter, published on Abde Hussein’s Facebook wall, has attracted over 9,440 “likes” and 1,565 votes.
Just like Ricky Ghansah’s encounter with a racist, who insulted him at a bus stop but forced him to apologize in public after paying his bus ticket, Hussein’s posting shows that we can beat the crude racists at their own game.
If there were a school to learn how a social ill like intolerance happens in our society, Ghansah’s and Hussein’s cases would be discussed in the elementary course.
Exposing intolerance in the intermediate and advanced levels of the course, however, would be more complicated.
At the advanced level, you’d study institutional racism, politicians, public officials and common people expressing their intolerance but in such a way that it is difficult to make out. At this level you learn that intolerance exists because there is a system that is maintained by our prejudices and fear of losing power and privilege.
This post on Abde Hussein’s Facebook wall had over 9,440 “likes” on Sunday.
Just like social media brought some Perussuomalaiset (PS) politicians to the attention of the media and public before the 2011 parliamentary elections, we can beat intolerance with the same tools.
While there may be many ways to beat a social ill at its own game, silence is one method we should avoid at all costs.
If financial market suffer from bursting bubbles, like we saw with the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy of 2008, so do political bubbles fed by xenophobia, anti-immigration and populism.
Political bubbles burst when we discover they are based on the opportunistic hype of politicians.
Hussein’s posting encourages us to believe that Finland’s darkest period in modern times isn’t invincible.
Thank you Amir Hassan for the heads-up.