Abdirahim Husu Hussein*
Some politicians in Finland have built their careers on politicizing immigration and have presented this issue as a negative thing in our country.
Other politicians use this in their advantage- but not until about 6 months before the elections when they’re desperately fishing for votes trying to prove jusr how much they’ve done.
As a Finn with an immigrant background words like ”equal rights” and “no to racism” sound beautiful… but are rarely anything more than that.
When you see an international student with Master’s degree on international business who can only find work flipping burgers at McDonald’s you get it. When you see a doctoral stage law student who is forced to support his family by cleaning toilets, you get it.
When you are continuously overlooked in recruitment, house-hunting and everything else simply because your name is Muhammed, you get it.
When every time you leave the house you brace yourself for insults, being spat on and/or physically assaulted simply because you choose to express your beliefs by using a piece of fabric, you get it.
Yes, those words are beautiful. But only extend to certain coloured people. For others it’s merely the dream they’ve spent all their lives dreaming of.
As a city councillor I’ve repeatedly brought this up with my colleagues and every single time it takes them by surprise.
“Nooooooo-not in my country?”
Yes. You’re just in a very fortunate position of being able to breeze through life never being afraid of getting hurt and never having your abilities doubted or negated simply because of the colour of your skin.
It’s time we demanded more from our society and people who it’s made out of. Time we stopped hiding out of fear and/or shame. Time we said enough is enough and that moment has now been irrevocably reached.
Enough with the lies, empty promises and looking the other way- no matter how noble the motivation behind all that.
You probably know by now that your pensions are among the things that are being paid for by others? No, the money that was being taken from your pay every month throughout your working life does nor even begin to cover it. Instead it’s being coveted by the generations that came after you.
As such, you might have realized how dire is this country’s need for those working, paying taxes and generally keeping this country afloat? Take a look at statistics.
Did you know that last year alone we got 17 000 of those people? Or that we got them through immigration? More Finns died than new ones were born. Yep, that’s a fact.
In so many ways immigration is the only viable way to sustain the welfare system in which tens of thousands are either not willing or capable of working. Have you any idea how many Finns end up on disability leave every year? For mental health reasons alone?
All you people shouting on Internet forums at 3am, drunk, living at your mum’s basement, blaming immigrants for your lack of education, job or prospects in life… here’s a news flash. We’re the ones that keep you going. We’re the ones doing the low-paying jobs you consider to be beneath you. We’re paying taxes so that you can blindly keep on believing in your innate privilege of not having to get off your behind and take responsibility over your own choices. Or the lack thereof. We’re the ones paying for your keep.
You need us. So start realizing that and showing some respect.
* Abdirahim Husu Hussein is a Helsinki city councillor for the Social Democratic Party.