Defining white Finnish privilege #14: Losing sight of the real issue

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the matters that has always surprised me in Finland is that if you speak out against intolerance and racism, you are sometimes seen as the rude one, not the one making the inappropriate comment. Apart from playing down a social ill like intolerance, we too often lose sight of the real issue: the victim. 

There are many factors that make us play down racism. One could be that we don’t want to rock the boat and get involved because intolerance doesn’t affect us directly. The issue is too complicated and hairy.

Take for example a recent case in Lieksa where parents don’t want their children to be taken to and from school by Somali drivers because they ‘don’t speak Finnish well enough.’

Näyttökuva 2014-11-12 kello 21.06.30
Read full story here.

 

The taxi owner, who hired the Somali drivers, claims that the parents’ motives are racist. The parents deny that their actions have anything to do with the drivers’ skin color or nationality.

But what about if both have some complicity in the matter and that we’re losing focus on the real problem?

‘I highly doubt that the man who hired the [Somali] drivers did so because he’s a good Samaritan,’ a Joensuu source told Migrant Tales. ‘Certainly there are racists among the parents but then again has anyone asked if the man who hired the drivers pays them less money [than white Finn driver] in order to maximize profit?’  

Definition #14

While we still don’t know all the facts, white privilege appears to be written all over the most recent case in Lieksa: Parents can demand one thing and the owner of the taxis can say another. Nobody asks the Somali drivers their opinion.

Thus white privilege permits us to miss the real issue at play: suspicion, prejudice and exploitation of migrants.

It’s not always an open-and-shut matter. White privilege permits you to lose sight of the real issue because it is convenient. It allows you to forget the victim, or the taxi drivers, as is the case in Lieksa.

See also:

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

  1. Yossie

    “‘I highly doubt that the man who hired the [Somali] drivers did so because he’s a good Samaritan,’ a Joensuu source told Migrant Tales. ‘Certainly there are racists among the parents but then again has anyone asked if the man who hired the drivers pays them less money [than white Finn driver] in order to maximize profit?’ ”

    Have you any proof for this claim? Or are you just working on hearsay just like Kauma?

    “Thus white privilege permits us to miss the real issue at play: suspicion, prejudice and exploitation of migrants.”

    To me, it looks like you are the one spreading hearsay that is suspicious and prejudice towards the man that employed the drivers.

    “It’s not always an open-and-shut matter. White privilege permits you to lose sight of the real issue because it is convenient. It allows you to forget the victim, or the taxi drivers, as is the case in Lieksa.”

    It looks like you lose the sight of the real issue: Shortcomings in service for schoolkids. Now when those that are partly at fault in here are immigrants, that’s all you can focus on. Defend the immigrants no matter what they have done. Drivers are the victims? Of their own driving style? of their lack of language skills? How about the kids are the victims of not getting safe ride to school?

    You always lose sight of issues with immigrants. The same thing happen with the mostly ethnic gangs that beat over 70 kids. These gangers and immigrants became the “victims” for you. You did not care at all about the white kids that got seriously beaten up. If those roles had been reversed, I wonder what your reaction would had been.

    Immigrant privilege #3
    You are always a victim, no matter what you have done.

  2. Yossie

    “‘I highly doubt that the man who hired the [Somali] drivers did so because he’s a good Samaritan,’ a Joensuu source told Migrant Tales. ‘Certainly there are racists among the parents but then again has anyone asked if the man who hired the drivers pays them less money [than white Finn driver] in order to maximize profit?’ ”

    Do you have any proof for this claim? Or are you working on hearsay just like Kauma?

    “Thus white privilege permits us to miss the real issue at play: suspicion, prejudice and exploitation of migrants.”

    To me, it looks like you are suspicious and prejudice against the man the employed the drivers.

    “White privilege permits you to lose sight of the real issue because it is convenient. It allows you to forget the victim, or the taxi drivers, as is the case in Lieksa.”

    Aren’t you the one losing sight of the real issue? The issue is safe school transportation for schoolkids. To me, it looks like immigrants are always the victims no matter what for you. In fact, you make the immigrants look victims to hide blame that lays on them. They have been speeding and talking to phone while driving. Already illegal, yet all the more serious when providing services to schoolkids.

    Immigrant privilege #3
    You are always a victim, no matter what you have done. You can shift the blame from you by making you look like a victim.

  3. Yossie

    “‘I highly doubt that the man who hired the [hidden because of saying this gets you stuck in moderation] drivers did so because he’s a good Samaritan,’ a Joensuu source told Migrant Tales. ‘Certainly there are racists among the parents but then again has anyone asked if the man who hired the drivers pays them less money [than white Finn driver] in order to maximize profit?’ ”

    Do you have any proof for this claim? Or are you working on hearsay just like Kauma?

    “Thus white privilege permits us to miss the real issue at play: suspicion, prejudice and exploitation of migrants.”

    To me, it looks like you are suspicious and prejudice against the man the employed the drivers.

    “White privilege permits you to lose sight of the real issue because it is convenient. It allows you to forget the victim, or the taxi drivers, as is the case in Lieksa.”

    Aren’t you the one losing sight of the real issue? The issue is safe school transportation for schoolkids. To me, it looks like immigrants are always the victims no matter what for you. In fact, you make the immigrants look victims to hide blame that lays on them. They have been speeding and talking to phone while driving. Already illegal, yet all the more serious when providing services to schoolkids.

    Immigrant privilege #3
    You are always a victim, no matter what you have done. You can shift the blame from you by making you look like a victim.

    [Trying to post this several time, why does it not work? Now I think I got it: There was the minority S mentioned in the quote.]

  4. Yossie

    So no proof Enrique? Suppose all suspicion and prejudice are only bad if they are targeted at immigrants then. Reading your stuff in here, it seems there is no way native finns to be ok in your book. If you don’t employ an immigrant, you are a racist. If you do employ an immigrant, you are just exploiting him.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Yossie, those are pretty strong and unsubstantiated claims you are making. Are that hypersensitive? As a white Finn you have all the media, political and social establishment so I don’t understand why you are whining. I’m not talking about you because I don’t know you personally, but does low self-esteem play a role in intolerance? Some studies claim that it does.

    • Yossie

      Unsubstantiated claims? Its all in your blog here. You talk about “institutional racism” when immigrants don’t get employed. Now when someone has employed them, you blame the employer for exploiting them without any proof of such. Why is that? Why are you giving voice to this “Joensuu source” and his obvious prejudice and suspicion? What are you aiming to achieve with his comments? Wasn’t spreading suspicion and prejudice wrong? Or does that apply only when the target of prejudice is immigrants? To me it looks like you are applying double standards.

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