Espoo city council votes against racism

by , under Enrique Tessieri

proposal by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) to rewrite the City of Espoo’s multicultural programme because it stated that city residents “don’t tolerate racism” were voted down 64-10, reports Länsiväylä

Näyttökuva 2014-4-15 kello 12.28.26

Two PS councilmen, Simon Elo (left) and Teemu Lahtinen,  loathe Muslims and cultural diversity. Read full story (in Finnish) here.

If one reads closely the position of the PS, an anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party, it reveals more ignorance about racism than anything else. In their narrow-minded world, everyone in Finland is equal. Sex and ethnicity aren’t factors that fuel discrimination.

PS Espoo city councilman, Teemu Lahtinen, criticized the multicultural program because it doesn’t take into account how some neighborhoods are becoming marginalized because of migrants. He was especially against affirmative action measures and the special treatment migrants get for cultural programs with tax payer’s money.

There’s one good matter happening in Finland albeit slowly: More Finns are becoming aware that intolerance is an issue we should address and not deny.

If we weigh Lahtinen’s and the PS’ message, what come in loud and clear is their opposition to cultural diversity. They are fighting tooth and nail to keep Finland white.

They never tell you this in plain Finnish but that it what they mean.

  1. PS voter

    Let’s not distort the issue again. Race is not that important issue to most immigration critics. For example, Juho Eerola has been married to a black woman and has mixed race child. If he would be against black race, one would think that he wouldn’t have married a black woman.

    The costs of some types of immigration and cultural reasons are the main issues for most immigration critics, instead of race. Even in Nuiva vaalimanifesti, immigration critics emphasized the fact that there is different kinds of immigration and some forms of the immigration cause so much costs and other problems that immigration critics are against that kind of immigration, but not against all kinds of immigration.

    • JusticeDemon

      PS voter

      Let’s not distort the issue again. Race is not that important issue to most immigration critics. For example, Juho Eerola has been married to a black woman and has mixed race child. If he would be against black race, one would think that he wouldn’t have married a black woman.

      This is a common misunderstanding of the psychology of prejudice. There are no rules governing irrational behaviour, and no inconsistency or dissonance arises when someone suffering from racial prejudice chooses to set that prejudice aside or accept “an exception”. Social psychologists have carved out entire careers by studying this well-known phenomenon.

      This is why it is so important to challenge politicians like Eerola to identify specific individuals and assume the associated legal risk. Which specific Somali or Iraqi is he talking about when he refers to the moral character of “immigrants”?

      …immigration critics emphasized the fact that there is different kinds of immigration and some forms of the immigration cause so much costs and other problems that immigration critics are against that kind of immigration, but not against all kinds of immigration.

      This is a case in point. Can any of these critics identify specifically “undesirable” individuals at the point of entry without resorting to prejudiced stereotypes? Those infamous headlines in Aftonbladet and Expressen would not have stood up in court as evidence that some particular Finnish migrant worker should have been excluded from Sweden in the 1970s. Any fool can be a “critic” in this general sense of being in favour of virtue and against sin, but see how far you get when you try to apply this vacuous principle as an element of positive policymaking.

      Given the job of a frontier guard, for example, the convicted racist criminal Halla-höpö might well have decided to refuse entry to Eerola’s black wife and mixed race child.

  2. PS voter

    BTW, tomorrow (16th April), there is a seminar called Maahanmuuton vaikutukset which is organized by young members of Perussuomalaiset. It will be held in Heureka (Kuninkaalantie 7, Vantaa), starting at 5 pm.

    Here is a list of some of the speakers who will be there:
    Jussi Halla-aho
    Veronika Honkasalo
    Fija Saarni
    Abdi Faysal
    Joel Linnainmäki

    Everyone is welcome there. I hope there will be interesting discussion. See you there!

    • PS voter

      I couldn’t help noticing that Abdi Faysal recommended more or less the same thing I have have recommended here before. He suggested that each immigration critic/perussuomalainen take an immigrant as a friend. This would help the immigrants in many ways and reduce problems — and it would also help build bridges between communities.

  3. elmeri

    JusticeDemon,

    When you, in your comment, seem to defend, Mr. Tessieris view, that “PS are fighting tooth and nail to keep Finland white.”, it’s really YOU, who should present some arguments for this claim. PS voter or anybody else doesn’t really have to.

    OK, so let’s begin this in correct order. First YOU give your arguments…

    • elmeri

      “PS voter or anybody else doesn’t really have to.”

      Maybe a bit unclear…For example X claims Y is guilty (of something), Y don’t need to prove, he is not, but X is required to prove his is.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      PS quite obviously views xenophobia as an acceptable instrument for seeking political support, much as the mafia regards narcotics dealing and prostitution as acceptable forms of business enterprise. PS is the only significant political caucus in Finland that declined to support the 2009 joint petition of political parties against racism in politics – specifically on the grounds that it wished to adopt xenophobic candidates. PS has also failed to expel prominent members convicted of crimes against humanity (despite promising to do so). It is quite clear that, given the choice of significant political parties in Finland, an out-and-out racist has the best prospects of pursuing a successful political career in the ranks of the PS, and that at least occasional outbursts of even the most arrant prejudice will not result in expulsion from this party. Soini and his Old Guard can be relied on to turn a blind eye to the excesses of such members as long as they continue to deliver the xenophobic vote.

      Yhteistyössä natsien kanssa could well serve as a subtext for this party’s political campaign materials.

  4. elmeri

    I’m happy to see even an attempt at proper argumenting here. Very disappointed that you also took on that nazi-card in the end…and that mafia silliness.

    So PS wants to keep Finland white.

    Note the word ‘white’. No, your arguments are not even close enough.

    http://www.yle.fi/tvuutiset/uutiset/upics/liitetiedostot/julkilausuma.pdf

    http://yle.fi/uutiset/kaikki_eduskuntapuolueet_rasismia_vastaan/5095086

    The party is not automatically required to expel the members for hate speech. They have got their punishment. Halla-aho, he got his punishment…

    Now, that you are associate editor, whatever that means, (you probably don’t have this on your CV, I guess), do the writings, that are published here, have you approval?

    You approve this spreading of hatred, that is practised here?

    You are not concerned, that these lies create unnecessary tension, suspicion between the natives and the immigrants? Do you think this site really benefits migrant communities, and how? All this nazi stuff…ok here’s example:

    “Certainly the denial that takes place in our society of the PS wouldn’t be possible without the help as well of the other parties, which may have the same closest racists among their ranks like the most outspoken anti-immigration voices of Soini’s party.”

    Ok, this sentence is a total mess, but it hints (, the writer really likes to hint) , not only PS but all the other parties are racists as well. Are you proud of this type of journalism?

    So, all the migrants here, message is clear: no use voting.

    By the way, do you think, that our social workers are keeping our migrants in check by keeping them unemployed?

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      Nazism is not a card. Only a person who is thoroughly ignorant of mid-20th century history (or keen to revise it) could consider that the gangsterism that took hold of Germany in the 1930s was some sort of game.

      The mainstream political parties in Finland have agreed not to appeal to xenophobia as an instrument in campaigning for votes, much as respectable enterprises refrain from operations involving prostitution and drug dealing. They do this because the appeal to baser human instincts is not socially edifying. The mainstream political parties understand that while there may be some short-term electoral advantage in campaigning by spreading mistrust, discord and hatred between communities, the sustained effects of such behaviour are incalculable and socially destructive.

      Party leader Timo Soini declared that the PS would expel any member convicted of racist offences. He then failed to deliver on that promise in the case of the convicted racist criminal Jussi Halla-aho. He similarly failed to seek the expulsion of the convicted racist criminal James Hirvisaari (who was instead later expelled for embarrassing the PS in Parliament). Freddy Van Wonterghem remains a PS city counsellor despite a corresponding criminal conviction. These politicians have based their electoral campaigning and political careers on a programme of explicit xenophobia.

      You provided a link to a shadow document drawn up by the PS after it declined to support the 2009 joint petition of political parties against racism in politics. No other political party signed that shadow document, which was also roundly criticised by experts for its evident failure to discern the difference between identical and equitable treatment.

  5. elmeri

    JusticeDemon

    Ok, so you have nothing.

    I don’t keep nazism a game, but you do. YOU are comparing nazis and the PS. You are being ignorant. You brought this nazi thing up and continuosly do. Ever heard in finnish converstation a word: ‘natsikortti?’ It means, that the person has run out of proper arguments, and have only this one trick left.

    If you want to critisize PS, I’m all for it, but do it properly, use proper arguments, don’t make up stuff, don’t attack their personality, it’s stupid. You are just making a fool of yourselves.

    You are lazy, you don’t do research, facts don’t interest you, only your hate.

    And Tessieri, who is like a teenager writing his first school essay. He doesn’t seem to understand, that making a claim isn’t enough, you should also have some arguments supporting your claim, some facts, he has only this: “This is what the PS really think.”

    How could this: ‘PS wants to keep Finland white’ be possible, because the PS doesn’t have a common view about immigration. There are a few loud people, that want to tighten our policy, to the majority of the members, immigration is not the biggest concern, they are happy with our current policy, Timo Soini is clearly one of these, but at the same time Soini understands, that there ARE people, who are concerned, and it’s a democracy, so they should also have a voice in politics.

    You totally ignored my questions about this blog. At least, you didn’t make the mistake by defending this sillyness.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      The term natsikortti was coined by neonazis and remains one of their favourite expressions. It suggests that anyone who discerns fascist ideology in contemporary political debate is merely playing some card game. This is precisely how the expression is used in Finnish – as an instrument of historical revisionism and an attempt to deflect attention from the historical antecedents of current political trends.

      The convicted racist criminal Jussi Halla-aho quite evidently harbours fascist views, though he generally expresses these sentiments in pseudo-intellectual form using barely intelligible terminology. From time to time the underlying viciousness nevertheless emerges for all to see. His remark in September 2011 about Greece needing a military dictatorship ready to use deadly force against protestors was straight from this mindset, and it chimes with his blog entry of October 2003 that violence is an underrated way of solving problems nowadays. The psychopathology of that latter remark was also interesting in the context of getting turned on by an act of extreme and deadly violence directed against a homosexual.

      Then there is his attempt in a blog entry dated April 2005 to subordinate human dignity to some notion of social or economic value, thereby dissolving the foundations of human rights. This is all pure 1930s fascism of the kind that led to the notion of Lebensunwertes Leben and its human consequences. It’s nevertheless interesting that this did not stop Halla-aho from referring his own case to ECtHR.

      But of course Halla-aho brings in the votes that PS needs to get other candidates elected, so the characterisation yhteistyössä natsien kanssa is entirely apposite.

  6. elmeri

    JusticeDemon

    “The term natsikortti was coined by neonazis and remains one of their favourite expressions.”

    Are you saying Leo Strauss was a neonazi, or who are you accusing this time? Will there be no end to you accusations?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum

    “Reductio ad Hitlerum is sometimes called “playing the Nazi card.” … it is a tactic often used to derail arguments, because such comparisons tend to distract and anger the opponent”

    That’s all you got? Some failed jokes by Halla-aho. You think wrong, if you think I’m going to defend them.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      Just to make sure that readers know what we are discussing, here is an OED defiintion:

      fascism
      noun
      an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
      • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

      The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

      Thesaurus entries: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; Nazism, rightism; nationalism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism; jingoism, isolationism; neofascism, neo-Nazism.

      The convicted racist criminal Jussi Halla-aho obviously satisfies all or most of these definition criteria.

      Can you give us an example of a more authoritarian pronouncement displaying greater contempt for democracy than that 2011 Halla-aho Facebook entry in mainstream Finnish political dialogue over the last 50 years? This was no drunken rant by some uneducated squaddie on a two-day pass:

      Right now Greece needs a military junta that would not need to worry about popularity and could use tanks to clamp down on strikers and rioters.

      An absolutely outrageous thing for any Member of Parliament to say, and certainly more than sufficient for summary expulsion from any other political party.

      Intolerant views? How about criminal convictions for ethnic agitation (a racist offence par excellence) and contempt for freedom of religion?

      Demagoguery? This would be the politician who made immigrants the main thrust of his political campaigning while standing for a political party that had no substantive proposals on immigration or immigrant integration in its election manifesto. We noted at the time on Migrant Tales that all of the earth shattering recommendations of the PS in this field were already in the Aliens Act, and that the manifesto had evidently been cobbled together by someone who had no idea of current Finnish immigration law or policy. Timo Soini admitted this a couple of days before the election, but Halla-aho continued to campaign on these themes in the hope that the electorate would be even dumber than the authors of the demonstrably vacuous PS policy position.

      Then what are we to make of the obsession with guns, coming from someone who once gave a sincere affirmation of conscientious objection and was accordingly released from the duty of military service? This is someone who then kept a gun at home and described the urge to shoot a homosexual in the head in terms of sexual gratification, nor is this the only example of its kind in the published writings of this convicted racist criminal.

      So the question remains: why do the PS continue to harbour this obvious fascist within their ranks? The only answer is for devil-take-the-hindmost, hang-the-consequences political expediency, or as an entirely pertinent acknowledgement: “brought to you in association with Nazis”.

  7. elmeri

    And the sillyness just continues.

    Why don’t you go and shout publicly ‘Nazi’ in front of Halla-aho. If you’re lucky, he’ll sue you, then you have you chance to test your ‘evidence’ in the court. See how far that gets you.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      If you’re lucky, he’ll sue you, then you have you chance to test your ‘evidence’ in the court. See how far that gets you.

      Is this a joke? 🙂 As if Allah-oho has a history of winning his court cases in relation to his extreme prejudices. Au contraire, mon ami!

      And why is pointing out extremism silliness in your view? Because it doesn’t matter? You think it’s just normal and dandy to pick on society’s most vulnerable groups, to offer zero solutions on overcoming obvious racial inequalities in Finnish society, to talk in inflammatory and exaggerated terms about any topic that pops up on their beer-mat agendas?

      I think it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to compare modern Far Right parties with Nazism if they are peddling the same old Nazi shit. You can powder this fascist crap all you like with scented talc, but it still stinks to high heaven in my view.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      Now who is not responding to the issues? Do you deny that the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho wrote these things, or do you find nothing unexceptional in contemplating the prospect of sexual gratification in blowing a person’s brains out, recommending regression to the Greece of the early 1970s, contesting the very foundations of human rights, or using xenophobic soundbites to seek support for a vacuous public policy reform programme?

      My point is that PS has shown that all of this will be tolerated if the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho can continue to deliver the xenophobic vote. The slogan yhteistyössä natsien kanssa is therefore entirely appropriate.

      I would be quite content to point out the evident fascism in much of Halla-aho’s published writings to his face, and I am absolutely untroubled by any prospect of litigation in this regard. All of these observations are matters of public record and the political characterisation is also entirely appropriate.

  8. elmeri

    Boys, boys, calm down now.

    You talked previously about human rights and dignity. Where are the rights and dignity of Halla-aho and Timo Soini? You do not have the right to insult these people. You know, they could sue you many times about your lies and insults in this blog. Go to court, what are you waiting for? You know you lose. You seem to have big problems distinguishing jokes from something said seriously.

    PS has NO plans making this country white. Don’t let Mr. Tessieris lies affect you. Nobody is attacking you rights as immigrants, even if he likes to scare you to think so. Oppose him, don’t let him spread his lies and hate. You are associate editors, it’s you responsibility (I think) Somebody should stop this man, he is doing more damage than the PS. We should be aiming at finding common bround between the migrants and natives, not create hate and suspicion.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      Boys, boys, calm down now.

      I’m probably old enough to be your dad 🙂 But hey, if your way of balancing yourself in this conversation is to start condescending those that disagree with you, I understand, it’s not easy living with an inferiority complex.

      Where are the rights and dignity of Halla-aho and Timo Soini?

      Everyone is deserving of basic dignity, I agree. But you do miss the point in thinking that this is about ‘individuals’, since the key problem here with both Timo and Halla-aho is that they gauge the value of dignity of a person based on their group identity. That’s the problem. Also, these are political figures, and as such, they have put themselves up to be criticised. This is not an attack on their dignity, other than to say that their beliefs appear to be disgusting to a majority of Finns and immigrants alike.

      You know, they could sue you many times about your lies and insults in this blog.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Very entertaining. Go ahead, my friend. Put your money where your mouth is.

      You do not have the right to insult these people.

      This is an utterly false argument. Criticising political figures for their publicly expressed extreme views is not ‘insulting’ them. I mean, ffs, Halla-aho talked about Islam as a religion of paedophiles…..and we criticise that and you pull us up for ‘insulting’ him? That’s some twisted morality there you are peddling, my friend!

      You seem to have big problems distinguishing jokes from something said seriously.

      And you seem to have a complete lack of grasp of basic legal principles. A ‘joke’ is not a defence when it comes to slander in most legal systems, in whatever form it takes, whether individual or aimed collectively at an ethnic, religious, sexual or national group.

      PS has NO plans making this country white.

      Well that’s obvious, such a plan would obviously not fit on a napkin or beer mat!!!

      Nobody is attacking you rights as immigrants

      Bullshit. Immigrants have far poorer health and social outcomes compared to Finns. They are much more likely to suffer violence and abuse on the street from strangers, much more likely to be discriminated against in the job market, much more likely to be stigmatised in the national and local media, and much more likely to die younger. All backed up by research, me old mucker!

      Oppose him, don’t let him spread his lies and hate. You are associate editors, it’s you responsibility (I think) Somebody should stop this man, he is doing more damage than the PS. We should be aiming at finding common bround between the migrants and natives, not create hate and suspicion.

      Vappu came early to your household, I see! 🙂

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      You talked previously about human rights and dignity. Where are the rights and dignity of Halla-aho and Timo Soini?

      What Finnish word would you use for dignity in those sentences? Now read Halla-aho and tell us whether you agree with his understanding of human dignity. Strictly in his own terms, we have no reason whatsoever to afford any dignity (and accordingly no human rights) to this convicted racist criminal. What, exactly, is the extrinsic value of a scholar of Old Church Slavic, even in Finland? Why should ECtHR even bother to examine a complaint from such an individual?

      The point obviously goes well over the heads of the Hompanzees, but it was spectacularly hypocritical for the author of that 2005 blog entry to even consider petitioning any court of human rights.

      Go to court, what are you waiting for? You know you lose.

      Do you understand how the Finnish legal system works? The clue is in the word vastaaja.

  9. elmeri

    Mark

    “Criticising political figures for their publicly expressed extreme views is not ‘insulting’ them.”

    If only you were criticising. Here’s examples of your “criticism”:

    About Halla-aho:
    “If he ever got enough power and backing, it would be only a matter of time when he’d expose his dark side on how to maintain Finland white.”

    By this ‘dark side’ you are attacking his personality. You don’t have this right, even if Halla-aho is a political figure. Criticize his opinions, if you are able to, don’t make claims, you cannot defend.

    about Soini:
    “Soini makes it clear that he is against gay marriage and abortion. This fact speaks volumes about what kind of a hell Finland would be if he ever became prime minister.”

    Here you are insulting Soinis catholic faith. Do all catholics make bad prime ministers and presidents? I bet you think also, that John F Kennedy was an awful president.

    And don’t talk about arguments. You don’t have any.

    “A ‘joke’ is not a defence when it comes to slander”

    Now, where have I claimed like that? I’m saying, you cannot make a claim, that Halla-aho is a Nazi, taking his failed jokes out of context and then twisting them. People can say and write terrible things, when they’re upset, or in other way emotionally unstable state and so on, it doesn’t make them nazis. What kind of world this would be, if we all could judge people as lightly as you do? Your dream society, I bet?

    Mark, you seem to also defending the claim, that PS is aiming at making Finland white. I bet you have lots of arguments for that, so let’s have it.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      Now explain why you evidently do not require this very standard of acceptable criticism from the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho. I don’t see you objecting to the 2006 blog entry on vaikea keksiä maailmankaikkeudesta alhaisempaa matelijaa kuin pohjoismainen sosiaalidemokraatti, or to the 2005 blog entry concerning Islam (which also takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews).

      Can it be that this kind of criticism is only acceptable in one direction, and that the convicted racist criminal is somehow immune to the very objection that you are trying to level against Migrant Tales?

      “Soini makes it clear that he is against gay marriage and abortion. This fact speaks volumes about what kind of a hell Finland would be if he ever became prime minister.”

      Here you are insulting Soinis catholic faith.

      Now you are asserting that Soini’s views are not his own, but are dictated by a foreign power. There is no difference in principle between querying a politician’s allegiance to authority exercised extra-democratically from Rome or from Moscow, Washington DC or the boardroom of Microsoft Corporation. It is entirely legitimate, and indeed necessary for the public to know whether and to what extent its elected officials are potentially open to extraneous influences and sectional interests.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      Allah-oho was one of, if not THE key architect of the Nuiva Vaalimanifeesti. In the fourth paragraph, which is basically the first of the key paragraphs stating the policy approach, the manifesto clearly states that Finland should not approach a ‘multicultural’ society, i.e. one of mixed ethnicities, citing as the reason the very dubious notion that all other countries where multiethnic communities have developed have failed to solve the problems.

      Jos ongelmat olisivat ratkaistavissa, miksi yksikään Länsi-Euroopan maa ei ole ratkaissut niitä?

      Jussi is also a leading member of Suomen Sisu, who advocated directly for opposing interethnic marriage. This ‘ethnic’ element clearly breaks down into skin colour in everything but name.

      We could argue about how explicit these statements or positions are in saying they want to keep Finland ‘white’, but in my book, it’s pretty darn cut and dried that the consequences of this political philosophy is – to separate and segregate different ethnic groups, with very strict limits and cultural limitations placed upon non-Finnish ethnic groups living in Finland.

      The fact that the kinds of problems associated with multiethnic communities are almost entirely (with the exception of language, which can be seen as a part of education) ‘cultural’ problems, not problems of multi-culture. They are problems of joblessness, deprivation, and poor housing, education, health and social resources. But their argument appears to be, we will only agree to a ‘multiethnic’ society if it can be proved that such a society would have no problems – which is basically creating a totally unrealistic and unattainable goal, one that cannot even be achieved in a monocultural Finland, let alone a multicultural one.

      Do all catholics make bad prime ministers and presidents?

      Straw man argument, Elmeri. Do all Catholics make their faith the cornerstone of their political philosophy? Do all Catholics seek to deny women the right to control their own bodies or deny same sex couples the right to marry? The answer is clearly no. In fact, there is a huge irony here in that a great many PS say that religion (i.e. Islam) should be kept out of politics, but are happy to let Soini guide their policies on issues like gay marriage and abortion, when clearly it could be argued they do stem from his religion.

      Mark, you seem to also defending the claim, that PS is aiming at making Finland white. I bet you have lots of arguments for that, so let’s have it.

      I don’t think such a claim needs defending. It’s absolutely clear that PS haven’t a clue about matters relating to immigration and their rather naive policy positions reveal their ignorance. In fact, when sitting in during election meetings, I found the PS politicians where horribly ignorant and racist when it came to dealing with immigration issues, even while in the same breath they were trying to give reasons for immigrants to vote for them. For example, when asked about immigration, the PS politicians make racist statements like ‘foreigners should respect the law’, as if all foreigners should be seen first and foremost as potential criminals. This stigmatisation doesn’t even seem to register with them as being problematic. So, rather than address immigrants as any other social group, with similar needs but with also unique needs, they are treated as a second class group, where the only discussion is that they must not have opinions, must not demand any changes, and must not break the law. If such things were said to Finns by politicians, the questions that would raise would be immediate and scathing, and yet when they talk about foreigners in this way, it’s accepted as perfectly reasonable.

      taking his failed jokes out of context and then twisting them.

      What joke are you referring to, Elmeri?

      People can say and write terrible things, when they’re upset, or in other way emotionally unstable state and so on, it doesn’t make them nazis.

      hahaha. Come on – when someone starts attacking and stigmatising Muslims in the same way that Jews were stigmatised by the Nazis, and purely for political gain, then we are obliged to point out the fascist overtones. If Jussi was not in the same breath political, one might say that he is just culturally xenophobic or just plain racist, but when it wraps this up in an authoritarian political ideology that seeks to control even such benign aspects as ‘national art’, intermarriage with people of different ethnicities, then we are very clearly dealing with an ideology that is placed in the Far Right/Fascist column. Why? Because other parties do not advocate such things, and pretending these policies are somehow ‘normal’ or simply unrelated to previous fascist agendas is just insulting to the intelligence of people and demanding they be treated with kid gloves.

      Indeed, the biggest political problem facing Europe’s political Right is the re-emergence of extremism and the normalising of such approaches. Few political commentators would deny that this is the current situation.

  10. elmeri

    JusticeDemon

    “I don’t see you objecting to the 2006 blog entry…”

    Well this is silly. Should I explicitly object EVERYTHING, that is wrong and improper in the internet. The fact, that Halla-aho writes something improper, of course doesn’t justify you writing improper things.

    “Now you are asserting that Soini’s views are not his own, but are dictated by a foreign power.”

    ??? I believe his catholic faith is his own. Are you saying now, that only atheists can be policiticans?

    The key point wasn’t his catholic faith, but the ridicilous claim, that Finland would become a hell – this is clearly a false statement, and insulting and shows the writers narrowminded view of humans.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      Should I explicitly object EVERYTHING, that is wrong and improper in the internet. The fact, that Halla-aho writes something improper, of course doesn’t justify you writing improper things.

      We are here considering whether the PS is seeking the xenophobic vote in Finland by providing political support to the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho despite his obvious fascism. This is the meaning of the acknowledgement “brought to you in association with neo-Nazis” that could be printed on all PS publications.

      Brought to you in association with neo-Nazis

      ***

      The key point wasn’t his catholic faith

      Now you are contradicting yourself. When Ricky called attention to the fact that Soini opposes marriage equality and termination of pregnancy even in cases of foetal malformation and rape, your own response was:

      Here you are insulting Soinis catholic faith.

      This opens the door to discussion of the extent to which Soini’s views on these political issues have been dictated from Rome and are therefore not open to influence through political debate in Finland. We would not be asking this question if you had instead ascribed these views to simple homophobia and misogyny.

  11. elmeri

    Mark

    I don’t see a big problem in the question:
    “Jos ongelmat olisivat ratkaistavissa, miksi yksikään Länsi-Euroopan maa ei ole ratkaissut niitä?”

    He is following this with another question.

    “Miksi ja miten Suomi onnistuisi siinä, missä kaikki muut ovat epäonnistuneet?”

    This makes is quite clear, what he is after. It is a valid question.

    “…Suomen Sisu, who advocated directly for opposing interethnic marriage. ”

    Ok, I’ll take your word for it.

    “This ‘ethnic’ element clearly breaks down into skin colour in everything but name.”

    No it doesn’t. everything but name? ‘kaikessa paitsi nimessä’? hmm…
    You probably know, that there are cultures, ethnicities, that only accept marriage with a member of the same ethnicity. Do you see something wrong, something forbidden in here? As far as I know, there are some strict rules also in Islam concering the marriage between a non-muslim and a muslim. I believe you know this better than I do. Do you also judge them?

    “Do all Catholics make their faith the cornerstone of their political philosophy?”

    Does Soini? You probably know, that mentioning abortion here is very inappropriate, because Soini has never mentioned, that he is unhappy with our law, that he has ANY intentions to change it. Being against gay marriage – he has the right to his opinion. This opinion, how bad YOU might see it, doesn’t justify you insulting him. The keyword here is ‘tolerance’

    Do you want another example to show you the insults:

    “If I’d draw a cartoon of Soini, I’d put him in a concentration camp standing in front of people like Jussi Halla-aho, Olli Immonen, Teuvo Hakkarainen and many others. Soini would tell the media with a poker face and then smile at the end of the following statement: “I’m against anti-Semitism and racism.”

    Now tell me, Mark. How does this type of writing benefit the immigration community. And how about these:

    “How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees…”
    “we’ve done everything to kill diversity…”

    You mocked me, when I said, Soini and Halla-aho could sue you. You are wrong. It is pretty easy to prove, that this site is 1.deliberately, 2. continuosly and 3. systematically spreading lies about both Soini and Halla-aho to damage their political careers. And how long have you been doing this, spreading your hate, lies? years? And PS has just become more popular during that time. Your strategy hasn’t been that successful, maybe you should consider reviewing it? It might just be, that the effect has been the opposite.

    Now you tell me, what benefit this site bring to the immigrants, because I am curious. Finally, give some answers.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      This makes is quite clear, what he is after. It is a valid question.

      So clear in fact that you couldn’t spell it out, could you? 🙂 The simple fact is that he says ‘multiculturalism’ is a failure and if other countries cannot succeed, why should Finland even bother. But the premise is entirely flawed. Only politicians on the Right and under significant threat from the Far Right in terms of voting have ever been stupid enough to claim that multiculturalism has failed – including Merkel and Cameron. The simple fact is that multiculturalism is the NORM the world over, and so the only thing that has failed is controlling the influence of the poisonous ideology of racism and cultural superiority, which will make migration very difficult by reason of the stigmatisation and discrimination that it encourages. Of course, it is a legitimate question to ask how we can improve integration policies, but that is not what the Nuiva Vaalimanifesti is suggesting. They peddle the most inflammatory and divisive comments they can possibly imagine with the sole aim of polarising the debate and getting people to make an emotional reaction based on fear of a ‘threatening’ foreign culture.

      You probably know, that there are cultures, ethnicities, that only accept marriage with a member of the same ethnicity. Do you see something wrong, something forbidden in here?

      I don’t agree with it wherever it appears, whether it’s religion or ethnicity. It’s not about ‘judging’ either, because I don’t then say that people who do advocate should not be allowed into Finland. Big difference in our levels of tolerance there, Elmeri.

      It’s ironic that you say that this happens, knowing full well that it’s mainly for religious reasons (though you cite Islam and leave out the more obvious traditions of Catholicism and Judaism), and so you think that’s a defence for doing it for ethnic or, in this case, mainly for nationalistic reasons. And yet NuivaVM is specifically stating they do not approve of these kinds of cultural restrictions being imported into Finnish culture, while clearly ignoring their own very similar counter restrictions. Sounds like they want their cake and to eat it too. These arguments are so full of contradictions it’s a joke. And it’s not surprising, because it’s informed not by rationalism, but by prejudice, plain and simple.

      I’m against anti-Semitism and racism.

      And yet very happy to tolerate people in his own party convicted of crimes related to these kinds of prejudice, even while other parties will not tolerate such extremism. So, Soini is a good guy because he tolerates the intolerant in his own party? hahaha. It’s hilarious. Why do PS insult the intelligence of voters in this way? It’s a bit like a party full of corrupt politicians where the party leader says that he is against such corruption, but continues to allow these corrupt politicians to be part of his party. It smells of platitudes for the public and tacit acceptance. And it’s obvious why – a significant portion of PS’s vote comes from racist Finns.

      You mocked me, when I said, Soini and Halla-aho could sue you. You are wrong. It is pretty easy to prove, that this site is 1.deliberately, 2. continuosly and 3. systematically spreading lies about both Soini and Halla-aho to damage their political careers.

      I don’t see any lies here. I see people concerned about the rise of politicians who have been prosecuted for inciting hatred against minorities in Finland and a political leadership (Soini) that is apparently completely unwilling to cut those individuals out of the party. I don’t see the other parties making much of an ado about it all either. And you expect immigrants in Finland to feel safe and valued in this kind of political climate? If Finland valued it’s immigrant population, there would be a concerted effort within politics to challenge such obvious extremism. But the tragic thing here is that they are scared because they know there is a significant minority in Finland who are racist and prejudiced and that taking them on will possibly cost them votes without necessarily winning any. In other words, politically, there is very little carrot that would motivate the Right to take on the Far Right. This is the same problem throughout Europe. And it’s a very dangerous situation that is developing. The appeasement of such prejudices will only open the door to a new kind of fascism, built on populism and disaffection with mainstream politics. For sure we need something to challenge the ruling elites, but building it on grievances and intellectual poison is not an answer.

      And how long have you been doing this, spreading your hate, lies? years? And PS has just become more popular during that time. Your strategy hasn’t been that successful, maybe you should consider reviewing it? It might just be, that the effect has been the opposite.

      Gosh, what a fairy tale. We have been reporting on controversial events relating to the extremism of certain PS politicians. We have been quite nuanced in saying that PS is a mixed bag, but that the real failure is from the leadership in cutting out those idiots who are obviously making life difficult for immigrants with their stigmatisation and publicly stated prejudice. Unfortunately, immigrants do not have this kind of national platform to challenge the likes of Halla-aho, Hakkarainen, Immonen etc., and when the mainstream politicians do not step forward to challenge them either, the feeling is one of abandonment. As if life wasn’t hard enough for immigrants.

      I hardly think you can expect Migrant Tales to take on the role of challenging extremism in Finnish society single-handedly and somehow to have any great effect on the situation. Now that would be a huge surprise.

      Now you tell me, what benefit this site bring to the immigrants, because I am curious. Finally, give some answers.

      If you cannot see the value of having a dissenting voice against the rise of a Far Right party in Finnish politics whose prominent members openly stigmatise immigrants, then you are a few cards short of a deck. Of course, you will not see it like this – but having opted to blind yourself to the effects of these people, you then demand us to explain to you that which you have deliberately blinded yourself to. What a total waste of my time!!!

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      mentioning abortion here is very inappropriate, because Soini has never mentioned, that he is unhappy with our law, that he has ANY intentions to change it.

      This is disingenuous. Parliament has not considered repealing the Pregnancy Terminations Act (no. 239 of 1970), and PS is hardly likely to sponsor such a proposal when Soini is fully aware that only a small minority of people in Finland share his views.

      Soini has been asked on several occasions to state those views, and has made strenuous efforts to avoid doing so. At one point he complained that journalists only put such questions to him and not to other politicians, but then when the abortion issue was raised again in a televised debate with the leaders of three other political parties (in March 2011) he deliberately declined to respond and would only say “I think that life is sacred”.

  12. elmeri

    Mark

    “So clear in fact that you couldn’t spell it out, could you?”

    I don’t understand. It is a valid question. He is referring to all the problems the Europe has been facing in their immigration issues.

    I’m not here to defend Ps and Halla-aho, I’m here to wake you up to realize that you and this blog are being a very bad example. You are not helping the immigrants with this shit, I don’t know how many times I have to say this before you understand.

    “a dissenting voice ”

    a dissenting voice. So this is how you explain it to yourself.

    and I did notice you skipped these:

    ““How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees…”
    “we’ve done everything to kill diversity…”

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      I’m here to wake you up to realize that you and this blog are being a very bad example.

      Elmeri, are you an immigrant? If not, then what exactly qualifies you to speak on behalf of the immigrant communities in Finland?

      The key feedback we get from immigrants is that our blog is important for standing up for immigrant’s rights, standing against prejudice, racism and modern day fascism. You might not like it, but that’s what immigrants who read the blog tell us.

      At the same time, there are many immigrants who talk about their positive experiences in Finland and about the wonderful Finns they know. This is not about immigrants vs Finns.

      My kids are Finnish, my wife is Finnish, my best friends are Finnish. It’s insulting and totally lazy to try to make this about us hating Finns. But you push this shit over and over, based on our criticisms of prominent and very publicly recognised individuals in Finland who are now INFAMOUS for their anti-immigrant rhetoric and fascism.

      You are not convincing anybody by coming here to cry about this.

      Stop trolling or you will be banned.

  13. elmeri

    And Justicedemon, you are wasting your efforts on irrelevant parts of text. Choose your battles more wisely.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      you are wasting your efforts on irrelevant parts of text

      Because we should ignore what the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho has written in unguarded moments and continues to publish on his blog, and understand instead that he is really just a sweet fellow who wishes nothing but peace on earth and goodwill to all men?

      Because Soini’s evident prevarication over abortion and his visceral opposition to marriage equality are not the outcome of slavish adherence to religious extremism, but …?

      Inability to concede error is a peculiar characteristic of the ABC-asemaväki, especially when violence is not an option. In your own puerile words:

      That’s all you got?

      Ok, so you have nothing.

  14. elmeri

    You are being a bad example, because you are not being truthful. I have shown you enough examples, haven’t I? There’s lots more, if you’re interested. But here’s the list again:

    How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees…
    we’ve done everything to kill diversity…
    They (PS) are fighting tooth and nail to keep Finland white.
    Our social workers are keeping our migrants in check by keeping them unemployed.

    “Stop trolling”

    No, you stop making stuff up!

    Why do YOU defend this (above mentioned) bullshit?You are obviously not a stupid person. I don’t understand. There is simply nothing you can say, that could justify that type of rubbish.

    I value two things in blogs and news: truthfulness, and objectivity. To you these obviously mean nothing.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      You are being a bad example, because you are not being truthful.

      Examples? Nope, you haven’t given any.

      How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees…
      we’ve done everything to kill diversity…
      They (PS) are fighting tooth and nail to keep Finland white.
      Our social workers are keeping our migrants in check by keeping them unemployed.

      Point 1, there is no ‘truth’ about whether ‘Finland’ loathes refugees and migrants. There are only perceptions. I don’t like Enrique’s wording, but it’s certainly not a lie. You could take survey results that have in the past suggested that two-thirds of Finns consider themselves at least slightly racist, and more recent polls by HS that have shown that two-thirds of Finns thought there was ‘much’ or ‘a fair amount of racism’ in Finland. This is not the views of immigrants we are talking about here, but the views of Finns themselves.

      Secondly, PS voters were twice as likely to recognise themselves as racist in the same poll, to which Tarja Hallonen commented at the time “There has been an acceptance of hate behaviour that would not have been considered appropriate before”. This was your president speaking, Elmeri.

      They (PS) are fighting tooth and nail to keep Finland white.

      Again, this is a matter of perception. There is no ‘truth’ here. To many immigrants, PS is the party putting forward regulations, policies and comments that work against immigrants, either in terms of family reunification, in terms of their cultural integrity, in terms of their religious and civic freedoms. I guess it is a legitimate view to say that many in PS want to keep Finland white. I don’t think many people would argue about this, among Finns, but when an immigrant blog talks about it, of course you want to jump down our throats and call us liars.

      As to the last one, the very first meeting I had with a social worker in Finland and she commented that it was nice to meet a Brit and not to have to deal with those ‘lazy’ Africans. This is even before I’d sat down!!!! Of course, that’s just one person. But it does illustrate that the atmosphere of impunity is so strong that institutionalised racism of this kind happens all too frequently. Now you tell me, when a social worker has that kind of view of migrants, are they going to work to their best ability to help those clients? Nope. And of course, when those clients come up against discrimination in the labour market, those kinds of people will individualise the problem and blame the immigrants. It’s a self-reinforcing and vicious cycle.

      So, if you claim these statements are lies, then you can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, with data, that these opinions are ‘false’? Even then, of course, you have not demonstrated them as ‘lies’, because lies implies we know the truth and are saying something else. On the contrary, these are our perceptions. So far, you have offered no data or even argument to counter them…you are just crying that they are lies lies lies. If you had any integrity at all, you would at least accept that immigrants can form very negative perceptions of Finland based on actual experiences, but that like many situations, the negative stuff often gets the most publicity. But this is still a very real problem, and building trust is important. Calling immigrants liars for having negative views about racism in Finland is not exactly treating immigrants with dignity or showing any great integrity, Elmeri.

      There is simply nothing you can say, that could justify that type of rubbish.

      Wow! Well you’ve certainly made your mind up on that one. You know, Elmeri, I’m all for preciseness in journalism, but a blog is not a news outlet – it is a place where people present their opinions, talk about the news or day’s events, etc. You seem to be holding this blog to the totally wrong standard, and expecting every ‘opinion’ to be presented according to journalistic standards. While that would be quite an achievement and something noble to aim for, it is really not the nature of today’s social media. Nowhere does this site claim to be a ‘news’ site. It discusses news items. Big difference. It expresses opinion. Of course, opinions can be shallow and unsubstantiated, but telling people they are liars for holding or expressing those opinions doesn’t really demonstrate that you understand how the modern internet works. How old are you? Have you ever blogged yourself? Do you know what a blog is? I have my doubts….

      I value two things in blogs and news: truthfulness, and objectivity. To you these obviously mean nothing.

      This is not a news site, as stated above. Second, a blog by definition is rarely if ever ‘objective’. I think you have to accept that most people think their views are objective, or based on real experience, but that objectivity, certainly in the scientific sense, requires a much more massive and rigorous system of verification, which blogs are simply never ever going to be subject to. So asking for objectivity is quite unrealistic. It would be much more useful and constructive even to accept that what is being discussed here are subjective views, and that subjective views are all too often presented as ‘the truth’, or as statements about what Finland is or what Finland isn’t. I’ve no problem with you disagreeing or working to show why such negative views of Finland don’t fit to your experiences, but simply dismissing other people’s views or experiences as ‘lies’ does not make you a better person or a better debater. On the contrary, you are committing the very crime you are accusing us of – laying claim to truth and objectivity over a matter that clearly does not have it. There is not ONE truth about Finland. Finland is different for each of the 5 million odd people who live here. No ONE person can stand up and be a spokesperson, either for Finns or for foreigners. Indeed, I don’t like Enrique’s wording, and if you knew my writings here, you know that i have written extensively about exactly such issues in the past. But as much as I wish that people wouldn’t generalise, I know that people often do, and without malice. In fact, much racism is of exactly this kind of generalising, and that is why anyone fighting racism has a duty to be extra careful in their own language.

      I know immigrants who have had such difficult and negative experiences in Finland that they have no doubt in their minds that Finland is a racist country. I find that unfortunate, but hating on these people, or accusing them of being racist is just adding more layers of crap onto this already difficult situation. The story a year or so ago about a 14-year old girl travelling daily to school on the tube and who talked about weekly incidents where complete strangers made negative and openly racist comments to her well illustrates the problem. She did not allow these events to warp her view of Finland, which was very balanced, but you really cannot blame some people who would react differently and fall into despair over such experiences. Indeed, these people are victims of abuse, and will show signs of paranoia and extreme suspicion as a result – this is a big part of being a victim; it’s damaging. But rather than recognise it as damage, people like yourself immediately take their ‘rational’ position as being some kind of universal marker of truth against which all other experiences MUST be measured. Such an approach is arrogant, self-entitled, insulting and completely unhelpful. In fact, as in many social and emotional healing situations, forgetting about the ‘truth’ for a while is a very good idea, and tackling the problem of trust and validating bad experiences is an important step in bringing people back to a more balanced perspective, and to give tools to cope better with the effects of such abuse so that they don’t assume that everyone is against them.

      This is so obvious and yet, even within the social services in Finland, it is surprisingly rarely stated. Often the emphasis in social services is to treat foreigners ‘exactly the same’, which means applying a totally inappropriate yardstick. And yet, the normal approach of social services IS to recognise in the very unique and individual needs of Finns when serving them, and yet, when they try to deal with foreigners, it often works the opposite, and the assumption is that they must be treated like ‘Finns’, but this time with the assumption that there is a generic Finn, when in reality, this is not accepted wisdom. In avoiding ‘racism’, service personal invariably fall into the trap of overcompensating. Perhaps you are doing the same thing.

      I have over twenty years experience in dealing with exactly these kinds of issues, not just in Finland. So stop a second before you jump in and start crying again about the lies and try to move forward in this discussion.

      If you do continue to talk only of lies etc., I will ban you, Elmeri. I’m more than happy to have a conversation with you about these things, but I won’t sit here and listen to you ranting because you disagree and won’t accept the possibility that other people can have different perceptions and it doesn’t make them liars. Last warning.

  15. elmeri

    Mark

    There is so much wrong in your writing, I point out just a few things, I don’t want to get banned.

    You are justifying some of the claims by saying they are a matter of perception.

    “How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees”

    This is just a matter of perception. Later you talk about your experience with a social worker, who said the africans are lazy. So lets use this as an example. What if this social worker would defend herself by saying:

    “there is no ‘truth’ about whether Africans are lazy, it’s a matter of perception.” Would you defend this?

    This social worker is used to defend the statement:

    “Our social workers are keeping our migrants in check by keeping them unemployed.”

    Here you are generalizing. You seem to notice this yourself, but it doesn’t make it OK.

    “I guess it is a legitimate view to say that many in PS want to keep Finland white.”

    It certainly is not. You cannot make the claim without some evidence.

    “Calling immigrants liars…”

    Well, this is really unfair. You are hinting, that the fact you are immigrants, would be relevant to me. It’s not.

    “what is being discussed here are subjective views”

    No no no! If what you say is ok, then it is ok to say anything. You can say: ‘Africans are lazy’. You can justify all the racist statements, because the racist can always defend: it’s just my subjective view.

    The statements you make, subjective or not, have an effect, an impact on other people. When you say something, you should also take responsibility of that statement. By this ‘subjective view’-nonsense you deny all the responsibility.

    • JusticeDemon

      elmeri

      What if this social worker defended herself by saying:

      “there is no ‘truth’ …

      it’s a matter of perception.”

      Expressions of opinion are not exempt from the law against ethnic agitation. This offence is committed even when explicitly uttering the offending remark as an opinion, and even when explicitly admitting there is no absolute truth on the subject. The wording of section 10 of Chapter 11 of the Penal Code is quite clear about this.

      In the case of Mark’s social worker there was also an evident breach of section 17 of the Local Government Officers Act (no. 304 of 2003). Again there is no mileage in telling the disciplinary tribunal that the social worker was ‘entitled to an opinion’ on a topic with no readily discernible ‘truth’.

      “I guess it is a legitimate view to say that many in PS want to keep Finland white.”

      It certainly is not. You cannot make the claim without some evidence.

      Evidence? Well, we had that incident in Lieksa quite recently where a group of PS councillors demanded a new meeting room, because their regular meeting room had been contaminated by Africans. This was visceral racism at its worst.

      Then there is that remark by the convicted racist criminal Halla-aho concerning human filth from the Horn of Africa or descent to the stereotypical African condition that begins when blacks achieve a majority or dominant status. Didn’t Nyt magazine also dig up an old interview where the teenage Halla-aho fantasised about whipping niggers?

      And similar remarks by James Hirvisaari, another convicted racist criminal, concerning people from a criminal jungle culture.

      Or that remark by Kotka PS councillor and holocaust denier Freddy Van Wonterghem, yet another convicted racist criminal, finding solace in the death of a woman on the grounds that she could not thereafter give birth to another Moslem.

      Or the various remarks of Savonlinna PS politician Reija Hirn-Brazhevsky railing against niggers and Moslems.

      Then we had that infamous comment from Vihti PS politician Ari Kajan about licking nigger arse.

      In the meantime Timo Soini’s painstaking analysis of the problem of racism in his party stops at the assertion that his Catholicism inoculates him personally against racism.

      Really the list of racist and homophobic remarks from supporters of this party goes on and on.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      “there is no ‘truth’ about whether Africans are lazy, it’s a matter of perception.” Would you defend this?

      No I would not defend it. And I’m not defending Enrique’s use of the word ‘Finland’, though I think there is a difference between ‘Finland’ and saying Finns. In English, this can and often does work as ‘in Finland, some people loath immigrants’. It’s lazy to contract it, and I think people writing about immigration should not be lazy. I have complained to Enrique about this several times – but unlike you, I DO actually know what he means, and he does not mean ‘All Finns’. You, rather than take the point at face value, prefer to lose yourself on the semantics, knowing probably perfectly well that Enrique does not mean to generalise, instead treat this as if he is deliberately referring to ALL FINNS. In other words, you are creating a straw man argument. And rather than simply ask Enrique if that is what he means, you prefer to fight the straw man argument. Fine, but it really gets us nowhere….

      Here you are generalizing. You seem to notice this yourself, but it doesn’t make it OK.

      Yes, of course I recognise it and I don’t like it. If Enrique was more careful in his writing, then these little sideshows and distractions from the key message would not be necessary, so yes, I would like to see less lazy writing from Enrique. But then again, when an individual like yourself takes such writing and deliberately magnifies its significance to the point of calling us liars, I really do start to think you are just being an arsehole and blinding yourself to the real discussions here, such as workplace discrimination, which is all too common in Finland. I’ve posted before about surveys that reveal a majority of employers would feel okay with denying an immigrant a place in the workforce because they didn’t ‘fit in’, without realising that this is discrimination, or not caring.

      It certainly is not. You cannot make the claim without some evidence.

      I guess you didn’t follow up on Enrique’s latest post, in which he linked to a blog that quotes PS local and national politicians talking about their views on immigration. Read a fe hundred of the quotes there and I think you will see that there is plenty of evidence.

      By this ‘subjective view’-nonsense you deny all the responsibility.

      Hardly – given that I’m the one pointing out that we should be careful in how we write. You know, there is one big difference here – the people we criticise clearly loathe immigrants and are not married to them, do not have children with immigrant backgrounds etc. Of course, some PS people work with immigrants, whom they often like, but this is no get-out-of-jail-free card for making racist comments. On the contrary, all the editors here are married to Finns, have Finnish children and enjoy living in Finland. And yet you want to find some kind of equivalence here between our criticism of some Finns and the racist comments of those Finns against particular groups of foreigners. It doesn’t add up, Elmeri. Now if Jussi Halla-aho was married to a Muslim Somali-Finn and still felt inclined to criticise elements of Islam, I would have much less reason to think his motivation was racism or hatred towards Islam.

      The equivalence argument is trotted out so many times and in such a lazy way that I really do wonder – I mean, you are pulling us up over certain lazy expressions, and yet in the process you are ignoring so much of the reality of our situation and experiences in order to draw false equivalences. Or worse, you are denying that these people are racist, in spite of their comments and activism, and yet claiming we are somehow against Finns in denial of all the basic evidence that clearly contradicts that notion.

      You are good with words Elmeri, and with exploiting weaknesses and lazy commentary, but you are not good at seeing things clearly.

    • JusticeDemon

      Mark

      Now if Jussi Halla-aho was married to a Muslim Somali-Finn and still felt inclined to criticise elements of Islam, I would have much less reason to think his motivation was racism or hatred towards Islam.

      That is not at all clear. Racism and cultural prejudice are psychological predispositions, not rational positions. It is possible for the most vicious white racist islamophobe to admire Muhammad Ali as the greatest boxer of all time and be keen to shake his hand without the slightest feeling of dissonance.

    • Mark

      JD

      That is not at all clear. Racism and cultural prejudice are psychological predispositions, not rational positions. It is possible for the most vicious white racist islamophobe to admire Muhammad Ali as the greatest boxer of all time and be keen to shake his hand without the slightest feeling of dissonance.

      Not clear? Are you joking? So you think that a racist who can nevertheless admire Mohammed Ali as a boxer is equivalent to a white person prepared to marry a person of a different ethnicity or nationality? That in fact, you have to assume that both of these people could be equally racist or antagonistic towards their differences. Wow…..just, wow, JD! Where’s your famous perspective?

    • JusticeDemon

      Mark

      I didn’t say that anything was equivalent or equal. Indeed I’m not even sure what that means in this context.

      I thought this was uncontroversial. Irrational prejudice both admits and depends on some degree of readiness to allow exceptions and arbitrary redefinition of the outgroup, up to and including choice of a partner from that group and even personal membership of that group (Dillibe Onyeama is the classic case). Social psychologists describe this process as re-fencing and subtyping. It’s not that Cass Pennant ceased to be black – it’s that he was no longer that kind of black.

      Billy Carson used to tell a story about how he was once aggressively confronted in Helsinki by racist thugs who then suddenly changed their demeanour on recognising se hyvä tyyppi radiosta.

      And of course just recently we have had the Sterling – Stiviano recording providing an obvious case in point.

      Sterling - Stiviano

    • Mark

      Please quote some research that has explored refencing and subtyping among intimate couples of different ethnicities. If this research exists, I’d be interested to see how they square it with the contact hypothesis.

      I’ve no problem with understanding the concept of refencing and subtyping, but I would have thought there has been little supportive research that would suggest people can maintain strong racial prejudices against a group when they are married to members of that group. I mean, what does that say about the marriage and the power relations with the partner? A rich billionaire with a dark skinned model girlfriend is somewhat of an exception, JD. Stiviano was Sterling’s ‘friend’, his wife Rochelle is white, by the way.

      I was talking about you, I, Enrique – we are ordinary people, with families, with deep contacts in Finland, with Finnish children. People seem to ignore that basic fact when saying ‘you hate Finns’.

      I think you’ll find that interethnic marriages are usually a target for rather than the source of prejudice. You seemed to think my comment lacked ‘clarity’ and then presented a rather vague summary on refencing and a pretty picture of a billionaire with his ‘ethnic’ plaything to support it, but I think you are scrapping the barrel and that my point was more than clear and fits more clearly to the realities around prejudice. Contact hypothesis and common sense tells you that a white person whose kids are of mixed ethnicity (likewise with national stereotyping) is extremely unlikely to have/maintain a ‘hatred’ towards the ethnicity of his partner. I’m not saying it cannot happen, but to present it as somehow a normal part of the ‘refencing’ hypothesis and research is, I would think, stretching it. But of course, I’ll read the research and eat humble pie if you present me with papers that support your claim regarding refencing and intimate partners.

      Posters regularly come here suggesting that we hate Finns with little regard to the fact that our children would be Finnish, our wives would be Finnish, or our best friends would be Finnish. You seem to be suggesting that this claim regarding our ‘prejudice’ in such unlikely circumstances is in fact supported by the vast majority of sociological research on the matter. I find that hard to believe.

      II think exceptionism as you described clearly exists and applies to the odd ‘friend/acquaintance’, but that if that ‘ethnic’ friend knew of the deep-seated prejudices of their friend, I doubt that friendship would last long. Such a situation is much less likely to happen in a marriage, where partners become, well, intimate.

      And then what of the relationship with the children? I’m not saying you cannot maintain stereotypes or prejudices against a group through a marriage, hell, patriarchy is exactly such an example; What I’m saying is that for extreme cases of racial and ‘nationalist’ prejudice (which we are accused of), this would be extremely unlikely. You seem to present it as the norm, as part of the very common phenomenon of subtyping.

      Likewise, I drew the parallel with members of PS, known for their racism and bigotry, and pointed out that they do not live in a family situation with those people they despise. This was to further differentiate between us and these racists. After all, JD, in the eyes of our critics, we are the racists and those politicians and public figures are morally upstanding folk.

      So what’s not clear about arguing against the accusation that we hate Finns by saying its extremely unlikely when our wives and kids are Finnish? Are you saying ‘no’ to that?

    • JusticeDemon

      Mark

      We already recently had the example of Juha Eerola submitted to suggest that an intimate relationship with someone perceived (by others) as belonging to the racially defined outgroup somehow inoculates an individual against the associated racial prejudice:

      Race is not that important issue to most immigration critics. For example, Juho Eerola has been married to a black woman and has mixed race child. If he would be against black race, one would think that he wouldn’t have married a black woman.

      This view is comparable to the idea that a female politician will somehow automatically advance the rights of women, or that a disabled politician can be expected to press for equitable opportunities.

      There is considerable prejudice in the expat and immigrant community that is in no significant measure diminished by intimate relationships. Indeed in a good many cases those relationships have formed with natives who harbour similar prejudices against their own group, and the relationship itself has become part of a process of estrangement from that group.

      It is far too facile to assume that there is no significant colour prejudice in Finland simply because Lola Odusoga and Sara Chafak have captured the Miss Finland crown.

    • Mark

      JD

      an intimate relationship with someone perceived (by others) as belonging to the racially defined outgroup somehow inoculates an individual against the associated racial prejudice:

      Well, let’s agree that nowhere have I said that it inoculates against prejudice? I have used the term ‘far less likely’.

      This view is comparable to the idea that a female politician will somehow automatically advance the rights of women, or that a disabled politician can be expected to press for equitable opportunities.

      Do you really expect me to think that the formation of a political agenda is akin to having a personal relationship? No, they are not comparable. In fact, they are quite different things. Indeed, there can be many reasons why a politician adopts a narrow political agenda that does not address issues that you might think affect them personally.

      I have already mentioned that gender is the strongest example of how prejudice can survive intimacy with those against whom the prejudice is held. But then again, relationships are quite often battlegrounds where these gender imbalances and stereotypes are negotiated or fought over. It’s rarely these days a passive acceptance, and when it was, it was because there were clear majorities supporting those roles within society.

      There is considerable prejudice in the expat and immigrant community that is in no significant measure diminished by intimate relationships.

      The first part can be true, though this would not necessarily make the second part true. But are you speaking from personal observation or from studies? Moreover, what kinds of prejudice are you talking about? That one’s home culture is somehow superior, or generalisations about Finns? Do these amount to ‘hatred of Finns’, because that is what is up for discussion here, in this thread. I am talking about people seeing us as extremists, not simply as stuck up Brits with a superiority complex.

      I was talking about us, as actual people, and you are trying to change the subject, to talk about all foreigners in Finland, about ‘people’ in the abstract – I’m not surprised that in that context, my comment starts to be unclear. This is not an academic question. This is a personal question, that I addressed by making reference to our personal circumstances. I didn’t put it out there as a ‘statement of truth’, or even as a ‘sociological theory’, but as something to think about, something that really should be considered when these stupid accusations are made against us accusing us of ‘hating Finns’.

      Indeed in a good many cases those relationships have formed with natives who harbour similar prejudices against their own group, and the relationship itself has become part of a process of estrangement from that group.

      Well, I can see this happening with religious cultures more than anything. But JD, this is taking us far away from what I was actually talking about, which is OUR wives and children.

      It’s a very simple thing to ask whether our wives are estranged from Finnish culture. I can tell you now that my wife is VERY Finnish and happily and deeply embedded in that Finnish identity. I think the same can be said of Enrique’s wife, having met her. How about yours?

      You seem to be moving us further and further away from the context in which I originally spoke and the original argument that I made – which is that we are married to Finns, have Finnish children and Finnish friends. And we don’t do this because our wives are estranged from Finnish cultures, or are outsiders. And we don’t have these relationships in spite of prejudices against Finns. And on that basis, our families are clear evidence that we do not hold Finland in contempt, which is an accusation I’ve heard far too often on this blog.

      JD, I asked you to provide studies, but you’ve only made further rather vague arguments that have very little relevance to our circumstances and the context in which I made my comments. You should understand that more than anyone.

      I was NOT offering a catch-all statement on the exact nature of prejudice and inter-ethnic/inter-cultural relations. So why take my comments so far out of context and then complain that they were ‘unclear’? I’m still confused as to why you didn’t just stop for a second and ask yourself, is there any basic sense in what Mark is saying. It’s a bit tiresome if even quite normal statements have to be moulded and massaged to cater for every passing sociologist. Moreover, being made to justify one’s ‘normality’ is a function of destabilised power relations – in other words, when people respect each other, they work reasonably hard to understand each other and not go out of one’s way to redefine the context of the other’s words in such a way that the other person is forced to put a host of qualifications on the end of quite ordinary sentences. You get my drift?

      It is far too facile to assume that there is no significant colour prejudice in Finland simply because Lola Odusoga and Sara Chafak have captured the Miss Finland crown.

      Well yes, it would be facile. Are you suggesting my arguments are equally facile?

  16. elmeri

    Mark

    Well, this is weird.

    Tessieri writes insulting things, makes nasty unfounded claims about people, constantly provoking, doesn’t give arguments, doesn’t respond, doesn’t explain…and you write like it’s ME, who should apologize.

    Maybe it’s time for me to leave this site.

    You can freely continue to mislead your readers.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      Tessieri writes insulting things, makes nasty unfounded claims about people, constantly provoking, doesn’t give arguments, doesn’t respond, doesn’t explain…and you write like it’s ME, who should apologize.

      Good to see you finally back-tracking on the ‘lies’ claim. And the ‘nasty’ unfounded claims you mention are well supported by the ‘nasty racist comments’ that these individuals have put on public record. And when someone comes on here trolling and calling us liars, then I’m really not surprised that Enrique doesn’t bother to engage you.

      Apology accepted. 🙂

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi Elmeri, why is this such an issue? Why do you get so keyed off about a comment like “How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees if you were one?” Any sensible person understands that this is a valid question. Most people in Finland are sensible and understand this because most of them have at least one relative who was a migrant. Those who are anti-immigration and spread urban tales about migrants and our cultural diversity, act as if they’ve never known that over 1.2 million migrants left this country in 1860-1999 and that we resettled as refugees 420,000 Karelians.

      That was my point.

  17. elmeri

    Ok, seems like you don’t want me to leave this site.

    I mean, it is really unfair, when I say I leave and you continue to attack me.

    “And the ‘nasty’ unfounded claims you mention are well supported by the ‘nasty racist comments’ ”

    No they are not supported. You cannot justify your unfounded claims by saying others are doing it also.

    I am not trolling, this site really would benefit from somebody like me to point out your “laziness”, the parts of text, where you fail to be objective and truthful, and even correct your misreadings of source texts. Because YOU, Mark and JD are not doing it, well enough anyway. The problem is, of course, Tessieri, who is sloppy, who really hasn’t got a balanced view of the immigration situation in Finland, and who seems to be unable to question his own prejudices – and doesn’t listen or learn from the valid criticism of the commentators.

    Why you only focus on the word: lie. You are making claims, that you don’t know, if they’re true, and you are presenting them, like they’re facts, and because you don’t give any arguments, you make it look like it’s even common knowledge. You are being DISHONEST. Being dishonest or lying, what’s the difference?

    And you are making claims and deliberately leaving out relevant information, so the reader gets the wrong view. Again dishonest.

    And I haven’t apologized.

    And not staying, because it is pointless. You have showed me, that you are not going to change, you are not going to improve, you are just going to continue writing the same rubbish. Another commentator here said propaganda, he was right. This is nothing more than propaganda. As I’ve said before, I demand more from the blogs I follow.

    • Mark

      Elmeri

      No they are not supported. You cannot justify your unfounded claims by saying others are doing it also.

      Hmm…this is rather confusing for me. In your previous posts you have been referring specifically to Halla-aho suing this website as well as Soini and PS. So when you say that I imply ‘others’, this is not the case. I refer directly to the publicly published comments of Jussi and of PS politicians, for whom Soini is responsible. The consistent complaint on this website against Soini is that he does nowhere near enough to set a standard, and in fact has gone back on promises to kick out anyone convicted of ‘racist’ crimes. So, yes, they are supported, and you can read the nasty comments on the blog already mentioned for yourself.

      I mean, it is really unfair, when I say I leave and you continue to attack me.

      So you want the last word even though this is not your blog? 🙂

      I am not trolling, this site really would benefit from somebody like me to point out your “laziness”, the parts of text, where you fail to be objective and truthful, and even correct your misreadings of source texts. Because YOU, Mark and JD are not doing it, well enough anyway.

      How often have you visited this website? How many articles and comments have you read? Yet you still feel qualified to make such sweeping and condemnatory statements. You are a snide and sneaky individual for even pretending to know who we are or what we do. Look back through the comments – you will find I have suspended one of our previous editors and heavily criticised their generalisations and ‘laziness’ in reference to Finns. I’m sure Enrique won’t mind me mentioning that we also discussed your comments as an editorial issue and agreed to be more careful in our writings in future. The difference here is that I know Enrique very well and what his intentions and beliefs are about Finns and about extremist politics, which he has an awful lot of experience of, a lot more that you could probably ever hope to accumulate. That doesn’t make us immune from sloppy writing – but when you actually read the comments of PS politicians, follow their memberships of extremist organisations and their extremist and fascist political agenda’s, there really is very little room left for pretending that these are just slips of the tongue or misinterpretations by an over-zealous press. These are our conclusions after studying these matters for quite many years, and yet you read one story on here and you know it all, and you know all about us? What can I say – you are an idiot.

      And if you are not an idiot who needs to be put in their place, then you are troll, someone deliberately homing in on weaknesses in order to undermine the criticisms that we are making against PS and other extremist individuals. The thing is Elmeri, we know nothing about you or what you stand for, or who you stand for…so your motivation is totally an unknown. You say you are looking for ‘truth’ and ‘objectivity’ in blogs, and yet completely misunderstand the subjective nature of blog writing and ‘opinion’ pieces. This isn’t to diminish the need for integrity, but the standards by which you seem to judge us are journalistic, and that is just totally inappropriate.

      You are being DISHONEST.

      Okay, now you are banned. Warned many times. Completely unsubstantiated accusations and smears against us and completely ignoring the communication that we have been trying to have with you about those matters.

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