Exposing Finnish white privilege #60: Oulu, OULU! Awaken and sniff the racist coffee.

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Apart from the minors who were the victims of Oulu, other casualties are Finland’s migrant community and especially Muslim asylum seekers and refugees.

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland

If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed.

Paulo Freire

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED

The hysteria generated by the sexual assault cases of minors in Oulu is a reminder of Finland’s issues with racism. The clarion call to hostility by the Oulu police, politicians, the media and public is disproportionate: A whole system many times more powerful is bullying groups of people who are vulnerable and much smaller.

What we are seeing in Finland today in light of Oulu is white racist Finnish privilege at its hostile worse. That knee-jerk reaction is taking us to dangerous waters. What is the endgame of the labelling and victimization Muslims and migrants? Is it more violence and social exclusion?

Even before anyone is brought to trial, even before we have discussed thoroughly the causes and solutions of a social problem like sexual assault, state-run Yle, which represents and are our faint voice in Finland, is at it again with a new story victimizing migrants, especially Muslims.

The story’s headline is provocative: “We investigated why visits to childcare centers and schools were seen as a threat and other reasons as well.”

By the way, not one migrant or minority was cited in the story.


 

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

The picture of a child on a swing in the story is in equally poor journalistic taste.

The aim of the story? To justify the  ban  even if the police does not see any dangers in such visits.

If I were writing the story I would ask the following questions:

  • Why didn’t the City of Oulu ever release a statement on the ban?
  • Did the City of Oulu ever send to Vuolle Setlementti, an association that organizes visits by asylum seekers, an order halting these types of visits to schools and daycare centers?
  • Is the ban discriminatory?
  • Is everything intentionally unclear because of concerns by the the city that the ban could get Oulu into legal trouble with Section 6 of the Constitution, which guarantees that we are equal before the law?
  • When the City of Oulu speaks of asylum seekers, does it really mean Muslims?
  • Why are we listening to far-right extremists like Junes Lokka and Tiina Wiik who have a clear Islamophobic agenda?
  • Why are we only obsessed on blaming asylum seekers for the sexual assault crimes?

White Finnish privilege #60

Power and privilege are intoxicating and in the case of Oulu even blinding where you even risk turning from a Dr Jekyll to a racist Mr Hyde.

The actions and handling of the sexual assault cases of Oulu by the police, certain politicians, political parties, and the media prove their level of intoxication and opportunism.

Fortunately, there is such a thing called history that allows us to revisit the past and reflect on what we did and said.

I am certain that Oulu will stick out as one of many shameless examples of our collective racism inspired and upheld by our white Finnish privilege.

See also:

  1. tiina

    Could you explain, what exactly is wrong with the story to you? Racist content? What!? It provides answers to questions, that have been brought up in the social media.

    “The story’s headline is provocative: “We investigated why visits to childcare centers and schools were seen as a threat and other reasons as well.””

    No, it’s not provocative. I would translate it:

    We investigated why visits to childcare centers and schools were seen as a threat in Oulu and what were those (=the visits) all about.

    picture of a child on a swing poor journalistic taste? Why? This story is about child care centers.

    Here’s my answers to you questions. Based on the story.

    “Why didn’t the City of Oulu ever release a statement on the ban?”

    No need. It’s not actually a ban. Read the next answer.

    “Did the City of Oulu ever send to Vuolle Setlementti, an association that organizes visits by asylum seekers, an order halting these types of visits to schools and daycare centers?”

    This works opposite than that. They (Vuolle) receive permission to visit and this year they haven’t got it (yet).

    “Is the ban discriminatory?”

    As you know, because you wrote about it, non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi Pimiä has said it is not. I have born here in Finland, and I don’t have a right to just go to a child care center and watch what the children are doing there. I need a reason and must ask for a permission. Children get disturbed if there are strange people coming and going. There are special days, when everyone can come: “avoimien ovien päivä”

    “Is everything intentionally unclear…”

    No, it is not unclear at least after the Yle’s story.

    “When the City of Oulu speaks of asylum seekers, does it really mean Muslims?”

    No

    “Why are we listening to far-right extremists like Junes Lokka and Tiina Wiik who have a clear Islamophobic agenda?”

    Who is we? There is no mention of these persons in Yle’s story? I’ve heard Junes Lokka mentioned somewhere, possibly on Rasmus discussions. Wiik is unknown to me even though we share the same first name.

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