Healthy advice: Don’t flirt with racism, include don’t exclude, involve and we’ll learn to live together

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the matters one learns after answering thousands of comments on Migrant Tales and posting near daily on this humble site is the language and arguments used by anti-immigration groups, which are openly against a Finland that is international, multicultural and open. 

By multicultural I mean treating everyone in this country, irrespective of their background, with respect and equality.

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Those who are for “white power” can say it subtler terms like“we must find work for all of our jobless before we can think about migration.” In plain English it’s known as white privilege.

A common argument used by the anti-immigration camp in Finland, even by well-intentioned socialists, is that “we must find work for all of our jobless before we can think about migration,” or we can only think about migration “when matters for ethnic Finns are optimal.”

If we expose the red herring and decipher the code behind these arguments, the following dangerous message emerges: We don’t want any migration. We are against multiculturalism, cultural diversity and our global integration.

Apart from being a subtle yet dangerous declaration of war against migrants and minorities in Finland, it leaves is with the following critical questions:

  • What about those that live here, pay taxes and who aren’t white Finnish-speaking Finns? Do they have to wait for full employment before their situation improves?
  • Do you accept discrimination as an effective means to guarantee “that all white Finnish-speaking Finns will be employed?”
  • Are you denying who you are, your identity and history if  over 1.2 million people emigrated from Finland between 1860 and 1999?
  • Have you forgotten the suffering of refugees if we had 420,000 of them from Karelia after the last war?
  • Is the United States’ Civil Rights Movement (1955-68) an answer?

Don’t be fooled by the “we must employ ethnic Finns first” argument because such advocates believe in your social exclusion and keeping you, your children and grandchildren as a second- or third-class citizen in this society indefinitely. By denying you a rightful identity other than “migrant” or “person with migrant background,” is a dead giveaway of your social exclusion and unequal place in this society.

It’s crucially important that present and future generations of Finns, irrespective of their ethnic background, learn from an early age that all forms of intolerance is a threat to our values. There’s nothing Nordic or “patriotic” about being racist and socially excluding others.

What is our goal? To be treated with respect and as equal members of society. This is the best insurance of the survival of our Nordic welfare state. Bring in intolerance and you’ll destroy what took so long to build.

I believe in this country and its ability to tackle anti-Nordic welfare state values like social exclusion and racism. But if push comes to shove, we shouldn’t hesitate for one second to use every democratic means at our disposal to drive home our point. And that is what we are doing or should be doing at this moment.

Invovle everyone but especially those who are socially excluded and especially vulnerable.

  1. PS voter

    I hope you do realize that free movement and social security are incompatible. Social security costs a lot of money with current unemployment level and if we let in anybody who wants to come, it there is no way to pay social security for the enormous number of unemployed persons. It will lead to collapse of social security system and also cause huge drop for wage levels as the country is then filled with desperate persons looking for any job they can get to survive.

    As Nobel laureate Milton Friedman said, you cannot have open immigration and a welfare state. His promoted illegal immigration and opposed welfare state and legal immigration, because illegal immigrants are much cheaper workforce than legal workforce, because of their illegal status.

    What kind of improvement are you talking about when you talk about persons who “live here, pay taxes and who aren’t white Finnish-speaking Finns”? I don’t think they need to immigrate here, as they are already living here and they don’t necessarily need new jobs either.

    What do the persons who have emigrated from Finland has to do with this? If some other countries found them useful workforce, that’s fine. However, I fail to see how this would obligate us to take here even persons who we cannot realistically employ and all the problems what it would cause.

    Usually persons who point out high unemployment levels in Finland as a reason to oppose many forms of immigration, aren’t concerned only about the high unemployment levels of white Finnish-speaking Finns, but also about the even higher unemployment levels of persons with immigrant background. Both of these groups would be harmed by free immigration. And only taking the kind of new immigrants that are likely to get a job, is the best way to prevent social problems which often continue in the next generations.

    And I find it intellectually dishonest to mix multiculturalist ideology with this same issue the way you do, especially as you mix white power and other straw mans. While I and many immigration critics oppose ideological multiculturalism (that is, we feel that integration is in many ways much better working choice than multiculturalism, which just tends to sustain many problems from generation to generation, cause social tensions and other problems), it is separate issue. Integration instead of multiculturalism is the best way of having equally successful citizens in the coming generations. Good example are the Roma in Finland. Those that integrated and had marriages with other Finns, are now inseparable from other Finns and they are successful, those Roma that just kept among themselves have generally fared much worse.

    I would like to remind you that for example Nuiva vaalimanifesti emphasized that we aren’t against all kinds of immigration (see “Ei maahanmuttoa vastaan vaan paremman maahanmuuton puolesta”=”Not against immigration but for better immigration”). We support the kind of immigration where the person integrates to Finnish society and is able to support himself with work.

    And I must wonder why you time after time, write like immigration critics would typically be against other races, when I have pointed out that typically this is not the case. Are you afraid that open-minded immigrants and other persons might otherwise choose to vote immigration critics on elections? I have voted Perussuomalaiset in elections, but I have also voted immigrants on elections, including black Somalian and other person who has a Muslim background. Even my best friend with whom I have lived years is an immigrant with a Muslim background, several immigrants of Muslim background have asked me to be their boyfriend, I have been named the closest family member in documents by immigrants of Muslim background. Juho Eerola, immigration critic who is now a candidate in the European Parliament elections, has married a black woman and has mixed-race child. Junes Lokka, a Moroccan-born immigration critic who is not a candidate in the European Parliament elections, was probably the first one of non-Somalian Finnish politicians who had Somalian election video (Oras Tynkkynen did the same much later).

    BTW, I saw recently a news from South-Korea. It seemed that South-Koreans opposed the unification of North-Korea and South-Korea if it would cost more than about 35 euros a year per citizen. Although they speak the same language and have the same ethnic background, there is limit how much we are willing to give distant strangers.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      PS Voter, if you go to any country and study its intolerance, one matter you’ll find in everyone of them: prejudice is huge and urban tales about “Others” are greatly exaggerated. As a scary example, look at the lies that Nazi Germany fabricated to fuel hatred of Jews and other minorities like the Roma. Look at the United States and its relationship with blacks and slavery. A good way to socially exclude others is to fabricate lies that fuel prejudice. As Malcolm X pointed out, these lies are even taken on board by the victims, who start to hate themselves because they are different from the majority population.

      The Nuiva Manifesto could never work in Finland because it hinges on assimilation, not integration. It strengthens white or ethnic Finnish privilege.

    • JusticeDemon

      PS voter

      We support the kind of immigration where the person integrates to Finnish society and is able to support himself with work.

      Does any political party oppose this ideal? Any fool can say “we support favourable outcomes”. What matters is how you achieve them. The racism of your party is exposed immediately when you try to explain precisely which new arrivals you “support”. You have absolutely no way of knowing in advance which individual immigrants will succeed in these terms. All that you have ever offered is stereotyping of individuals based on race or on race-related indicators.

      …if we let in anybody who wants to come

      Which political party has proposed this? Perhaps you have no idea what you are talking about when you barrack Enrique for presenting a straw man argument.

      It would appear that you are hoping that the electorate knows even less than you about the immigration system and will buy this ignorant rubbish about how easy it is for a foreigner to get permission to remain in Finland.

    • PS voter

      PS Voter, if you go to any country and study its intolerance, one matter you’ll find in everyone of them: prejudice is huge and urban tales about “Others” are greatly exaggerated.

      Unless you are referring to Perussuomalaiset or immigration critics by “Others”, what does this has to do with my message? As far as I remember, I told very little tales or properties about any other group.

      The Nuiva Manifesto could never work in Finland because it hinges on assimilation, not integration.

      What you say, makes me question if you have even read the Nuiva vaalimanifesti. Where exactly, in the Nuiva vaalimanifesti, does it say or even hint that it hinges on assimilation? Or perhaps you are using some radically different type of definition for assimilation than I am using.

      BTW, what is wrong in assimilation? Isn’t it the most ideal situation? The opposite of assimilation is segregation, which includes things like multiculturalism and, separating persons to us and them, segregation in school, laws against interracial marriage etc.

      BTW2, why don’t you answer the clear questions that are made to you, but instead answer diverting the questions with some red herrings?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –I would like to remind you that for example Nuiva vaalimanifesti emphasized that we aren’t against all kinds of immigration (see “Ei maahanmuttoa vastaan vaan paremman maahanmuuton puolesta”=”Not against immigration but for better immigration”). We support the kind of immigration where the person integrates to Finnish society and is able to support himself with work.

      If you want an answer to this, check out: http://www.migranttales.net/sleeping-beauty-and-prince-charming-the-super-immigrant/

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –And I must wonder why you time after time, write like immigration critics would typically be against other races, when I have pointed out that typically this is not the case. Are you afraid that open-minded immigrants and other persons might otherwise choose to vote immigration critics on elections?

      The more of these types of politicians that get into parliament, the more harm you’ll do to Finland. Look at the demographics and ask why we have these problems. It’s because our prejudice has led us to the present situation. And about the PS being the only anti-immigration party in parliament…well in all Finnish parties you’ll find such politicians.

  2. PS voter

    Does any political party oppose this ideal?

    Probably not, but some politicians and immigration activists seem to be willing to remove more or less all laws that limit the immigration to Finland and would not like the laws against illegal immigration to be uphold and instead of policing, want to have free services available for immigrants who are illegally in the country.

    You have absolutely no way of knowing in advance which individual immigrants will succeed in these terms. All that you have ever offered is stereotyping of individuals based on race or on race-related indicators.

    That is nonsense. There are many ways of estimating how well a person would succeed here. For example. if the person is about 50 years old illiterate person, it is quite unlikely that the person will ever be able be a productive member of the society, especially if we calculate the costs and benefits for the whole time the person lives in Finland.

    However, if the person is about 25 years old M.Sci., on a field where the are plenty of free jobs available and has fluent English language skills, then is much more likely that the person may be a productive member of our society. Many countries have immigration point systems, which are based of this kind of estimations.

    And of course, one of the best ways of getting successful result is letting in only people who already have job waiting for them.

    • JusticeDemon

      PS voter

      Probably not, but some politicians and immigration activists seem to be willing…

      Which specific politicians? Are those specific politicians representing the views of their political parties? You say that they “seem to be willing”. Does this mean that you are merely interpreting and inferring views that have not been explicitly stated? Would those politicians endorse your inferences?

      It sounds to me like you are blowing smoke here. Why don’t you identify some of these straw men?

      For example. if the person is about 50 years old illiterate person…

      Arriving as a migrant worker hired by an employer in Finland? As a student enrolled in a Finnish university? Do you know any such cases? What gives you the impression that such an individual would be granted leave to remain anyway? On what grounds and for what purpose? How, exactly, would you change the Aliens Act to close this alleged loophole?

      Again you are pontificating on a subject of which you have no knowledge whatsoever. You value literacy but have not taken the trouble to read the 1997 report of the Immigration and Refugee Policy Commission.

      And of course, one of the best ways of getting successful result is letting in only people who already have job waiting for them.

      Well we can see how this would exclude all international students and the foreign spouses and children of people who live permanently in Finland. It would obviously stop former Finnish citizens and their descendants from returning. It would even prevent expatriate Finns from returning after they lost their employment abroad. However it’s not so obvious why you describe such a policy as “one of the best ways of getting successful result”.

      This just looks like the kind of policy proposal that should have been left on the back of the beer mat at closing time.

      It’s interesting that you highlight the value of fluency in English, as individuals with this particular skill have the absolutely worst record of long-term social integration. Show me someone who has lived in Finland for 20 years and still can’t manage everyday transactions in Finnish or Swedish, and I’ll show you an English speaker.

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