How to challenge a social ill like racism in Finland

by , under Enrique

The rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in last year’s elections is not the most incriminating proof that racism is an issue in this country, but official denials that such a problem exists at all in Finland. What must we do as a society to effectively challenge such a social ill?

Denials by groups like the police that ethnic profiling ever takes place in Finland are highly revealing. The icing on the cake of ethnic profiling was given in April by Christian Democrat (KD)  Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, who approved spot checks of foreigners by the police since they are an effective way to clamp down on undocumented immigrants.

Finnish children were taught at schools that “n”stands for the n-word and that such people like to eat bananas. Schools have been an important breeding ground for racism in Finland. Source: Ydinjate.org.

No matter how much we want to deny that racism isn’t an issue in our society and  sweep the problem under the rug, knowing who is denying it reveals a lot about the extent of the issue. Why would a white Finn see racism as an immediate threat? Why would a black person differ in opinion?

While justifying spot checks of foreigners, Räsänen gives us a glimpse of  her colorblind racism:  “The vast majority of foreigners look just like the natives, so it’s not even a very sensible way to supervise aliens.”

The question we should ask her after such a statement is what about those that don’t look like white Finns.

The views of an important public figure like Räsänen reveal how seriously the authorities treat, or how their prejudices fuel, an issue like racism. True, they may see it as a problem but they won’t invest a lot of resources to tackle it.

In many respects, anti-racism legislation should be seen in the same light as the role that anti-trust regulation plays in the business community. The lack of competition in Finland is one factor that fuels inefficiency and abuse by certain businesses.  It explains, in part, why Finland is the most expensive country in the eurozone.

In the same way, racism is abuse by a stronger group over weaker ones.

What should we do about tackling racism in Finland?

The best thing we can do is acknowledge the problem and challenge it. The first crucial step must come from the immigrant and visible minority community, which will not accept living in a society where racism and abuse are the rule. Their motive for raising their voices will be to make Finland a better place to live for their children and future generations.

Taking into account that we need skilled labor in this country to replace our ever-growing army of pensioners, accepting the status quo and being hostile to certain immigrant groups is like shooting ourselves in the leg.

The most important matter to keep in mind is that our reaction to racism must be first and foremost a reaction.

 

 

 

  1. Jssk

    So, what can realistically be done to prevent racism? Are you suggesting to ban ignorance? The best way would be to talk about things as they are. I dont see “neekeri” as a racist word, as its derived from “negro” which means black. And no, this is not just a finnish school system thing. People commonly refer to blacks using the word neekeri.

    Its stupid to say we have no racism problem but its also stupid to exaggerate it and mix it with matters that are not related to it, like the school system. I dont believe in the indoctrination of kids.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –So, what can realistically be done to prevent racism? Are you suggesting to ban ignorance? The best way would be to talk about things as they are. I dont see “neekeri” as a racist word, as its derived from “negro” which means black.

      We’ll never be able to ban ignorance but we can have strong laws against racism and prejudice. Important as well is public opinion.

      If you are white, is it really your call about whether the n-word is offensive or not? One of the things we have to learn when living in a culturally diverse society is mutual respect. That means that we are sensitive to what other groups may consider offensive.

      In the United States blacks were called Negroes; in Argentina Amerindians were called “Indians,” in Finland the Saami were once called “Lapps” like the Romany minority, Gypsies.

      Things change.

    • D4R

      Jssk: . I dont see “neekeri” as a racist word, as its derived from “negro” which means black. And no, this is not just a finnish school system thing. People commonly refer to blacks using the word neekeri

      Well you don’t see neekeri as racist but i sure do and others who happen to be africans or african mixed. You’re white so it doesn’t effects you at all, i suggest to not sperak of stuff like this it just makes me angry because when i was a child people like you used to tease me and offend me with neekeri day and night and you dare to come here and tell us that it’s harmless word? what about it’s history, have you studied it? do you know how much negativity is related to that word? think before you come and puke here because you don’t know what you’re saying.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Jssk doesm’t get it. He stll thinks that only white Finns live in this country and everything neste to their tune. Thank you for clearing this up, D4R.

    • Drudkh

      I’m interested to know how you view the Aryo-Finnic deconstruction ideology/process (with the emphasis on deconstruction in my humble opinion) of the late 19th century/early 20th century that was often discussed on a rhetorical basis but never implemented in a real world setting.
      Do you think this was the beginning of a move away from Aryo-Finnicism towards a more esoteric form of deconstructed identity based Nationalism/tribalist progression?
      It’s a very interesting and important subject for discussion I think. After all anyone who doesn’t know this part of Finnish history surely has an incomplete perspective on the whole issue of Aryo-Finnicism in general.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Drudkh, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Have you read Rolf Nodenstreng’s stuff? Yes, we are quite aware of nineteenth century evolutionism and how it molded European views on “race.” They are all funny social constructs based on colonialism and racism. Certainly we had World War I that caused European evolutionist views to be cut off from the legs.

      Usually when Finns start speaking of themselves as a “tribe,” they begin to flirt with racism.

      Could you give us your views on this topic? We’d be interested in hearing them.

  2. Joonas

    I believe that it is hard to tell how big of a problem racism is in Finland and therefore the strong actions against it can’t be taken. If people find other issues more important than racism, that is usually more discussed in public and revising steps might be taken. But if racism only affects something like 0,5% of the population, it might not be the priority one.

    From individual perspective racism might feel like the biggest problem this country is facing, but in a bigger scale it doesn’t affect many people’s life in this country. When/if immigration population grows, racism will (most likely) be discussed more and also politicians are doing something to prevent/fix the problem.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –From individual perspective racism might feel like the biggest problem this country is facing, but in a bigger scale it doesn’t affect many people’s life in this country.

      What you say may be right but we should see racism as a much wider social ill that affects our society. In it we could include “tolerance” (Finns and Swedes like this word. In English we say racism, prejudice, discrimination etc but in Finland and Sweden the term intolerance is used) of other minorities and groups starting from gender equality, gay rights, etc.

      If a large minority in Finland has an issue with discrimination, prejudice, intolerance etc, it means that we can suffer bigger economic and social problems to our whole society. We need skilled workers, jobs, etc but we are intolerant of immigrants. If racism is a problem it means that we are not too inclusive/acceptant as a society. Do see my point?

  3. Mark

    Joonas

    You seem to apply an odd sense of proportionality to how racism should be viewed. Many things affect only a very small percentage of the population, but they enjoy support and protection. For example, someone with a rare disease will still be treated by doctors. There might only be one person every 20 years who would put a bomb in a supermarket, but one assumes that people rightly condemn it when it does happen and likewise require the police and other authorities to work hard to prevent it.

    Is racism like a bomb? It can have a devastating effect on the lives of individuals. That’s it. That’s all you need to know to realise that it should be taken seriously, no matter how rare.

    So while I accept up to a point that there are bigger problems in the world, this should not diminish our response to this problem in any way.

    Are we really in a situation where we are saying that even though there are laws against discrimination, we are not going to enforce them or take them seriously because this only affects a few foreigners?

    Why do we need to ‘make it a priority’ in order to take it seriously? This is not a question of priorities. And it should not be presented as one.

  4. Jssk

    We need skilled workers, jobs, etc but we are intolerant of immigrants. If racism is a problem it means that we are not too inclusive/acceptant as a society. Do see my point?

    Humanitarian immigration is not the way to get skilled workers or more jobs. For example, around 70% of somalians are unemployed. I dont believe prejudice prevents majority of these people from being employed.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Humanitarian immigration is not the way to get skilled workers or more jobs. For example, around 70% of somalians are unemployed. I dont believe prejudice prevents majority of these people from being employed.

      Are you certain about that? Wasn’t Albert Einstein a refugee fleeing Nazi Germany?

      What is humanitarian immigration? Does it mean that you guys aren’t refugees but we’ll allow you in anyway? Please explain.

      A refugee is a refugee, full stop. Don’t put political labels on these people.

    • Mark

      Jssk

      Your comments, as usual, are ill-informed. First, we should not see humanitarian immigration as a means to exploit foreign labour. The numbers that come to Finland in this respect are extremely small by international standards, and any carping over this is really just small-mindedness.

      Also, your 70% unemployment rate is hogwosh. Looking at the long-term picture of Somalis who have been in Finland 15+ years, and the employment rate is something like 58%, which is close to the Finnish 63% employment rate. So, take a moment to THINK about the statistics you are throwing around in such a way as to potray Somalis as somehow not capable of working.

      It really is tiresome seeing dickheads like you constantly spitting out the same old crap and being told time and again about your incompetencies, only to see you trot out the same old crap a few weeks later!! Get a life, you loser!

  5. Jssk

    We’ll never be able to ban ignorance but we can have strong laws against racism and prejudice. Important as well is public opinion.

    Then again, that kind of law would be very ambiguous. Prejudice is everywhere, and its pretty much normal. It depends on how a person applies it as i might have said earlier. Ignorant persons tend to heavily rely on prejudice.

    Some people take slurs more seriously, im pretty sure there is blacks who dont care about being called neekeri. I dont care about russian calling me chukhontsy in a non-insulting manner.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      I know times have changed but take a guess how many Europeans knew how to read and write when the emigrated to the Americas.

  6. Joonas

    Enrique and Mark: I do get your points. Racism should be taken seriously and this will probably improve over the time. Finland has already taken a huge step towards gay rights past 20 years and I think the last presidential election was a small proof of that.

    Racism and school/work bullying are very close to each others from my opinion, even they have some differences. But that racism is after all – bullying. Both of these actions might leave a scar for the people who are affected by them. Bullying is usually affected by a larger group and that’s why it interests more people.

    When I said that there are bigger problems, I didn’t say that racism should be ignored. However, what I have noticed people and politicians usually don’t care about the social issues before something bad happens… and even then they might blame the wrong people/things (for example, the school shootings). It’s not easy to make people proactive, if you know what I’m saying.

    Maybe this is a stupid idea, but I have been thinking about that media should have some kind of “foreigner/immigrant” month. The people (from all sides) could discuss about the foreigners lives in Finland, share the stories, talk about racism, how things could be improved etc. It might help the Finns to understand foreigners better and other way around. Of course, there might be some tension between different groups…

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Joonas, that’s the point: If our society is more tolerant and inclusive it’s a win-win situation for us. Our democratic and Nordic welfare state values are strengthened. It’s a win-win situation because its much cheaper for the taxpayer to include people rather than socially exclude them from society. The PS’ Suomen Sisu wing has an odd way of looking at things: It blames certain immigrant groups for not integrating but makes everything possible to create a political climate that excludes these groups.

      I like your “foreign/immigrant” month idea. As you know identity is a very personal thing. I would like to see a “foreign/immigrant” month where all of us, irrespective of our backgrounds, come together as a community. Anything that enforces inclusion, mutual acceptance and respect is good.

    • Mark

      Yep, interesting that you mention bullying in schools, because it’s getting a higher profile now in Finland, and it’s recognized as something that can have long-term effects well into adult life, affecting job prospects, well being and health of those affected.

      There are very few votes available in arguing against racism, but, ironically, a few to gain by arguing a half-disguised racist agenda. That is the fundamental reality and it isn’t going to change much, especially while immigrants are only a small portion of the population.

      However, the good thing about racists is that they tend to be rather thick and will usually shoot themselves in the foot given the opportunity. For a hardcore of support, that doesn’t matter, but in terms of gaining a real foothold in Finnish politics 20+%, then it’s unlikely they will ever sustain any credibility for long.

      Some kind of media attention on the issue would be good. Sadly, much of the media stories are themselves fairly one-dimensional. I cannot believe how when it comes to discussions of racism, the journalists rely heavily on portraying stereotypes and on not doing actual real research. Perhaps just better quality reporting, and not reactive superficial reporting would help the situation.

  7. D4R

    First off Räsänen and other politiians who don’t represent us should stay out of immigration policy because they don’t represent us not atleast the right way, they neglect our imporant issues. What we need is a person whom we trust and trully represent us in the right way. You’re right Ricky, the vicible minoritie should stop being such a cowards and raise their voice to tackle the racism that’s being aied at them, we will not remain silence we will raise our voice. Byw this picture disgusts me, what gives the right white Finns to call blacks ape? should they know that they’re descendant of black africans originally? so if we’re apes then they must be descendant from apes and thus makes them apes too. Stupid very very stupid.

  8. mmimimi

    First off Räsänen and other politiians who don’t represent us should stay out of immigration policy because they don’t represent us not atleast the right way, they neglect our imporant issues. What we need is a person whom we trust and trully represent us in the right way. You’re right Ricky, the vicible minoritie should stop being such a cowards and raise their voice to tackle the racism that’s being aied at them, we will not remain silence we will raise our voice. Byw this picture disgusts me, what gives the right white Finns to call blacks ape? should they know that they’re descendant of black africans originally? so if we’re apes then they must be descendant from apes and thus makes them apes too. Stupid very very stupid.

    c’mon. All people are descendants of apes. So what.

  9. D4R

    mmimimi: c’mon. All people are descendants of apes. So what.

    I think you should read my post carefully before you jump quick to answering. My point i try to make is those who call us africans apes should call themselve apes too since we’re all descendant from same species just as you confirm it right? anyways it’s a matter of believe if human species are originally from apes, it’s only a theory no solid proof, but anyway thats another subjet and ill leave it there.

    • Mark

      It’s a little more than ‘belief’ that’s behind the link between humans and other primates, D4R.

    • D4R

      You’re right Mark, believe is abit wrong word i chose, what i meant was it’s a theory at the end of the day because we’re not hundred percent sure if humans are trully descendant from apes but by the evidence of fossils that’s been found it sure does suggest evolution to have happened and im open to that.

  10. D4R

    Also, all creatures including Human species are originally from amebas, i don’t think we should call eachother amebas huh?

  11. Jssk

    Jssk doesm’t get it. He stll thinks that only white Finns live in this country and everything neste to their tune. Thank you for clearing this up, D4R.

    Youre making the same mistake i did, youre telling people what others think.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Jssk, so where does yout reticent attitude come from? Some Finns think that they don’t have to change or do anything since this “is their country.” By “their country” I mean white Finnish.

  12. Jssk

    Are you certain about that? Wasn’t Albert Einstein a refugee fleeing Nazi Germany?

    What is humanitarian immigration? Does it mean that you guys aren’t refugees but we’ll allow you in anyway? Please explain.

    What makes you think the “refugee” claim cant be exploited by some people? I dont think we should just allow everyone because they are “refugees”, Thats foolish. Also exceptions dont make the rule.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –What makes you think the “refugee” claim cant be exploited by some people? I dont think we should just allow everyone because they are “refugees”, Thats foolish. Also exceptions dont make the rule.

      Jssk, this claim is pretty revealing. Don’t worry, a great part of Finland’s refugee history in the last century was to make very few exceptions with respect to refugees. Look at Soviet refugees and ask yourself how many were actually granted political asylum.

    • JusticeDemon

      Jssk

      What makes you think the “refugee” claim cant be exploited by some people? I dont think we should just allow everyone because they are “refugees”, Thats foolish.

      This is why applications are examined individually on their merits, in accordance with rules that are set out in international law. If you would like to discuss these rules, then we can do so. Otherwise you are simply spouting malicious disinformation implying that Finland’s immigration officials and administrative courts are corrupt or not competent to apply those rules.

      But I’ll make this deal with you, Jssk. Finland should return people to any country to which you are willing to emigrate. If Somalia is such a safe place notwithstanding the weekly gunfight in the street, then you should be happy at the prospect of raising your children there. After all, Mogadishu is just like Turku with sunshine (̶i̶f̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶d̶i̶d̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶d̶e̶a̶l̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶m̶e̶l̶a̶n̶i̶n̶-̶e̶n̶r̶i̶c̶h̶e̶d̶ ̶n̶e̶i̶g̶h̶b̶o̶u̶r̶s̶)̶.

  13. Jssk

    Your comments, as usual, are ill-informed. First, we should not see humanitarian immigration as a means to exploit foreign labour. The numbers that come to Finland in this respect are extremely small by international standards, and any carping over this is really just small-mindedness.

    Yes, they are small compared to other west european countries where mass immigration actually causes problems.

    It really is tiresome seeing dickheads like you constantly spitting out the same old crap and being told time and again about your incompetencies, only to see you trot out the same old crap a few weeks later!! Get a life, you loser!

    Take it easy with the raging before your hemorrhoids burst. True, the somalians who have been the longest in Finland have decent employment rate. I hope the rest of somalians get employed aswell.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –mass immigration
      What is mass immigration. When does it become that?

  14. Mark

    True, the somalians who have been the longest in Finland have decent employment rate. I hope the rest of somalians get employed aswell.

    Well, if people give them a chance, they probably will!

    • D4R

      Well said Mark. Many Finns complain about Somalis but they tend to forget giving oppurtunity to Somalians to show and prove that they as well can integrate and contribute.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Sorry, mimimimi, I don’t get it. Mass immigration means to you immigration I don’t like. It’s the classical definition of multiculturalism used by the far right, right-wing populist groups. In other words, it is an immigration POLICY I don’t like.

    • D4R

      it seems that mass immigration becomes problem to you once they’re colored people, but for instance if mass immigration comes from Russia or Estonia you have no problem with that. I think there are concern about mass immigration in certain Finns and i can understand that, but what i suspect is alot of Finns who cry about mass immigration are racist, that’s why many of them give a vote to a racist party like P.S.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      You hit it right on the nail, D4R. “Mass” immigration for the anti-immigration crowd means too many Muslims and non-EU citizens. Adjectives like “mass, uncontrolled and enrichment” are dead giveaways of anti-immigration groups.

  15. mmimimi

    well, I did not check the author of Wikipedia, wether it was far right or low left.

    However, all information is provided in the link as far as I am concearned it is sufficient.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      mmimimi, do you agree? In other words, if white Europeans with high-professional skills came to Finland, would you claim that that is “mass” immigration? Probably not.

    • JusticeDemon

      mmimimi

      Your Wikipedia link refers to the voluntary transatlantic migration of European peasants and labourers to the Americas, the transatlantic slave trade and the California Gold Rush as examples of mass migration. There is not a whisper of the very specific migration category to northern Europe from Somalia, Iran and Iraq that you mention, nor is this a uniform population movement, except in the warped minds of racist propagandists seeking to argue for some Eurabia conspiracy theory. Population displacement from Somalia in particular is due to a civil war.

      The largest immigrant group in Finland comprises speakers of Russian from the Leningrad region, but oddly you do not describe this as mass immigration. Why is that?

  16. mmimimi

    Should Finland accomodate all Balcans as well due to their civil war?

    What about the potential civil war in Greece, should Finland accomodate all Greeqs in Finland?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Should Finland accomodate all Balcans as well due to their civil war?

      mmimimi, what do you think is wrong with your affirmation? Right, the term “all.” Have you ever had refugees in your family? Immigrants?

    • JusticeDemon

      Should Finland accomodate all Balcans as well due to their civil war?

      Finland did indeed receive a considerable number of people displaced by the war in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. So many and so rapidly, in fact, that the Finnish Parliament enacted a special law to tackle the situation. This law took effect in January 1993. It authorised local police stations to issue residence permits to citizens of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia on pressing humanitarian grounds.

      A quick look at the Stat.fi language statistics indicates that there were only 73 native speakers of Balkan languages (Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, Serbo-Croat) in Finland in 1991. Within ten years this number had risen to more than 6,500, including an increase of nearly 2,000 in 1993 alone. This increase was directly related to the civil war and its aftermath, and more than 75 per cent of the increase comprised Albanian speakers from Kosovo. There are currently nearly 11,300 native speakers of these languages living in Finland, two-thirds of whom are speakers of Albanian.

      Your remark about “all Balkans” is either fascist scaremongering or a display of immense ignorance. If you knew any humanitarian immigrants, then you would also know that Finland is never the first choice destination of displaced individuals.

      The same Stat.fi statistics indicate that there are now more than four times as many native speakers of Russian (58,331) as there are native speakers of Somali (14,045) living in Finland. That you should choose to refer to Somalis disparagingly in the context of alleged “mass immigration” while not even mentioning Russians is very clear evidence of your racism. Native speakers of Somali comprised only 0.24 per cent of the population of Finland in 2010 after 20 years of civil war in Somalia. Well over half of these Somali speakers were born in Finland.

      If the roof of your house leaked at that rate, then you would easily pass your damp and timber survey.

    • Mark

      Disgusting and racist, in my view. Typical of Finnish police though. They really haven’t a bloody clue about race relations.

    • JusticeDemon

      An unfortunate overgeneralisation, especially when taken out of context.

      The general context is that at least three robberies occurred in the East Uusimaa region on Sunday and Monday with striking similarities in terms of the profile of the victims, suspects and modus operandi. The victims were all elderly and evidently infirm, items of jewellery were snatched in each case and the perpetrators were perceived by the victims as two foreign women. The incidents all occurred outdoors in public or semi-public places: two in public parks in Porvoo and one in the grounds of a care home in Askola, about 15 miles away.

      The police inspector investigating these offences is concerned at their potentially tragic unintended consequences, and the remark is primarily addressed to any bystanders who might be in a position to intervene when they occur.

      Given the specific character of these offences, I’m not really sure how I would rephrase the police inspector’s warning. Any ideas, Mark?

    • Mark

      TP1

      You really start to piss me off. You come here making provocative statements just to get a rise, not to have a proper dialogue about these issues. Why do you bother? You know what a troll is and you are behaving exactly like a troll!

      Now that JusticeDemon was kind enough to provide some proper context, we can at least appreciate what the police were trying to do, but I will again say that the police are showing a gross lack of understanding about race relations and how to effectively deal with issues of nationality in performing their duty to serve all the citizens of Finland. The police have a duty to avoid creating generalisations that feed racist, xenophobic or discriminatory stereotypes, especially when crime statistics are being used in the way they are to denigrate immigrants.

      Point 1. If the elderly ladies have identified the perpertrators as foreign, then we can assume there must have been identifying features, i.e. language, appearance or both. Assuming that these features are consistent between the crimes, then some mention of these specific details would be appropriate.

      However, without actually giving any details and simply referring to ‘foreigners’ is a gross failure of their responsibilities. The public do not need to be told to be ‘suspicious’ or ‘on the lookout’ for foreigners attempting to con old ladies. All they need is any description that is available and if necessary, a general warning to the public to be aware that these several crimes of this nature have taken place in a localised area with similar features. The public are quite capable of taking that information and making the best use of it. They do not need to be told to be on the lookout for ‘suspicious foreigners’, with no other information whatsoever. That kind of pointless and vague description only feeds into the notion that foreigners are criminals. And if the police are not aware of this stereotype doing the rounds non-stop among the Finnish public, then they seriously need lessons in race relations – FAST!

  17. Iam

    Hi MT, Mark, all
    Hi Tp,
    “If you see suspicious foreigners around elder people you should go and check what is the situation
    Haaa ha haaa
    What about suspicious police?
    What a foreigner should do if he, she see a racist police around her, hisself???
    Or a suspicious Finn around ???
    What is suspicious means in Finnish dictionary???
    Kind of color or food LOL
    Peace to Finland

    • JusticeDemon

      The term epämääräinen is probably best rendered “suspicious” here, but in the mildest sense. “Incongruous” would be a close second choice. More generally, we would say that “something untoward” is happening in the overall circumstances.

  18. mmimimi

    Finland did indeed receive a considerable number of people displaced by the war in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. So many and so rapidly, in fact, that the Finnish Parliament enacted a special law to tackle the situation. This law took effect in January 1993. It authorised local police stations to issue residence permits to citizens of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia on pressing humanitarian grounds.

    A quick look at the Stat.fi language statistics indicates that there were only 73 native speakers of Balkan languages (Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, Serbo-Croat) in Finland in 1991. Within ten years this number had risen to more than 6,500, including an increase of nearly 2,000 in 1993 alone. This increase was directly related to the civil war and its aftermath, and more than 75 per cent of the increase comprised Albanian speakers from Kosovo. There are currently nearly 11,300 native speakers of these languages living in Finland, two-thirds of whom are speakers of Albanian.

    Your remark about “all Balkans” is either fascist scaremongering or a display of immense ignorance. If you knew any humanitarian immigrants, then you would also know that Finland is never the first choice destination of displaced individuals.

    The same Stat.fi statistics indicate that there are now more than four times as many native speakers of Russian (58,331) as there are native speakers of Somali (14,045) living in Finland. That you should choose to refer to Somalis disparagingly in the context of alleged “mass immigration” while not even mentioning Russians is very clear evidence of your racism. Native speakers of Somali comprised only 0.24 per cent of the population of Finland in 2010 after 20 years of civil war in Somalia. Well over half of these Somali speakers were born in Finland.

    If the roof of your house leaked at that rate, then you would easily pass your damp and timber survey.

    I in fact know a Kosovo guy, a guy who had lived in Germany but chose Finland as his second destination as he wanted to get closer to his sister living in Finland. I know (mainly by the look) many humanitarians from Africa, though they all come from different countries as a part of the 750 quota that Finland takes in by UN-agreement.

    I take for granted you have never heard what glasnost nor what perestroika are. I have a better idea than you of what it is. I have a dozen of friends who studied or worked in St. Petersburg. The night life in the city is something you and most of the Finns can only dream about. However, it doesn’t make me wanting all Russians living in Finland. They are not the most hard working nation nor that I fancy too big presence of the greatest mobs in the world by representatives either from Russia or indeed also Albania.

    You still have not tried to respond if all civil wars should give the right for people to live in Finland? Should we retro-actively start to fling in northern-irish people into Finland?

    If you take in one individual from one country on that basis I guess you have to accomodate a whole nation, right?

    • JusticeDemon

      mmimimi

      It’s interesting that you should mention the Gorbachev era in this context. During the unstable USSR political situation in August 1991 there was a considerable debate in Finland over how we might manage a potential influx of displaced persons from that region. It was an axiom of that discussion that Finland would not return people to a war zone, regardless of the numbers involved.

      Your perception of Russians is about as accurate as the opinion of your counterpart huoltoaseman roskaväki in Sweden regarding itärikollisuus from Finland in the 1970s. Even so, it’s interesting that you bang on about Somalis when there are four times as many recent immigrants from Russia. It would seem that work shy criminals are more acceptable to you if they have the right cutaneous melanin density.

      Given that you cannot send displaced human beings to a war zone (if you disagree on this point, then we must seriously examine your fundamental moral compass), and that no other country has an obligation in international law to accept such people after they have already reached Finland, what precisely is your practical solution to this kind of population displacement when it affects Finland?

      Our current policy is to recognise the facts of the situation and seek to make the most of the additional human resources that it provides. In other words, to treat displaced persons as immigrants and invest in helping them to realise their productive and human potential. The alternative is to exclude them from society and meet the costs of their support in full while accepting that there will never be any returns on that investment in the first or subsequent generations. If you advocate the second, far more costly approach, then as a taxpayer I really would like to know how you justify the additional expense. If your only justification is that you are suffering from xenophobia, then I submit that it would be more cost-effective to invest in treating your disorder.

  19. mmimimi

    cool, you forgot to read the Geneva convention. What does it say about a war zone? Is Finland a war zone near Somalia?

    TO certain extent Finland and other countries can make an exception in that regard. That regard has passed 15 years ago, the past ten-year migration from Somalia has been a social migration.

    Somali family-unifications stopped after the requester was asked of an income. An income that has always been asked for Finns. Apparently the money is up and soon we will all have to face the consequenzes of this. Of course the weakest will be the most exposed or will it be ”racism” again?

    Worth remembering, the utopia you are representing is not only disadvantagous for Finns but also for other foreigners trying to contribute to the Finnish society on an equal basis. Why would they disagree on the disability to follow the Geneva convention by the Finish government creating big bills for the immigrant who wanted to do his fair share and benefit from the premises given?

    • JusticeDemon

      mmimimi

      you forgot to read the Geneva convention.

      I guess you don’t make a living giving legal opinions. There are several “Geneva Conventions” on a wide range of subjects, but in the context of returning people to a war zone, the most relevant provision is probably Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has rather more to do with Strasbourg than Geneva.

      Are you seriously suggesting that Finland should forcibly expel human beings to a war zone? Are you really that low?

      Ignoring this disgusting and contemptible attitude just for a moment, how would you enforce such a policy? Expellees would have to be accompanied to their destination, but you would run into serious health and safety issues if you planned to send Finnish officials into a war zone. Just how sickening are your views in this regard?

      Ideas like this are a non-starter in civilised countries. Even your heroes in Denmark have not sunk that low.

      The civil war in southern Somalia is ongoing. It is not public policy in Finland to try to hold human beings in indefinite cold storage pending resolution of conflicts that prevent repatriation.

      Somali family-unifications stopped after the requester was asked of an income. An income that has always been asked for Finns.

      This is complete bullshit. Section 39 of the Aliens Act imposes a general income condition governing migration for the purpose of reunifying families in Finland. This general condition is subject to certain exceptions concerning the foreign family members of Finnish and Nordic citizens (sections 50(4) and 50a(2) of the Aliens Act), Convention refugees and displaced persons (section 114(4) of the Aliens Act). The Finnish government is now examining the prospects for abandoning that exception in the case of displaced persons. As I noted in my posting on this topic:

      It is interesting that this exemption would nevertheless continue to apply to the families of citizens of Finland and other Nordic countries.

      What has happened recently is that the Finnish government has introduced (or rather, re-established) certain administrative obstacles to family reunification. As I commented elsewhere, this is like reducing the number of road users by issuing driving licences only by personal application at one police station in the remotest outpost of the Åland Islands or requiring the use of a form that is then only printed on Christmas Day using a toy printing press.

      There is no evidence to support your view that displaced persons do not “want to do their fair share”. As Mark has pointed out, the employment rates of displaced persons in Finland approach the national average in the long term. Furthermore, work shyness means refusing work or training, but there are no indications at all that entitlement to integration allowance has ever been reduced on these grounds. Integration allowance can only be claimed by unemployed immigrants, so decisions to reduce it on grounds of refusing work or training would constitute direct evidence of work shyness in this population segment. All the indications are to the contrary. Indeed displaced persons are very often found doing the kind of work that Finnish citizens refuse to do, even on pain of benefit reductions. Nor is this the first time that your pernicious propaganda has been definitively refuted on Migrant Tales.

    • JusticeDemon

      Now police states that foreign parents train their childern to be thieves

      Well, it would be a fairer translation to say that the police are working on that assumption (“lähtee siitä, että…”), as opposed to assuming that these children are acting on their own initiative.

      The child welfare authority will have to investigate these cases, as they investigate all petty offences committed by children. That investigation will involve identifying the parents or guardians of those children, at which point the police assumption can be examined in the light of the evidence. If it turns out to be true, then the said parents or guardians will be liable to prosecution or summary penal proceedings under section 5 of chapter 5 of the Finnish Penal Code.

      This case has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. It’s just as much a side effect of tourism as this better-known example:

  20. tp1

    Mark

    You come here making provocative statements just to get a rise, not to have a proper dialogue about these issues. Why do you bother?

    It’ pretty difficult for me to participate in any discussion because Enrique doesn’t allow me to post here without moderation. So when I write something, it takes several hours before you can see it. So blame Enrique.

    • Mark

      What has that to do with your whole approach? I really start to think it’s a waste of time responding to your comments. You hardly give anyone any credit for having any intelligence, so what is the point?

    • JusticeDemon

      tp1

      Obviously your comments are being held for premoderating. I suppose this is because of your earlier habit of making personal attacks on other commenters. I found a couple of these here and here.

      The tone, if not the content, of your recent comments has been far more civil, though I have no way of telling whether they were intended to be so. I am still waiting for your apology for that episode where you harangued me over what turned out to be your own inability to understand the law on conscientious objection. I eventually had to rub your nose in the specific wording of the form that conscientious objectors have to sign. Then you went completely silent on the topic. Perhaps your apology was lost in the moderating bin.

  21. tp1

    am still waiting for your apology for that episode where you harangued me over what turned out to be your own inability to understand the law on conscientious objection.

    I hope that men could talk without need for apologizing every now and then. No reason to go back to that discussion anymore. You feel that I didn’t understand and similarly I see it in a way that you didn’t understand so that discussion didn’t go anywhere. It’s all matter of what we interpret as “vakaumus”.

    I have told Enrique he has no reason to pre-moderate my comments anymore, I just wish he would show some trust in me, I am a man of my words and I promised not to take my comments on personal level anymore.

    On this topic here, I think it strenghtens the prejudices against foreigners to see comments like that in news. And that is perfect fuel for racists to do their campaign. It doesn’t take long to see certain people to link those news in Facebook etc, telling that ALL foreigners are like that.

    • JusticeDemon

      tp1

      It’s all matter of what we interpret as “vakaumus”

      Bullshit. You just haven’t got the guts to admit that you were completely wrong. What you said about mandatory military service in Finland was this:

      I know what there reads in the books of law about this matter, but in reality one doesn’t need to have a reason to do non-military service, it’s just simply a matter of choice.

      Non-military service is ALWAYS as choice by the person himself and starting from year 1987 it has been enough to just inform the officials that one wants to do non-military service instead of military service.

      This is completely untrue. As I proved beyond a shadow of doubt, exemption from military service requires a solemn affirmation of conscientious objection. This is completely clear from the Constitution of Finland, from the Civil Alternative Service Act, and from the specific wording of the application form. I pointed you to all of these one by one and then finally you fell silent on the topic. Obviously you were severely embarrassed when your own ignorance was exposed. Obviously you still are. It speaks volumes for your character that you are still unable to admit that you were wrong.

      The convicted racist criminal Halla-aho must have made such a solemn declaration in order to perform civil alternative service. This is not very consistent with his remarks as a senior high school student in 1991:

      Minä ainakin haluaisin piiskata ja komennella neekereitä. (Tämä ei ollut huumorivastaus. Neekeri ei ole naurun asia. Minä olen arjalainen ja ylpeä siitä.)

      Or with his comment from October 2003 in your Holy Scripta:

      Tehtaanpuiston homon kanssa mietin hetken, että jospa hakisin yläkerrasta pyssyn ja ampuisin päähän. Olisiko siitä seuraava hekuma niin suuri, että se ylittäisi vankilareissusta seuraavan harmituksen? Väkivalta on nykyään aliarvostettu ongelmanratkaisukeino.

      These are odd remarks indeed for someone who is conscientiously opposed to military service. It seems far more likely that his solemn declaration of conscience was simply false. I know that this fact about their Master’s obvious and documented dishonesty and cowardice really irritates the Hompanzees, which is why I am happy to highlight it here.

      It doesn’t take long to see certain people to link those news in Facebook etc, telling that ALL foreigners are like that.

      Just as ALL Finns are like the pig-tourist in the clip that I posted above?

      What do YOU think is fair comment about ALL foreigners?

  22. tp1

    Ok, I’ll continue in that other thread. It’s not very good manners to bring discussion from other thread to some other and disturb that other discussion.

    BTW. If you are using the word “conscientious” as translation for “vakaumus” it’s wrong.

    • JusticeDemon

      tp1

      If you are using the word “conscientious” as translation for “vakaumus” it’s wrong.

      Most obviously because “conscientious” is an adjective and “vakaumus” is a noun.

      “Conscientious”, in this sense, is a cognate adjective of the noun “conscience”, which denotes the moral convictions of an individual. A conscientious objection is an impediment based on moral conviction, which may be guided or informed by religious affiliation, but does not have to be.

      Vakaumuksellinen is standardly translated as conscientious in this legal context. It is the first choice translation equivalent in Joutsen’s Lakikielen sanakirja (WSOY 2005). The expression conscientious objector has come to be associated with military service (whence the standard equivalent aseistakieltäytyjä), although it obviously has wider application. For example some medical practitioners have a conscientious objection to euthanasia and abortion. There is nothing wrong with this way of referring to refusal to perform certain medical procedures on grounds of conscience.

      There is absolutely no question that vakaumus, as used in subsection 2 of section 127 of the Constitution Act, refers to conscience and therefore to moral conviction.

      A conscientious objector refuses military service on moral grounds, i.e. because he believes that it is morally wrong. Not because he thinks it is a “waste of time” or “no fun at all” or “not my thing” or “an obsolete institution”.

  23. D4R

    Mark, the police is warning in this case about foreigners not especifically giving any clear identification about the two female robbers, this means it can be anyone of us, you as a white britt or me as a Somalian African, so it’s unbelievable the way the authorities or the public media describes foreigners when something like this happens. Now all eyes on every foreigner who happens to be walking on the streets or happens to be close to elderly person.

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