HS: Ihmisoikeusjärjestö moittii Suomen henkilökorttiuudistusta

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: I was quite surprised to read that the police authorities want to have a blue ID card for Finns and a brown-colored one for foreigners. 

Michael Privot, the head of the European Network Against Racism, thinks that one ID card for Finnish citizens and another one for foreigners “could in part encourage discrimination” since the ID card shows immediately that the person is not a Finnish citizen.”Now a person has to show that he is a foreigners in such situations where it has little importance like when going to the bank,” Pivot said.

The different-colored ID cards are a sad example of how some authorities like the police want to stress “us” and “they” in Finland.

Some columnists in Sweden were very critical of the decision by Finland to have two types of ID cards.

______________

Bryssel. Rasismin vastainen eurooppalainen järjestö moittii Suomen henkilökorttiuudistusta, jossa Suomen kansalaisille ja Suomessa asuville ulkomaalaisille annetaan eriväriset henkilökortit.

Read whole story.

  1. Jonas

    The Swedes are a little hypercritical here. There was a period of at least a couple of years in which they wouldn’t issue any kind of ID card to foreigners who could not prove their identity with a previously issued Swedish identity document or who had a close relative (with an ID card) who could vouch for them. If you’ve ever lived in Sweden, you will know that ID is more often asked for than in Finland. You need to use your personal ID number for just about everything, even hiring a DVD. So, this was a serious problem for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden.

    Not that that makes brown ID cards for foreigners in Finland any less in poor taste.

  2. Arto

    Isn’t this just another overreaction?

    So the reason for different colour was to make the job of border guards easier, since the Finnish ID card is not a sufficient travel document for a foreigner, but it is for a Finnish citizen.

    How hysterical will this get? I think many times racism is seen in places where it is not.

    Citizenship matters and it is not discrimination of anyone.

    • Enrique

      Arto a lot of things matters in today’s Finland. For one, it matters that at least public officials know restraint.To be frank with you, after that declaration by the PS against or to promote racism in Finland, I understand now that this party is either too far out in space to understand what discrimination is or simply making a mockery of our values.

      In my opinion there is something terribly wrong with Finland if 19.1% of the population can vote for a party that is openly anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam.

      How is it possible and what gives you the right to take civil rights away from a group? You are suggesting by your statement that Islam is a threat. That’s your opinion but the biggest threat to this society is not islam but right-wing populism in Europe. Even so, I am not going around saying that the PS should be banned or their members thrown in jail like you are suggesting about European Muslims.

      Go an live like I did under a military dictatorship and then let’s talk about civil rights.

      Where did I say that the PS is a Nazi party? Nowhere. I am just stating that some PS MPs are members of a Nazi-spirited association called Suomen Sisu. Fair enough? The word Nazi spirited was used by KRP and Supo to describe what kind of an association is Suomen Sisu.

    • Enrique

      Presidentti Tarja Halonen oli aiheellisesti huolissaan siitä, että rasistiset hyökkäykset ovat lisääntyneet. Maahanmuuttopolitiikasta on hyvä keskustella, mutta sen mahdolliset puutteet eivät ole maahanmuuttajien vika…

      …Maahanmuuttokeskustelun varjopuoli on kuitenkin pimeä. Se näyttää antaneen joillekin ihmisille ikään kuin luvan hyökätä erilaisia ihmisiä kohtaan. Meillä täällä tilanne lienee onneksi ainakin toistaiseksi vielä rauhallinen, mutta suurista kaupungeista kerrotaan jatkuvista hyökkäyksistä, joiden kohteeksi ulkomaalaisen näköiset ihmiset joutuvat. Ei voi olla sivistysvaltion periaatteiden mukaista, jos tuntemattomia ihmisiä julkisilla paikoilla ihonvärin tai pukeutumisen perusteella haukutaan, tönitään, lyödään tai heidän päälleen syljetään. Se tuo hyytävällä tavalla mieleen 30-luvun Saksan.

      Read the whole story on Iisalmen Sanomat.

  3. Singaporean_in_Finland

    This brown residence card is the equivalent of putting a “Yellow Star of David” on every foreigner.

    Wake up Finland!

  4. Arto

    Enrique, perhaps you intended your reply to the Zyskowicz thread?

    “How is it possible and what gives you the right to take civil rights away from a group?”

    Taking civil rights away from a group…? I am sorry, but I no longer follow.

    “You are suggesting by your statement that Islam is a threat.”

    I am suggesting it could be, yes. But that might not be my final, 100% locked opinion. As I wrote elsewhere, I cannot claim to be an expert about the issue at the moment. I hope you still don’t get a feeling I am just waisting everyone’s time by participating in discussion.

    “That’s your opinion but the biggest threat to this society is not islam but right-wing populism in Europe. ”

    That’s your opinion.

    “I am not going around saying that the PS should be banned or their members thrown in jail like you are suggesting about European Muslims. ”

    What the h*ll? Are we talking the same language here? Where have I written anything like that?!

    “Where did I say that the PS is a Nazi party? Nowhere. I am just stating that some PS MPs are members of a Nazi-spirited association called Suomen Sisu. ”

    Yes, and you have stated that many times. And you are constantly associating PS with any news you can find about racist crimes. I don’t intend to say you should censor yourself, but I hope you take into account the possibility that such repeated claims may work as a catalyst for some extremists. I think you demonize the party much more than what can be justified.

    • Enrique

      Arto if you claim that I have named the PS a “Nazi Party” could you show me where i make such a claim? I have mentioned that there are MPs in the PS who are members of Suomen Sisu. Let me ask you the following question: are you worried about the rise of racism in Finland and that Suomen Sisu has influence in the PS ?

  5. JusticeDemon

    The present identity card issued to a foreigner in Finland has XXX in the citizenship category. This at least used to be almost at the geometric centre of the card on the photo/datachip side.

    The other side of the card has the following in bold type slightly below the middle of the card:

    THIS IS A CERTIFIED FINNISH IDENTITY CARD
    NOT VALID AS TRAVEL DOCUMENT

    Finally and most obviously, the card has a light pink hue, compared to the standard blue colour of cards issued to Finnish citizens.

    It is at least slightly puzzling why this would need to be changed for the benefit of officials in Finland, whereas the police have a rather poor record of designing documents that are intended for use abroad. They certainly showed no great sense of urgency in alleviating the difficulty of explaining to a clerk of Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines that the word pysyvä oleskelulupa means that someone is entitled to board a flight to Finland.

  6. Arto

    Enrique: “Arto if you claim that I have named the PS a “Nazi Party””

    I don’t mean you have said exactly like that, but you have connected Nazis to the party many times just as you explained – via Suomen Sisu. And given an impression that somehow PS are probably to blame for any racist actions taken by anyone in Finland.

    “Let me ask you the following question: are you worried about the rise of racism in Finland”

    I am very worried if such a rise actually happens.

    “and that Suomen Sisu has influence in the PS ?”

    This depends on the true nature of Suomen Sisu. I still don’t want to believe this is a dangerous organization. I hope I am not wrong. My current understanding is that it is a calm/moderate nationalist organization. I have heard about Supo/KRP evaluation but I have not been able to find any explanation for their evaluation so far.

    Based on mainstream media, I originally got an impression that this was a Neo-Nazi group. Later, when I got interested in Halla-ahos case in court and heard about his connections to Suomen Sisu, I found out about both. At the moment, I know more about Halla-aho, not so much about Suomen Sisu. But what I have read on their web site was not alarming to me at all.

    • Enrique

      –I don’t mean you have said exactly like that, but you have connected Nazis to the party many times just as you explained – via Suomen Sisu. And given an impression that somehow PS are probably to blame for any racist actions taken by anyone in Finland.

      I have also said on a number of times that there is nothing wrong demanding your rights and fighting for those that don’t have a voice. However, why do you have to include all this anti-immigration and anti-Islam rhetoric into the picture? That definitely the point where we have to be very critical.

      As with respect to the rise of racism in Finland after April 17, my initial sense is that a lot of attention is being paid to the unacceptable behavior of MPs like Hakkarainen. It’s a goog matter that politicians like him are in the public light. We mentioned on Migrant Tales another PS member, Hemmo Koskiniemi.

      The election has emboldened people who are racists to come out of the closet.

      The PS had a good chance with the anti-racism statement to come clean but then had to add something on so-called positive discriminaiton. I personally believe that it was another document that emboldened the wrong people. Sad but true.

  7. Singaporean_in_Finland

    @Arto

    I will give you a few examples of where PS ideology corresponds with Nazi ideology. They think that modern art doesn’t make any sense. They say that nationalist traditional art is the only real art, which is exactly what the Nazis said about modern art. Look up “degenerate art” which is what the Nazis labelled all modern art.

    They were quick to bash Sofi Oksanen for stating what is plain for everyone in the world to see: “In the field of arts his ideas are clearly inspired by Hitler,”. http://bit.ly/lNr0oi

    Then there’s Jussi Halla-aho, the spiritual leader of PS and the Finnish extreme right.

    “In addition to writing racist tripe of his own, he also published several other high-profile racists’ writings on his blog. Included was Michael Levin’s infamous ‘Why Race Matters’, which is a book advocating white supremacy based on purported intellectual superiority. Another piece was “The Color of Crime”, which advocates racial segregation and outright apartheid as a solution to worlds “black problem.” Some choice quotations picked by Halla-aho from the works include such gems as “the parasitic behaviour of blacks requires a co-operative host.”

    This person is in charge of the parliamentary committee in charge of Immigration.”

    http://truefinns.blogspot.com/2011/05/jussi-halla-aho-found-to-be-even-more.html

  8. HannaBee

    ”Now a person has to show that he is a foreigners in such situations where it has little importance like when going to the bank,” Pivot said. ”

    Tells clearly the guy actually has no idea what he is talking about. It has a HUGE importance which citizenship the person has when opening a bank account in Finland because of anti-money laundry laws.

    Also the whole thing about brown and blue is based on false assumption. The vast majority of foreigners are Russian and Estonians in Finland. Not “brown”.

    Citizenship is a fact. Not matter of opinion. And ackowledging citizenship has absolutely nothing to do with *RACISM*.

    • Enrique

      Hi HannaBee and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

      The whole citizenship issue is a big topic. Some people believe that it should play a more important role while others would want to see its role diminish.

      The birthers, who are a political fringe group in the US questioning that President Barack Obama is a natural-born USAmerican, is another interesting offshoot of the citizenship debate. A physical act where you evidently have no say in stamps you for the rest of your life. Even if people have only lived a fraction of a time in the country they were born, they are constantly reminded in the documents of the country where they have lived most of their life where they were born.

  9. Jenkki

    So the Pink colored cards were not “Distinct” enough? Unbelievable.

    This is a country where “Ottaa Kantaa” is publicized everywhere with regards to providing support or criticism regarding a proposed change. Websites are even set up where Finns can go and give their feedback on whether this proposed change should be done or not.

    But when dealing with “Foreigners”..well, this is a totally different matter.
    Despite the fact that one have been living permanently in Finland for several years, has a *Permanent* residence permit, has been paying taxes for Years, does not touch a dime of the precious welfare system, is *fluent* in the language, how dare one even think that one might want to give feedback on issues that will affect oneself and one’s children on a daily basis!

    The decision was quietly and quickly made. No questions asked. No website announcing the *proposed change*.

    Unbelievable.

    • Enrique

      –Despite the fact that one have been living permanently in Finland for several years, has a *Permanent* residence permit, has been paying taxes for Years, does not touch a dime of the precious welfare system, is *fluent* in the language, how dare one even think that one might want to give feedback on issues that will affect oneself and one’s children on a daily basis!

      So true! Be careful that they don’t start accusing you of being a “racist” towards Finns. The only way that immigrants will ever find their place under the Finnish sun is by debating and taking part. I am so happy that many are and the group is growing. I guess the PS was the stick the broke the camel’s back and a good wake up call about where Finland is going.

  10. Martin-Éric

    Justice Demon,
    Thank you for jumping in. I was getting tired of re-re-re-reexplaining to people everywhere that foreigners’ ID card have already had a different color for a good 10 years, with the same restrictions printed on the back, and that this new design simply switches to brighter plain colors that are easier to distiguist than pastel background patterns.

    As for my 2 cents to this discussion, my only grief is how the police chose excrement brown as the color of foreigners’ cards. Somehow, they could have picked e.g. green or another color without these dirty connotations. Other than that, the cards themselves are nothing much to write home about.

    Jonas: national ID cards are used to rent movies in Finland too. They scan the barcode to identify the customer.

    • Enrique

      Martin-Éric, interesting point about the feces-brown color for the ID card. Taking into account the political views of some policemen, green would be placing a red cloth in front of them. LOL

  11. Francis

    This is not racism. There is a card for Finns and there is a card for non-Finns. Each card has different rights associated with it. There is a legitimate reason why they should look different.

  12. Jenkki

    Francis:

    1. The issue is not which rights are associated to which card.
    2. They already look different. Pink for “foreigners”, Blue for citizens.

  13. Jenkki

    Thanks for the feedback, Enrique.

    I do hope that a stronger voice does ring out within the immigrant community in order to combat the ignorance that seems to have taken front -and-center stage as of late.

  14. Jenkki

    I overheard a couple of guys talking about the color of the card…One laughingly remarked to the other, in Finnish, “All the card needs now is a sh-t smell to go with it…”

  15. Arto

    Singaporean: thank you for the links. The arts issue has been well presented in the media, so I am very familiar with that. I understand the Nazi association there, but then again, it is a very different thing to ban certain kind of art than it is to suggest that certain kind of art should not be funded by tax-payers. The statement is problematic, though. Even so, I can somehow relate to that: visual arts is one of my hobbies and many times I have got the feeling of being cheated when visiting Kiasma art museum 😉

    The Halla-aho links are more interesting and I need to have a careful look at those (not just the blog text or the HS news, but the originals). So many times the secondary sources have given a false impression that I rarely trust them any more. For example now the blog gives a more or less wrong idea about the “human rights” part (compared to what you find out by reading HS article).

  16. Arto

    Enrique:
    “However, why do you have to include all this anti-immigration and anti-Islam rhetoric into the picture? That definitely the point where we have to be very critical.”

    Because I am worried. Honestly. I tend to think the Canadian model or something comparable could be better to our country than the current one.

    • Enrique

      Arto, what are you specifically worried about? Are you worried that too few skilled immigrants move to Finland? Please elaborate.

  17. Arto

    Enrique; I believe I have explained at least most of my worries before, but here are some examples as a summary:

    – the burden of unskilled humanitarian immigrants to our social security system
    – city ghettos resulting from bad integration into society
    – fights between different ethnic groups, threatening peace of society (such as between jews and muslims in Malmö)
    – increased amount of certain crimes such as rapes due to the different opinion of rights of women (especially women with “wrong” religions) among some ethnic groups. Statistics exist from Finland, Sweden and Norway giving evidence of this
    – effect to our current liberal values, if we have a loud and big enough (muslim) minority with their own demands
    – some immigrant groups preferring to follow their own laws instead of laws of our country (I refer to the Channel 4 mosque investigation in Britain)
    – the growing political weight of certain immigration groups due to demographics within a relatively short time => worst case scenario is “giving our country away” in the course of time
    – difficulties to maintain our own culture due to the multicultural ideology
    – worsening of global population bomb if people from overbreeding areas can freely spread to areas where population is better in control => ecological impact
    – ecological effect of large amount of people moving to countries with higher standard of living and thus a higher ecological impact
    – formation of a global monoculture, suppressing current national cultures. I feel this is comparable to extinction of species.
    – rise of racism due to problems of failed immigration policy

    Disclaimer: I am studying the relevance of these threats. I am not saying all of these will actually happen, but I am afraid many of them will.

    • Enrique

      –Enrique; I believe I have explained at least most of my worries before, but here are some examples as a summary:

      All the things you mentioned were negative things. Are immigrants that lost as you paint them to be? I can show you, for example, Argentina constitution of 1853 as one example. Immigrant was seen as a vital force that brought progress to underpopulated Argentina. I think that is how the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia and other countries see immigration. If they would have put that list that you are wrote, what do you think would have happened?

      Immigration is a powerful force. The best way to make it work is acceptance and opportunities. I think we are lacking in the two in Finland these days. But don’t worry immigrants go to where there are opportunities. Few like to go to hostile countries where there are few opportunities to advance. I don’t blame them.

    • Enrique

      Arto, can I give you some advice? If you are a young man don’t narrow your world and future because of fear. Your job is to explore new things in life, cross cultural barriers and experience. Imagine how much you will miss if you latch onto groups like Halla-aho. He is a fake and time will expose him as that. His pseudo-views on immigration would be laughed out of any serious university. It’s that simple.

  18. JusticeDemon

    Arto

    effect on our current liberal values, if we have a loud and big enough (muslim) minority with their own demands

    This one is straight from the Monty Python Bloody Bigots Club and you don’t even realise it. Note the last sentence of this letter to the editor.

    After all of that “I haven’t made up my mind yet, I’m just learning about these things” tosh, your true character is now showing.

    While you are thinking along these lines, how about the danger that a country will disappear up its own rectum as it gets smaller and smaller trying to avoid the rest of the world?

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, where do you get these gems like the letter to the editor?! Pretty funny, especially the last part about calling a German’s Mercedes a VW. Arto should know the difference between laughing at onself as opposed to insulting groups.

  19. HannaBee

    We have quite a lot Russians and Estonians in our school. I asked many of them if they think the brown ID would be racist against them. *None* of them thought that to be racist. And they are the biggest immigrant groups in Finland. This of course proves nothing. But if you know Russians and Estonians who live in Finland, go on, ask them.

    This however (by Michael Privot): ““Would blue be referring to the stereotypical eye colour of Finns and brown to the skin colour of foreigners?”
    is one of the most racist things I have read for a while. Does he just suggest foreigners are usually brown? Yes, he does.

    Seriously, crying wolf like this can nullify a lot *good and sane* anti-racism work we are trying to do.

    • Enrique

      Hi HannaBee, prejudice is a social issue that affects all. If we live in a society where there are different cultures, it is crucial that ALL groups accept and respect each other. Racist behavior from anyone should be strongly condemned.

  20. Arto

    Enrique: “All the things you mentioned were negative things. Are immigrants that lost as you paint them to be?”

    Yes, they are negative things, since I only listed my worries, as you asked me to. Of course I realize that I also need to be worried about demographics from the perspective of majority of Finnish people getting old, and fewer people paying the taxes. Immigration is usually proposed as a solution. And it could be, but probably only if we follow the Canadian model or comparable approach (work related immigration preferred over humanitarian). I also understand the humanitarian perspective, but on the other hand, I am not convinced immigration is always the best way to help, neither am I convinced that the people truly in need are approved for immigration. I regognize mistrust to the system in me, and I believe it is the same thing with many others. This is why I feel that if the government feels its politics is good, it should communicate it much more efficiently to the public to win people’s trust.

    JD: “This one is straight from the Monty Python Bloody Bigots Club and you don’t even realise it. Note the last sentence of this letter to the editor.”

    Thanks for the link. Nevertheless, it is a fact that people that take their religion seriously, tend to have different values that we currently do – such as their understanding about equality of sexes or rights of homosexuals. Do you deny that?

    “After all of that “I haven’t made up my mind yet, I’m just learning about these things” tosh, your true character is now showing.”

    Feel free to select any topic on my list and prove me there is no reason to be worried. I am listening.

    Enrique: thanks for the advice, I am willing to listen both sides of discussion. That is the reason I am visiting your blog.

    • Enrique

      Arto, this is a saying left behind by some German pioneers that colonized Misiones province in northeast Argentina. As you know, the Finns founded a colony there in 1906. Even though times have changed it is still basically true: Der Väter Tod, der Sähne Not, der Endel Brot (To the pioneer fathers death; to their sons, poverty, to their grandson, bread). According to them, they believed it took three generations for these German-Argentinean colonizers to be accepted.

  21. Jamaican in Finland

    Honestly, I have no problem with the ID cards of Finnish citizens and that of non-citizens being of a different colour. It seems perfectly logical and practical to me. However, what bothers me immensely, is the colour chosen for the ID card of non Finnish citizens! Unlike some people here, when I first saw the card, I did not equate its colour with that of human excrement. No, what first came to my mind on seeing the brown colour was skin tone. It seems to me that the colour was chosen with skin tone in mind. Can’t help but think that if black lettering stood out against a black background, then the police’s colour of choice for that card would have been BLACK. It all just reeks of a cruel joke on the part of the police.

    This “us” versus “them” is deeply rooted in Finish society, and manifests itself in so many different ways. For a society which touts itself as having one of the best educational systems in the world, one would expect people here to be a bit more open minded. Seems to me that much of Finland is stuck in the 1960’s-southern -USA type of thinking.

    I clearly see this “us” vs “them” in a current ad for an icecream bar on tv. To most people this ad would appear innocent enough and even hilarious, but to me, in the wake on of the April elections and with the rise of anti immigrant sentiments here in Finland , more discretion should have been shown by the people who produced that ad. In short, the ad is for an unusual flavour of icecream, and shows that Finns all love the flavour , whilst “others” all hate it. The “others” in the ad are depicted by a black man and a middle-eastern looking young woman. Like I said previously, I too would have found this ad hilarious pre-April elections, but I fail to see the humour now! This ad is obviously not brazenly offensive, but I just used it to show that the “us” vs ”them” can be found in even the most innocent looking things.

    In my opinion, the only way for us foreigners to get any respect in Finland, is to stick together as one gropu. However, right now there is a lot of division in the immigrant community here in Finland; this group feels that they are better than that group, etc. When will we all realize that we are all immigrants, and that we all experience the racism/xenophobia ? When will we realize that all Nigerians, Chinese , Thais, Indians, Pakistanis, Russians, Estonians, Iraquis etc should come together as one group, and stop all of this infighting?

    UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL. I certainly would like to stand!

    • Enrique

      –UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL. I certainly would like to stand!

      Hi Jamaican in Finland and I totally agree. The problem with immigrants in Finland is, as you mentioned, mistrust and competing for meagre resources like work. Some immigrants are even more conservative than some Finns when it comes to immigration policy!

      Even so, immigrants and Finns from all backgrounds must join in a common fight against the xenophobia that has risen its head in Finland. In the 1981 we organized our first march. It was the biggest ever in Finland by foreigners. If you are going to wait for Finns to grant you rights, you might just as well wait forever. That is why a huge march against racism in Finland would be important now. It would send a very loud and clear message especially to PS MPs like Jussi Halla-aho, whose only merit for getting elected is bashing Muslims and flirting with pseudo-racial hygiene theories of the past century.

  22. HannaBee

    “No, what first came to my mind on seeing the brown colour was skin tone”

    Another prejudice there. Why it is your first assumption foreigners in Finland would be (usually) brown? (That is not even the case)

  23. HannaBee

    What insults me personally is the fact so many foreigner do not realize *most Finns* actually are doing their best to get out of 60’s-70’s attitudes, but categorize us all.
    To understand today, one most know yesterday.
    You guys know who was for example Eila Kännö? If she or someone like her still had power, you guys would not be here to tell how bad Finns are. What Eila Kännö said, was final. There was no possibility to appeal those days. And Eila Kännö was extremely anti-immigration. It is thanks to people like me, people like her do NOT have power here in modern days.

    It was not so long ago we were a nation living in the forest, and never seen for example a colored person. It takes time before you can change attitudes based on that era. You must remember we rally got first non-white immigrants as late as 1990. Hell, foreigner were os rare that in 1970’s the amusement parks still hired black people from USA to pose as “Real African Savages”. We have come a LONG way from that. So a little bit respect every now and then would be nice. Instead of constant whining about Finns being bad racists.

    How long did it take for USA to change attitudes? Literally hundreds of years. (Though they still have laws and regulations clearly targeted against black people, for example ban of baggy pants in buses, anti-loitering laws etc. etc) And now we are supposed to do the same in 20 years, and if we do not immediatelly manage to do it perfectly, we get foreign people saying how Finns are bad and should take their heads out their asses. THAT is also prejudice. Towards Finns.

    • Enrique

      –If she or someone like her still had power, you guys would not be here to tell how bad Finns are. What Eila Kännö said, was final.

      Yes, true, but her cantankerous and autocratic style was her grave politically. It was the spark that ignited that march in 1981 by foreigners and multicultural Finns. The media ended up exposing her as some Finnish Mussolini.

      Who says on this blog that ALL Finns are this or that? I personally use the word “some” for any group. We don’t know how many so it’s better to state “some.”

  24. HannaBee

    Eila Kännö still worked to the end of her working career as Ulkomaalaistoimiston päällikkö until her retirement 1984 in normal age. She had no political career. She was a bureaucrat.
    But it is good you know history Enrique.
    I have met too many people, both Finns and foreigners, that have had no idea of backgrounds and the fact Finland has come a VERY long way especially since the 1970’s but also 1980’s and also 1990′ and 2000’s.

    That “categorizing all” in my writing was on “general level” and referred for example to some *comments* in this blog. But also real life conversations. Not anything that was blogged here. I am probably to most anti-racist and anti-discrimination person I know, LOL, but still I too have been categorized in many comments I have read and heard. You must know those “Finns this Finns that”-kind of guys.

  25. Jamaican in Finland

    HannaBee, I know that there are people like you in Finland who are doing whatever possible to make up for the shortcomings of their fellow countryman with regards to their treatment of foreigners.My spouse is one of those people and I commend you and others like you for your efforts. Thing is that people like you are so few that most immigrants encounter your anti-immigrant peers.

    I still do strongly believe that the decision by the police to issue a brown ID card to immigrants has something to do with skin colour.I too am aware that most immigrants here are Swedes, Russians and Estonians. However, the immigrants who stand out the most are those with a different skin colour. So, subconsciously in Finland’s case, when most people here think of foreigners, they think of those who stand out the most physically, ie the black ones.

    You seem to be the unofficial police spokeswoman on this issue. Why are the police mumb on this issue? Until the police come out and say why they chose that colour, then I have no choice but to stick to my gut instinct on the matter.

    You rightly pointed out that it took the USA hundreds of years to change their attitudes towards black people. Your point seems to be that if it took the US so long, then we should not expect differently from Finland. I do not agree with your reasoning! See, if it takes the 1st baker in the world 2 hours to bake his first cake, and his efforts have been documented and watched by other bakers, shouldn’t it take the other bakers less time to bake that same cake?

    You speak of Eila Kanno as if you are so proud of her and her stance on immigration. If there were people like Eila Kanno in other parts of the world eg the USA, Sweden and the UK, then a lot of Finnish migrants to those places would not be there too! You do know that each year lots of Finns emigrate from Finland , don’t you????

  26. HannaBee

    “You speak of Eila Kanno as if you are so proud of her and her stance on immigration.”

    Did you really read what I wrote about her? I wrote just the opposite: “It is thanks to people like me, people like her do NOT have power here in modern days”

    “Thing is that people like you are so few that most immigrants encounter your anti-immigrant peers.”
    Wow….MOST people I know are anti-racism and anti-discrimination. I know MOST Finns are. Not just a few.

    “You seem to be the unofficial police spokeswoman on this issue. Why are the police mumb on this issue? Until the police come out and say why they chose that colour, then I have no choice but to stick to my gut instinct on the matter.”
    Have you actually seen the color of the new card? The “skin color”?

    See the pictures of the news cards here: http://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/artikkeli/Ulkomaalaisille+eriv%C3%A4rinen+henkil%C3%B6kortti/1135266523596
    Foreigners card on the right. Then come back to tell it has to do with skin color.

  27. HannaBee

    “Your point seems to be that if it took the US so long, then we should not expect differently from Finland.”
    You definitely are allowed to expect we do it faster, because USA still today has laws targeted against minorities (For example anti-loitering law I already told about) Finland does not have such laws. There is much less racism in Finland than in USA already this very day.
    It is just that it is human nature: Changes in attitudes do not happen very fast. I think we have done a great job in less than 30 years. Much better job than USA in hundreds of years. It only proves we can do much better and faster. If we want to. And I know *I* want to. But for example you very obviously having prejudices and even hate of some level towards Finns does not help anything.

  28. Jamaican in Finland

    Are you delusional or are you simply living in denial : “There is much less racism in Finland than in USA already this very day “? Seriously? If you really do believe so, then there is no point wasting my time trying to prove otherwise to you. What I can tell you is this ; everything is relative. Yes, blacks in the USA complain about racism, but if they were to come here to Finland, they would be confronted with a type of racism not seen in the US since the 1960’s. Imagine a drunken fool attempting to physically attack a public figure, and calling him a racial slur!

    Typical Finnish mentality to always quote laws and figures in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable. In my books figures do not matter as they can be manipulated to produce the desired results. What is of more importance to me is the reality on the ground.

    The existence of a law does not necessarily mean that it is being enforced. Likewise, the non existence of a law in no way means that people are not being persecuted and harassed for that action. You claim that there is an anti-loitering law in the US specifically targeting blacks, however I have seen more foreigners harassed and persecuted here for “loitering” in the train stations than I have ever seen in the US. It should also be noted that I spent 4 years as a student in the US, so I am a bit familiar with that country.

    Stop living in denial and face the facts. Maybe then you will quit making such comments as “MOST people I know are anti-racism and anti-discrimination. I know MOST Finns are. Not just a few.”

  29. HannaBee

    Those laws *are* in fact enforced. Not so long ago I spotted an interview of a member of a (some) city council and she told how proud they are they solve problems with dress -code. We all know which group the ban of baggy pants targets. Same group than is targeted with anti-loitering laws.

    If based on your experience, MOST Finns are racists, maybe there is something about YOU, not Finns? Maybe you simply are a person who behaves in a way that makes people dislike you? You seem to be quite aggressive person. And attack easily. For example not agreeing you 100% just caused you to say I must be either delusional or living in denial. Instead of speaking about the subject…you started to speak about me. And now I am of course talking about you because of that. You see the problem with your behaviour here?

    I have had quite a lot of visitors from USA, including latinos and black people. They all have told me there is much less every day racism in Finland than in USA. I have no real reason to doubt their words.
    We all know there is racism in Finland. I would not fight against something that does not exist. But exaggerating does not help this fight at all.

    You also mention you have seen foreigners harrassed in the train station. Did you call the police and made a report of crime? That is your duty. What else did you do to prevent racist behavior? It is also *your* duty to intervene if you see a racist crime (Harrassing and persecuting people on railway stations because of their ethnic origin in fact is a crime) Not only *mine*. And yes, even if I am a 22 years old girl, I have intervened some situations that were clearly racist. Mainly name calling. Have you?

    I wonder if you actually meant those large groups of teenager people of foreign origin that loiter all the time at Helsinki railway station and surrounding areas? If that’s the case…you know what? They were not targeted because they were foreigners. They were targeted because of what they did. Not who they are. Same exact thing happens to native-Finn teenagers on trailway stations. Every single day. Finnish teens just don’t think t is such a big deal if a guard comes and tells them to go away and keep less noise because people have complained. They just go elsewhere. But nobody starts to talk about harrassing and persecuting in this context.

  30. JusticeDemon

    Arto

    First you choose to see things in a certain way and then you search for anything that can be distorted or selected out of context to support your preconceived views,

    – the burden of unskilled humanitarian immigrants to our social security system

    The burden of unskilled infants. It takes 25 years for a child to become a productive contributor. Therefore stop having children and we will all be relieved of this burden.

    How many immigrants are unproductive after 25 years? Go find the statistics.

    – city ghettos resulting from bad integration into society

    A ghetto is a place where people are forced to live by the surrounding society. Ghettos were established by the Nazis. Where are these places in Finland, other than in your own segregation plans?

    If you mean that people of similar means tend to live in areas where they can afford to live, then why don’t you say so? What are you going to do about the ghetto of very wealthy people living in Kaivopuisto? How are you going to improve their social integration?

    The first thing that you can do to eliminate this “problem” is swap homes with an immigrant living in one of your “ghettos”. Let us know how you get on.

    – fights between different ethnic groups, threatening peace of society (such as between jews and muslims in Malmö)

    This animal is dangerous. It defends itself when attacked.

    – increased amount of certain crimes such as rapes due to the different opinion of rights of women (especially women with “wrong” religions) among some ethnic groups. Statistics exist from Finland, Sweden and Norway giving evidence of this

    All serious economic crimes in Finland are committed by upper class Finnish citizens. Obviously this is because of their nihilism or their religious hypocrisy. If you have another explanation for this, then apply the same methodological considerations to the “problem” here and stop assuming that the profile of a population group that is predominantly male, aged between 18 and 40 and working class will match that of society as a whole. Then show us the properly weighted statistics.

    If anything shows that PS is the party supported by kids who sat at the back of the class at school, then it is the persistence of this idiocy.

    – effect to our current liberal values, if we have a loud and big enough (muslim) minority with their own demands

    Your liberal values can’t be so well established if you are so easily persuaded to abandon them. I am not impressed by the kind of tolerance that can only be practiced by excluding anyone who might test it. A shopkeeper who claims that a product is unbreakable should be willing to allow customers to drop the product on the floor before buying.

    The Finnish trade union movement is a loud and large minority with its own demands. So what? In practice these demands are matters for negotiation in the same way as all other claims and proposals.

    – some immigrant groups preferring to follow their own laws instead of laws of our country (I refer to the Channel 4 mosque investigation in Britain)

    Guess what? If you go to some of the rougher pubs in Helsinki, you can overhear people planing armed robberies and other criminal offences. These people are speaking Finnish. May I conclude that the “group” of Finnish speakers prefer to follow their own laws instead of the laws of my country? What’s YOUR native language?

    There are 1.4 billion Moslems on the planet. Your characterization of these people is based on what, exactly? If you only meant to include a few radical loonies in the “group”, then why not focus your attention on radical loonies?

    – the growing political weight of certain immigration groups due to demographics within a relatively short time => worst case scenario is “giving our country away” in the course of time

    You have already accepted that this is tosh, but the propaganda value is just too strong, isn’t it?

    Laestadians have been around for more than 150 years, and have persistently raised families with at least 10 children. Why isn’t Finland overrun with Laestadians nowadays?

    – difficulties to maintain our own culture due to the multicultural ideology

    The “culture” of Finland in the proper sense of the expression has always included great diversity and it has also changed beyond recognition over the last century. If Finland had “maintained” its culture, then the entire country would resemble an Amish community nowadays. If, on the other hand, you feel that you have difficulty maintaining your lifestyle because your neighbour’s lifestyle is different, then perhaps you should listen to your conscience. How dare these Moslems drink Coke instead of kossu! This offensive self-righteousness is making your boozy lifestyle unliveable. I sympathize not one bit.

    – worsening of global population bomb if people from overbreeding areas can freely spread to areas where population is better in control => ecological impact

    This simply adds ecofascist spin to the old idea that they breed like rabbits. You have already abandoned this way of thinking in the left brain hemisphere.

    – ecological effect of large amount of people moving to countries with higher standard of living and thus a higher ecological impact

    More ecofascism. Why not use the same argument to support mass emigration? You can set an example by leading the way.

    – formation of a global monoculture, suppressing current national cultures. I feel this is comparable to extinction of species.

    This is either a great argument against television and other global mass media including the Internet, multinational corporations and anything in Finland that is not strictly derived from Kalevala tradition, or it is the kind of tosh written by someone who is just tired of modern life. Select one answer only.

    – rise of racism due to problems of failed immigration policy

    Racism is a state of mind that conditions perception. If you have already decided that the world must be understood in a certain way, then you will notice anything that tends to reinforce that view. This is why the phone always rings when you are in the bath and your toast always falls buttered side down.

    I can equally well argue that the immigration policy of Finland failed after the last ice age and that present migration flows are now correcting this problem.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, great job in answering Arto’s concerns. I am particularly worried about the one he suggests that Muslims will take over Finland because of high birth rates. This is the same absurd argument used in the United States about Hispanics and blacks. His view has a problem or this argument: (1) people don’t change; in the future they will be exactly as their great grandparents! (2) you cannot predict the future of society with a pocket calculator.

      The most important matter to keep in mind is that irrespective of a person’s background, he/she is a Finn. That person is not first part of x group and then a Finn. He/she is first a Finn.

  31. joujou

    “If based on your experience, MOST Finns are racists, maybe there is something about YOU, not Finns? Maybe you simply are a person who behaves in a way that makes people dislike you? You seem to be quite aggressive person. And attack easily. For example not agreeing you 100% just caused you to say I must be either delusional or living in denial. Instead of speaking about the subject…you started to speak about me. And now I am of course talking about you because of that. You see the problem with your behaviour here?”

    No HannaBee, I see a problem with YOUR behaviour. Even though I am very familiar with the typical Finnish method of communication which is usually quite straight to the point (oh how the small-talk pleasantries that mean nothing and no one means pain me in the UK), reading this whole convo I think it is you who comes out looking aggressive.

    You claim to know what most Finns think like, and then you scold him when he claims that there is a lot of racism (saying maybe it’s his personality! Wow…) as if your experience was somehow more valid than his.

    I should say (and here’s another “experience” for you!) that Finland is very racist. I think it is getting better, but the racist extremists are just much louder and know how to DEMAND attention much better than the average joe who is trying so hard to get over his prejudice. I also think, having seen the cards, that this is not where energy is best spent. There are practical reasons for different cards for different nationalities (and although the world has come a long way, I do not think it is ready for “no frontiers, no nationalities” quite yet). Colour choice is unfortunate, but it sounds a lot worse than it looks.

    Concerning HannaBee’s frustration (and sometimes mine as well): A friend of mine is paranoid with her boyfriends, always going on like “you’re going to leave me aren’t you” “you’re going to cheat on me” “you’re going to lie to me anyway aren’t you” “you don’t love me anymore”, expecting reassurance. After being constantly doubted and blamed while actually doing nothing wrong, most of her boyfriends end up doing exactly what she told them they would – not because they are bad people and usually treat their girlfriends like this, but out of frustration of being doubted all the time whatever they do and whatever they say. A lot of good people I know feel like the boyfriend when it comes to the racism issue. I bet you see this in this blog all the time. Spotting racism in those few places where it did not exist (and I refuse to believe all the people making these decisions made them while giggling at the “brown people brown card” association) makes good people, like HannaBee here, frustrated.

    • Enrique

      Hi joujou and welcome to Migrant Tales! One of the positive things about this very dark moment in Finland’s history for immigrants and multicultural Finns is that we can see some of the actors. They have exposed themsevles and are out there for all of us to see. They came out of the closet because they were no longer comfortable acting behind the scenes.

      I personally believe, and have alreday seen this, that the present state our country is in has brought out the best in Finns and immigrants. Many are rightfully outraged at the menace that threatens our country. That menace is intolerance and hatred. Are we ready to challenge them? I believe we are.

  32. Allan

    If you look at the new cards, I don’t think the “brown” is that brown actually, in any case it is far better looking than the blue one. I would agree with M-E that maybe a color like green could have been better, but like with JD said if they couldn’t figure things out with the previous light-blue & pink then they might as well thought it over a bit better. The fact remains with the EU money-laundering laws you need to show your ID these days everywhere.

    In Sweden the situation with ID’s is different, basically the banks gave out an ID, and you had to go to the bank with a Swede to vouch for you. There weren’t any other ID’s in circulation at the time. And the Swedes really should be quieter as their offical ID is given only to citizens, foreigners have to get a tax-office ID and still get a load of crap about them.

  33. JusticeDemon

    I ask because the Dutch company Sdu Indentification BV won the contract to supply biometric passports a couple of years ago, and the colour change may have been the cheapest option offered by the same company for ID cards as well. If they even slightly overestimated the number of brown cards required for some other country, then they may have been in a position to offer this colour very cheaply to Finland (a production overrun of 150,000 would cover the entire requirement in Finland for 5 years). These cards require costly security storage, and it may have been cost-effective for the company to give away any excess as part of a new manufacturing contract.

    Given the context of the complaint, the Finnish Interior Ministry would probably be unlikely to issue a statement saying that they simply took the cheapest option. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find an explanation of this kind though.

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