HS in English: Concerns about growing racism in Savo and Karelia

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment:  We all know that racism is a problem and that immigrants and other minorities are targets of attacks. Ask many visible immigrants in Finland if they have ever been a victim of racist harassment or a hate crime the answers you get may surprise you.  Some immigrants may play down these incidents while others are quite candid about them. 

A good rule of thumb in the town that I live in is the visible immigrants usually visit a bar with two other friends. Going alone could put you in harm way especially when alcohol has a role in the matter. 

YLE reports something that has been known for a long while: “In Iisalmi, in the north of Savo, police have had reports of residents of immigrant background being targeted by verbal abuse. Racist graffiti has been seen in public places, and in one case, a young woman was threatened with physical violence.”

So what gives and why is racism “growing more than usual” in Savo and Karelia?

The police do not give us a clear answer. 

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Police in North Karelia and North Savo are concerned about increasing manifestations of racism in the area. Police in the eastern town of Lieksa were informed that young people in the area had been invited on Facebook to convene on Tuesday evening in a suburb with a large immigrant population under the heading “Who’s afraid of a black man?”

Read whole story.

  1. Method

    “So what gives and why is racism “growing more than usual” in Savo and Karelia?”

    I know. I mean the outlines of it. There’s not one particular reason, but many together are contributing to this. It’s still not as bad as it can be.

    My take is, it’s at least the economical state and exclusion of youth. I mean, people below say, 25 years of age are not doing very well. I might have said this before, but the young people of Finnish origin aren’t being integrated to the society themselves. It’s not their society. At some year groups, every fourth has a criminal record, every third lives by the social system. It happened in the 90’s in Savo and Karelia, now it’s happening again and everyone is wondering “what’s happening?”. That[the wondering] tends to happen if you live in some fictional reality. It’s not very uncommon, though. Everyone just seem to be arguing about the immigrants. The truth is, in the history of Finland, it has never ever been the immigrants breaking havoc, but the Finnish youth. Just look at any boiling reaction in Finnish history.

    Now the EU is happening, representative democracy is happening and Finland seems to be going down with the changes. Change is happening.

    Are you really surprised by these reactions? I’m not. Whenever there’s change, there are reactions.

    It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. If not, we got off easy. But they speculate it’s going to be a long recession. Means no opportunities, broken families, violence and people dead. You know, the same thing that happens when you’re in a war. Economical war. There’s always a cost, but Finland will probably be better off than most countries.

    • Enrique

      Method, it’s a good thing you mentioned the outrageously and unacceptable high unemployment among those that are 15-25. Even so, immigrants are not the cause of unemployment. They, like these young people, are just as much as victims of the system than those in the 15-25 age group. If you want to find a disenfranchsed group look at immigrants. And on top of that they get blamed for the country’s unemployment! That is why I never understood how some labor unions see immigrants as a threat. If they seem them as a threat it is a reflection of how conservative and protectionist they have become. I believe in rule and they must apply to everyone.

      If you want to know what immigrants bring to society look at it as when you contribute something to social media. What you give to the net you get back in other forms. Immigrants, like society, are made up of humans. There is no such thing as a perfect society.

  2. Martin-Éric

    Eastern Finland never needed any economic exclusion to have an accute sense of xenophobism. They’ve always associated foreigners with troubles and there’s strong historical reasons for that. Economic downturns simply accentuate those reflexes.

  3. Method

    Enrique, who said they were? I haven’t seen one people being unable to get a job if they really want one. Not one. The jobs are not the problem, the problem is, in Finland you don’t have to have a job, in some cases it’s even borderline stupid. Fe. a family with 2+ kids living in a rental flat, where the other one is unemployed for whatever reason. Unless you make like 2500-3000 € / month, there’s no reason to “burn” all the benefits, because that’s what’ll happen if even the other one is working.

    And like I said, it’s not their society, so why should they feel obligated to participate in it? I’ve met so many people who just don’t want to work. One just over 20 year old man said: “I have never worked, and I never will.”. I don’t hold it against them. They just milk the cow while there’s milk in it. It’s also a change in Finnish culture. You just have to take whatever good there is in a change, with the bad. You can’t hand pick the things you consider good and just leave out the rest. It’s not realistic.

    You’ll never starve in Finland if you know how to get money out of the social system.

    So, why work at all?

    For pensions? Don’t make me laugh. They don’t wanna tell you directly, but people born after the 80’s will barely get any pensions. What they’re doing is playing it down. “You should put your money in a pension insurance!”. Pff. Let me die when I’m 50, I’m cool with it.

    For free health care? What’s free in it? Last time I checked, there’s a bill dropping in your mail box from the service that you have to wait for hours in line to get in. If you’re not bleeding to death, it’s almost impossible to get them to find out what’s wrong with you, they’ll just give you antibiotics or painkillers or both. Few nights in hospital plus food, 100 €. It’s a cheap hotel with bad food.

    When the “sossu” pays for it, none of this is a problem. You can take fast loans, no one’s going to get the money out of you, if you’re not working. You don’t need to pay child support, “sossu” will pay it. For 18 years! Think how much money you’ll save!

    You’ll have plenty of time drinking cheap beer. Maybe make something “on the side”. Of course, somewhere deep inside you you feel unimportant, inferior. It’ll make you mad and envious. Then you see some asylum seeker family who walks around in nice clothes, their kids driving new bikes, and the furniture store carrying new sofas in. You start thinking: “Why I’m not getting these things for free? Am I somehow lesser human being?”. And there you have it. Anger.

    Then you shave your head, buy a pilot coat and resort to some twisted supremacy ideology you don’t understand shit about, but it gives you the tools to direct your anger. You’ll end up with some people that are involved in steroids and drugs, maybe take a part in the “business”. Do coke, drink booze and take hormones. The crazier you are, more you get women and respect.

    At some point, you go and threat a immigrant, there’ll be huge headlines. Even bigger if you physically attack them and a hardened sentence. If they attack you, you deserved it, no hardened sentence. When you beat up or kill another Finn (which is normally the case), no one gives a shit, no headlines, no hardened sentences, just normal, another day at the zoo. So you keep doing it, end up in jail, out in 1-3 years. By when you’re 30 your either on heavy drugs, or in a circle of crime – in and out of jail every few years. Time passes, and you get old and someone of your drinking buddies decide you drank his booze and stabs you or your drug debts come after you.

    You get the picture? I’ve seen this happen.

    • Enrique

      Method, despite our social welfare system, it is always good to work and grow — created a career. When you speak about these unfortunate cases, which measure work to social welfare benefits, we are speaking of a minority. I don’t think it is and never will be the majority that wants to live off hand outs. Among immigrants, the wish to make something out of themselves in their new home country is greater. Why would I want to tell me friends and relatives in my former home country that I am a failure and living off social welfare? It doesn’t make sense.

      This sentence made me think: “And like I said, it’s not their society, so why should they feel obligated to participate in it?”

      Are you stating that immigrants and refugees don’t have equal rights to social welfare? If they live in this country and have a legal permit then they are entitled to such rights. If you think they should not have the same rights, then it means that you are in favor of a two-tier society. I don’t think that exclusion promotes integration or a sense of social equality, which is an important pillar of our society.

  4. vincebel

    very good description…i was just talking with my gf last night about that. She said that she has less money now that she works than when she was a student. She said the same as you. Unless you make huge money everymonth its better to stay home and enjoy life.

    My work counsellor said the same actually. He told me to not accept half time job cos at the end i will get less than doing nothing (with the taxes, cost of fuel,food, etc…).

    So if even a job counsellor tells you to not work i think theres a problem…

    I still work half time for, as you says, to not feel useless.

    as why are we here? well my 3yo son has the best kindergarden in the world and he is truly happy. but once he is a bit older (11-12) we plan to move before this youngster attitude fuels him.

    Do we milk the cow? yes. im not proud but the system doesnt really encourage me to do something else..

  5. BoredinFinland

    Yeah…. the Finnish system is terrible….it makes people really passive and lazy! They even don’t bother to be proactive since mama Finland is there ….I have seen so many poor people here (Finn and over 40 years old without their own property) living like they were rich (buying their food in stockmann, travelling here and there)….imagine if mama Finland is not there any more for them??? what are they going to do! nothing else than to blame the Somali inmigrants for taking their example of how to live….

  6. Martin-Éric

    Either that or someone really tries hard to land any damn job they can get their hands on and then learns the hard way why accepting any less than a full-time job at a monthly salary of at least 2000eur is not worth it.

  7. Method

    BoredInFinland

    “Yeah…. the Finnish system is terrible….it makes people really passive and lazy! They even don’t bother to be proactive since mama Finland is there ”

    It’s just that I’m not convinced it’ll be better if papa Finland wakes up.

    Enrique

    “When you speak about these unfortunate cases, which measure work to social welfare benefits, we are speaking of a minority. ”

    How small a minority? Even the Stakes can’t tell. Estimations run somewhere between 14 000 – 100 000. The worst social cases, the ones taken from their family, are rising steadily from 2000 forward, nowadays over a percent of the age group. It’s estimated that 25% of the young people in workforce (minus those who are studying) are unemployed. 15 000 people are missing from the unemployment registers.

    How many you need to have serious consequences? I mean, you yourself wondering why the racist actions are rising? Who’s doing them? Or is it that you don’t want to think the things are related?

    “Among immigrants, the wish to make something out of themselves in their new home country is greater. Why would I want to tell me friends and relatives in my former home country that I am a failure and living off social welfare? It doesn’t make sense. ”

    Are you a failure if you come (maybe) from nothing to somewhere where everything’s free? I don’t think so.

    “Are you stating that immigrants and refugees don’t have equal rights to social welfare? ”

    I don’t get it, how am I doing that in anything I’ve said? Not one comment of mine has to do with immigrants, but these outcast Finns that – as I see it – are the main cause of rising racism.

    “I don’t think that exclusion promotes integration or a sense of social equality, which is an important pillar of our society.”

    Which society? Are you talking about the western society or the european society? Look, we’re all in it for the money and the security. If there’s no money or security, what is there? Good will? I’ve found, without money or security, we’ll be short on that too.

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