Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from April 1, 1993

by , under Enrique

Migrant Tales publishes on and off Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.

Migrant Tales apologizes for the racist content. Some ads that one can find from the 1930s and later in Finland are too offensive to publish on our blog.  Some of these include shoe polish, bubble gum, licorice and other products.

Some billboards are truly hilarious depending on your perspective of things. This one of Miss Finland 1991 Tanja Karpela and of a handsome-looking black man tells readers that she refused to date this person or dance with him.

Was it because Karpela likes only go out with men who are white and Finnish? My guess is as good as yours.

 *Migration Institute archive. 

  1. Farang

    Where did you get that dancing and dating part? The ad only says Tanja rejected him.

    Enrique, this is exactly how you cause harm to all immigrants. Some people start to think that all immigrants are like you and start to act against all. Why do you deliberately try to create racism everywhere? Don’t you see that all the real problems with racism gets missed because they get lost in all of this artificial racism that you create and try to feed everyone.

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, I haven’t seen the article so it’s a matter of interpretation. Moreover, I am not an immigrant, but a Finn. I am just as proud of my immigrant background as I am of my Finnish roots.

      –Why do you deliberately try to create racism everywhere? Don’t you see that all the real problems with racism gets missed because they get lost in all of this artificial racism that you create and try to feed everyone.

      Since you have free will and since you live in a society like ours, you have every right to disagree with what I say. I too have that right to differ with your views.

  2. Allan

    Ha ha ha. Enrique – lets add a new word to the dictionary: “enriquism”. Its not only April 1st that makes you the fool.

    “Everyone knows” in Finland that the buxom Tanja was enagaged with a Moroccan dancer Simon Kraitiss (a dance pedagogue in Turku) when she was chosen as Miss Finland 1991. A bit like with Viivi Pumpanen and her passionate love fling with Pezhman Ahmadi was all over IL and Seiska, Tanja and her doings were the favorite tabloid-filler at the time, so the couples break-up was material for the daily paper advert. She abandoned him. Oh what racism.

    Please continue, I appreciate a good laugh every morning.

  3. Allan

    JD – yes, she was originally Vienonen… Karpela’s her 1st husbands name. Oh well, she could be the First Lady now.

  4. Farang

    Funny thing, this is now third ad Enrique has (intentionally or is his Finnish skills really that poor) translated wrong and deliberately creating racism where there are none. This is exactly what i said about him causing negative attitudes against immigrants.

    And he never apologizes his mistakes and false accusations.

    Enrique, if you don’t understand Finnish enough or don’t understand the backgrounds, please stop publishing these as it is dishonest. Many here thinks what you tell is true, because they don’t understand finnish.

  5. Yossie

    Seriously Enrique…

    So this shows racism when a finnish women engages a foreigner, but then if it for some reason didnt work out like and she leaves him, its racism? Are you saying any finnish woman who dates a foreigner cant leave him because else she is a racist? You see why I have hard time taking your claims of racism seriously? You see racism because you want to see racism

    • Migrant Tales

      –So this shows racism when a finnish women engages a foreigner, but then if it for some reason didnt work out like and she leaves him, its racism?

      This was a funny billboard but I did not imply implicitly that this was a case of outright racism. You said it. It was just odd. What does this billboard tell you?

  6. Allan

    “Moreover, I am not an immigrant, but a Finn. I am just as proud of my immigrant background as I am of my Finnish roots. ”

    So, if you are not an immigrant, how can you then have immigrant background?

    • Migrant Tales

      –So, if you are not an immigrant, how can you then have immigrant background?

      Can’t a Finn have an immigrant background. Don’t forget that hundreds of thousands left this country between 1860 and 1999.

  7. Allan

    Yes, but you say you are not an immigrant, so you now claim you were born in Finland?
    People who leave a country are emigrants from the point of view of the country they leave from. They’re immigrants in the receiving end..

  8. Mark

    Farang

    Funny thing, this is now third ad Enrique has (intentionally or is his Finnish skills really that poor) translated wrong and deliberately creating racism where there are none. This is exactly what i said about him causing negative attitudes against immigrants.

    I see. And what relevance to this break-up does the word ‘tumma’ have with anything, except for the fact that they are drawing attention to the fact he is black?

  9. Mark

    Yossie

    Are you saying any finnish woman who dates a foreigner cant leave him because else she is a racist?

    No doubt that is how you will portray this particular post by Enrique. It’s a straw man all the way to the bonfire, though, Yossie.

    Why don’t you be a man and argue what is actually meant and not your stupid made-up inventions for what Migrant Tales are talking about.

  10. Mark

    Why thank you Allan, for taking the time to explain this obvious cultural misconception to me. Nope, instead you like to call me ‘a stupid foreigner’ for trying to understand why ‘tumma’ is relevant to the fact the fact of their break-up.

    Even in neutral terms, it would be interpreted as ‘breaks up with dark dancer’. However, one imagines that ‘dark’ here does not refer to the nature of his dance moves. Or are you going to tell me it means ‘tanned’ 😀

    Allan, you are as obnoxious as ever, and I notice, you still don’t answer simple questions either, aka, the ‘them or us’ article.

  11. Mark

    Mark, you are only drawing attention to the fact you are a stupid foreigner who knows nothing about Finland.

    I know more about Finland’s human rights approach than you do, But that has nothing to do with the fact that you are Finnish. It’s to do with the fact that you are what you are…

  12. Yossie

    Enrique

    Seems you pretty much fucked up the translation

    “Tanja Karpela and of a handsome-looking black man tells readers that she refused to date this person or dance with him”

    Because in this case this implies she left her having dated him.

    I just read the tabloid and “Was it because Karpela likes only go out with men who are white and Finnish?”

    So as such I thought you meant leaving the guy was racist. After all, the nature of these
    posts of yours is “to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.” Which in this case doesnt happen.

  13. Farang

    Mark, “tumma” was used to describe the man, same way as if he would have been a bodybuilder the ad would have said “tanja dumped her muscular boyfriend” etc. Nothing racist there.

  14. joku

    I agree with Farang here. Tanja was very newsworthy on her own – all her breakups were discussed in excruciating detail in the not-so-serious media, regardless of the colour of the man.

    So Tanja dumped her dark-haired policeman/her older politician/ her stealing filmmaker… and her dark dancer. Did I leave anyone out?

  15. Farang

    Enrique:

    “This was a funny billboard but I did not imply implicitly that this was a case of outright racism. You said it. It was just odd. What does this billboard tell you?”

    Then why do you write this in the behinning of article:

    “…it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.

    Migrant Tales apologizes for the racist content.”

    To me that billboard is just that usual bullshit social porn that idiot Finns who doesn’t have a life likes to read. Nothing racist there.

  16. Mark

    Farang

    Mark, “tumma” was used to describe the man, same way as if he would have been a bodybuilder the ad would have said “tanja dumped her muscular boyfriend” etc. Nothing racist there.

    Farang. Very far from convincing. The adjective must be regarded as somehow relevant if it was in a newspaper title. Have you ever seen newspaper editors go to town on a headline? Brevity is absolutely the key word.

    Even if the word ‘muscular dancer’ was used, it would be rejected as utterly irrelevant unless he was somehow famous for being ‘the muscular dancer’.

    Are you saying that Simon was famous as the ‘black dancer’? Even if he was, some kind of moral perspective would say that you still wouldn’t use it in a newspaper headline. As it is, reference to his skin colour is completely irrelevant and here, generally speaking, I would say that it carries negative overtones.

    This would absolutely NOT be acceptable in an English newspaper, to refer to his skin colour, unless it was somehow relevant in another way, i.e. that it was suspected to be a race crime.

    However, from what you are suggesting, falsely I think, you think this would still be acceptable even today?

  17. joku

    I’m still left wondering..

    This man in this newsitem had not done anything wrong. He was the dumpee of a very pretty and famous girl.

    Do you think it’s racism to refer to his skin colour in the news? Considering that had he been red-haired that would very probably been there instead (Missi-Tanja hylkäsi punapäätanssijan… or something like that.) Whatever quality there had been to him that would have separated him from the average Finnish man.

    I mean really – isn’t that like being ashamed of the skin colour? There was nothing wrong with the looks of this very handsome dance teacher. So if you are dark-skinned, can’t that be mentioned in any context? Shouldn’t it be competely natural, at least in ideal society?

    I’m asking this seriously, because being sadly white myself I don’t quite know how to relate to this discussion.

  18. Mark

    Joku

    So Tanja dumped her dark-haired policeman/her older politician/ her stealing filmmaker… and her dark dancer. Did I leave anyone out?

    I think your arguments carry a little more strength than Farang’s but not very much.

    ‘Dark-haired’ would almost certainly be rejected as irrelevant. ‘Older’ politician might carry something of a ‘story’, but I still cannot see this being used in a headline, even in a Finnish newspaper.

    I think you two are being naive or disingenuous in thinking that just because it’s an ‘adjective’, it works like any other one.

    It must be relevant and it must be especially relevant to be in the headline. That’s how it works in the newspaper business!

  19. joku

    Mark, I did not see your comment before I wrote my own.

    I think this is an interesting point. Clearly, they were trying to attract readers’ attention – I mean we are not talking about serious journalism here but tabloid “news”.

    In those days there were fewer dark people in Finland, so the fact that he was a dancer and dark were the “interesting” things.

    But they would have talked about the breakup in any case – ALL her boyfriends were discussed in the media, even the serious (very white and conservative) politician boyfriends.

    So they would have commented on his age/background/wealth, something.

    Is it automatically racist to say that you are dark-skinned if you live in a land of albinos? If there is no particular attempt to use it as a defamatory term?

  20. Mark

    Joku

    Do you think it’s racism to refer to his skin colour in the news? Considering that had he been red-haired that would very probably been there instead (Missi-Tanja hylkäsi punapäätanssijan… or something like that.) Whatever quality there had been to him that would have separated him from the average Finnish man.

    First, if every negative headline in Finland that involved a blonde woman made a point of stating the fact she was blonde, I think blonde women in Finland would start to feel this was not right. The question is really one of relevance. The skin colour is irrelevant. I imagine too that hair-colour is irrelevant in headline, though I’d be interested to see if I’m wrong about that. Maybe you might see something ‘Simon Cowell seen with mystery redhead’, for example, but that carries a totally different meaning to saying for example. ‘Hamilton jilts his black singer!’ The skin colour is irrelevant.

    If you do not see how this can carry negative connotations, then I suggest you try a little harder to get with where the moral conscience of the Western world is, and by that, I don’t mean the world of political correctness, but just a basic sense of how words have been used in the past to associate race with negative characteristics, and how a conscious decision to stop that was seen as an advancement in cultural sophistication and moral conscience.

    I mean really – isn’t that like being ashamed of the skin colour? There was nothing wrong with the looks of this very handsome dance teacher. So if you are dark-skinned, can’t that be mentioned in any context? Shouldn’t it be competely natural, at least in ideal society?

    Maybe. How would you find if every headline coming out of Finland stated the fact that the person involved was ‘white’?

    How about these from today’s headlines?

    White Niinistö says Finnish nuclear safety won praise in Seoul”

    or

    Pentti Arajärvi, husband of former white President Halonen, to run for Helsinki City Council

    There, how do these sound to your ear?

  21. joku

    Mark,
    Yes I agree – this would not make it in any serious newspaper headline.

    But just look at the way they create headlines these days. It’s ridiculous! Everything is “concealed”, “salattu”. “We reveal the tango singer’s hidden child!” And all that was hidden or concealed about the child was the fact that the child had not appeared in any headlines before… IS and IL are tabloids for true idiots these days.

    Of course I understand what we are talking about but I do sometimes worry that we are taking political correctness to another extreme. I mean, I sometimes worry that people with darker skins in Finland must feel bad about their skin colour just because IT CAN’T BE MENTIONED, like any comment about it must automatically be bad.

    Do you understand what I mean by this?

  22. Allan

    Mark, so sorry to inform you that Finns know and understand their language better than you do. This was not an English newspaper, it was 1993, a Finnish newspaper and Finnish language with Finnish nuances.

  23. joku

    Mark: “Maybe. How would you find if every headline coming out of Finland stated the fact that the person involved was ‘white’?”

    Yes, but it’s reality that if you are a redhead, a millionaire, an octogenarian or dark-skinned, that is a quality that sets you apart from the norm in Finland.

    And of course there is the evil tradition, the idea that you mention “blackness” only with the attempt to hurt.

    But isn’t it wrong? Should it not be a neutral comment? Isn’t it wrong if it can’t ever be used “neutrally”, doesn’t that carry the idea that being dark IS somehow bad and you just should not comment on it?

    And of course I’m not suggesting that we use those words in avery headline. I just feel bad for people whose skin colour cannot be mentioned as a mildly interesting feature, like being red-haired or bald or whatever.

    But I would like to hear from someone who can comment on this from their own personal experience. Clearly anyone white in Finland has only their own limited viewpoint on this.

  24. Mark

    Joku

    In those days there were fewer dark people in Finland, so the fact that he was a dancer and dark were the “interesting” things.

    I understand. Britain was the same in its past too. But race and colour were used as political weapons and so we didn’t stay in this ‘naive’ world for very long. In fact, it’s arguable whether we ever really used the terms in a completely neutral sense. As you point out, the ‘skin colour’ is what makes a foreigner interesting in that context. But that’s the start of the problems, and by referring always to the skin colour, a person becomes a member of their race and not merely a citizen like any other.

    But they would have talked about the breakup in any case –

    True….no argument with that.

    So they would have commented on his age/background/wealth, something.

    Yep, anything ‘interesting’, just like you said, especially anything that they could put a negative spin on, i.e. age, wealth, background, etc.

    Is it automatically racist to say that you are dark-skinned if you live in a land of albinos? If there is no particular attempt to use it as a defamatory term?

    It is if those albinos are mostly racists (not saying this about Finland), and then again it probably isn’t if they aren’t. But really, can you say that 80s or 90s Finland was without any racism or antipathy towards Africans? It’s the lack of awareness about race issues that mark’s Finland out in most instances, and the belligerence in understanding that the rest of the world has gone through some pretty significant changes in regard to attitudes to race.

    I know someone very well here in Finland that worked in Africa for some years in development projects and then spent many decades on returning from Africa talking to kids in schools (he was also a teacher/headmaster) at special seminars about life in Africa. This man told me quite categorically that he has seen a lot of racism in his time in Finland, from adults and from kids. This is a lovely man who has no hate in his body, is not an activist, does not have any political agenda. He just speaks about what he’s seen and experienced, and then noted how other Finns have reacted to that.

    Maybe I’ll ask him to write a story for Migrant Tales.

  25. Allan

    “In those days there were fewer dark people in Finland, so the fact that he was a dancer and dark were the “interesting” things.”

    No shit sherlock. It would have been ruder to call him an “exotic dancer” – but Armi Kuusela already married to the Philippines in the 50’s so it wasn’t anything groundbreaking. If it would have been off-color they’d ripped off a headline of “neekeritanssija” which probably would have been the case in 70’s or 80’s. By the 1990’s any racial categorisation was already being scrapped, so “tumma” was at the time about as neutral term that a tabloid could use bringing forth the exotic aspect without being racist. After all, how many foreigners were in the country, all 100 000?

  26. Mark

    Allan

    Mark, so sorry to inform you that Finns know and understand their language better than you do. This was not an English newspaper, it was 1993, a Finnish newspaper and Finnish language with Finnish nuances.

    Sure Allan! That’s the best you can come up with! Lame, lame, lame.

  27. Mark

    Allan

    By the 1990′s any racial categorisation was already being scrapped, so “tumma” was at the time about as neutral term that a tabloid could use bringing forth the exotic aspect without being racist. After all, how many foreigners were in the country, all 100 000?

    There you go Allan, you are doing my work for me. Why do they have to refer to his race at all? Why is Finland so behind the times, even in the 1990s`, that they feel the need to point out what is in fact obvious from the photograph, if it’s merely about ‘informing’ their readers?

  28. Allan

    Finland “behind the times”? Oh here we go again, the colonial master teaching the backwards natives? How about you swing back to your cage and have a banana?

  29. joku

    Mark, I understand what you are getting at and of course you are right in many respects.

    I’m sure there were – and still are – lots of racist Finns around, some intentionally and some because they did not know any better, never having met anyone outside their own village.

    But my point is that somehow I think we are in a way perpetuating this idea “dark skin is inferior” if it can never be mentioned lightly – it’s like saying YES it IS bad and that’s why we must NEVER mention it.

    Because it IS just skin colour, not a big deal. Or at least that’s how it should be, in my opinion.

    I don’t think we should pay particular attention to anyone’s outer characteristics. But reacting hysterically to the idea of mentioning skin colour can perhaps strengthen and carry on the outmoded idea that it is of utmost importance?

    Of course I’m being naive here but can you see the point I’m trying to make?

  30. Mark

    Allan

    Finland “behind the times”? Oh here we go again, the colonial master teaching the backwards natives? How about you swing back to your cage and have a banana?

    Yeah, hilarious, Allan, such a master of comedy!

    Yourself and Joku have made use of this argument that there are not many foreigners in Finland, so it’s in part an ‘innocent’ naivety about the politics of race, colour and racism, even though this is in the 1990s. And yet, when it is pointed out that this defence places Finland very firmly ‘behind the times’ politically and socially, you cry that the colonialists are whipping you!

    Go cry me a river, Allan!

  31. Mark

    But my point is that somehow I think we are in a way perpetuating this idea “dark skin is inferior” if it can never be mentioned lightly – it’s like saying YES it IS bad and that’s why we must NEVER mention it.

    I think there is some truth in this, Joku. We transition from talking about colour in an almost joking sense, quite openly derogatory, reinforcing our generally stupid ideas of cultural and national superiority, to becoming more conscious of the fact that immigrants are people and they deserve to be treated as individuals and not constantly as members of a race, in the same way that Finns probably don’t always want to be ‘natives’ to foreigners, to becoming aware that actually some people have really suffered because of this racism and social denigrating of particular groups, to becoming painfully aware of colour, not because we are racism, but because colour comes to be associated only with racism and all the pain and division that has come with it.

    However, this painful stage is rather necessary in the healing. Some really damage is being done in Finland at the moment with the way that people are talking about certain groups and being able to get away with it. The price of that will be to make everyone more PAINFULLY aware of race and ethnicity, as something that has generated mistrust.

    But reacting hysterically to the idea of mentioning skin colour can perhaps strengthen and carry on the outmoded idea that it is of utmost importance?

    I’m not sure that Enrique’s analysis is hysterical. He’s documenting how referring to race has gone through various changes in Finnish newspapers, and how race often became a marker for something negative. Yes, age, wealth, and many other characteristics have also been used in the same way by newspapers, but we see through those much more easily than we do those of race. All the more reason not to use them.

  32. Mark

    I don’t think we should pay particular attention to anyone’s outer characteristics. But reacting hysterically to the idea of mentioning skin colour can perhaps strengthen and carry on the outmoded idea that it is of utmost importance?

    We cannot ignore nearly half a decade of political struggle by blacks for political and social equality by pretending that race is no big deal! We can’t. Really.

  33. Farang

    Mark, any intelligent person can see what you are, so don’t bother.

    In Britain it’s not far away that white paper is considered racist, I wouldn’t call that a healthy society.

  34. joku

    Mark: “We cannot ignore nearly half a decade of political struggle by blacks for political and social equality by pretending that race is no big deal!”

    But I think it should be…

    History is all very well, but I think we should always aim to look towards future, not at what’s in the past.

    I mean, every sensible person understands there is nothing to skin colour. Or length of nose, thickness of waist, whatever. Clearly emphasising skin colour is an absolute waste of time, it won’t serve us in any way.

    I’m lucky enough to work in a very multicultural atmosphere, where most people are relatively young and have been exposed to a variety of nationalities at a very young age. I think their attitudes to these things (nationalities, skin colour, languages) are refreshingly natural.

    I think life in southern Finland will be easier for everyone in the future. At least I hope so.

  35. eyeopener

    Hi Mark

    Person nr.71281148 reminds you of a whitepaper on racism. That’s so simple. A Googlian experiment -simple exercise- will tell 17.000 whitepapers inthe UK on racism? Simply a lot.

    Perhaps this intelligent nr. COULD inform the ignorant which paper he means.

    Would be a simple case, wouldn’t it ??

  36. Allan

    Yes Mark, of course being an uneducated foreigner you would not be expected to know, that as Finland wasn’t by much of a colonial power, some missionaries in Namibia being our worst exploiters, we didn’t import ebenwood nor pay people tickets to come build the country in the 50’s but built it ourselves, we did not have any of these social nor political problems you so fondly mention. It is not our history, it is nothing that formed our culture or society. So why are you trying to impose foreign standards onto a society that has had its own development? I can understand that you are jealous and wanting to bring Finland down to the level of the garbage heap you emerged from, but thats not really fair to the Finns.

  37. Allan

    “We cannot ignore nearly half a decade of political struggle by blacks for political and social equality by pretending that race is no big deal! We can’t. Really.”

    I can. i am a Finn. There was no such struggle in Finland. However, there was social and political equality. Then stupid foreigners start telling us race is a big deal, because of something that has no relevance to the Finnish society. Thanks, but no fish.

  38. Mark

    Farang

    Mark, any intelligent person can see what you are, so don’t bother.

    Yes, and you obviously don’t have the guts to say it. I love the way you thugs play the man and not the ball.

    In Britain it’s not far away that white paper is considered racist, I wouldn’t call that a healthy society.

    Now isn’t it funny that you complain ALL the time that Enrique is exaggerating the situation here in Finland and you come out with that little gem. Now how can we possibly take your seriously? This isn’t a debate. You come here to fart all over the posts. It’s clear, it’s IS boring and it doesn’t advance us one single bit.

    Joku is someone I am happy to debate with even if we disagree a lot. He shows respect. Farang, you are just a poop on the page, mate!

  39. Mark

    Allan

    Yes Mark, of course being an uneducated foreigner you would not be expected to know, that as Finland wasn’t by much of a colonial power

    😀 Keep it up, Allan. It reflects really well on you.

    some missionaries in Namibia being our worst exploiters, we didn’t import ebenwood nor pay people tickets to come build the country in the 50′s but built it ourselves, we did not have any of these social nor political problems you so fondly mention.

    Oh, what problems were those then?

    It is not our history, it is nothing that formed our culture or society.

    Fair enough. But I hardly think that is a reason to reject all knowledge on the matter from the outside world. I hardly think Finland would have progressed in any sense if it had adopted this kind of attitude you are putting forward as being the Finnish way.

    So why are you trying to impose foreign standards onto a society that has had its own development?

    Why are you trying to suggest that you speak on behalf of Finland while I’m just to the silly uneducated foreigner?

    I can understand that you are jealous and wanting to bring Finland down to the level of the garbage heap you emerged from, but thats not really fair to the Finns.

    And with that comment you dragged the level of debate here down to what level, I wonder?

  40. Farang

    Mark, you don’t deserve any respect, that’s why I don’t show it to you. Out of all persons here, who I disagree with, D4R is the only one that reserves my respect? Why? Because he is honest and doesn’t spread lies.

    It’s futile to try to have discussion with idiots, when the discussion about the actual matter cannot even start because we can’t clean the table since all time goes to counter all the lies they feed as a base of the conversation.

  41. Allan

    So Mark, when you sat in school you were educated in Finnish history and spent 9th grade learning how the Finnish society and government works? OK, so if not, then you are not educated, so any Finn knows these things better than you do.

    Problems? Whatever problems there were out in the word, riots and massacres. All that slavery and discrimination, apartheid and colonial independence. All those things that never happened here.

    I do not “reject knowlege” – I rejct your attitude. I have more than enough of knowlege. As you say, Finland has been sidelined and that is good, as we can avoid the mistakes of others.

    I can say any Finn you come across on the street knows all this that you have to be explained like as to a small child. So like a small child you and your opinions count as much. If you cry someone gives you candy.

  42. Mark

    Farang

    The consultant made several good points, all of which appear to have been misrepresented in the story. The basic gist was that kids as young as two can already have developed fairly strong negative connotations with dark colours and especially black and that children as young as four can be seen to have racist views. The report was aimed at learning techniques to try to help them ‘unlearn’ early negative stereotypes.

    That’s seems fine to me. And as is usual with these early learning ‘exercises’, they did a brainstorm on the kinds of ‘creative’ exercises they can do to break that stereotyping. However, the way the paper presents it, all the freedoms of the western world are at stake.

    Among them they said that kids could draw on other colour papers including white, express positive attitudes to dark colours, including going so far as to say they would be your favourite colours (black is a favourite colour of Goths, and metal fans, no problems with that I imagine!),

    The idea of the report was to

    challenges prejudices such as racism, sexism and ageism through the whole curriculum and teaches children about tolerance and respect and to critically analyse what they are taught and think.

    Now what possibly could you have against that, Farang?

    Irony of ironies, this is what the original report author had to say:

    “This is an incredibly complex subject that can easily become simplified and inaccurately portrayed. There is a tendency in education to say ‘here are normal people and here are different people and we have to be kind to those different people’, whether it’s race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or faith.

    These seems sensible enough, and the kind of thing you would agree with, that it’s all a bit namby pamby!

    And the guide’s author goes on to say:

    “What we hope to do is help practitioners put themselves in the shoes of the child or the parents who is considered different. What we want for future generations is a sense of self that does not deny everyone else’s sense of self.

    Sounds pretty sensible to me. She gave the ‘white paper’ as an example of how black kids might not see ‘themselves’ or their ‘colour’ in the world around them, or when they do see it, it’s often in a negative role.

    She also made the point that criticising it as political correctness is missing the point, that disabled access is taken for granted nowadays as a necessary function of a healthy society, but at one time it was rejected by many as ‘political correctness’.

    The article’s author also pointed out this interesting fact too:

    Children were presented with a series of images of faces of men, women, boys or girls. Only one of the faces in each sequence was white. Children were asked to pick out the face of the person they wanted as their friend and the person they thought would be most likely to get in to trouble. Almost all white children in the survey associated positive qualities exclusively with photographs of white children or adults. More than half of the black children made the same associations.

    In contrast, people with darker faces were viewed as troublemakers.

    So, out of all of that, what did Farang get out it? “they want to take away ‘white paper’. 😀

    Yes, exaggeration, Farang. The accusation still stands.

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    Telegraph numeracy campaign: Make Britain count. Maths being taught by Chris Bayley at Hall Meadow Primary School, Kettering
    Telegraph campaign for numeracy

    GCSE league tables: compare your school’s performance

    A-level league tables: compare your school’s performance

    Primary school league tables: compare your school’s performance
    Paul Evans, WJEC chief examiner
    The secret filming that exposed exam boards

    The author was just trying to get people to think outside the box.

    I guess that was a bit too difficult for you to figure out Farang. 😀

  43. Mark

    Farang

    Mark, you don’t deserve any respect, that’s why I don’t show it to you.

    I see.

    Out of all persons here, who I disagree with, D4R is the only one that reserves my respect? Why? Because he is honest and doesn’t spread lies.

    What lies have I spread then?

    It’s futile to try to have discussion with idiots, when the discussion about the actual matter cannot even start because we can’t clean the table since all time goes to counter all the lies they feed as a base of the conversation.

    You mean, because they are saying lots of thing you disagree with? Yep, it’s easy to see a critics opinions as all lies, but conversation really begins when you do show some respect and try to understand what’s being said.

    Almost 90% of the criticisms of Enrique and others I’ve read on here are straw men arguments. No wonder you think we are such idiots. I would think it too if I believed all the things said about us.

  44. Allan

    “Almost 90% of the criticisms of Enrique and others I’ve read on here are straw men arguments.”

    The argument is rather you men have well-composted straw for brains. Does great for the imagination though.

  45. Farang

    Mark, THINK what you write if you can. That crap about child seeing his own colour is total idiocy. Take a good look at plain white paper. Nobodys skin is that colour. Only mentally challenged person can make any references to skin colour about white paper.

  46. Native Finnish Woman

    Eihannu beat me to it, but I was going to say that the tabloids often talk about “blonde beauties” that men of fame or power are “seen with”. I guess it’s mysterious.

    I’m sure someone with dark skin would roll their eyes at the tabloid ad in the 90’s just like we do now 20 years later. It sounds a bit childish and old-fashioned. These things were so new back then. Dating across pigment borders? It was so interesting and a bit naughty! Hehe. It seems silly now.

    I’m sure there also were and still are racists who were interested in it out of negative reasons. The tabloids gladly sold to both groups ;).

  47. Mark

    Farang

    Mark, THINK what you write if you can.

    I seriously doubt that I can convince you that I ‘think’, even though it’s quite obviously something we all do. More to the point, I really doubt that you would value my thinking unless I was saying something that you agreed with. That’s the way it is, and that’s fine with me….

    That crap about child seeing his own colour is total idiocy.

    There is a ton of research that shows that kids as young as 3 are starting to become aware of skin tones, theirs and others, and also about social values attached to certain colours. The connection between colours and skin tones doesn’t come until much later.

    But, in studies with children, both blacks and whites, if you ask which of two dolls that are identical in everything except black and white skin tone is the bad one, the black doll is picked up significantly more times.

    Later, a child living in a mixed race country is likely to see mostly white celebrities, actors and models, in magazines, on TV etc. And from this, kids develop a value system. Even if young kids value their own skin colour and have no self-esteem problems, they are nevertheless quite aware of how SOCIETY values different colours. These things are absorbed from a very young.

    This researcher quoted in this Telegraph article says many useful things, and gave many kinds of tips to try to break even the teachers ‘moulded’ thinking on issues of colour, just to break the stereotype of black being bad, and white being something valued, something ‘seen’. This is quite a straightforward and valuable point to make. If you only want to focus on one example and call it idiocy, then go ahead, but I will tell you something for nothing:

    The ideas you have about the world and about how these people (and myself for that matter) see the issue of colour are hugely distorted. I am not one bit surprised you see only idiocy, because you create that idiocy out of the words and ideas. But these are NOT what is being said. It is not the point to say that black paper should be used instead of white paper, because kids ‘see themselves in the paper’. The issue is to break the mould that says that ‘black’ is something hidden, not used, and not used in a positive way in things done for children.

    When was the last time you saw a white kid playing with a black doll Farang?

    That’s it. It’s just about stretching your ideas a bit, recognising that children are absorbing the value system of the world around them. This isn’t controversial, until you start to distort it and say it’s about kinds not seeing their skin colour in the paper, when the point was that black kids do not see society as a whole valuing things that are black, with only a few exceptions (e.g. priestly robes).

    Only mentally challenged person can make any references to skin colour about white paper.

    I agree, to a point. Now, I would say to you that only a mentally challenged person would think that that was what this early learning expert was actually saying.

    I have to say that the Telegraph title was a pretty sarcastic misrepresentation of the key message, which only becomes apparent when you read the article:

    Dress witches in pink and avoid white paper to prevent racism in nuseries, expert says

    This is the same newspaper that wants to keep Tin Tin in the Congo on the shelves for kids to read, even though it was full of the worst kinds of racism and the author himself, Herge, denounced the book later saying that he was:

    “Fed on the prejudices of the dirigent society in which I moved.”

    But the Telegraph know better, for sure.

    Racism begins early, and we can start to tackle it early. That was the key message, and it’s a sound message. Do you really object to that? Or do you prefer feigned outrage about how even ‘white paper’ is being taken away? Hmmm…which one will Farang choose?

  48. khr

    Very interesting study results with the dolls, Mark. I wonder if it has been repeated in a more homogenous environment, that is, would children in an overwhelmingly black country keep choosing black dolls. (That children in a “white” country might start choosing white dolls would not necessarily reflect a value judgement, just that they’d start picking dolls that they see as more realistic looking, and as such the result would not be as interesting).

  49. khr

    Oops, I wrote the colours the wrong way around for choosing a bad doll (I was thinking about choosing the favourite doll while I wrote the comment), but control group results done that way would be interesting anyway.

  50. eyeopener

    KHR.

    Are you familiar with Skinner’s research on operant conditioning?? If not, you could have found a solid answer to the basics of early socialization when children do not have a language, an understanding of language and a skill to interpret their living environments through language.

    It boils down to “copying” and “coping” behavior.

    Your suggestion for research of an “black environment” would show very similar results.

    Strange isn’t it that therefore -having set the stage and pace- nowadays in business environments cultural intelligence is the fastest growing competence in demand. It should be noted that only very few people “really” possess this competence.

    Not so strange!! Actually it’s very simple!!

  51. khr

    Yes, that’s likely how the learning works at that stage. It’s interesting how early even the subtle values start to show. I’m interested in results of the same study in different conditions in name of trying to minimise the variables. Just curiosity, not because it would matter much in western countries where the association black=bad is learned in any case.

  52. eyeopener

    KHR.

    From a scientific point of view you just opened up your hidden assumption. That’s OK if I would be your supervisor.

    But……. your assumption betrays you already!! Careful!!

  53. khr

    No, I’m not social sciences. I have a natural sciences background, but that does not stop me from being interested in human behaviour. It’s not quite possible to do as well controlled experiments in social sciences, but I can’t help trying to think how to find more of the factors that lead to the result 😀

  54. Allan

    “When was the last time you saw a white kid playing with a black doll Farang? ”

    Long time ago, since gollywogs were banned.

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