Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from April 27, 1994

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.

One may correctly ask where hatred for certain groups by some Finns came from. The Ilta-Sanomat billboard is pretty explicit: Somalis swindled [authorities] into giving them asylum.

When I was working for a Finnish family magazine called Apu in the late-1980s and early 1990s, the term “swindle,” huijata, was a no-no. If you accused somebody of being a swindler you had to have pretty strong evidence because it was a pretty bold accusation to would land you in court. While the Finnish media took great caution in labeling someone a swindler in their stories, they apparently didn’t have any problems labeling Somalis.

Tabloid

 

*Migration Institute archive.

  1. Farang

    As you wrote yourself, that word could be used when there are evidence. So they most likely did. And I have no doubt since we have seen even court orders in recent years which proves that swindling happens. So why should we expect that it didn’t happen in 90s?

  2. justicedemon

    Farang

    So you would be indifferent to a billboard in Estonia saying Finns rape children if this was based on some court report? After all, that would also be based on “evidence“.

    Alternative theory: you are deliberately missing the point.

    Second alternative theory: you lack the nous even to see the point.

    • Migrant Tales

      –Your example would implicate ALL Finns. Iltalehti ad implicates only SOME Somalis.

      Don’t point the finger at me. Go and ask Ilta-Sanomat.

  3. Yossie

    “So you would be indifferent to a billboard in Estonia saying Finns rape children if this was based on some court report?”

    Well, I would personally be agry to the persons who raped children, one for actually doing so, secondly for making finns look bad. I would not be angry about a tabloid if its true.

  4. Farang

    Yossie, don’t you see that even truth is racism in thir blog if it’s something negative about immigrants. BUT: if the truth is negative about white finns, it’s admirable to publish it.

    MT & co: Medias purpose is to deliver information. If you don’t like the truth, don’t blame the messenger. In your ideal Finland all negative news about immigrants would be cencored. I don’t see you discussing about Toulouse killings, wonder why…

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, I want to “censor” news? LOL. What are you doing here on Migrant Tales and why don’t I censor you? Think before you point the finger.

  5. joku

    The question is:

    IF there had actually been documented cases of Somali asylum seekers/immigrants getting asylum on a fraudulent basis (I’m not saying there were, so purely hypothetical),
    would you be against newspapers having publicized this social ill?

    I.e. are you angry because you think this newspaper is a) making headlines without proof or b) mentioning a nationality in unfavourable terms (regardless if there was a reason or not).

    I think many Finns feel that there are now people saying that you cannot criticize anyone belonging to a minority for _anything_. Which then feels unjust, and that is a feeling that is always hard to live with.

    I for one don’t consider Finnish Somalis “a problem” of any kind, as a group I mean. I personally know several Somali people in the Helsinki area.

    If there was, say, a group of Somali girls fighting in public, I don’t see why the newspapers would need to mention their ethnic origin – not relevant in this case. Girls of any nationality fight.

    If on the other hand there was money made by smuggling people in or misusing the asylum process specifically with respect to one specific country of origin, I do think then mentioning the country’s name is valid.

    Or what would you say?

    I am not trying to pick a fight here – I’m just curious to see how you would comment on this.

    (And again, I have no information about this specific case this headline is referring to.)

  6. Yossie

    Well I cant help to think the racism this blog is interested in is the one done by majority. If the toulouse killer had been from white majority, it would had been covered in this blog. Now it was a muslim extremist doing his racist crimes against jews, so you are not interested.

  7. Hazzan

    sure, why aren’t the South-American pedophiles discussed here? All kind of Finnish pedophiles in Tallinn and Estonia are also discussed.

  8. Yossie

    Hazzan

    “All kind of Finnish pedophiles in Tallinn and Estonia are also discussed.”

    Actually they are not discussed… Justicedemon just gave an example to make his case.

  9. justicedemon

    Farang:

    Your example would implicate ALL Finns. Iltalehti ad implicates only SOME Somalis.

    Yossie:

    I would personally be angry at the persons who raped children, one for actually doing so, secondly for making finns look bad.

    Someone is making a grammatical point here in either Finnish or English, or maybe both. “Finns rape children” is a typically ambiguous headline (compare “Finns win bronze medals“).

    Just out of interest, Farang, how would you rephrase the Ilta-Sanomat billboard to implicate ALL Somalis?

    • Migrant Tales

      JusticeDemon, well said. There are a few of them around…

  10. Yossie

    Justicedemon

    Right, I do understand it like farang says it. Maybe I did not understand what you were after. I understood your example as I would reread the tabloid only with somalis replaced by finns and sweindling replaced by raping.

    I suppose there is some level of space for misunderstanding in the taboid. If you want to imply all somalis, I suppose it would simply be like “Kaikki somalit saaneet huijaten turvapaikkoja”. On the other hand to say some somalis have swindled, you might want to say “Osa somaleista saaneet huijaten turvapaikkoja”. Normally I would understand it like Farang discribes it, but to fully understand the news, you would actually have to buy the tabloid….

    • Migrant Tales

      One of the problems with these billboards is that we don’t have access to the story. It could be that the main story is shorter than the headline. 🙂

      Whatever the case, the ad is pretty provocative especially since it uses the word “huijata,” or swindle.

  11. Yossie

    “Whatever the case, the ad is pretty provocative especially since it uses the word “huijata,” or swindle.”

    Tabloids usually are… actual content might be less dramatic

    • Migrant Tales

      Yossie, in Finnish journalism, but not in this case, that term is pretty offensive. For any Finnish media to call somebody a “huijari” would be pretty bold.

  12. Farang

    MT, wrong again. That word is used almost weekly basis and is very common in ads and news. I wonder where you get those strange “facts” of yours.

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