Our lopsided debate on immigration and refugees serves to keep our society white

by , under Enrique

The most startling fact about a US state department report on human rights for 2012 weren’t the sentences for hate speech handed to Perussuomalaiset (PS) party members such as MP Jussi Halla-aho and Freddy Van Wonterghem, but the discrimination suffered by Finland’s Romany minority, which number about 10,000.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-4-27 kello 11.21.04
Read full US secretary of state human rights report here.

The report states: ”Groups of Roma have lived in the country for centuries, and Roma are classified as a ’traditional ethnic minority’ in the ombudsman’s report. The Romany minority was the most frequent target of racially motivated discrimination, followed by Russian-speakers, Somalis, and Sami. Ethnic Finns were also occasionally victims of racially motivated crimes for association with members of minority communities.”

If  the Romany community is suffering the brunt of discrimination in Finland, why doesn’t anyone raise a fuss about it?  Instead or debating a festering issue like intolerance in Finland, we prefer to engage in a fruitless debate on whether Finns are racist or not and/or how many refugees commit crime and abuse social welfare.

It’s quite clear that the whole debate over intolerance in Finland is badly lopsided and highly selective.

There are an estimated 50,000-60,000 Muslims living in Finland, which amount to about 1% of the population. Moreover, the biggest national groups made up by Muslims, like Somalis and Iraqis, number 8,767 (4.1% of all immigrants) and 7,882 (3.1%), respectively, according to The Finnish Immigration Service.

In light of the above, here’s the crux of the issue concerning immigration, immigrants and cultural diversity in Finland: Why do we ignore our historic failure with the Roma while paying so much attention to Africans and Muslims, which are a small minority?

In my opinion, it not only reveals the extent of the victimization and racism against specific groups in our society by certain political parties like the PS, the media and general public, but more importantly our intolerance to people who are different from us and what’s not supposed to be debated.

By portraying certain groups as threats to our way of life, we effectively put in cold storage the all-important debate on cultural diversity. The present debate on immigrants, immigration and cultural diversity resembles in many cases bringing up pedophilia as an issue when debating gay rights.

One of the biggest wise tales of Finnish ethnicity is that it is white. Such an affirmation couldn’t be further from the truth.

Apart from over 1.2 million Finns that emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999 and mixed culturally and ethnically with other groups in their new homelands, we are seeing the same thing happening today in Finland as more immigrants move to our country.

 

 

 

  1. Farang

    Interesting lies again in that report. It boldly claims that Romanys are discriminated but it fails to give even one single example of such discrimination.

    Truth is that there is no discrimination against Romanys but instead they are treated better than normal Finns. They are given a special benefit called “hameraha”, which normal Finns don’t get.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Truth is that there is no discrimination against Romanys but instead they are treated better than normal Finns.

      Yes, Farang, isn’t it incredible how everyone gets it wrong, like the US state department and ombudsman for minorities in Finland, but only you know the truth.

      How is this possible? Is there a conspiracy or what?

    • Farang

      Then please explain why nobody is able to tell HOW they are discriminated? They only make the claim but give no examples or evidence.

    • Mark

      Farang

      You want to know HOW Roma are discriminated against? Well, we don’t have to go so far, we could just take a handful of YOUR OWN COMMENTS on Roma that you have made here on Migrant Tales:

      Finns have paid very high price [for Roma not assimilating] too, considering how many people Romas have murdered, robbed, etc.

      and this:

      Well, to be honest, they couldn’t even have their culture without us finns. Their culture can live only because finns let them live on our expense.

      and this:

      How many percent of Romas are employed and how many live off with benefits.

      and this:

      No, I wouldn’t hire her [Roma who wanted to wear her traditional costume].

      and this:

      Why can’t that immigrant/muslim/roma be the one that needs to do the work and adapt to the situation which is already ok for everyone else?

      and this:

      What harm would it cause if a roma would wear normal uniform [be like us]? Nothing, zero.

      And this:

      Roma jokes are not hate speech.

      Indeed, your comments on their own are a very good example of exactly the kind of discrimination that Roma in Finland face on a daily basis.

    • Farang

      Mark

      Indeed, your comments on their own are a very good example of exactly the kind of discrimination that Roma in Finland face on a daily basis.

      You have very twisted mind, Mark

      Each of those examples that you quoted proves that Romas are already treated better in Finland than Finns.

      And about Roma jokes, you really are twisted. There are jokes also about Finns. It is only a sick mind which makes someone believe that telling a joke is discrimination.

    • Mark

      You have NOT a single clue what discrimination is, Farang, and that is why you don’t see any of your comments as remotely problematic or racist. But then, few racists really understand why they are racist…I mean, very very few!

    • Farang

      And as expected, you failed to give the real examples or evidence. I challenged the authors of the report who claimed that romas are discriminated in Finland, since they had no examples or proof. And you responded to that by quoting something that I have said 😀 So you also admit there is no actual proof.

      And funny you include examples like the one that I wouldn’t hire someone. First of all that is insane example of discrimination in Finland because I have never been in a position to hire anyone 😀

      And second point, even that example sucks because I never said I wouldn’t hire a person because she is a roma. I said I wouldn’t hire anyone who refuses to obey the rules of the workplace. That includes EVERYONE, no matter of their personal background. Therefore no intelligent person even thinks it is discrimination.

    • Mark

      Farang

      And as expected, you failed to give the real examples or evidence.

      On the contrary. You are a Finn. You comment here freely and you obviously have very seriously prejudiced views against Roma, relating them specifically to crime, benefits, abnormality, and even stupidity, as expressed in the various tasteless jokes about Roma that you have shared with us. Add to that your willful admission that you would discriminate against them in the labour market if you were an employer and you have demonstrated pretty much the core of discrimination against Roma in Finland. Multiply your attitude by several million and you can see why Roma remain a deeply discriminated against minority in Finland.

      There is plenty of ‘proof’ about discrimination and many studies. But I’m NOT doing your homework for you AGAIN. I’m really tired of you making stupid comments and then thinking that it’s perfectly fine that someone else works to clean up your fucking racist mess…and then you say something crass like ‘Oh, I didn’t know that!’ And several weeks later you are at exactly the same thing again!

    • Farang

      Romas in Finland live the way they want, nobody is discriminating against them. Even Romas themselves don’t thing that they are discriminated. Therefore it’s quite absurd that some idiots claims that they are discriminated.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Therefore it’s quite absurd that some idiots claims that they are discriminated.

      I suggest, Farang, that if you feel so strongly about this, why not start a blog? I started this one about six years ago.

    • Farang

      There was one single issue in Enrique’s link that one could even interpret as discrimination. But even that case wasn’t actually discrimination, but it was just a risk assessment by a private citizen.

      If I would hold a party, which is all about eating pork and drinking alcohol, would you call it discrimination if I wouldn’t invite any muslims to that party?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –There was one single issue in Enrique’s link that one could even interpret as discrimination. But even that case wasn’t actually discrimination, but it was just a risk assessment by a private citizen.

      If you feel so strongly about this, you should get in touch with your local MP and take up this issue with him or her. Moreover, why not write the Ombudsman for Minorities and tell them that they got it all wrong and that you will teach them a few things about what is discrimination.

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