Dear PM Sipilä,
I am resending and reminding you of my communication on an issue that has not gone away and which – in my opinion – you have yet to acknowledge.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government, accused of fueling social inequality, is notorious for its lame stance on racism and discrimination. Source: Eduskunta.
In my opinion, you are, as Finland’s PM, obligated to respond and show leadership on the FRA (EU Minorities & Discrimination survey) expert panel findings, presented in Helsinki 12.12.2017.
I hope that you will respond in a manner that befits the office you have been bestowed.
* Name not published by request.
Kaajani is a city of 37,304 people located 560 kilometers north of Helsinki. An African resident whom Migrant Tales spoke to said that she doesn’t feel safe walking alone at certain times of the day in Kajaani.
“Kajaani is not only a boring city, but it’s not friendly to foreigners,” she said. “Nobody has attacked me, but it’s the looks I get that make me feel unwelcome. When I get a chance, I’d like to move to Vantaa, Espoo or Helsinki because there are more foreigners there.”
You don’t too much about Kajaani. IN 2013, Migrant Tales reported an attack against a black man by a foreigner.
“The mean looks usually come from older people but young people, women, and men, make me feel uncomfortable when they stare or look at you,” she continued. “It’s hard to describe the looks they give. They aren’t friendly.”
The African resident said that all of the migrants she spoke to mention the same thing that Kajaani isn’t a friendly place for foreigners.
Taking into account the #metoo campaign that has empowered women to call out men who sexually harass them, it is surprising that there isn’t a similar campaign against racist harassment.
Politicians and city officials in Kaajani should do much more to help migrants and minorities feel safe in the city.
By Camtu Suhonen*
Discrimination against women who are advancing their career is a breaking down the rule of equality. Men and women are created equal. All the rights, treatment and opportunity that a man has should also be even to women who are pursuing careers of any sort. It will be called unfair, biased and not just when it comes to women.
People should know that women are not just simple creatures that needed men. Women are also born to be great and competitive. Whatever the gender, either male or female, working for an academic career should not be questioned especially when a woman is on the way of establishing a foundation of her career.
Also, opportunities for females should not be limited by individuals and institutions. Policies should be implemented regarding with the proper treatment of women in every academic career they are with. Women are fully aware how powerful a man is, but, they can all do the same.
There is no particular difference. Only in gender but why is it that academic institutions limit this capacity of women? Not because women impregnate means that they are not any more capable of the job. Come to think of it.
Academic Institutions should not implement this type of criticisms for women. A policy should be implemented to fight this irrational behavior of injustice upon women. Women are born to be fighters and machines. They have minds and hearts that run the same with a man. Not just look for the superficial qualities that they have for you will find it literally different and quite assuming. Few are now leaving in a world that is not only dominated by men but also by women.
A variety of women of big names in the society is now breaking the rules of men over women. They are some of the inspiring names in the industry that breaks the rule of men domination. We are in the evolution of equality. Men and women should be seen like that.
Furthermore, the academic profession should work the same treatment of opportunities for the females. Most of the women will see this as a type of insult to their capacity to do the job. Academic Institutions should be aware of the issues and make certain moves to resolve the rise of women’s concern as to the academic career that you guys are trying to snatch away from them.
It is an opportunity that needs to be freely given to everyone. Male and female. No even distribution and no discrimination. Regardless of what and who you are, advancement in an academic career path should be grabbed by enthusiasts and optimism.
Moreover, numerous policies should be implemented to ensure that women are not treated lowly and unfairly. This is the best way to protect women from the tyrannical slavery of individuals and institutions who prefer men over women in any of the academic careers. All people are created equal regardless of the gender.
Dear PM Sipilä,
I have resided in Finland since 2000 and feel this affords me the position to speak on this subject from personal experience.
My experience of immigration & ‘integration’ pre-dates the recent migrant crises and therefore my views are not greatly influenced or biased by such.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Source: Parliament.
The recent results of a 2017 report by EU Agency for Fundamental Human Rights (FRA) has placed Finland as EU’s second most racially-discriminative EU nation. I have not contributed feedback to this survey, however, would welcome any opportunity to do so in future.
The FRA’s results have been publicly acknowledged by some of your peers; including public recognition from Kirsi Pimiä (non.discrimination ombudsman/yhdenvertaisuusvaltuutettu).
I would also like to take the opportunity to quote FRA Director (Professor) M O’Flaherty;
“With every act of discrimination and hate, we erode social cohesion and create inequalities that blight generations fuelling the alienation that may ultimately have devastating consequences.”
I and my family – including bi-lingual children – have been victims of such hate and discrimination. Discrimination that has been repeatedly enabled and excused by local public sector workers and has led directly to negative outcomes described above. Local officials are enabled & given too much power without regulation which they can abuse to bully and intimidate and their ‘clients’ are unable to obtain legal redress. I have experienced a culture where very serious false allegations have been permitted and effectively encouraged by social workers that appear to enjoy the psychological bullying. The victims are unable to seek redress as police are not allowed to investigate such cases and so the cycle is allowed to continue. This cycle has continued for several years and the people behind it have been systematically attempting to drive-out and destroy. This bullying – of several years duration – has been excused and dismissed by local authority executives to us in person as “maassa maan tavalla” – I take this as both a highly offensive insult (as it was intended) and as a racial slur; yet another example of the empowered punishing the powerless.
In my view, there is no longer any excuse or mitigation for Finnish Govt & leadership to either deny or downplay these issues any longer; such as was the 2015 Nordic Media press release.
I implore you Mr Sipilä and your professional colleagues/peers to take immediate actions that will lead to prevention of the potentially devastating consequences of racism, discrimination, injustice and social exclusion in Finland.
In my opinion, you must now engage with your critics and accept that negative feedback IS of positive value.
Disgraced Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, an Islamophobic politician convicted of ethnic agitation, got off with a light slap on the hand from the PS for forcing a fellow MP to kiss him while drunk. But that’s not all. We now know that Hakkarainen grabbed another woman MP by the hair a year ago while drunk.
The hair-pulling incident with Christian Democrat MP Päivi Räsänen was kept under wraps and apparently only known to a few like the speaker of parliament Maria Lohela and Sampo Terho, the former PS parliamentary group leader.
Another former Social Democrat MP, Mikael Junger, told the media this week that Hakkarainen had tried to kiss him without his consent at a party.
How is it possible that a white MP can get away with such aggressive behavior that includes drunkenness and sexual harassment in parliament?
Imagine in London if an MP would have acted like Hakkarainen at the House of Commons? Imagine if a Muslim had done what Hakkarainen did in public?Imagine what kind of a lynching we’d see on social media and in print media?
Read the full story here.
White Finnish privilege #46
What happened Thursday and the action that the PS took to reprimand Hakkarainen speak volumes about who has privilege in this country.
Racism and Islamophobia are nothing more than pigheaded ignorance.
What do you do if an Islamophobic MP called Teuvo Hakkarainen gets so drunk in parliament that he picks a fight with other MPs from the rival Blue Reform party by throwing bottles at their meeting? What about if that same MP, convicted for hate speech, grabs a fellow woman MP and forces her to kiss him?
All of this happened on Thursday.
What about if an aid for the PS got so drunk the same day at a Christmas party in parliament that he was carried out and taken to a hospital in an ambulance?
Teuvo Hakkarainen on his first day in parliament in 2011.
What about if the leader of the PS, Jussi Halla-aho, believes that exposing this type of inappropriate behavior is synonymous with “undermining trust” between politicians and the media?
The thesis below published in 2014 by Mike Hofman. It is a comprehensive report on how censorship and self-censorship happened in Finland during the Cold War. It is surprising how Finland has sidestepped this issue and thrown it in the dustbin of history.
As the old saying states, if we don’t know or deny our history are condemned to repeat it.
Even during the height of the Cold War, when media censorship and self-censorship were endemic in Finland, I never heard of the police searching a home of a reporter without a court order as happened Sunday, according to YLE News.
Read below Hofman’s thesis (in Dutch) and my interview in English.
Read full thesis (in Dutch) and a synopsis in English here.
Below is the interview in English that Mike Hofman had with me.
Finland’s standing in global press freedom rankings will take another blow this year after the police carried out without a court order a Helsingin Sanomat reporter Laura Halminen’s personal and company phones, computer and iPad, and a large number of USB flash drives, reports YLE News. The search was carried out after Finland’s biggest daily published leaked classified documents from the secretive Defense Forces’ Intelligence Research Center.
Writes YLE News: “During the search, which was carried out without a court order, police seized Halminen’s personal phone, her company phone, her personal computer, and iPad, as well as a large number of USB flash drives. Police also reportedly searched through her bookshelves and kitchen ventilation, but did not search her children’s room.”
Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom ranking list.
Halminen was obliged to destroy the hard drive of her computer to protect her source(s).
“By destroying the device,” she was quoted as saying in YLE News, “I wanted to ensure the confidentiality of my sources as well as possible.”