UPDATE (July 20): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

July 20

HOK-Elanto bouncer under discrimination investigation (YLE)

What else could have been said? While this story is pretty clear and to the point about a discrimination case of a bouncer who claimed there was a quota of how many non-white customers could enter the restaurant, it’s unfortunate there’s no editorial or opinion-piece condemning what happened never mind giving a solution on how to challenge this type of blatant discrimination. Finnish journalism, like YLE, needs more teeth to question the complacent journalism we too often see in this country especially when it comes to writing about our ever-growing cultural diversity. The latter was reinforced by Michael Haltzel, who wrote the following about Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman and foreign minister, Timo Soini, whenever members of his party make racist and outrageous statements. Haltzel wrote: “The domestic press corps seems content to question him once, receive an evasive answer, and leave it at that.”

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

Included – not integrated

Inclusion is when everyone is along per se.

In Finland we are still struggling with integration issues. We need programmes and policies so that developmentally disabled people can live where other people are living. We need special laws to make sure that they can have the services they need. But those does not matter when money comes to the picture. Because they are not productive in the eyes of decision makers.

There is a long history of segregative practices in Finland. Disabled people we hidden to institutions in the rural areas because that was best for the disabled. Now the times have changed but lot of work has been done and still has to be done before disabled are equals with the rest of us.

There is intolerance against Sami people and Roms. Finnish – Swedes have been hated and disliked for decades. This increased before 2011 Parliament elections when populism came to Finnish politics by Perussuomalaiset. One of my Sami friends was attacked in the university campus because of his activism.

When my parents came here as refugees after evacuation in 1944 from the neck of land Karelia not everyone was happy for that. Karelians are more talkative and outgoing. Many thought Karelian traditions and habits were bizarre.

A couple of moths ago I was told that Finns have done enough for refugees when they took the Karelian people here. People who had lost everything like all of my grandparents. We are also unwelcome and unwanted. Own people. But we Karelians we integrated and we paid taxes. That was the good part I was told. This made me fee like crying.

In this context of intolerance I don’t wonder at all that refugees, paperless, immigrants, other foreigners and black-skinned people meet intolerance, hard attitudes, racism and discrimination.

What comes to religious diversity Finland has been very Lutherian for a long long time. Times are changing and some people have difficulties to face to growing multiculturalism. We have developed a new phobia – Islamofobia. People suffering for it unfortunately are the loudest ones in most public discussion. At the same time Anti-Semitism is rising in Europe

Constitutional Law of Finland and law for equality are clear on equal rights. The new Finnish government says in the government programme that racism will not be tolerated. Still Perussuomalaiset as an openly racist party has been taken to government and the spokesman Soini is the minister of foreign affairs. The rest of the government is looking the other way which is participating to racist acts. I haven heard a single statement concerning increasing hostility made by government members.

Finnish media has a lot to do with the success of Perussuomalaiset and influencing on negative attitudes towards diversity. Media has given PS a lot of media time and helped them to first election victory in 2011. That is the opinion of some political analysts. I just wonder what is in the interests of media to make sure that party hostile towards foreigners and against immigration is doing well.

Law for equal marriage rights should come into the force in 2017 in Finland. But 50 000 people have supported citizen initiative to prevent it from happening. Mostly religious arguments are being used against the fact that sexual orientation is a biological feature. Homophobia is alive and well.

There are also signs of political discrimination. The left parties are the reason for the poor economics. Which is as much BS as that islamist or jihadist is the same as Muslim. Also the poor and unemployed are having a hard time and get blamed for their situation.

Economics is poor but that does not justify racism or xenophobia. We don’t need to make same poor choices and mistakes. We can make some profound changes in economics. We don’t need scapegoats. That wont solve anything. We have been through that road before and cruelty, inhumanity and violence just are not solution. We can do better. But we have to solve the economics and some key social issues it is causing globally.

Inclusion is when everyone is along per se.

Finland’s Finance Minister Alexander Stubb is a huge disappointment

What has happened to National Coalition Party (NCP) Minister of Finance Alexander Stubb? In March 2011 he took a strong stand against the xenophobia that was and still is gripping  Finland.

He characterized over four years ago, when he was foreign minister, Finland’s ongoing debate on immigration and immigrants as “oppressive,” according to tabloid Iltalehti.

Today, I must admit that Stubb is a huge disappointment. From giving the image of being open-minded to diversity he now seems more like a politician interested in power and personal gain than the interests of everyone living in Finland never mind Europe.

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Naisen alistaminen tapahtuu eri kulttuureissa eri tavoin

Tässä ei ole mediaseksikästä otsikkoa eikä nokkelaa sanailua, vaan asiaa, joka koskettaa jokaista naista tavalla tai toisella jossain vaiheessa naisen elämää.

Media on hehkutellut koko kevään Tapanilan maahanmuuttaja – raiskauksilla ja nyt viimeisimpänä kunniaväkivallan pöytään nostamalla.

Naisiin kohdistuva väkivalta on vedetty islamofobiseen ja maahanmuuttajavastaisen väliseen kamppailuun. Kiivaimmin naisen alistamiseen ovat puuttumassa suomiuroot, joita en sitten vielä koskaan ole nähnyt tai kuullut olevan puolustamassa naista, kun naista alistetaan, syrjitään tai kohdellaan väkivaltaisesti länsimaisen perinteen mukaan.

Länsimaissa on edelleen ajattelua, jonka mukaan naisen paikka on nyrkin ja hellan välissä. Se ei ole tavatonta Suomessakaan.

Toisten mielestä naisen paikka ei ole yliopistossa, johtopaikoilla tai muutenkaan työelämässä. Naiselle ei tarvitse maksaa samaa palkkaa kuin miehelle, vaikka tämän yleensä pitää olla samaan duunin saamiseksi kaikin tavoin miestä pätevämpi.

Nainen ei ole työelämässä koskaan sopivan ikäinen. Nuorena ne jää mammalomalle, sitten ne on poissa töistä, kun lapset sairastaa. Vanhana ne ei enää miellytä silmää.

Muoti-, fitness – ja aikuisviihdeteollisuus luo naiskuvaa, johon harva mahtuu. Nainen on objekti, joka ei itsenään kelpaa, vaan silloin kuin mahtuu teollisuuden ulkoa asetettuihin kriteereihin. Tätä mallia tavoittelee jokainen kunniallinen länsimainen nainen ainakin median mukaan.

Mitä sitten tulee kaikenlaiseen väkivaltaan, niin sen eri muotoihin törmää suurin osa naisista jossain vaiheessa elämää. Missä on barrikadeille nouseva suomiuros, kun naapurin matti taas vetää pataan maijaansa tai toinen suomiuros raiskaa kaverinsa tyttöystävän bileiden päätteeksi.

Kunniaväkivallassa on suomiuroillakin oma muotonsa. Perhe- ja eromurhat. Mies hoitaa päiviltä eroa haluavan puolisonsa tai koko perheen. Toisinaan taloustilanteella on näihin yhteys.

Media pitää yllä vääristynyttä käsitystä naisen alistamisesta vain islamilaiseen ja muslimikulttuuriin liittyvänä ilmiönä. Median tarjoamat keskusteluareenat verkossa vilisevät vihapuhetta ja trolleja.

Kuitenkin on tarve puhua sukupuolittuneesta väkivallasta ja siitä miten se ilmenee erilaisissa kulttuureissa. Lisäksi tulee puhua myös siitä, että mistä tämä kumpuaa ja mistä se kertoo.

Tosiasiaa ei pääse eroon edes islamofobiaan pakenemalla, sillä sukupuolittunut väkivalta saa eri kulttuureissa erilaisia ilmenemismuotoja.

There is no market for an anti-Muslim repellent in Finland

Helsinki substitute councilman, Olli Sademies, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Helsinki substitute councilman who wrote that African men should be sterilized in Finland after having three children, now states that his so-called Muslim spray repellent is for rapists.

But here’s a question for Sademies, a retired policeman who is under investigation for hate speech, about his so-called business idea:

  • How do you know if the person attacking you is a Muslim?
  • What do you do with the spray if the attacker is a white Finn?
  • Could it be used against Jews?
  • Is there a market for such a repellent?

All of Sademies’ political shenanigans is not only a signal that his campaign for councilman has begun but a prank by the PS to slowly turn Finland into an Islamphobic country like Denmark today.

Näyttökuva 2015-7-11 kello 20.00.22
Sademies’ comments have been noticed in other European countries thanks to the European Information Human Rights Center(more…)

YouGov poll not only shows how critical Finns are of Greece and Greeks but of the outside world

A YouGov survey shows that 74% of Finns are against debt relief for Greece with the same amount blaming present and past governments for the country’s financial problems, reports the English service of YLE.

Compared with other countries, 73% of Finnish respondents were the most critical blaming the present and past Greek governments for the country’s deep financial problems. That was followed by Denmark (70%), Sweden (65%), Germany (59%), Britain (38%) and France (33%).

Näyttökuva 2015-7-11 kello 14.21.46
Read full story here.

Finnish respondents (74%) also took the hardest line insisting that the terms of the bailout as originally agreed should be respected.

See full YouGov poll result here.

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Eva Biaudet: Finland’s ever-culturally and ethnically diverse society in the new century (Part II)

Migrant Tales insight: In part I Swedish People’s Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet gave her views of the challenges and threats facing Finland as it becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse. While many will acknowledge such challenges, Biaudet expands in the final part of this two-part series on ways to move forward. What should our society, migrants and minorities do to rise above social ills like racism and make our society more inclusive?

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Swedish People’s Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet strongly believes that the blueprint to create a just and equal society for everyone in Finland hinges on Nordic and EU values.

I see Sweden as a good example for Finland to follow,” she explained. “They have a different view of immigration and refugees than us. I read in the headline of a Swedish business daily that [instead of speaking of a problem] it read that the country was blessed with so much incoming competence thanks to the Syrians that got asylum.”

Biaudet stated that in Sweden there is a notion that each person, irrespective of his or her background, is valuable to society.

Why does Finland lag behind Sweden in this respect?

The SPP MP blamed Finland’s lack of diversity for the negative attitude some have of  immigration and refugees, which they see as a problem and not as an opportunity.

Biaudet-2 Eva Biaudet. Photo by Enrique Tessieri.

 

“One factor that makes us Finns different from Swedes is that we have come into less contact with foreigners than they,” she said. “Almost everyone in Sweden knows someone who’s an immigrant or a person with such a background. It’s impossible to tell from a person’s ethnic background if they are a Swede or not.”

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Eva Biaudet: Finland’s ever-culturally and ethnically diverse society in the new century (Part I)

Migrant Tales insightThe interview with Swedish Peoples Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet is a two-part series. Biaudet was ombudswoman for minorities during 2010-15 and has been active in local and national politics since 1989. She is one of the most outspoken persons in Finland for minority rights.  

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Swedish Peoples Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet has made a name for herself defending those that don’t have a voice in society and those who are most vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. If there is a person that can give a picture of where Finland is or should be heading in this century as our country becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse, that person is Biaudet. 

After an intense one-hour interview where every question demanded more time and attention, I asked Biaudet what she considered a favorable and negative scenario of how Finland should evolve as a culturally diverse society in this century.

“As our society becomes more culturally diverse, I see our ties with the Nordic region and Europe strengthening [positive scenario],” she said. “A negative scenario would mean a distancing from the Nordic countries [and its ideals] and identifying more with Eastern Europe and nationalistic ideals with a dominating fear of Russia, which I’m not underestimating.”

“In other words it would mean more EU-skepticism and ending development aid altogether,” she continued. “If we ever got to such a point it would signal the end to our Nordic ideals and values of social equality, gender equality and weaken the ethical foundations of society.”

Biaudet mentioned media researcher and columnist Anu Koivunen, who viewed neo-conservative values as the greatest threat to women and minority rights.

“We have to do everything possible to ensure that everyone can live with dignity in the future and that no one is socially excluded from society,” she said.

 

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Eva Biaudet. Photo by Enrique Tessieri.

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