Pastor Ansku Jaakkola says that racism in Jyväskylä is far worse than many think

by , under Enrique

Difficult times bring forth exceptional people. One of these is Pastor Ansku Jaakkola of the Adventist Church in Jyväskylä, who believes that racism in her Central Finnish city is far worse than many think.
Näyttökuva 2013-04-10 kohteessa 16.44.48
”Our new [foreign] friends have told us that yelling and harassment happens on a daily basis,” she was quoted as saying on Keskisuomalainen. ”It happens at stores, in the streets and at school.”Jaakkola admitted that it’s difficult for white Finns to understand what racism is if they have never experienced it.While she admits to having been treated well when she lived abroad in England, Marshall Islands and other countries, she states that our society should speak out more against intolerance.


”It shames me when I hear about people treating others unfairly because of their ethnic background,” she told Migrant Tales. ”It surprised me how general and how much it occurs [in Jyväskylä].”

Jaakkola says that fear and ignorance are the causes for racism in our society.

Jyväskylä has been in the national spotlight recently because of an attack by neo-Nazis against a book presentation in January. In the same month there was a story in the local newspaper about a young dark-skinned woman who was in a toilet.One of the white Finnish women standing in line exclaimed upon seeing the black woman: ”I’m not going to [sit on the same toilet bowl] as that n-word,” she told a woman behind her. ”You go ahead if you dare.”

  1. Farang

    She is just making those remarks to gain some respect to herself among other flower hats. No truth there whatsoever. That person disgusts me.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –No truth there whatsoever. That person disgusts me.

      That’s a bit strong what you say. Why do you feel that way? Is it because a Finn is saying this or what? I see her as a brave woman. We need more people like her.

    • Farang

      She is defaming Finns in order to gain personal respect. That is so disrespectful.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –She is defaming Finns in order to gain personal respect. That is so disrespectful.

      Are you serious?

    • Mark

      Farang

      She is defaming Finns in order to gain personal respect. That is so disrespectful.

      I really do wonder about you sometimes. Whenever we seem to make progress towards a sensible and rationale basis for your participation in discussion, you turn up the next time with comments like this.

      You have no evidence whatsoever that she is making anything up. You have no evidence whatsoever that she is being ‘disrespectful’. And how does talking about racism give her ‘personal respect’?

      She is a priest. She is a person that is specifically involved in the community. As such, she also gets to hear a great deal more than many other people, much like a hairdresser! 🙂

      The Finnish priesthood is generally of very high integrity. I think it is you who is being disprespectful, and on the basis of zero evidence, as usual!

    • Farang

      She is doing it to effectively say: “I am a better person than rest of the Finns, who are all racists”.

      If immigrant says “I am a victim of racism” it doesn’t mean that he actually is. Many times it has been shown that an immigrant blames racism for something that is perdectly normal. For example if immigrant doesn’t get a job, he might blame racism, while in reality he didn’t get the job because of his lack of skills.

    • Mark

      Farang

      She is doing it to effectively say: “I am a better person than rest of the Finns, who are all racists”.

      This is completely outrageous. A priest talking about racism is only doing it to say she is a better person?

      Do you not think that this very clear ad hominem attack on her for even mentioning racism makes you look like a fascist?

      So rather than face the reality of what she is talking about, you decide instead to label her an ambitious, self-centred, conceited, untruthful, inept and disgusting person? And in doing this, you have not once asked for more information about the incidents she mentions, you have not for one second considered that her opinion has any value or truth at all. No, it’s ALL made up. That must be it. She’s lying. To further her career as a priest, because we all know how ambitious priests are!

      If immigrant says “I am a victim of racism” it doesn’t mean that he actually is. For example if immigrant doesn’t get a job, he might blame racism, while in reality he didn’t get the job because of his lack of skills.

      So, every time someone claims racism, we should assume they are lying or paranoid? And why would we want to do that? Why not simply ask for more information? Why not explore the possibilities that it was racism? Employers in Finland asked in a survey why they would not offer a job to an immigrant have reported that they thought they would not fit in. That is racism, but it’s not seen as racism. We have evidence that this is common in Finland.

      There is widespread evidence the world over that this kind of work-based discrimination goes on with immigrants, so by far the default position is not to question the sanity or truthfulness of the immigrant who suspects racism, but rather to consider the possibility that it is true.

      You said recently you were interested in free speech and not ‘extremist’ ideology. This has nothing to do with free speech issues, Farang, so what is your excuse this time?

    • Farang

      And also the fact that she is a priest, nullifies all her credibility. Being a priest means she is speading the lies of a christian church, which are based on the lie that there is a god.

    • Mark

      Farang

      And also the fact that she is a priest, nullifies all her credibility. Being a priest means she is speading the lies of a christian church, which are based on the lie that there is a god.

      You do realise that you are showing us that you are a fundamentalist atheist, Farang? What does that say about your credibility? A fundamentalist who hates other ‘fundamentalists’. 😀

    • Farang

      So, every time someone claims racism, we should assume they are lying or paranoid?

      Yes, unless the person has some evidence.

      This is simply because it is more propable that racism hasn’t happened than it actually has happened. And if we don’t have evidence, we must assume that it didn’t happen.

    • Mark

      Farang

      This is simply because it is more propable that racism hasn’t happened than it actually has happened.

      And your evidence is?

      This is not about assuming anything. One popular and often repeated study sends exactly identical CVs but with different names, i.e. native and non-native. The non-native are statistically less likely to be offered an interview.

      This is just one very common research tool used to assess levels of racism by employers. The key outcome is that racism is perfectly probably, and also unlikely to be even understood as direct or even conscious racism.

      For this reason, it is important to consider all claims about racism. You mentioned lack of skills or training. Yet it is clear that individuals who are suitably qualified and exerienced are still finding it harder to find work if they are an immigrant. And this is not just about language issues, as I’ve already pointed out – it’s often about a perception that a ‘foreigner’ simply doesn’t fit in so well or easily.

      Racism and discrimination are not always the result of rampant white supremacism, Farang. Often these things are subtle. Your approach, as ever, is far from subtle, and therefore your approach is likely to prove completely ineffective in helping immigrants into productive work.

      The key thing is to seek ‘more’ information, not less. Your approach settles for less.

    • Farang

      Mark

      This is not about assuming anything. One popular and often repeated study sends exactly identical CVs but with different names, i.e. native and non-native. The non-native are statistically less likely to be offered an interview.

      This is not racism, it’s risk management.

      This is exactly the problem I was talking about. You people take bunch of normal and ordinary things and then claim that they are racism. Then you use those made up racist issues to prove that there are racism in Finland.

      It is employers right to choose what kind of persons he wants to hire. If there are two persons who are otherwise identical but other one is finnish and other one is a foreigner, it is fair to assume that the finnish one will fit in better. It is not racism to admit that.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –This is not racism, it’s risk management.

      It’s called in plain English discrimination, prejudice and racism.

      Look at the etymology of the word prejudice. It means prejudging. You are making a prejudgement on a person because of his or her ethnic background. Shouldn’t you look at that person’s skills? That’s more important.

    • Mark

      Farang

      This is not racism, it’s risk management.

      Well, there’s a euphemism.

      This is exactly the problem I was talking about. You people take bunch of normal and ordinary things and then claim that they are racism. Then you use those made up racist issues to prove that there are racism in Finland.

      There is nothing made up about job-based discrimination. Indeed, it is the common complaint of the Far Right in Finland that immigrants don’t work. Now, when we find out the reasons why they are not being offered work they are perfectly capable of doing, you suggest that nothing needs to be done.

      Well, don’t complain about immigrants claiming benefits then!

      As for racism, it extends far beyond work-placed discrimination. It comes in the form of physical and verbal assaults, racial bullying and taunting and in an unwillingness to engage normally with immigrants as you would with other citizens of Finland.

      it is fair to assume that the finnish one will fit in better. It is not racism to admit that.

      It is discrimination based on ethnicity. That is what racism is, Farang.

      And on what basis do you think that one can assume that a Finn would fit in better? Do they have ‘better’ personalities? Do you think that Finns prefer to work with other Finns rather than a foreigner? Why would that be?

    • Farang

      Of course it depends on the work. There are jobs that it doesn’t matter if the person is finnish or not, but there might be other jobs that it would have effect.

      If you really want to use that CV stuff as an example, you would need to provide more info. What was the job the application was sent to? Is it certain that same person read both applications? And if did, he would propably notice that the other CV was an exact copy of the other. And if the person was different, then the whole test doesn’t tell anything. This only proves that this kind of testing gives no credible data.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Is it certain that same person read both applications?

      No. Research is a little more sophisticated than that. Try this one for an example: CVs sent in varying job vacancies.

      And if the person was different, then the whole test doesn’t tell anything. This only proves that this kind of testing gives no credible data.

      You simply show your inexperience with social science research methodology. It is perfectly reasonable to use a large data set with both a dependent and independent variable. Most research uses the same method.

      I guess in your narrow field of computing, you never have to understand this kind of thing! But hey, don’t let that stop you from completely dismissing the work of people in a different field.

  2. Klay_immigrant

    It does seem that her comments were made to gain some sort of respect or moral high ground that could benefit her in the future if needed. After all where is the evidence, witnesses or convictions to back up what she is saying?

    It’s no different to a politican making bold statements that are obviously politically motivated to further one’s career.

    Isn’t it funny how if as a visible immigrant such as myself points out the errors of other immigrants in Finland somehow I’m branded an Uncle Tom or traitor, but if a Finn does exactly the same about other fellow Finns such as what Pastor Ansku Jaakkola has just done they are worshipped as ‘exceptional people’ or heroes by Enrique and the like. Doesn’t anyone see the hypocrisy and the lack of consistency?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Isn’t it funny how if as a visible immigrant such as myself points out the errors of other immigrants in Finland somehow I’m branded an Uncle Tom or traitor,

      Nobody has said that except for you.

      Are you living in Finland?

    • Farang

      Enrique

      somehow I’m branded an Uncle Tom or traitor,

      Nobody has said that except for you.

      Yes you have, there was even a blog post about this here in Migrant Tales.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Yes you have, there was even a blog post about this here in Migrant Tales.

      The link for some reason is broken.

      Uncle Tom, or Tuomo-setä in Finnish, is how some see cultural traitors or people from the group that suck up too much with those that oppress them.

      Do you believe that there are there are Uncle Toms in Finland? What constitutes a Tuomo-setä in Finland if the historical context is different from the United States?

      You just branded Ansku Jaakkola a “traitor” because she spoke out against racism, or because, in you opinion, didn’t hold the same ideas about “us.”

    • Mark

      Klay

      It does seem that her comments were made to gain some sort of respect or moral high ground that could benefit her in the future if needed. After all where is the evidence, witnesses or convictions to back up what she is saying?

      So no-one is allowed to talk about racism without first submitting a dossier of documented cases? Fuck off, you idiot!

      It’s no different to a politican making bold statements that are obviously politically motivated to further one’s career.

      Incredulous. So when a priest talks about racism, it is automatically about ‘furthering their career’. And there are no other possibilities here?

      It is ridiculous statements like these that really make me worried about FASCISM in Finland. Reasonableness goes out the window. A priest talking about racism is cricised for being political and furthering her career. Why don’t you say you need more information? Why the hatchet job on her personality?

      It’s just outrageous that the political climate around immigration and racism issues is such now that one cannot pass comment without having one’s character completely dragged through the mud! I blame the PS and similar groups for this hysteria and paranoia around the topic of racism.

      Isn’t it funny how if as a visible immigrant such as myself points out the errors of other immigrants in Finland somehow I’m branded an Uncle Tom or traitor

      Separate issue Klay. And since when did being an immigrant mean that you were automatically exempt from racism? Individual racism and bigotry is a feature in all ethnicities. What Pastor Jaakkola does in describing racism is nothing like what you do in denying racism in Finland. In fact, it appears to be the complete opposite.

      Doesn’t anyone see the hypocrisy and the lack of consistency?

      Blah, blah, blah…! Inconsistency and hypocrisy require REAL arguments, not just finger-pointing and name-calling, Klay! Go get yourself a fucking education and then come back and perhaps we can have a real conversation.

    • Farang

      Enrique

      You just branded Ansku Jaakkola a “traitor” because she spoke out against racism, or because, in you opinion, didn’t hold the same ideas about “us.”

      Not only because that. I said it because she said things that are not truthful. Racism is not a problem of Finns. Racism is not a problem in Finland. There are some individual racists in Finland but that is a marginal problem. That problem of course needs to be corrected, I despise racists. But it doesn’t help to spread made up stories about racism being a big problem here.

  3. Klay_immigrant

    Well people have said that about me, not that it bothers me just wanted to show the double standards in people’s views rendering them inept.

    Yes I am to answer your question.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      On many occasions when I debate with people in public and if they make comments that aren’t acceptable or promoted openly in our society, they say that “I’m not racist” even if nobody said such a thing. I’m not talking about you, but possibly deep down inside these people know what they say is inappropriate and therefore state that “I’m not a racist.”

      You know better than anyone else that some immigrants hold more conservative ideas about immigration and adaption than some natives. Just because a person is an immigrant doesn’t mean that he must “think like an immigrant.” Since we are social beings, all immigrants and natives seek acceptance. How we get acceptance differs from person to person.

      Since I’ve been an outsider all my life, I have learned to live with that. The way to feel like a full human being where I live was to accept who I am. It means accepting and being proud of those things that some use to show me that I am unequal to them just because I have a different background.

      By accepting who you are you can unleash a lot of power that others want to contain.

      We’ve discussed this before a long time ago.

    • Mark

      You showed nothing. You want to suggest that Pastor Jaakkola is indulging in the oppression of her own group, that she is an Uncle Tom? First, Finns as a group are not oppressed in Finland. It is literally IMPOSSIBLE for her to be an Uncle Tom. Second, she is not talking about racism as a characteristic OF A GROUP, she’s talking about it as an experience that she has come to know about through her service.

      The only thing that is inept is your reasoning. Basically you have your hatchet out and are taking wild and hysterical sweeps at a woman because she dared to mention that she was surprised at how much racism she has heard about!

      Sad little puppy, aren’t you! And I think you are clearly an Uncle Tom, for the fact that you immediately attempt to underplay racism in Finland.

    • Farang

      Mark

      Sad little puppy, aren’t you! And I think you are clearly an Uncle Tom, for the fact that you immediately attempt to underplay racism in Finland.

      He is correct in that. There is effectively no racism in Finland, therefore it’s only correctly played if racism is underplayed.

    • Mark

      Farang

      He is correct in that. There is effectively no racism in Finland, therefore it’s only correctly played if racism is underplayed.

      You are delusional, Farang. Nothing else to be said!

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