Racism debate: Finland today – United States in the 1970s

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Some Finns argue today that they are automatically labelled racists if they speak out too strongly against immigration. The statement resembles very much the atmosphere in the United States in the early 1970s, when blacks started to win legal as well as social rights after the civil rights movement.

The fact that some openly question racism in Finland should be seen as a welcome and positive matter. The knee-jerk reaction of different anti-immigration groups show that society openly questions their agendas.

Such a debate in the 1990s and before would have been impossible on such a scope since the racial ideology of the country was different due to the underwhelming size of Finland’s immigrant population and far-flungness.

If the United States awoke from its segregated deep sleep thanks to the civil rights movement led by men such as Martin Luther King, Finland is also awakening to the same reality. I remember very well the new USAmerica that the civil rights movement had helped forge. We too were sensitized into a new way of thinking and interacting with blacks and other minorities. For many of us, our old views and fears of other groups had been thrown into the trash can of history.

Contrary to the civil rights movement of the United States, the ever-growing immigrant population in Finland is awakening the country to a new century. At least today racism is being questioned when before it was normal, accepted and even promoted openly as something “Finnish” and “patriotic.” In post-civil rights United States, racism got a hard blow. Such behavior became shameful and socially inappropriate.

What is important about the shift in social behavior in the United States and Finland today is that it ushers in and questions old stereotypes that are based on racism.

One of the greatest achievements of the US civil rights movement was that it started to do away with the racial stigmas labelled on different groups by whites. With respect to the blacks, this happened almost overnight in some parts of the country.  Seeing is believing today: President Barack Obama.

Whenever a Finn uses the “fear-of-being-labelled-a-racist” argument because he/she is against immigrants, immigration and/or refugees, it should be seen as a knee-jerk reaction of an ever-dwindling minority.

Openly and vociferously questioning our racism is unique, courageous and a watershed in our society. It is the brave new face of Finland in the new century.

  1. ed

    Well, well, well. Racism in Finland will never be eradicated, because the Blacks in Finland are not united enough.

    The sad thing about Finland is that most of the Blacks there are from Africa. These African Blacks roll over and accept overt racism from the Finns.Blacks from the US, UK etc would never accept that sh** those Blacks from Africa accept!

    I have learnt one thing about Blacks from Africa; they are very passive, and have an inferiority complex. It is like they feel that they do not deserve respectable treatment from the Finns.Possibly it is because most of the native countries are so poor.

    I long for the day when Blacks in Finland will stand united and demand an end to the overt racism plagueing that country.I can also bet my last dollar that if the Blacks in Finland were from other parts of the world(not African countries), they would have agitated more for respect from the Finns. These Africans need to learn to value themselves!!!

    • Enrique

      Hi ed, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for sharing your views with us. Time and information moves much faster today than before. History has shown that by keeping people opressed you only cause strife; one day they will rise up and take to the streets. There are very good examples in Africa of this type of bravery: South Africa is a case in point. Even though South America gained independence from Spain during 1810-1826, the saddest matter in Spanish-speaking America was that they started to fight amongst themselves. Certainly one´s identity and role in society changes when you become an immigrant. On the positive side, many immigrants get the opportunity to live in modern democratic societies that function. Immigrants should use these civil-right platforms (laws and institutions) to take part and influence the society they live in.

      Italy is an interesting example of immigrants becoming a more vociferous group. Check out the story by going to this link.

  2. ed

    Sorry, but South Africa is a big joke, and using it to show the militancy of Blacks is another joke.

    How was it possible, in the first place , for a handful of Whites to land in a fully Black country like South Africa, and impose apartheid?? I will tell you, because African Blacks have a long history of fighting amongst themselves, and allowing the white man to do as he pleases!

    History shows that those African Blacks sold their very own into slavery. Look at most African countries run by Blacks; they are among the most corrupt and poor in the world! Now look at other countries run by Blacks, not in Africa, and they are all progressive countries with little corruption.Look carefully, there are countries out there, not in Africa, run by Blacks, and doing OK.

    I honestly think that African Blacks need to value themselves more in Europe. Look at the example of England. African Blacks had been taking all of the overt racism in England for years. When Blacks from the Caribbean arrived, they demanded a change in attitude, and this they acheived through a unified front!The USA is another example; the Blacks there fought(not literary) for a change in attitude among the Whites, and got it.

    There are lots of African Blacks in various countries in Europe, being treated like sub-humans. They have no intention of ever standing up for their rights! That is very lamentable to me!!

  3. KAL

    -Now look at other countries run by Blacks, not in Africa, and they are ALL progressive countries with little corruption.

    Um, Haiti?

    • Enrique

      Why should we divide countries run by blacks, whites and other ethnic groups? What is the point? Is it to reinforce stereotypes?

  4. Tiwaz

    Ask ed, he wants to divide the nations.

    What ed tends to miss is that black people who do not come from Africa are rather happy with Finland.

    They have EQUAL nation where political correctness of “positive” discrimination has not take away everything they work with.

    Because there can be no “positive” discrimination, when there is preferential treatment of blacks because of their tone of skin it is just as bad, if not worse, than “negative” discrimination.

    That is why people who come to Finland and are prepared to live here on Finnish terms like it! It is place where you can stand up on your OWN merits instead of having some idiotic preferential programs dig all credibility from what you do.

    Because that is what “positive” discrimination is all about, lowering requirements and thus reducing everything you do in importance. Your achievements are not seen as you rising up to the challenge, but as challenges being reduced to make them easier.

    Africans ed here complains are people who do not have abilities to compete in society. They are not victims of Finnish racism, but victims of their own failure. Their nations fail to provide their inhabitants with high level of education to compete in land which is there at the top on education. Globally…

    And when multiculturalists come there and start pampering the refugees and telling them to cling to ways of their failed society, they create another failure for refugees. Because they are told to live as if they were still in Somalia, they do so. Problem is, despite beliefs of some people.. Cultures are radically different, and thus they try to follow practices which do not work in Finland.

    And so these African people become increasingly prevalent in crime statistics, specifically rape ones. Failing to understand that culture in Finland is nothing like one they are used to in Somalia. Leading to more failures of immigrants, not failures of Finland.

    • Enrique

      –And so these African people become increasingly prevalent in crime statistics, specifically rape ones. Failing to understand that culture in Finland is nothing like one they are used to in Somalia. Leading to more failures of immigrants, not failures of Finland.

      Crime exists everywhere and it should never be condoned. This type of ideology that you are pushing is very common in hate groups globally. It is a racist argument to why we should continue to hate others. Why does the police publish these types of statistics? Because a lot of them agree with your world view. They are, in my opinion, the most backward lot in Finland to handle immigration affairs. Their views in general, like in the 1980s, is to “keep the trash out” of Finland- they see immigrants especially from some countries as a threat to our way of life. Some of them even look like skinheads with their bald heads. Their appearance instils a sense of fear in some of us or repugnance – not a sense that they are performing a valuable public service. There are, however, model policemen who share a different view of how they serve the public and the immigrant community.

  5. Tiwaz

    -“Crime exists everywhere and it should never be condoned. This type of ideology that you are pushing is very common in hate groups globally. It is a racist argument to why we should continue to hate others. Why does the police publish these types of statistics? Because a lot of them agree with your world view. They are, in my opinion, the most backward lot in Finland to handle immigration affairs. Their views in general, like in the 1980s, is to “keep the trash out” of Finland- they see immigrants especially from some countries as a threat to our way of life. Some of them even look like skinheads with their bald heads. Their appearance instils a sense of fear in some of us or repugnance – not a sense that they are performing a valuable public service. There are, however, model policemen who share a different view of how they serve the public and the immigrant community.”

    ENRIQE! WAKE THE FUCK UP!

    Police does not publish these statistics, however, since Finland is free country with great deal of importance put on transparency..

    ANYONE can dig up this information.

    What I find disturbing is how you accept and defend RAPISTS! You instead attack police and Finns for revealing truth! That is disgusting.

    Perhaps you would be happier if these statistics were attempted to hide. Problem is, knowledge never stays hidden for long. Facts surface no matter what you do.

    You cannot argue with facts, fact is that immigrants of African/Islamic origin are extremely overrepresented in rape statistics. This is a fact.

    And indeed, I fully support notion of keeping trash out of Finland. Can you give SINGLE good reason why we should welcome trash of other countries and societies to come to pollute ours?

    Are our existing problems somehow magically reduced by importing more problems from abroad?

  6. Tony Garcia

    About 2 weeks ago I was watching Ross Kemp on Gangs and he was showing the gangs in South Africa. Nothing special about that, especially from someone who grew up in Brazil, but there was a little detail about it I want to share with you all.

    Ross was interviewing the leadership of a gang called 28, the biggest and most violent gang in SA, so, among the leaders there was a very old guy. Ross, then, asked him a interesting question, with most multiculturalists would prefer he didn’t. He asked the guy why nothing has changed since the end of the apartheid? The guy answered…

    “Before I used to be a second class citizen, now I’m a third class.”

    So, apparently blacks from some tribes have got to power and now they are pushing aside blacks from rival tribes. The discriminated has become the discriminator. A fact many multiculturalists would prefer you just didn’t know about it.

    Also I want to quote Tony McGinley, principal of St John the Evangelist of Adamstown, a very “enriched” school here in Ireland…

    “were dealing with cultural differences that they did not fully know or understand, including discipline issues, and in some instances, complicated further by tribal differences from within the one country”.

    As you can see Africa, and also Middle East for that matter, have a very strong tribal culture, and they hate each others. They always have, they always will.

    Very important is that you don’t let multiculturalists fool you, if we allow these people to come, they will, without a doubt, bring their grievances with them. And as we saw last week in Lappeenranta that they solve their matters at knife point.

    So, elections are coming, it’s time to act, you have a country to save. Email all the politicians you know and let them know for whom they work for, who’s right and safety they should be working to protect, otherwise, after next election they will need to find another job.

    Demand they accelerate deportations of criminals, failed seekers and ilegals. Demand they stop the talking and finalize the changes to the Alien act making as hard as possible family unification, and implement all possible tests and procedures to quickly recognize bogus applicants. Very important, Finland now consider most of Iraq a safe place, so this policy should be put in practice, rejecting new applications and starting to review resident permits already granted. Demand they do the same for Somaliland.

    You must remember, Finland is still a democracy, however Sharia could be just a few refugees away.

    My dear Finnish friends, you own this to your children.

    • Enrique

      –So, apparently blacks from some tribes have got to power and now they are pushing aside blacks from rival tribes. The discriminated has become the discriminator. A fact many multiculturalists would prefer you just didn’t know about it.

      So what is the moral of your story? Apartheid was better? Or that discrimination is a long-term matter that must be rooted out from society with the help of education and opportunities?

      Sorry Tony, no dice. I don’t understand how you take one person and put everything out of context as if “multiculturalsts” are holding their breath when a guy like this speaks out. As you know, and as I have tried to explain, multiculturalism is nothing more than respecting civil rights of EVERY person in a diverse society. This is a lofty challenge and requires a great amount of civic courage.

    • Enrique

      –As you can see Africa, and also Middle East for that matter, have a very strong tribal culture, and they hate each others. They always have, they always will.

      Yes, true, but have they killed with their hatred as many people as we in Europe have in the past four-hundred years?

  7. Tony Garcia

    “So what is the moral of your story? Apartheid was better?”

    I don’t know, and, to be honest, I couldn’t care less.

    “Yes, true, but have they killed with their hatred as many people as we in Europe have in the past four-hundred years?”

    Again… I don’t care. That’s their problem nor ours.

    My concerns starts when, in the name of the holy diversity, we start importing these people.

    First, they will bring their wars with them, endangering our children.

    Second, they will most probably fail in their integration, hanging on the dole, and we will have to foot the bill. Furthermore, in some bizarre way, multiculturalists will blame us for that.

    • Enrique

      –My concerns starts when, in the name of the holy diversity, we start importing these people. First, they will bring their wars with them, endangering our children.

      “Holy diversity?” Come on, Tony, you are being facitious. You have to put things in context not exaggerate them to breaking point. I don’t buy this type of fear.

      –Second, they will most probably fail in their integration, hanging on the dole, and we will have to foot the bill. Furthermore, in some bizarre way, multiculturalists will blame us for that.

      If you look at Muslims in the US they are highly educated and well-to-do. Your view of different groups is highly negative and suspicious. You don’t even give yourself a chance to understand others. I truly believe that what you said are the very attitudes that are creating strife and misunderstanding. Treating people with respect has nothing to do with multiculturalism but horse sense and how you should interact with people. It is and should be a part of our education.

    • Enrique

      –You could forward this link to the politician you voted last election. You could also tell him/her that if he/she doesn’t start to make our children’s safety his/her first priority, next election you will find someone who will.

      Wow, Tony, because of a thing like this you have the right to stigmatize a whole people. Now, if you wish, I could start showing all the crimes that take place in our society and ring loud alarm bells and spread fear mongering. You are on the wrong track, my friend.

  8. Tony Garcia

    “Holy diversity? Come on, Tony, you are being facitious”

    Sorry, but that is the impression we all get from the way you and others defend it. We see that for you diversity is worth the problems it causes, well we don’t think so. Sorry to say that, but I’m being very honest with you.

    “You don’t even give yourself a chance to understand others”

    I do, very well, I know exactly what we are facing right now. And you don’t need to buy anything, we live in a democracy, if the majority of Finns do, that’ll be enough. They just need to let their politicians know that.

    “If you look at Muslims in the US they are highly educated and well-to-do.”

    Really? Well you should do a bit of research on what CAIR is up to. David Gaubetz and his son did a great job bringing it to light.

    • Enrique

      –We see that for you diversity is worth the problems it causes, well we don’t think so.

      Well, then you should lock and relegate this type of society in a cage. I don’t know how you are going to do it and if your scheme will be worse than your expected “cure.” Do you know why I think your view of the dangers of our society are questionable? Because they are based on emotion and a sort of monlithic myth about how we should be in society. Such a view of society must bring a lot of anxiety and suffering.

  9. Drago

    I live 27 years here in Finland and never had a problem with foreigners. It was the Fins who insulted me.
    I give you some facts about Finland now.
    Finland has more human rights violations convictions by ECHR than Germany with a 15 times bigger population than Finland. Finland has more human rights violations by ECHR than the rest of Scandinavia.
    I my self a victim of being framed by law braking Finnish police officers.
    Go to google videos and search with: Seanie Kilfoyle
    I was found guilty on uploading some of those videos that are insulting a black guy regardless of the fact that those videos were many more times insulting to me and were made by Seanie Kilfoyle.
    I was found guilty for the google group poster da-hui(ad)telex.co.uk regardless of the fact that while he posted on March 25,26 2007 I was in jail and could not have been the poster neither could I have used the email account of telex.co.uk which is a private domain. Do a whois search and you know to whom it belongs. Than do a google search with his name. Finland is the most racist country I have ever been in my life.

  10. Tiwaz

    -“If you look at Muslims in the US they are highly educated and well-to-do.”

    Has it ever occurred to you that you are an imbecile?

    Look at the map. Look at USA. How many pisspoor and uneducated Islamic nations you see within spitting distance?

    None.

    Your point about muslims in USA can be turned upside down by noting how few uneducated and troublemaking Mexicans exist in EU.

    I guess it has something to do with cost of moving.

    -“Your view of different groups is highly negative and suspicious. You don’t even give yourself a chance to understand others.”

    Why bother understand them if they come here without any intention of understanding how society they move into works?

    -“I truly believe that what you said are the very attitudes that are creating strife and misunderstanding.”

    No, cultural conflict is what is causing the problem. Different cultures having conflicting expectations and when multiculturalists say all must be respected, there can only be fight.

    -“Treating people with respect has nothing to do with multiculturalism but horse sense and how you should interact with people. It is and should be a part of our education.”

    Our education should be that every immigrant is given small book where it is underlined what things are considered obvious in Finland.

    First things would be “In Finland, it is assumed everyone speaks Finnish. EVERYONE.”
    “In Finland, it is presumed everyone can read and write. EVERYONE”
    “In Finland, it is presumed that women are equal to men, NOT required to wear a scarft, hijab, qijab or anything else. They are also free to come and go as they please. They also can refuse sex at any point and this refusal is always respected.”
    “Children may not be harmed in any way. Only doctors may decide if some part of child should be cut.”

  11. xyz

    First things would be “In Finland, it is assumed everyone speaks Finnish. EVERYONE.”
    -I would change it to If you have skills then you don’t need to speak Finnish immediately.

    Further, I would set up a proper integration plan and proper/more Finnish courses.

    Next is that people working in the labor office should be trained that if somebody does not speak Finnish does not mean that this person is only able to clean.

    Read this:
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/American-born+Technopolis+CEO+Keith+Silverang+challenges+Finland+to+take+risks+with+regard+to+immigration+/1135255778346

    “In Finland, it is presumed that women are equal to men, NOT required to wear a scarft, hijab, qijab or anything else.
    -Who cares if somebody wears a scarf or not? It’s just a peace of cloth. Oh, if men are equal to women, how about the equality of Immigrants and Finns? Just to challenge your sense of equality 🙂

  12. xyz

    So is KKK “uniform”
    -The difference is that those people act against the law. You can also dress like a clown if you feel like.

  13. prakash

    racism is quite high in finland.The funny thing is that they are so small a country compared to india that their
    supermarkets are indian supermarkets one tenth in size still i faced racism there, they dont know how to treat
    visitors.

    • Enrique

      Hi prakash, and welcome to Migrant Tales. True, the problem is a huge dose of ignorance that has destroyed some people’s lives in Finland. Maybe you could tell us how a multicultural country such as Indian tries to put aside some of its cultural differences. I would be interested to hear from you on that topic.

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