Seeing the ogre of racism in Finland at an early age

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

What kind of society denies others their identity? What kind of society approves their children of ostracizing those that come from different backgrounds? The answer is simple: a culture that suffers from low self-esteem.

One of the biggest cultural crimes that had been committed in Finland in the previous century was Finnicization. It is another version of what countries like Brazil did to “whiten” their population by inviting European immigration to its shores.

I am grateful that I did not grow up in Finland during the 1960s and 1970s because it would have meant, apart from ridicule and exclusion, denying a part of my identity.

There are tens of thousands of people in Finland that grew up in the 1990s that went to school in this country and come from multicultural backgrounds. I doubt that you will find many rosy stories in that group about how well they were treated at school. Many, especially the visible minorities, will tell you tales about how they were excluded and bullied at school with the blessing of silence and inaction of their teachers.

Evey time politicians like Wille Rydman of Kokoomus or Timo Soini and his followers as well as others speak about the need for immigrants to integrate into society, I wonder what they mean. Students of multicultural backgrounds and visible minorities hear this rude message loud and clear every time they step out of their homes.

In many cases the attitudes, treatment and relationship that some Finns have with people of multicultural backgrounds has its roots in exclusion and racism.

When I was a kid briefly living in Finland, I had to fight with my bare fists to be accepted by my friends. In the end they did but there were always new kids, total strangers, who would make a big deal about my otherness.

I have only one advice for those who suffered this type of discrimination in Finland when they were young: It is never too late to raise your self-esteem of your other self. Returning to where you were once from will fill you with power that you never knew existed inside of you. The first crucial step in this process is accepting who you are.

If people have a problem with that it is their problem – not yours.

(Many thanks to Larion for bringing this issue to my attention)

  1. Juan

    Speaking of Brazil, isn’t there a colony of Finnish settlers somewhere in the Amazon? I saw a feature about them on TV once and what I found uncanny was that they were trying to build an exact replica of their Finnish way of life there in the middle of the amazon-complete with national costume and everything. How does that square off with “when in Rome, do as the Romans do,” as Urpilainen loves to put it?

    • Enrique

      Hi Juan, there is a colony founded in the 1920s near Resendo in Rio de Janeiro state. Finns founded colonies in Argentina (Colonia Finlandesa), Paraguay (Villa Alborada), Cuba, Dominican Republic and Bolivia in the 1980s. They are pretty small numbering a few hundred at the most. http://coloniafinlandesa.wp.com

  2. Martin-Éric

    This ties in well with the issues raised by Alexis Kouros at the immigrant candidates’ panel in Caisa last week. Sadly, dues to Alexis’ lack of public animation skills, the context behind each question wasn’t properly introduced to the candidates or to the crowd, even though many of us are familiar with the issues.

    For instance, some questions insisted on how many political parties approached each candidate. There is a compelling reason for asking this question: political parties tend to completely ignore the immigrant component of this country’s population during each government’s term, but they suddenly hawk on any remotely visible citizen with an immigrant background like vultures over a dying horse, with the most visible individuals literally being sollicited by EVERY party, as soon as the electoral campain approaches. In a handful of cases, the candidates have already been politically involved for several years, but virtually ignored. In other cases, they won the Refugee Woman of the Year contest and made an appearance of Dancing with the Stars as a result, which made them enough of a VIP to be sollicited by every political party and their grand-mother, just to make the party’s image APPREAR more welcoming of immigrants.

    Alexis also asked each candidate how they handle the struggle between Finnish and foreign identity, but I think that this point deserved to be developped more. Again, while Alexis did a fantastic job of researching each candidate’s background, his approximative Finnish, combined with the gratuitous and unnecessary theatrical intermede that started the evening, essentially meant that we only got around that close to the very end of the evening, when the crowd had already gotten impatient to ask their own questions, with two of the candidates scolding the organizers for not getting around hearing the audience’s questions any sooner.

  3. JusticeDemon

    Martin-Éric

    Having attended a few of those events over the years, I can appreciate your frustration.

    Kouros was very probably invited at fairly short notice to chair that panel. I doubt that he had much influence over the programme of the event itself, which is at least partly arranged to bolster the profile of Caisa Cultural Centre.

    The need to give all of the candidates equal time and allow them to state their positions on everything – often in a language not their own – tends to make things bog down. Questions from the audience also tend not to engage directly with the political process of Finnish elections, but once a question has been asked, then every candidate must be given a chance to comment. This means that a genuine sob story about, say, children bullied at school gets thrown out to the the panel members, all of who are presumably keen to convey the impression that they are not lacking in compassion. The outcome is 20 minutes taken to achieve the momentous result that all of the candidates are appalled at school bullying.

  4. Maria

    I have an example of how racist Finns are: I have friend at school he probably immigrated 4 years or a little more ago. When I met him he had in Finland for over a year, he spoke PERFECT Finnish, I asked him, how long have you been here? and how come you speak Finnish so well, he answered, well you know when arrive to a new country I don’t want to feel excluded, I want to be accepted by the community and I believe the language is what will make the difference, he spent, something between 6 to 12 months studying ONLY Finnish, as a result, he was able to follow a studying program in Finnish, make Finnish friends and land his dream job. He started as a sales person in a Diesel store he is now today the visual merchandizing head manager, and he has also learned already Swedish and Danish. You might say oh maybe he was white, bla bla, no he is BRAZILIAN, BLACK AND ON TOP OF EVERYTHING GAY. Those were never obstacles here, Finns accepted him as we was, and guess he did not lose his identity, he kept on being essentially Brazilian and openly gay, none of those were problems.

    • Enrique

      Good for him, Maria! There are a lot of success stories and we are always happy to hear about them. Whenever I speak of groups I prefer to use the adjective “some” before a noun like Finns or immigrants. When it comes to the True Finns, I think we can agree that one of the matters that glues this group is their ignorance of immigrants and refugees. They like to black-paint immigrants and refugees. The True Finns use the same tactic to support their anti-immigration agenda: They claim that Finland’s immigration policy is full of holes and “hordes” of immigrants/refugees are getting in. This, as you know, is not true. It is fear-mongering for the opportunistic aim of getting elected.

      Do you know Tony García?

  5. Maria

    No, I barely know any Latin here. Well he is not just one success story, I know plenty, in fact none of my foreigner friends have faced problems here. I have a friend who immigrated around the 90’s, her daughter was the only tanned Colombian in the class, she never encountered any problem, nor did the mum, they have been living here for ages and no discrimination whatsoever. I think you should start accepting the fact that some immigrants come with no positive intentions and those are the ones that should not be allowed here. I don’t want to see this turned into France, have you ever lived there? it is atrocious, immigrants are more racist than French themselves and I know it because I used to teach children of immigrants, mostly asylum seekers, French language in order to minimize their exclusion in the society and it was their parents, who were giving me speeches of how much they hated France and how much France belonged to them and not to French people, and the truth was their French level was nothing but poor to non-existing, how can they succeed in a developed country like France? I do not know if it is the case in Finland, but I am sure some immigrants think that way as well, you cannot be so naive to claim that 100% of immigrants are good and come with good intentions, that is utter bullshit, because guess what, we don’t live in a perfect world with full of perfect people, other than that I don’t agree with the fact that because Finland is a welfare country, then it is some sort of charity and should receive whoever wants to come here. And I repeat I know many Somalis who have adapted, work and live here, but the reality is that not all of them will.

    • Enrique

      I believe, María, a very important starting point is mutual acceptance. That includes accepting people who have different views from you. That is why mutual acceptance and equal opportunities are key in a culturally diverse society.

      –you cannot be so naive to claim that 100% of immigrants are good and come with good intentions, that is utter bullshit.

      Yes, no society is perfect. There are all types in every group.

      –That I don’t agree with the fact that because Finland is a welfare country, then it is some sort of charity and should receive whoever wants to come here.

      Could you enlighten us and tell us who is doing this? I think there have been a lot of entries here that show the opposite. Another misconcept by the anti-immigration group is portraying immigrants-refugees as if they had special rights and get more welfare. You know that is utterly false. If you know of immigrants getting more benefits, I suggest you report the civil servant and get him fired.

  6. Maria

    “I believe, María, a very important starting point is mutual acceptance. That includes accepting people who have different views from you. That is why mutual acceptance and equal opportunities are key in a cultural diverse society. ”

    Then you should start by accepting the many opinions with you that do not agree with you and your arguments.

    “Could you enlighten us and tell us who is doing this? I think there have been a lot of entries here that show the opposite. Another misconcept by the anti-immigration group is portraying immigrants-refugees as if they had special rights and get more welfare. You know that is utterly false. If you know of immigrants getting more benefits, I suggest you report the civil servant and get him fired.”

    You were saying in another post here that because Finland is a welfare state it should help those who are in need, yes, true, but it doesn’t mean that the country in obliged to accept ALL of those who are in need, and want to enter this place. Hence the necessity for controlling immigration.

    • Enrique

      –Then you should start by accepting the many opinions with you that do not agree with you and your arguments.

      That is what we have done all along. We don’t accept comments that insult goups or people. In other words, Islamophobia is on a short leash on this blog.

    • Enrique

      –You were saying in another post here that because Finland is a welfare state it should help those who are in need, yes, true, but it doesn’t mean that the country in obliged to accept ALL of those who are in need, and want to enter this place. Hence the necessity for controlling immigration.

      It should help those that live here irrespective of their background and respect its international agreements concerning asylum. I hope that clears it up.

  7. Maria

    “That is what we have done all along. We don’t accept comments that insult goups or people”

    Yes? then why don’t you tell anything to persons like ALIEN who say that Finns are red monkey faces mongols with sexual impairments and small dicks and that Pori women are good in bed, that they are all drunk and that this country sucks. In my opinion that is insulting groups or people (men and women), when you didn’t say anything not a single word to his behavior and name calling to Tony Garcia in particular. If these people want respect they should start by respecting others as well, specially Finns who are the most decent people that I have ever met!!!!!

  8. Maria

    or calling country A MENTAL HOSPITAL is not insulting a group or people!!! judge everyone by the same standards Enrique!!!

  9. Maria

    “It should help those that live here irrespective of their background and respect its international agreements concerning asylum. I hope that clears it up.”

    Well that clears the whole issue, haven’t you been saying all over this blog that asylum seekers haven’t seen their benefits decreased because they do try to get a job, in other words what are you bitching about if those who need help, get it!!! and again Finland does not have any obligation to accept all the asylum seekers in its territory because the reality is that MANY are not real asylum seekers they just wanna come here just because, let’s face it, Finland is a rich country and offers many benefits, including free schooling, and others!! why don’t they go to nicer countries with pitiful social systems like mine, well guess why!!!

    • Enrique

      –and again Finland does not have any obligation to accept all the asylum seekers in its territory because the reality is that MANY are not real asylum seekers they just wanna come here.

      I disagree and maybe JusticeDemon can say something about this. If you are persecuted and are fleeing war, certainly you have the right to ask for asylum. How do you know what these people are? I think that is offensive to them. My great grandfather was a refugee and I am proud of him. I even named my third son after him. If you wake up and look around you, starting from Colombia, you will notice that there is a lot of suffering and strife. Would you want to live in a country that is at war with itself? I doubt it so please don’t knock those whom you don’t know.

  10. Maria

    So are you assuring that 100% of Asylum seekers are fleeing war? I am not denying that many are in real danger but many are not, and that is a fact, nothing is never 100% sure, there is a unreliability in everything, I believe those asylum seekers that Finland takes are helped here, get aid, school, house, etc. but it is not because of that that Finland is obliged to take them ALL and grant a permit to ALL the applications that they get.
    Also again you failed to answer to why you tolerate people like ALIEN insulting Finns and others and you don’t say anything about it, not a single word, please quote a place where you told ALIEN not to be racist and respect others, instead you have only said: “oh man poor you, I am sorry to hear that you had such a terrible time in Finland, let’s meet in Stockholm one day” but when somebody says that not all immigrants are “good” then you immediately attack them!!!

    I think it is you who should wake up and stop being so biased. I am proud of your grand father, mine was a Lebanese immigrant as well and I admire them for their hard-work and will for surviving, but I don’t accept, not even tolerate in the least ANYBODY who thinks he/she is entitled to trample on others’ beliefs, cultures and countries. How do think my family’s situation would be if we would be clinging to Lebanese culture and behavior in a country where at the time there were no foreigners in Colombia. My whole family is now 100% Colombian, even though genetically we are still Lebanese, actually I am entitled to Lebanese citizenship but I don’t want it because I am not Lebanese, I am Colombian. I don’t go around saying that I am Colombo-Lebanese, nor does Shakira and any other Colombian with Arabic ancestry.

    And I am 100% convinced that in MANY CASES the immigrants are more racist than the locals themselves. How come none of us have any problem being immigrants? I haven’t stopped being Colombian, I talk about my country as much as I can, I invite my friends (Finnish and foreigner) to my place to have Colombian food, I teach them salsa, vallenato and merengue, I am proud of Shakira,
    but it is not because I am Colombian that I am going to demand French or Finns to behave like me and open salsa bars and catholic churches everywhere, and demand to have sancocho instead of pea soup. AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM FINNS HAVE WITH SOME IMMIGRANTS, they do not want to respect and adapt to the local culture!

    As for REAL RACISTS those exist everywhere, luckily I haven’t been able a victim of any of them, not at the airports, not at the police nowhere!!
    In fact, you know how bad reputation Colombians have, specially in the US, and when I went to Miami with a TRANSIT visa, the immigration clerk offered me a ONE MONTH VISA, not only once, but twice, upon arrival and upon leaving?? why?? tell me why?? maybe because I have the correct attitude when abroad!!

    Finally if you know this saying, maybe you will understand why everybody is forced to like everybody:
    “UNO NO ES MONEDITA DE ORO PARA CAERLE BIEN A TODO EL MUNDO”

    • Enrique

      –I think it is you who should wake up and stop being so biased.

      As I mentioned, you leave traces of who you are by your threads. It is already pretty clear that you have a paternalistic view of how immigrants are supposed to adapt in society. We always run into problems when someone starts to push “assimilation” on others when, in fact, that policy has not worked anywhere. Colombia is unfortunately too absorbed in its war to reap the benefits of diversity.

      –I think it is you who should wake up and stop being so biased.

      So you come and accuse me of running a “pathetic” blog and of being “so biased” when, in reality this “pathetic biased” person is debating with you. I have told Finns many times that some foreigners are more conservative than Finns concerning immigrants. You can disagree with cultural diversity but you cannot force other ones to renouonce it because those are the laws of the land.

      Another matter that kind of worries me is that you speak a lot about “race” and “skin color.” This seems to be very important for you.

      One of the matters I simply did not like about many Latin American countries was this paternalistic way of seeing the world. We are surrounded by social inequality but we fail to do anything about it. Worse, we accept the fact that people die of hunger and, worse, are part of the system that creates such inequality. You have your views and we have ours. If you disagree, you can always establish your own blog to promote your views. Many of us who write here have a background in the social sciences and have studied immigration. We have also been immigrants.

  11. Maria

    You know, I can’t take you or your blog seriously when you fail to tell why are you not condemning people like ALIEN who clearly display racist views towards Finns, by accusing them of being suckers, drunks, with small dicks!!

    Answer to that and then we can perhaps debate on a solution for racism.

    May I ask what have you done for fixing the issue besides blubbering on a pathetic blog? are you taking action in the real world?

    Color and nationality do not mean anything to me, I have friends from every country in the world, and many Africans and Somalis here as well, and you know what, they respect, they behave, they do not have attitude problems and thus they DO NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY.

    And as you said, you did not like things from my culture, well Finns are not supposed to accept things they do not like from other cultures, even less when those cultures are in their homeland, but you don’t seem to get that fact.

    And I can blame you of being ignorant if you think that Colombia is not diverse enough, do you think you know my country better than me? our problems derive from a total different array issues, which are not at all related to lacking the benefits of diversification. And I don’t know where did u get your social studies if you think that assimilation does not work, then why many foreigners who are here, do their homework and do not label as racist every situation they encounter, succeed? despite the fact that they are foreigners, many are not white and some are gay???!!!! ANSWER TO THAT

    Assimilation does not work when it is the host culture trying to impose their ways to the local one!!!
    May I remind you of colonization!! The Algerian war as a consequence for French, for not talking about Spanish colonization.

    And you know what call me racist or whatever you want, I will stand for defending Finns and their culture and land, I do not appreciate at all what some immigrants do or how they behave when abroad and I would do my best for keeping away from them and so will my husband, my Finnish friends and my foreigner friends who live an excellent life here, and really hope that the political parties who want to protect Finland from those NUISANCES will win!!!

    Now back to doing something productive!

    • Enrique

      –You know, I can’t take you or your blog seriously when you fail to tell why are you not condemning people like ALIEN who clearly display racist views towards Finns, by accusing them of being suckers, drunks, with small dicks!!

      True, this is unacceptable. However, why aren’t you condemning politicians and people who spread lies about immigrants and refugees? Certainly their actions speak louder than words. If you like, start with some of the True Finns and then move on to the big parties. What do you think about Social Democrat Kari Rajamäki who calls asylum-seekers “welfare shopers?” What about those who call immigrants lazy and social bums? Certainly their actions should come to close scrutiny because they poison the atmosphere by reinforcing myths. Compared to Alien, they look like Hiroshima and Nagasaki in one.

      –May I ask what have you done for fixing the issue besides blubbering on a pathetic blog? are you taking action in the real world?

      Wow, María, you really know how to throw low punches. It’s something I learned that the some Colombians were pretty good at. But it really makes you look bad. Just read the laws, respect and accept others and you will do fine in Finland. Are you up to it? I hope for your sake that you are.

    • Enrique

      –And as you said, you did not like things from my culture, well Finns are not supposed to accept things they do not like from other cultures.

      I like Colombia very much. Had a wonderful time. The system left a lot to be desired. What you guys need is a social revolution to blow away all the injustice to do away with those who think they have the privilage to exploit other people. So now I am “ignorant.” Keep them coming, Maria. I know Colombia very well because I reported on the country 24/7. Knew almost all the ministers and found out how much some Colombians did not like Argentineans. Just because you were born in a country does not automatically make you an authority. You may have a view of it but it depends on what tools you have learned to study it.

      –I will stand for defending Finns and their culture and land, I do not appreciate at all what some immigrants do or how they behave when abroad and I would do my best for keeping away from them and so will my husband, my Finnish friends and my foreigner friends who live an excellent life here, and really hope that the political parties who want to protect Finland from those NUISANCES will win!!!

      Good luck, Maria. I sincerely hope you make it.

      Please look up what assimilation meants. Compare it to integration and multiculturalism.

  12. Maria

    I think some immigrants are indeed welfare shoppers, lazy and social bums. I have seen quite a few. I don’t think all are though.

    And the reason I find this blog pathetic is exactly this, that you condone Alien’s words, meanwhile you criticize Finns for being racist. If you want to help with the issue you should start by preventing ANY form of racism, coming from either side. For example this far you have only being accusing and judging Colombia when in fact I have only been providing examples of my interaction with Finns, how positive they have been and telling that SOME not all foreigners are not here exactly contributing to the advancement of society, and you what do you do meanwhile, tell me that I do not have any logic, accuse my country of this and that and blindly defend a group of people that you don’t know 100%, because I highly doubt that you know every immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee, foreigner that lives in Finland, and yet you generalize that ALL of them ARE GOOD, AND ARE VICTIMS OF RACISM.

    And why am I throwing low punches here: because I do not like your blog, I find it pathetic and speak my mind, should I then be a hypocrite and agree with you even though it is not true? indeed you don’t seem to act in the real world for solving the issues. What have you done since you started that so called racist test in 2008? I would like to know if you have undertaken any action, may it be political or social for helping those so called victims of racism? have you started an NGO, went to public places for speaking about the issue, make donations, visit the refugee centers, create a Finnish language center for refugees of some sort etc??

    Well I do make donations, I support one kid in Shakira’s barefoot foundation, I constantly donate clothes and I was even teaching French to children of excluded immigrants in France so that they could have a better chance in that country.

    Should I call you racist for giving your honest opinion about Colombians, that we through low punches and we are very good at it? No, I do not, I just think that you are as biased and as narrow-minded as those Finns you claim to be racist, and yes I respect every law here, in France and in Colombia, my record is so clean that I have never had any problem in any airport, and I was offered a tourist visa in the USA when I had only a transit visa. I can send you a copy of it if you don’t believe.

    And if you would not be up to it, my Finnish family would not like me as much as they do nor would my Finnish friends and colleagues.

    • Enrique

      –And the reason I find this blog pathetic is exactly this, that you condone Alien’s words, meanwhile you criticize Finns for being racist.

      Maria, I think you should stop putting words in my mouth. Where have I said all Finns are racists? And where did I say 100% immigrants are good? Oy vey!

      I won’t say it again: I enjoyed living in Colombia, had many good friends. What I did not like was the system and social inequality. That is nothing offensive but a point of view. Too much hatred, exclusion, and greed are some of the seeds of your terrible civil war, la violencia. Learn from Finland and Europe. Maybe they could teach a few things about the right to get an education, work for social equality and participate actively in politics/society.

  13. Maria

    “What kind of society denies others their identity? What kind of society approves their children of ostracizing those that come from different backgrounds? The answer is simple: a culture that suffers from low self-esteem. ”
    In your own words, I do not see that you would have written “some”, “most”, “a few”, not even a percentage.
    When I read this sentence I immediately assume that you throw in the same basket “all Finns” and tell they ALL suffer from self-esteem and that ALL foreigners have their identity denied.
    Wasn’t that what you meant? then you should make a better use of your words, so that what you are thinking reflects accurately on what you are writing.
    And when did you live in Colombia again? in the early 70’s or 80’s and do you think we still live like that? when was the last time you came back? And do not worry we are learning one day we will get there, Europe has had many more years for arriving where they are.

    Also, this is my last argument, just as you did not like the system in Colombia, Finns do not have to like every culture or system that is being imported here, they are entitled to protect their land from what they consider nuisances. And answer please, what have you been your actions in the real world for fighting against racism.

    Usually there is planning and an implementation phase? what are your plans? how are implementing them?

    • Enrique

      María, there are many studies that show that racism is a byproduct of low-self esteem. That is why we have to build up people’s self-esteem. By denying their culture and identity you do just that. And you should know that when we speak of a society I don’t include everyone.

      I lived in Colombia during Andrés Pastrana’s government. Greeted him once and interviewed many times Economy Minister Restrepo, Valenzuela and others.

      I’m implementing fine. Writing is one of my activities.

  14. Maria

    Well then you should write that you do not mean every Finn when you write what you write.
    Good if you met Pastrana he was was one of the worst presidents we have ever had, when the guerrilla was really deadly, things have changed, Uribe did a lot in that respect.

    • Enrique

      Yes, true, Pastrana was a failure. But I had a wonderful time in Colombia. I just felt very sad that was has claimed such a beautiful country. I also had a Colombian girlfriend back in Hollywood High School. I am grateful to her for opening my eyes to one my roots in Latin America. I visited Cartagena often because that’s were they organized many seminars that I covered; I once went to Pereira and Armenia. There was a small town in the coffee region called Filandia written without the “n.” It has nothing to do with Finlandia.

  15. Maria

    Yeah I know it, Filandia where the wonderful Café soap opera was filmed, well I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope one day to help improving somehow the situation there, for now I am supporting monthly a kid from Shakira’s Barefoot foundation. We could start a totally new debate on how to improve Colombia’s problems 🙂 but that is not relevant here (in the blog).

  16. Mary Mekko

    Hello Enrique!

    What a debate you two have got going here, ay carumbia, oy Columbia! I wish to ask where you have found the studies proving that “racism is a byproduct of low self-esteem”. That is one hard conclusion to believe, for most people are racist at heart, at their innermost. It is a tribal breeding instinct throughout the world, no matter how rich or poor the people, educated or ignorant, good-looking or ugly, etc. etc. That the Finns prefer themselves to themselves is absolutely natural, and if it were not so, one would have to really wonder if they were sane… someone who keeps insisting that he is “not racist” is a liar. That the Finns don’t mind meeting people from other countries, travelling abroad, learning foreign languages, trying new cuisines, reading foreign literature, seeing foreign films and so on – that is not the same as accepting a lot of outsiders right on one’s doorstep. From my travels, I have concluded that the Chinese are the most racist of the whole world, even amongst their own 100-plus nationalities, not to mention their men’s extreme sexism. But no tribe anywhere is immune to “fear of the other” if that “other” comes encroaching on its territory.

    If you are right, and can produce some links to those studies, I wonder then that groups such as the Jews declared themselves a separate “race” so many generations ago. Was it low self-esteem that made them want to be different from and intolerant of their Semitic neighbors, way back in those desert days? It is something to puzzle about. Why would one group say, “We’re different from you, and look down on all of you, you are “gentiles”, “unclean”, etc.” Is it really low self-esteen or some other sociological cause that formed their mentality? Could it in fact have been very HIGH self-esteem, that led to a natural arrogance, superiority?

    Worth thinking about….who is conducting those “studies” that you’re referencing?

    • Enrique

      OK, Mary Mekko, what about if I said that racism shows strong character? Racism is healthy for society? Where do you draw the line? If it were “healthy” the more racist we’d have to be to strengthen our society? Look what happened to Nazi Germany?

      There is a consensus that racism is a social ill and that some people who are openly racist have low self-esteem issues. It doesn’t have to be low self-esteem but other factors could be at play: maladaption, inability to get along with others etc.

      Here is one link that may set you off on the right track: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223151945.htm

      If you go to google.scholar you can find more studies by psychologists and sociologists on the topic. Racism is a disorder not something normal. Even though some don’t see any difference between “nationalism” and “patriotism,” some claim that the normal is ethnocentric while the latter is a sense of communal bond. We all work for the good of the community.

      Racism exists in every society. The difference between these societies, however, is how they treat the issue. Some turn a blind eye to it while others don’t. The US is a good example of a naiton that has not turned a blind eye to it (sometimes). The civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s is a fine example. Nelson Mandela of South Africa is another one. Did you know that the Ottoman Emprie up to the mid-nineteenth century was a well-functioning multicultural empire? I think the key to peaceful coexistence between different people is mutual acceptance and not one group getting all ethnocentric. When one group starts to claim that his/her ways are better than the others, that is where the problems arise.

      We have to respect human rights and we have to also be flexible and allow cultural bygones to be cultural bygones.

      To conclude racism is a pathological state of any society because it is counterproductive.

  17. Maria

    What do you think about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s opinion on Islam?

    Here is her quote:

    In an interview in the London Evening Standard,[15] Hirsi Ali characterizes Islam as “the new fascism”. “Just like Nazism started with Hitler’s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate — a society ruled by Sharia law — in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and “apostates like me are killed.” Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism.” In this interview, she also made it clear that in her opinion it is not “a fringe group of radical Muslims who’ve hijacked Islam and that the majority of Muslims are moderate. […] Violence is inherent in Islam — it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder.”

  18. foreigner

    “It legitimates murder.”

    take an ongoing example…. burn a koran and you get killing spree fully legitimized or even perhaps legal in the eyes of those afgan people!?… the disturbing issue here is not only that some are on the killing spree due to an symbolic insult caused on their religion but to the large extent that when the entire society turns a blind eye to it… that’s when this islam legitimates murder becomes loud and clear!

    • Enrique

      But explain to me “foreigner” what you want to prove by insulting another religion? Is that how you act with other people and groups – do something as radical as to burn their holy book? Do you think that it is an effective way to build bridges between cultures? Or maybe your aim is to destroy those bridges?

      –that’s when this islam legitimates murder becomes loud and clear!

      Be fair and think for a second: How many Iraqis have been killed due to the invasion by the US? Tens or hundreds of thousands? So who legitimizes “murder” (as you point out) on a grand scale?

  19. alien

    …. please quote a place where you told ALIEN not to be racist and respect others,…..
    – please quote a place where you told Tiwaz not to be racist and respect others,…!!!???
    Cat caught your tongue?

  20. Maria

    “HHHHMMMM, you are revealing some secrets! 🙂 Naughty, Naughty, as I told it eventually leads to a dark guy. Good job 😀 . now you see I was right about Mia and Pia.
    Not if you apply lubrication. Well mine is OK, I am far away from black sport men”

    YOU KNOW WHAT ALIEN, I AM NOT LOSING MY TIME WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

    YOU ARE JUST A BIG JOKE. THE TYPICAL EGOTISTIC MACHO WHO CANNOT TALK WITHOUT USING OFFENSIVE AND CURSING WORDS, FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT OPENLY VIOLENT, YOUR WORDS ARE FULL OF AGGRESSION AND BITTERNESS, IT IS NOT BECAUSE SUPO DID WHET THEY DID TO YOU, THAT INSTANTLY THEM AND THE WHOLE COUNTRY ARE RACIST AND HATE EVERYBODY.

    AT LEAST I HAVEN’T SEEN TIWAZ LABELING IRAN OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY OF BEING A BUNCH OF “RED MONKEY FACES WITH SEXUAL PROBLEMS” OR “MENTAL HOSPITAL” OR “ZOMBIES AND ROBOTS”

    AND THROWING PHRASES FOR THE SAKE OF THROWING THEM, LIKE YOUR QUOTE FROM THE PREVIOUS POST, MAYBE YOU DESERVE A COUPLE OF SLAPS SO THAT YOU CAN START LEARNING HOW TO RESPECT OTHERS AND WOMEN IN PARTICULAR, I PITY YOUR WIFE.

    SAYONARA, I HAVE MORE INTEREST THINGS TO DO THAN READ YOUR LOADS OF BS.

  21. alien

    … MAYBE YOU DESERVE A COUPLE OF SLAPS SO THAT YOU CAN START LEARNING HOW TO RESPECT OTHERS

    – Now who is violent? Why you are loosing your mind? As long as you speak with this language, you listen the same tone. Threatening to slap is a sign of frustration. Indeed your country Finland is also like this. They want to hurt immigrants in any possible way. Little by little you reveal that you are not a Latino, but just one who happens to know the language. One whose answer is slap, in response to the very same question that she (or may be he. Who knows! I did not mean you are transsexual by the way ) has thrown herself, should feel support from some source of muscle. Since we all know that Finns do not get physical with immigrants unless they are 10 to one, then you are an indeed an agent. But let me tell you that I already have the experience of dealing with totalitarian regimes. So if you are threatening me to torture by Finnish secret Police, I have seen worse than that. I had heard that Finland would torture immigrant physically, I just could not believe that they threat people to torture and beating on Internet. Shame on your country.

  22. Maria

    JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAA!!! Don’t make me laugh please!!!

    Now I am an agent, possibly a man and not a LATINA, JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJA!!

    Get a grip dude, you are a lost case!

    And yes, I, as the WOMAN I am, would have slapped you for your comments, specially those that I quoted, do you want them again, here they are:

    “HHHHMMMM, you are revealing some secrets! 🙂 Naughty, Naughty, as I told it eventually leads to a dark guy. Good job 😀 . now you see I was right about Mia and Pia.
    Not if you apply lubrication. Well mine is OK, I am far away from black sport men”

    Ah how can you know that I am not a LatinA, if you don’t even speak Spanish, so how can you understand what I write in Spanish??? seriously learn Spanish, learn the differences between the Spanish spoken in Latin America, and then you are entitled to an opinion.

    And stop being delusional, I am not threatening with torture or anything, just the normal slap a woman gives a man sometimes, like this one:

    So that you learn to respect women and stop writing about them like if WE would be cattle!

  23. alien

    … And stop being delusional, I am not threatening with torture or anything, just the normal slap a woman gives a man sometimes, like this one:

    – If you look like her, you can kill me. Var så god.

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