Somali taxi driver assaulted in Helsinki

by , under Enrique

A Somali taxi driver was assaulted by two Finnish men on Thursday at 4:30am at the Helsinki Railway Station, according to a Migrant Tales reporter. The man was taken to hospital by ambulance with injuries to the lower jaw and chin. The two attackers were later apprehended by the police.

The victim, who was second in a taxi line waiting for customers, was approached by two men who asked if they could be taken to an unknown destination.

“I said ok and waited for a couple of minutes for them to enter the car because they were chatting between themselves,” he said. “I got suspicious and  decided against taking them because I feared that I could be robbed [or beaten up]. When I got out of the car and told them I’d refuse to take them anywhere, they attacked [me on the spot] and threatened to kill me.”

The taxi driver said that the two attackers called him the n-word and told him to go back to the country he came from.

The man was taken to hospital by ambulance. He was released the following day and is presently recovering at home.

 

    • JusticeDemon

      Bright because they chose to express their racism right under the CCTV cameras in broad daylight, or for some other reason?

  1. Native Finnish Female

    Bright because they chose to express their racism right under the CCTV cameras in broad daylight, or for some other reason?

    Sorry, are you asking seriously or just joining me in sarcasm? 😛

  2. JusticeDemon

    Reversing your sarcasm.

    What made these guys dumb? Was it their inability to express their racism in a more subtle manner?

  3. Native Finnish Female

    Reversing your sarcasm.

    What made these guys dumb? Was it their inability to express their racism in a more subtle manner?

    Reversing sarcasm? What does that even mean? Are you serious with your question? I can’t tell if you’re being hostile or not. If you are, I really don’t understand why.

  4. akaaro

    Native Finnish Female ´´Wow, our brightest people have again been out at night´´
    How did you call this, these damb gangs harrasing innocent people?

    As an immigrant,I really felt very sorry, when i heard from this news…

  5. Native Finnish Female

    You two seriously can’t detect my sarcarsm? If you think it’s more likely that I was saying that these guys were smart than saying they were a less intelligent slice of the Finnish population, then wow… Even with the sad face smiley? Even after I said “join me in sarcasm”?

    I want to read this blog because the topic interests me, but the commentators here somewhat exhaust me… I don’t want to cause so much hostility and anger, so I think I’ll just stop commenting anymore.

    • JusticeDemon

      a less intelligent slice of the Finnish population

      But there is the puzzle. You still haven’t explained why you think they are “less intelligent”.

      For example, a more intelligent racist will usually find ways to hurt black people that are harder to detect and prevent, such as refusing to hire them or rendering substandard service in commerce or public office. A smart racist can get away with misconduct of this kind for years.

      By comparison, it’s not so clever to beat somebody up in a well-lit place in full view of CCTV cameras while broadcasting your racist motive for doing so. Smart racists do such things in dark alleyways when nobody is watching.

  6. akaaro

    Native Finnish Female ´´I’ll just stop commenting anymore´´

    LOl. we are sorry to see go. But what bother you is what you have writen and if you see your previous comment is irritating even yourself you may rectify it.. that is it.

  7. Native Finnish Female

    But there is the puzzle. You still haven’t explained why you think they are “less intelligent”.

    For example, a more intelligent racist will usually find ways to hurt black people that are harder to detect and prevent, such as refusing to hire them or rendering substandard service in commerce or public office. A smart racist can get away with misconduct of this kind for years.

    By comparison, it’s not so clever to beat somebody up in a well-lit place in full view of CCTV cameras while broadcasting your racist motive for doing so. Smart racists do such things in dark alleyways when nobody is watching.

    Oh, I see! Oh, now I get it. Oh my.

    You are getting at that I must think that the racism was okay, but I think they were dumb for getting caught.

    This is kind of my point about the commenting atmosphere here. Sure, I get that you get your Homma-forum visitors with their drive-by insults, especially before when there was no registration. But this prickly, accusatory atmosphere that has no interest in clear self expression or self reflection just doesn’t make me feel like I want to take part in this place anymore. If Enrique or Mark happen to read this, I wish you good luck with the site! You two have provided me with very interesting insights and points of view through your writing, and I thank you for that.

    • Mark

      Native Finnish Female

      This is kind of my point about the commenting atmosphere here.

      Sorry to see you being used as a stooge for others to make a point. It does seem a bit over the top. Having said that, this testing of you is fairly normal in this kind of debate, in that part of the ‘whites-cannot-see-racism’ rationalised understanding of racism is very pernicious and self-serving and can work to keep racism alive and kicking.

      One argument of this rationalisation can be that it’s only stupid people who are racist or that racism is simply this kind of street-based assault or abuse, which should be ignored or seen merely as part of the rough and tumble of late-night street culture. This works very effectively to diminish the phenomenon. But maybe you were not aware of that.

      I understand it’s not so nice to be made the stooge just so this point can be made. JD can be acerbic at times, but he brings an awful lot to this debate by way of experience of racism issues and insight into the administrative and legislative structures of Finland. My guess is he’s testing you. Maybe that’s arrogant, but there have always been a lot of people coming to this debate with ‘common sense’ approaches that in very subtle but specific ways seek to turn the debate around, for example, by making minorities themselves responsible for taking the prejudice ‘too serously’.

      Imagine in this case, therefore, that your comment could be interpreted as saying, ‘anyone can see these are just idiots roaming the streets at night and that they don’t reflect the better/normal part of Finnish society [which could be quite true], and so therefore anyone who takes them seriously or imagines that this means there is a bigger racism problem in Finland is just exaggerating things’. JD was just trying to provoke some insight into this, is my guess.

      We could be a bit friendlier here, I agree. 🙂

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –We could be a bit friendlier here, I agree. 🙂

      What Mark is saying, NFF, is that you shouldn’t leave. I agree.

  8. JusticeDemon

    OK OK

    Perceptive analysis, Mark, as always.

    There was no intention to offend, and I should obviously adjust to the new site management system and learn to trust the control mechanisms for dealing with of our more rabid contributors.

    On that point, I notice that Duunari earned a two-week ban.

  9. Sasu

    Mark oletko samaa mieltä että valkoiset harvoin ymmärtävät rasismia, koska sitä ei vaadita heiltä. Ja kun he alkavat ymmärtää, helposti käy että saava syyllisyys kopleksin ja perääntyvät koska he eivät jaksa kuunnella jatkuvia syytöksiä.

    Ajatus että valkoinen ei voi ymmärtää rasismia on puoliksi totta. Valkoinen voi ymmärtää rasismin tietyllä tasolla mutta hän ei voi aina ymmärtää, miksi siitä pitää puhua niin paljon koska hän ei ole tuntenut sitä.

    • Mark

      I think whites can of course understand racism, as we all understand what in-groups and out-groups are about, and also the feeling of being outside of something. What gets in the way of that straightforward understanding or empathy is misplaced defensiveness.

      What I notice about the racism issue is how similar it is to the gender debate, where men really have been quite blind and worse, reluctant to see how patriarchy works or how male-privilege works, or how entitlement works.

      The crass response in the gender debate was always to try to achieve ‘equality’ by suggesting that women are just like men, i.e. violent, privileged etc. Rather than listen to women, the argument was that women were obviously moaning unjustifiably, that they’d never had it so good, and that they should just shut up and be grateful. Sound familiar? 🙂

      But the fact that so much progress HAS been made when measured over decades, in all sorts of areas, is down largely to the efforts of a great many women’s rights workers and ordinary courageous women, and some men, and these changes we take for granted nowadays. Modern men as a group tend to take a large slice of credit for those changes, when in reality, they were brought to the table kicking and screaming, with many men still refusing to get it.

      When I see white privilege, I see something very similar. The response is defensive, just like men who hate to hear how ‘men are violent’, or ‘all men are rapists’. No-one likes to feel they are taking the blame for somebody else’s behaviour. And so it becomes a blame game – and if people perceive that immigrants, blacks, women etc., are just trying to get anyone and everyone in the opposite camps to take the blame, then they resist, rather than spending that very precious energy and time trying to understand their own privilege.

      We would do well therefore to start our efforts at understanding by saying, ‘I am probably a bit racist, now what can I do about that!?’

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –The crass response in the gender debate was always to try to achieve ‘equality’ by suggesting that women are just like men, i.e. violent, privileged etc.

      When speaking of ethnicity, this would be something like colorblind racism. In other words, race or ethnicity does not come into play since we are so much alike or because our society promotes equality (sic).

  10. Mark

    Enrique

    Yep, that’s one spin on it, colour blind racism. One of the things I was thinking of is when those who are mostly privileged in respect of the discriminated group argue that it is the discriminated group who are ‘more’ racist or even simply ‘the real racists’, thus shifting the focus, shifting the blame and shifting the need to take the subject seriously.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Mark, shifting the blame on the victims is an old ploy. That’s as ludicrous as calling Jews in Auschwitz SS officers. We’ve seen it done many times on MT.

  11. Mark

    Sasu

    I wasn’t that impressed with that article on why whites cannot know how it feels to be black. The arguments given were a bit too cerebral and even irritating for my liking.

    For example, using the word “fallacious” [bold in original] to describe someone’s thinking who feels they understand what it means to be black is rather cold and cerebral – welcome home Spock! It doesn’t seem to give much consideration to what a person is trying to communicate when they have said that.

    Really listening to people’s experiences of discrimination can have an extremely profound effect on one’s own understanding of the issues, and really should be encouraged at every turn. It would then be fair to say that a person has more of an idea, at least. This article, rather, seems to be a slap-down made in anger – “you don’t know what it’s like!”.

    The examples they gave raised my eyebrow somewhat! I.e. a pimp spending time with prostitutes does not know what it’s like to be a prostitute. What kind of example is that?

    Whoever wrote this piece seems to see the issues too much as ‘them and us’ – that you either know or you don’t, and ‘membership’ of the victim group can only come if you are black. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

    Likewise, the writer doesn’t really explore the whole issue of what is meant by ‘spending time with people of colour’. Even the words ‘spending time’ sound artificial to me, as if a relationship was seen to be ‘manufactured’. The author is himself/herself ‘positioning’ the target of the article, such that their position has less reality, less morality, less knowledge, less understanding, – and why? To make political points about white privilege? That’s not exactly building bridges, but rather potentially exploiting someone’s first or naive attempt to reach out. Later in the comments, someone suggests this reaching out could be ‘racial tourism’, seeking to experience the exotic. Gosh, people can be cynical. That or they have been studying too much sociology.

    And the final sentence rather got my goat too:

    When a white person declares that she knows how it feels to be a person of colour, it is another display of white privilege and assumed omniscience.

    First, I cannot imagine a white person actually saying something quite so forthright – what would be the context? Still, it’s pretty important to try to validate any attempt at empathy; otherwise, we get nowhere. People would understandably get pretty fed up that they make an effort to understand only to be told ‘you can never understand’, or worse, that this is your white privilege talking or your feigned omniscience. Who is showing an unwillingness to understand here?

    We can feel empathy for someone’s pain without having actually felt it ourselves. We should accept that as mature emotional beings. In fact, our imagination creates pscyhological conditions that are in part indistinguishable in the brain from actual experiences. This isn’t in itself a passport to omniscience, but it should soften our insistance that people cannot understand unless they are in the exact same situation. That in itself seems to be using ‘unique knowledge’ as a source of power – whether for compensation or to create group belonging among the victims. But either way, the way forward I would think is validation, on all sides of the debate, and a shared humanity. We can and must understand each other. Of course it’s possible.

    Empathy can go a long way to making the issue of discrimination real for whites. Whites can also understand intellectually perfectly well the issues of hegemony and power relations if they put their mind to it.

    After all, women as a gender are in hegemonic relationships with men, and men are also in hegemonic relationships in relation to other men; and likewise the poor to the rich, or a victim to a bully; younger siblings to older siblings; children in relation to their parents (especially teenagers).

    There are plenty of ‘everyday’ experiences that reflect very similar dynamics to the contested or abusive power relations inherant in a discriminatory society. Indeed, there are many victims of discrimination that do not necessarily themselves understand the full nature of the abuse against them.

    Generally therefore, you are more likely to gain understanding the more you explore the issue, whilst also trying to place yourself in the position of those that are discriminated against. You can gain some understanding. Perhaps, crucially, you can gain enough to want to try to do something about it.

    • Sasu

      Itse pidin siitä kyllä. Ymmärrän kyllä mitä yrität hakea tuolla. En nyt väittäisi sinun oleva väärässä. Empatia toimii kyllä jos sinulla on jokin tieto siitä asiasta. Hyvin moni kykeneen hyvin kuvittelemaan miltä jokin tuntuu tai vetämään omista kokemuksista.

      Artikkeli käsitteli enemmänkin sitä, että koska valkoiset ovat omassa mielessä roduttomia, he kykenisivät ymmärtämään asioita neutraalimmin kuin värillinen. Värilliset ovat vain ylitunteelisia tai liiottelijoita.

      Olet kyllä oikeassa että se on polarisoiva artikkeli. Itse katson sen olevan juuri sen tarkoituk. Artikkeli ei pyri luoda soridaalisuutta valkoisten ja värillisten keskellä vaan yhdistämään värillisiä. Yhdistäytyminen on tärkeetä värillisten keskuudessa.

      Menitko kertomaan mielipiteesi kirjoittajalle.

      Ehkä se kertoo jotakin sinusta, kun et pitänyt siitä. Ehkä olet liian liberaali kirjailian silmissä.

      “People can empathize with others as people when it comes to common experiences that all people have, but it’s quite difficult to empathize with a very specific experience that only happens to some subset of people.

      Even if you can empathize by thinking analogously, it’s not the same as knowing how it feels to be X.” restructure Hänen vastaus ritiikkiin joka oli hyvin samansuuntainen kuin sinun.

  12. Mark

    Sasu

    Ehkä olet liian liberaali kirjailian silmissä.

    Yep, I’m always usually ‘too’ something for most people’s liking 🙂

    I’m sure it says something about me that I don’t like this article so much, but I’m not so worried about that. I work hard to question my own assumptions, so I think I deserve the right at least to question someone else’s. If I was lazy in my own writing, then it’s the pot calling the kettle black, no pun on the colour references. 🙂

    I noticed restructure‘s response too, that you quote above. I think he/she was giving ground by saying ‘it’s quite difficult’, because of course, difficult does not mean impossible. In fact, it’s not hard at all if you put your mind to it. It’s just a lot of people simply don’t.

    And I think that people misunderstand the idea of empathy if they say something like ‘thinking analogously’, because it’s too much emphasis on thoughts and analysis, whereas I think that empathy is a much more emotional response, being sensitive to someone else’s pain and circumstances. Having had difficult experiences yourself can help you feel and be sensitive to other people’s pain, but there is also the issue of whether you choose to extend empathy to someone who is not in your ‘ingroup’. These are stories, and we are all fundamentally programed to understand a story, provided we choose to identify with the central character and not start blaming them entirely or prematuraly for their hardship.

    Also, it doesn’t literally mean that we start comparing our experiences with other people’s. That’s just too fixed a way of thinking about empathy, surely.

    Even if someone mentions an experience that is analogous, it doesn’t mean that that person equates it exactly and absolutely with the experience of the person they feel empathy with. People seem to take this whole thing a rather bit too seriously, me thinks. Let’s cut each other some slack instead of jumping on top of each other for presuming too much.

    Does that make me a liberal? Well, not if that means people think I’m trying to duck the issue. On the contrary, I’d love for people to look the issues squarely in the face, but also not to get too emotionally caught up in them either, because that just clouds the solutions. But neither am i saying that people who are discriminated against shouldn’t be allowed to be angry.

    The limitation I see for whites is that understanding racism means giving up some power and privilege of their own, starting in one’s own head by accepting that ‘white privilege’ involves treating one’s one culture and entitlements as ‘the norm’. Standing outside the ‘norm’ is genuinely difficult to do, because by definition, the obvious is almost unspoken and almost always defended blindly as some kind of ‘core value’.

    It also involves challenging concepts like ‘the world is a meritocracy’ and ‘everyone has equal opportunities’. For many people, especially on the Right, they are such engrained values, that they rarely question if they are true of the world, true especially for those who are discriminated against; likewise, these values blind us to recognising disparities in opportunity, in wealth creation and accumulation, in education, in health, in living environments, in media and cultural status etc.

    It’s not easy to think you are privileged if you yourself are poor or if you think that you gained what you did in life through sheer hard graft. This is where we need to understand the difference and connection between individual values and societal values. I’m writing an article on this, and will post in the days ahead, with more detail.

Leave a Reply