The "Winter War" that visible minorities face in Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Even if we speak proudly about the heroism of the men and women who fought against a formidable foe in the Winter (1939-40) and questionable Continuation War (1941-44), many Finns with culturally diverse backgrounds are facing today a different yet similar kind of war on a daily basis. One of these “veterans” is fourteen-year-old Rebecka Holm, who published her moving story on Swedish-language daily HBL.

If Migrant Tales could, it would offer an award highlighting the adolescent’s bravery to speak out against racism. She doesn’t speak out for herself but for many others who are the silent daily victims of such harassment.

The racist bullying that Holm has faced publicly is a shameful realty and unacceptable. It still happens too often because too many of us approve this type of anti-social behavior willingly or unwillingly with our silence.

In many respects those that go around insulting Finns who are visible minorities and immigrants are no worse than autocratic governments that trample on people’s rights. They carry out their abuse and hostility because they  can do it with impunity.

Holm writes: “I did not want to change schools [in Helsinki] when I started third grade we moved [to another neighborhood]…It was then [on the Helsinki metro to the Herttoniemi Station] that the racist comments and attacks began. I could sit quietly in the metro when some stranger would tell me that I should go back to where I came from. After that, I have been called many things, including mutanaama (mud face), n-word, monkey. And the worst thing of all has always been the silence of the adult passengers when I was verbally attacked.”

Like the costly wars that our country fought in World War 2, many visible minorities are veterans of a very different yet similarly sinister war.

Like these wars it was all about survival but most importantly for acceptance and respect.

    • Enrique

      –In an age of mobile phone video cameras anyone who is dumb enough to abuse a child like this in a public place deserves all of the youtube consequences.

      That should be the exact message that should be out there.

  1. Yossie

    I suppose it doesnt help that in Finland the treshold to actual get involved in other people’s matters is rather high.

    I didnt seem to catch who were the offenders exactly? Other 3rd graders? Adults? Teens?
    That makes all the difference when you want people to stop it. 3rd graders most likely will be easy to put in line if you just yell them to shut the fuck up. Then again with teens you never know what you get into when you start argue with them.

    I for one have known from a very young age that I´m well below average when it comes hand to hand combat. As such I tend to avoid situations where I might end up in a conflict with someone. If the offender is the above average big guy, what to do? While the right thing might be to tell the racist to shut the fuck up. I rather not take my chances since I have no idea where his aggression might lead into.

    So what do you suggest as a practical solution if you end up in a situation where you see racist verbal abuse? Or actually any kind of verbal abuse. Should be no reason to limit it to only racist cases.

    Can we only take our mobile phones, film the thing and make a facebook wall of shame?

  2. Mark

    This from the Holm’s original letter to the HBL editor:

    – “Min mamma har en somalisk väninna. Jag slår vad om att hon också har fått höra skällsord och hemska saker. Men vad ingen vet är att hon förlorade fyra barn och sin make i kriget.”

    – “My mom has a Somali friend. I bet that she has been sworn at, and terrible things. But what nobody knows is that she lost four children and her husband in the war.”

    So, where is Allan, the man who claims there is no racism against people’s skin colour in Finland! Let’s see what he’ll do to distort the picture this time!

  3. Allan

    Yossie – well, just a week ago there was “someone who did something” in the metro and got due attention – his mugshot in the paper. Though I do agree that whacking someone with a telescope baton is not what you’d expect.

    Mark – OMG someone said a bad word! Terrible! That is the Greatest Social ill ever! How about publishing that mother’s letter whose 16-year girl the black man raped on the bus. But you won’t do that will you?

  4. justicedemon

    Yossie

    Was that a confession of cowardice thinly veiled by an appeal to a culture of aloofness?

    Use of mobile phone video recorders has proved highly effective in ensuring that there are real consequences for offenders, and it is difficult even for an institutionally racist public authority to do nothing when the evidence has been shared with millions of viewers.

    Of course one could also refrain from expressing the xenophobic attitudes that give such offenders a spurious sense of legitimacy.

  5. Mark

    - “So what do you suggest as a practical solution if you end up in a situation where you see racist verbal abuse? Or actually any kind of verbal abuse. Should be no reason to limit it to only racist cases.”

    But, you can say to the person who is being abused at least that this is not how you think or how most other Finns think. That support alone would go a long way, and you wouldn’t have to confront the bully.

  6. Mark

    Allan

    – “Mark – OMG someone said a bad word! Terrible! That is the Greatest Social ill ever! How about publishing that mother’s letter whose 16-year girl the black man raped on the bus. But you won’t do that will you?”

    Okay, so your first response is to ridicule the offense. Next is to exaggerate it to the point of making it seem like hyperbole. Third, draw attention away from the offence by mentioning another sexual offence in which the perpetrator was black, but in which there is no obvious connection with racism, only race. Fourth, as me what i’m going to do about it all!

    Well, do you have the letter to hand?

    Are you saying he raped her because he was black? Straight answer please, yes or no?

  7. Allan

    Why exactly is Rebecka Holm worth the attention, when there is much worse things happening in the public transport? Verbal abuse is the most insignificant thing happening there, you can start with the winos stinking the place up, panhandlers, then you get warnings of pickpocketing and muggings of the passengers, busdrivers and ticket inspectors… and the occasional rape and we did have that crazy axeman. Safety in public transport should be the “issue”.

    It is quite simple for an institutionally racist public authority to do nothing, as the perpretrators have protective coloring on them. The pictures are never published due to “cultural sensitivity”.

  8. Allan

    “Are you saying he raped her because he was black? ”

    Are you saying he didn’t rape her because it is racism and xenophobia to claim so? Maybe in his culture he is not used to provocatively dressing girls? A little misunderstanding surely, we must embrace diversity and multiculturalism?

  9. Yossie

    Justicedemon

    “Was that a confession of cowardice thinly veiled by an appeal to a culture of aloofness?”

    No suprise that is where you got stuck on. No matter. You can take it as such if you wish. I can admit I dont want to risk fighting with anyone much less with somone with more strenght than I have. Since most people dont do anything either I suppose I´m not alone with this. At least I can admit it.

    Please do insult people cowards insted of thinking other means to approach sitation. You must get great results.

  10. Allan

    Yossie, don’t mind. “justicedemon” just can’t comprehend how your “regular person” has a lot more to lose from any encounter than a person getting their money off the magic wall. Except maybe the moral high ground, but you can always give a donation to Unicef to pay the CEO’s salary so you don’t feel that bad.

    • Enrique

      Allan, I know this is going to shock you, but yes we all came from Africa, even you. “Man [and woman] migrated from Africa and populated the world,” according to the video clip below.

  11. justicedemon

    Yossie

    I can accept that you are too scared to tackle racially motivated abuse and violence in public places. It’s puzzling that after admitting this, you then get all shirty at me for calling this cowardice. After all, what else could it be? Give me a better word for refraining from doing the right thing out of fear for possible personally unpleasant consequences. It is not as if these consequences are even as likely as those of rescuing someone from a burning building.

    What I can’t accept is that you should express the racist and xenophobic views that incite such abuse and violence in the first place.

    The least that any of us can do is make a video recording of such incidents and ensure that they are brought to public attention.

  12. Allan

    The question is – why do “incidents” not get brought to the attention of the public. OK, a slow news day, but these young men have learned the “multiculturalism” defense. Enrique should be proud, but all the same time sad the institutionally racist deputies in Tennessee don’t celebrate diversity.

    http://www.herald-citizen.com/view/full_story/17227968/article-Public-drunkeness-legal-in-Finland-?instance=homesecondleft

    However it is illegal to publish this kind of information in Finland – I agree all this kind of information should be available to the public so we would know what is going on.

  13. justicedemon

    Allan

    That’s an amusing news item, but how can you dream in a million years that it supports anything that you have said here?

    I’m not sure what you are getting at (so what’s new?) with your claim that such a news item would be illegal in Finland. Certainly it would be defamatory if untrue, but there is no jury trial in Finland, so it could hardly be considered an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

  14. Foreigner

    Sadly, recording the racist actions of Finns, and posting it on YouTube will not solve the problem. Don’t you people realize that Finns do not really care if others in the world think they are racist? If anything,the actions of the racists will be hailed by all the closet racists in Finland. They will become overnight heroes here in Finland.

    I can only imagine how devastating all of this can be for a 14 year old.I have no doubt taht she is telling the truth. No child should have to go through such! I too have experienced some of that racist behaviour on the metro. A few times, my natural afro hair has been referred to loudly as “clown hair” by racist Finns. One day I got so fired up, I approached the group of Finns who were laughing at my “clown hair” and let them have it. Told them that I do not laugh at the dog hair which is on their heads, so get off my a**. That shut them up for good!

    That sort of behaviour only causes me to embrace my different features more and more. In my own country I normally cut my hair low. But here, since the “clown hair” comments, I deliberately wear it in a big afro. It is my way of telling the racists “see, I do not want to look a thing like you!”

    Hard to believe that Finns are so backwards so as to make fun of someone’s hair. It is like they live in a bubble and have never seen other races before. They will never change, so my advice is to get out of Finland if you can. All of these daily battles with the Finns will take a toll on your mental and physical health.

  15. Laputis

    Enrique:

    “Allan, I know this is going to shock you, but yes we all came from Africa, even you. “Man [and woman] migrated from Africa and populated the world,” according to the video clip below. ”

    According to your logic, we all are children, or, even better, embriyos, because we all once were children and embriyos.

    Things change. Finns are not Africans anymore, and adult person is not a child anymore. But who knows, maybe Enrique still is child, just like he is African :D

    • Enrique

      Laputis, the point of the video is to point out that culture plays the most important role in determining who we are. Racists like to groups people into one one group and argue that ethnicity is the most important factor. No matter where they are from, the argument is the same: These people are so different from us that they will never adapt. The truth, however, is that we are highly adaptable. If we weren’t we would have died off a long time ago.

      So the question: Racism is for the ignorant and for fools because it is based on fairy tales.

  16. Laputis

    Actually I don´t understand all this fuss about racist remarks in Finland. Situation in Finland is waaaay better than it is in it´s eastern neighboring countries, believe me!!! The Holm girl would be notified by people verbally on streets not just few times per month, but EVERY DAY. And guy with afro hair would be not only called as having clown hair, but even possibly beaten up… And it all would happen just some hundred km´s east or south from Helsinki, out of Finland´s border…
    My impression about racism in Finland is that it is much less accepted in society than in it´s eastern neighbor countries, such as Estonia or Russia. And Finnish racists IMO are often just drukards or otherwise socially ill people. In Russia, though, racists can be absolutely socially normal people, what is much more scary.

    • Enrique

      –Actually I don´t understand all this fuss about racist remarks in Finland. Situation in Finland is waaaay better than it is in it´s eastern neighboring countries, believe me!!!

      Maybe for you it is but for others it isn’t. If you are white, are you going to tell black people that there is no racism problem in Finland? Good luck.

  17. MaryMekko

    How can you compare an invasion of Finland by USSR to the usual harassment of street life known in many countries? What this young lady experienced I knew ten times more in San Francisco, riding the public transit across town as a “white girl” in a uniform. The black boys and girls who harassed us were never stopped by any adult, just as in the Finnish adult population. It was normal in the 1970’s to let loose with nonstop insults against whites, especially the young and female. A torture to go to school every day – with no help from parents and teachers – made me start riding a bike over the big hills for the next three years, never seen in public in a uniform that brought such racist and sexist harassment.

    I feel deeply for this young woman. She and I could have a nice chat indeed. Race hatred in San Francisco is still alive and well, in fact, across the nation wherever races mix.

  18. Allan

    Enrique, unlike you I learned that African origins of man in school. Now the question back to you – if man migrated from there, who then was left?

    BTW have you and justicedemon gotten tickets for Khalid Yasin’s diversity acceptance lecture tomorrow?

  19. Laputis

    Enrique:
    “Maybe for you it is but for others it isn’t. If you are white, are you going to tell black people that there is no racism problem in Finland? Good luck.”

    Those black people could take a visit to neighbour Russia. I think that after returning to Finland they will realise in what heaven they live. Everything is comparable ;)

  20. MaryMekko

    Laputis, ARE there black people in Russia? I went to Volgograd in 1985 for a summer language course. We rode the local streetcars daily to the town center and to our Pedagogischiskii Institut. There I saw black African men, Indian men and women, and South American males of mixed blood and Native American blood. So one day, I jumped off the streetcar and followed them to see where they lived. They had a whole compound set back from the main street, in big cement blocks, according to skin color. It was a miserable and dead place, but these “lucky students” from the 3rd world were trying to make the best of it. The black African males were medical students. They told me that they were assigned the job of going to the Volga river on Saturday and Sunday mornings to fish out the dead Russian drunks who’d floated down in the nights. Either they simply had drowned, or had been stabbed and then thrown in. These cadavers were needed for anatomy classes.

    These AFricans spoke good English, were friendly and informative. Never, they said, could they have anticipated such racism as they’d encountered in Russia. No one would come near them in public, sit near them on a streetcar, etc. Russian girls did come to them (two popped their heads in while I chatted with the guys), but these were girls “in business”, the only Russians with whom they could connect. Yes, blue jeans, cash, etc…for sex.

    Russians on the streets of all ages would stare with antagonism as they walked by. They were outraged that these foreigners were sprung into their midst without their consent.

    I heard both sides of the story, when I asked Russians later about these students. The Russians felt that their country and its people were struggling enough without having to help foreigners from desperate countries. They resented their own money and goods being used to help outsiders, since they had no say in the matter. “Free education!” they would laugh. “WE are paying for it! And they go back to Africa, leave our girls pregnant!”

  21. MaryMekko

    Allan, that guy’s a New York comedian, and because he’s black (like the Big Guy), we petty men creep around beneath this Angry Colossus and refuse to comment. Beware, the jabberword “racist”, my son! The words that clutch, the ideas that invade and conquer!

    However, is there some truth in his jokes? Next to my office in San Francisco, there’s an old corner grocery store, now run by men from Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and some other cameldrivers. They’re funny, they’re efficient, they’re cool, their big sandwiches are only $5, and all the black guys from the local ghetto come in and buy. Some of the women think they’re very, very, very handsome, especially the Kurds. Sometimes I tell my tourists who want a soft drink that they can run across the street to the shop and get one quick on our bathroom/office breaks. Of course, the one time that I joked that the ghetto guys are awfully close, a screaming maniac black lady in the shop had the police brought in by stealing from these Arabs. Big mistake! Lucky she was still alive when the police got there!

    I asked these immigrants if they weren’t afraid of the ghetto-mad-as-heller types, who come in at night for liquor, the big moneymaker. Nope, they said proudly, those guys are afraid of US!! We will KILL them if they try anything and they KNOW it!

    Well, I believe them. Here’s the $5, gotta go back to work. Enshahallah!

  22. Mark

    Allan

    Not one bit surprised to see this further response from you:

    – “Why exactly is Rebecka Holm worth the attention, when there is much worse things happening in the public transport? ”

    So, continuing to belittle Rebecka’s weekly experience of racist verbal attack. And what do you consider more significant as a problem than the regular public verbal abuse of a child?

    The smell of pee of drunks, beggars, ticket inspectors and of course, warnings about pickpockets. Not actual pickpockets, but just warnings about them. They are so stressful, arent’ they!

  23. Mark

    Allan

    Mark asked: “Are you saying he raped her because he was black? ”

    Allan replied: – “Are you saying he didn’t rape her because it is racism and xenophobia to claim so? Maybe in his culture he is not used to provocatively dressing girls? A little misunderstanding surely, we must embrace diversity and multiculturalism?”

    Yes, keep building up the straw men and then congratulating yourself that you are able to know them down so easily. You did not answer the question?

    You see, you are the one blaming his culture, no-one else. You are the one looking for what seems like a ‘cultural justification’ of his crime, no-one else. Personally, I think it’s clear we have rapists in all cultures. And, as was pointed out to you, rape is also a crime in all cultures, at least the one’s you seem to think it’s okay in. Maybe you’ll find some forest tribe in the middle of nowhere where’s it’s not technically illegal because they have no legal system. That’s usually the level of response from you lot.

    So, are you saying he raped her because he was black Allan? And if the answer is no, then why mention his skin colour? Why is it relevant? And if the answer is yes, as you implied, then have the balls to admit your opinion!

  24. Mark

    Laputis

    So, you are Allan’s poodle these days? Come to back him up did you?

    – “Actually I don´t understand all this fuss about racist remarks in Finland.”

    It’s a small matter of racist abuse being illegal in Finland. Perhaps you haven’t caught up with that one. And for the record, the Finnish police do not look up what is a crime or what is culturally acceptable in other countries before acting on events that happen in Finland.

    So, you are following the same pattern as Allan in diminishing the importance of this girls experience. Again, you are saying there’s much worse stuff to worry about. It’s a good job the Finnish police don’t take the same approach. “Hey, who cares about a little assault, or burglary, there’s murders going on you know!” Are you really, really expecting people to take you seriously when your only response to this weekly verbal abuse of a child is to say ‘well, worse happens’?

    – “And guy with afro hair would be not only called as having clown hair, but even possibly beaten up… And it all would happen just some hundred km´s east or south from Helsinki, out of Finland´s border…”

    I see, and am I right in thinking that this is something you condemn? Or is it just something convenient to diminish the crime of verbal abuse against a child?

    A crime is a crime, Laputis. It’s not a ‘comparable’ or ‘relative’ matter. In Finland it’s a crime and that is all that matters. But for you bunch of racists, this is typically how you respond to actual cases of racism. When we discuss something else, you claim racism doesn’t exist. When it’s pushed right under your noses, you claim it’s just sensationalised. The fact is, it’s illegal and it’s racism. If you think that’s too much, then come out and say it, Say that you don’t think racism should be a crime! Then we know where you stand, rather than having to read lots of hogwosh.

    And a quick reminder, a 14-year-old girl getting racially verbally abused on a weekly basis is absolutely shocking. This could have a devastating effect, though she seems to handle it in a very civilised way, unlike the behaviour of those that abuse her, or you idiots that seem to think it’s okay!

  25. Allan

    Mark, you can go get mugged in the metro. I’ll stand by watching and people can call me a clown hair. And while I am taking the polices time complaining I got called a clown hair, the winos can piss on you and the beggars nick your wallet. As you know calling someone a clown hair is much worse a crime you know being illegal and all.

  26. Corinne

    Attacks on people on buses, in the streets, etc are not only racially motivated. Far from it.

    The real issue at hand is mutual respect for people in general. This is really lacking in this, and other, societies. (Some/Most) people just don’t give a damn about anyone other than themselves. Very difficult to understand rationally in a country with 83 % (give or take a few) who belong to a Christian faith/church, whose foundations are (or should be) built on being kind to each other and treating others the way we want to be treated.

    2 incidents in the past 11 months which I want to tell you about that have personally affected my own blond and blue eyed young Finnish family members.

    My kids are Finnish. My then 9 year old had the *hit beat out of him, unprovokedly, by three 14/15 Finnish year olds. Their motivation was that “the kid didn’t say hello to us as he passed us”. A group of “cool” kids with no respect for anyone. I tracked these three teens down immediately and confronted them and their parents. Only 1 of the 5 parents I spoke with had their kid apologise.The police were called in and the 3 teens were called on by social workers.
    The police said that they don’t often get these kinds of calls but that they know it happens alot.People just don’t want to get involved.

    My other kid, now 12, was on the way home on public transit with 3 of his friends. They had been at the local indoor skate-park and had their skateboards and back-packs with them. The other 3 friends are also Finnish kids. It was a Sunday about 5pm. They sat at the back of the bus eating their sandwiches. A group of four 20’ish year old thugs got on the bus and started hassling the boys. The thugs had a can of spray paint and started spray-painting the seats at the back of the bus and then started to spray paint 2 of the skate-boards. These 12 year olds are not big kids and had the intellegence not to say anything to the thugs. They phoned me and then got off the bus at the next stop. We used the video cams on the bus to identify one of the thugs. I called the police and they intervened. We went to court to get the cost of the skateboards from this guy. Still going on.

    The point is that crap happens to everyone irregardless of age, race, colour, religion, whatever. There are good and bad people in any group.

    We, as citizens, need to mobilise ourselves and just say “no” to those who are behaving disrespectfully towards others. Yes, of course it’s terrible that bad things happen to non-Finns, particularly those with darker skin. But equally disturbing is the fact that it happens to Finns, too. Demanding respect for bodily safety shouldn’t be about skin colour..it’s about demanding what is good and proper.

    Stand up people! Don’t argue about “it’s an immigrant thing” or “it’s because he’s purple” or “it’s because he’s a muslim” or whatever.. It’s a human problem. It’s a problem everywhere. Common decency has disappeared and in it’s place is a blatant disregard for anything that doesn’t have any relation to our own selves.

    Cowards!

    • Enrique

      Hi Corinne and welcome to our blog, Migrant Tales. It’s always a pleasure to read proactive comments by bloggers on how to tackle serious social issues such as apathy, hostility and all types of prejudice/racism.

      –We, as citizens, need to mobilise ourselves and just say “no” to those who are behaving disrespectfully towards others.

      Totally agree and that is what we are trying to do here on Migrant Tales. Apart from being a platform to air our concerns, our humble blog strives to be “a voice for those whose views and situation are understood poorly and heard faintly by the media, politicians and public.”

      Your proactive example is exemplary. I hope it catches on!

      All that you write about and express concern is as you mentioned an ill facing our society where you will find intolerance and apathy. Combine both of these social ills and you have abuse in many forms. That is why when we don’t speak out against racism or any other type of rejection of a group we are promoting the type of social abuse that you wrote about.

      Please keep us informed. I am certain that it will inspire other ones to take action next time they or a total stranger is abused and harassed in public.

      Thank you!

  27. Allan

    “Say that you don’t think racism should be a crime! ”

    Where does it say in the law books that “racism” is a crime exactly? Even when communists were banned, “communism” wasn’t a crime.

    • Enrique

      Allan, discrimination because of a person’s background is a punishable offense by the law. Please check our Equality Act. It’s all spelled out pretty clearly spelled out.

  28. Mark

    Allan

    – “Mark, you can go get mugged in the metro. I’ll stand by watching and people can call me a clown hair. And while I am taking the polices time complaining I got called a clown hair, the winos can piss on you and the beggars nick your wallet.”

    Keep diminishing this, Allan. It makes you look like the prick you are. This is a 14-year old girl being regularly verbally abused, and you think it’s okay to ignore it. Fine. But don’t blame it on the muggers and the whinos, as if that somehow justifies your complete lack of understanding or appreciation of the rights system in Finland.

    As it is. Rebecka Holm did not complain to the police, so the idea that she is wasting police time is a red herring. That does not make it legal though and it certainly doesn’t make it acceptable.

    So, who are you calling a clown hair? Who is that a reference to? Is this your attempt to demonstrate racist abuse? Sorry, mate, it’s pathetic. Is that the best you can do?

    I have used the Metro system in Helsinki on a daily basis and never come close to being mugged. So that is a red herring too.

  29. Mark

    Corinne

    While a sympathise with you about what has happened to your kids, I think you make some very ill informed comments, nonetheless.

    – “The point is that crap happens to everyone irregardless of age, race, colour, religion, whatever. There are good and bad people in any group.”

    Yes, and sometimes crap happen because of race. Both are bad, but they are different kinds of bad. If you are randomly assaulted because you happen to be in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’, then hopefully that doesn’t happen too often. However, if you are attacked because you are dark skinned and it happens weekly, then that is a totally differen thing, and it should not be diminished in any way by pretending that it somehow fits into the box that says, ‘random attack by feckless youths’. It doesn’t. It’s a special category of abuse and it needs to be recognised as such.

    – “We, as citizens, need to mobilise ourselves and just say “no” to those who are behaving disrespectfully towards others. Yes, of course it’s terrible that bad things happen to non-Finns, particularly those with darker skin. But equally disturbing is the fact that it happens to Finns, too.”

    NO, it’s not equally disturbing, because the causes are not equal, as I explained above. Both are wrong, but they are not ‘equally’ wrong. Looking for equivelance is a dangerous game, because it hides racism behind something you want to call ‘general disrespect’, and that is a HUGE mistake. I’m not saying that there isn’t any truth in this, only that it is a very dangerous way to go about understanding racism, because it feeds denial.

    – “Demanding respect for bodily safety shouldn’t be about skin colour..it’s about demanding what is good and proper.”

    Again, you seem to think it’s only a matter of disrespect. Well, if you want to interpret racism as systematic disrespect and abuse of people who are of a different colour, racial background, ethnic background or religion, then go ahead. But you are leaving a lot out, and the question I have is – why?

    “Don’t argue about “it’s an immigrant thing” or “it’s because he’s purple” or “it’s because he’s a muslim” or whatever.”

    I’m sorry Corinne, but your views strike me as typical of the denial of privelege – “it’s not about colour and those that say it is are the racists, because they are the ones obsessed with colour.” Well, it is about colour for those making many of these attacks, though probably not all. And while it’s about colour for them, then the solution and the condemnation must and should mention racism. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, then I’m suggesting that you should look at your own prejudices a little more carefully. Because by not being part of the solution, you almost certainly are part of the problem.

    “It’s a human problem. It’s a problem everywhere. Common decency has disappeared and in it’s place is a blatant disregard for anything that doesn’t have any relation to our own selves.”

    While I sympathise that people are not showing common decency, I suggest you acquaint yourself better with some more specific facts about what racism is and especially about the political and social beliefs of people that actually poltically advocate against immigrants and immigration. Only then will you see that this discussion is not simply about decency or the lack of it, but about rights, lots of them.

  30. Corinne

    I’m not in this conversation to argue racism and the racists. I’m simply in it to remind people that there is a lack of common decency and respect in the culture. Period. You can put any slant on it that you want but it comes down to the fact that there is violence in all strata against all people regardless of race, religion, etc. This is not to say that there is violence targeted towards a particular colour, religion, etc, either, and I don’t believe that my post pointed in that direction. If there is violence in the natural flow of the society against its own “natives”, violence against everyone who lives here regardless of birth-culture will be a target.

    There’s a huge problem at every level and one which requires everyone to stand up, take notice and act.

    • Enrique

      –I’m not in this conversation to argue racism and the racists. I’m simply in it to remind people that there is a lack of common decency and respect in the culture. Period.

      Read you loud and clear!

      I think it is important to document these types of cases because sometimes some public officials and politicians may play them down. If we have an archive showing different cases, we can show the contrary.

      If we promote mutual acceptance and respect it rubs off on all sectors of society. If we promote hatred and suspicion of one group against the other, we are encouraging that kind of behavior on all sectors of society. It’s like you said: common decency and respect, full stop.

  31. Mark

    Corinne

    – “I’m not in this conversation to argue racism and the racists. I’m simply in it to remind people that there is a lack of common decency and respect in the culture. ”

    I don’t get it Corrine, you come onto a blog article that is specifically about the racial abuse of 14-year old travelling on public transport, and then several times say it’s not really about race, or it shouldn’t be, and that it’s basically about some larger ‘disprespect’. By arguing it’s not about race, you are arguing about race. Sorry, but you cannot escape that fact.

    And it should be about race, because it is about race.

    – “There’s a huge problem at every level and one which requires everyone to stand up, take notice and act.”

    – “but it comes down to the fact that there is violence in all strata against all people.”

    And what, it’s therefore unimportant? Have you missed the point here? A 14 year old child is being abused on a regular basis on public transport. You have absolutely nothing to say about that, but rather want to tell us that, well, everyone’s getting abused, why should it be about the little dark girl?

    Funny thing is, you are probably decent and try to be respectful, but nevertheless, you are still a big part of the problem of racism. The privileged denial – where those that are in the priveleged position of not having to suffer abuse tell those that are abused a blatant lie, namely, that everyone is getting abused, get over it!

    It’s a ridiculour argument, Corrine. It’s like saying, “why you so worried about your brother being murdered just because he’s black, there’s people being murdered every day for all sorts of reasons. Get over it!”

    Do you see what I’m getting at? What’s worse, you are telling this person not to feel so sad or angry over the fact that the only reason your brother was killed was ‘his black skin’. Not an accident, in the wrong place or the wrong time, but in the wrong kind of skin. And you are telling him that this is not important. And why? Not because you want to stamp out racism, though you do say it’s not very nice, but because I guess you are fed up of hearing how the blackies are getting beat up, abused and murdered, when those poor whities are getting beat up too.

    Oh dear. I really wonder what it is that will make the penny drop for you, Corrine.

  32. Corinne

    I’m not saying that it’s not about race. Where have I said that? I have said that it’s not only about colour or religion, etc. Don’t put words in that aren’t there and don’t make assumptions that aren’t meant to be there. Again, I’m not in this discussion to argue racism etc.

    To make it perfectly clear again.. my point is that this *hit happens to everyone regardless of colour, etc. Violence is rampant. We need to stick together as people and say “enough of this *hit (no matter what our agenda is”.

  33. Allan

    “Allan, discrimination because of a person’s background is a punishable offense by the law. Please check our Equality Act. It’s all spelled out pretty clearly spelled out.”

    Enrique, where did I mention discrimination? Discrimination is a crime, racism is not. Discrimination is an “act”, racism is an “ideology”. No ideology can be a crime. Ask someone to read you the difference out loud from a dictionary if you can’t read big words.

  34. Mark

    Allan

    Don’t be a prick. You know full well that when Enrique says racism is a crime, he means racist acts. So, nothing else to say except to pick up on the -ist vs -ism distinction.

  35. Allan

    Mark, the majority of those feckless kids in gangs in the helsinki metro are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants You try to “do the right thing” and you get called a “racist” by these youths, so why bother. All you can do is try to get the immigration laws tightened – immigrating is not a “right” it is a “privilege”.

    “What’s worse, you are telling this person not to feel so sad or angry over the fact that the only reason your brother was killed was ‘his black skin’. Not an accident, in the wrong place or the wrong time, but in the wrong kind of skin.”

    Yes, I feel extremely sorry he was dealing drugs in the wrong neighbourhood. Maybe if he was shot by some other person with the same skin color it wouldn’t have been so bad?

  36. Mark

    Corrine

    I’m afraid you did argue it’s not about the race. You said let’s not argue whether it’s an immigrant or if he’s purple. There are no purple races. But there are blacks, darkskinned, foreign looking people. You say you want more respect, but what I see you doing is disrespectful. You seem to want to take away the ‘racist’, ‘racist crime’ and make it part of somewhere far more vague – general disrespect. First, that turns Rebecka’s story into a statistic, and worse still, it hides the nature of the abuse. She is told to go back where she belongs. Second, i’m not sure racism us based on disrespect, but probably more on an implicit hatred. Sometimes it’s very explicit and violent.

    You sound like an advocate of respect, and yet even you seem to miss the point, because you diminish the importance of colour and racein trying

    • Corinne

      “You seem to want to take away the ‘racist’, ‘racist crime’ and make it part of somewhere far more vague – general disrespect. First, that turns Rebecka’s story into a statistic, and worse still, it hides the nature of the abuse.”

      I want to do no such thing. At any rate, I’m not repeating myself again.

      The world will be a better place when everyone is unable to see colour.

  37. justicedemon

    Allan

    Yes, I feel extremely sorry he was dealing drugs in the wrong neighbourhood.

    There is no factual basis for that remark at all, so where did it come from?

    I already know your response.

    Analyse it and tell us again that you aren’t a racist.

    Alternatively, go turn yourself in at the police station as a child molester.

  38. Allan

    JD – right after you turn yourself in for hunman trafficking an aiding illegal immigration. As for being a racist, no I am not, I have decided I am a “specist”, it is apparent your species stayed in the tree scratching your butt when mine left for the savannah.

  39. justicedemon

    Allan

    aiding illegal immigration

    This coming from someone who only a few hours ago advised Camilla Ingerström’s Dominican husband to follow a procedure that is proscribed under section 172a of the Aliens Act…

    Now explain how you could assert that the murder victim discussed above was dealing drugs in the wrong neighbourhood. Other than pure racism, what is your source for this assertion? How did you come by this knowledge? What specific clues did you follow?

    I bet you don’t answer.

  40. Mark

    Corinne

    – “The world will be a better place when everyone is unable to see colour.”

    But we are a long way from that. And in the mean time, we need to SEE the problem. Brushing under the carpet the fact that colour (and other prejudices) is the basis for so much abuse, assault and general discrimination of minorities, will only deny the victims the right to see their persecutors revealed and properly condemned.

    We view racism and prejudice as factually wrong, not merely morally wrong. Disrespect falls into the moral sphere, but if all assaults are reduced to a matter of respect, then little is being done to counter the ‘factual’ inaccuracies that allow people to defend their prejudices.

  41. Allan

    “Other than pure racism, what is your source for this assertion? How did you come by this knowledge? What specific clues did you follow?”

    Crime statistics. Who are the drugdealers in Helsinki? Glo-hotel case ring a bell?

    • Enrique

      Allan, one of the problems with this assessment is that you group people into ethnicities and make a generalization. What percentage of white Finns are pedophiles? What percentage of Muslims are fundamentalists? We’d end up with a fraction not over 50%, or the majority.

  42. Mark

    Allan

    Speciest? Joker! There are no ‘species’ with the human race. Homo sapiens is the species. No subspecies, except for Homo sapiens sapiens, which died out.

    – “Mark, the majority of those feckless kids in gangs in the helsinki metro are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants You try to “do the right thing” and you get called a “racist” by these youths, so why bother. All you can do is try to get the immigration laws tightened – immigrating is not a “right” it is a “privilege”.”

    When have you ever done the right thing? I’m interested.

    And are you really saying that all it takes to stop you from doing the right thing is a kid calling you a racist? And has this actually happened to you. And what did you actually say. As you have said so many racist things on this blog, it’s possible you said something and that kid had you nailed down pretty accurately!

    And anyhow, kids will say anything to get some leverage. Or perhaps you don’t have kids. And so Finnish kids don’t hang out in Gangs? Are you joking me? What do you do, do you go around Helsinki with a filter on your glasses that only sees ‘ethnic youths’? The vast majority of kids hanging around in gangs in Helsinki are white.

    Listen Allan, next time you are in Helsinki, get in touch, and you and I can take a walk through the town at different times of day, and made a diary for Migrant Tales of the stuff we see. We could even stop and talk to the kids, get some comments. That would be very enlightening. What do you say, up for something more like ‘real’ research? Or just want to stick to your bellicose prejudices?

  43. MaryMekko

    It’s clear that the problem is kids. People should be allowed to have them,but all kids until age 25 should be kept separate from the adult community, in some kind of youth school/camps/sporting places so that there will be no conflicts. If they beat eachother up in these camps, well, that will just go to show that we made the right decision about youth.

    I personally avoid “youth” in the SF Bay Area because they’re nothing but disrespectful. And they’re almost all minority youth in the city, who think that harassing whites is a fun hobby.

    Yes, I know, I keep on harping on being a white girl getting harassed for years, but I’m waiting for Enrique to acknowledge that it happened A LOT to MANY GIRLS HERE and not just to some 14-year-old girl once in Finland. It’s racial hatred against whites BIG TIME!!!

  44. Mark

    MaryMekko

    Harassment on the street is not good. But why doesn’t your own experience of abuse not make you more sympathetic to Rebecka’s experience? I don’t get it. It’s like you are saying it’s only important when it’s happening to white people. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    By the way, it’s not happening ‘once’ in Helsinki, it’s happening to Rebecka weekly. And if it’s happening to her that often, you known damn well it’s happening a hell of a lot.

    So, once again (I’m losing count), do you condemn all forms of racism, not just racism against whites?

  45. justicedemon

    Allan

    Crime statistics.

    The black murder victim was a hypothetical example given by Mark. Your reference to dealing drugs in the wrong neighbourhood is a pure extrapolation from the colour of the victim’s skin. That extrapolation is the purest form of racial prejudice.

    Here is how Mark specified his hypothetical example:

    It’s like saying, “why you so worried about your brother being murdered just because he’s black, there’s people being murdered every day for all sorts of reasons. Get over it!”

    Do you see what I’m getting at? What’s worse, you are telling this person not to feel so sad or angry over the fact that the only reason your brother was killed was ‘his black skin’. Not an accident, in the wrong place or the wrong time, but in the wrong kind of skin.

    By your reasoning, Allan, I should padlock the drinks cabinet and make sure that my young son has a rape alarm and a can of chemical mace when I hear that you are coming to my town.

  46. Mark

    Allan

    Mark – color and race should pay no part whatsoever in Finnish society.

    Interesting comment Allan. Care to elaborate on what you mean by this?

  47. Allan

    I mean that all men are created equal. So there is no difference of peoples color or “race” if he wants to operate in a society according to that societys rules. There is no reason not to be able to do things due to skin color is there?

  48. Allan

    Justicedemon – black people do not just “get shot” due to their skin color in Finland. Gang members however do. They chopped up two guys across the street from me. Nice safe neighbourhood, police surveillance was 24/7.

  49. Mark

    Allan

    I mean that all men are created equal. So there is no difference of peoples color or “race” if he wants to operate in a society according to that societys rules.

    So what is with the ‘if’? I don’t see any reason for an ‘if’. Please explain? Also, if you believe that all men are created equal, why do you constantly connect immigrants with crime, among other things? And don’t say statistics unless you are going to actually quote some. Second, if you do say statistics, please explain what happens between birth and their arrival in the statistics? If that isn’t too much to ask, sweedy!

  50. Allan

    “Listen Allan, next time you are in Helsinki, get in touch, and you and I can take a walk through the town at different times of day, and made a diary for Migrant Tales of the stuff we see. We could even stop and talk to the kids, get some comments. That would be very enlightening. What do you say, up for something more like ‘real’ research?”

    That might take a while before I care to waste my money for such a feat as going to Helsinki, but you could do such a survey. They’re having a “safety in trasport” theme going on, so you might even get something that the rags might print out of it and not just a diary…Though there is a probability that it might be “nuorisojengi hakkasi ulkomaalaisen metrossa”

  51. Allan

    “So what is with the ‘if’? I don’t see any reason for an ‘if’. Please explain?”

    Freedom of choice. Nobody forces people to join a society. Well, generally in the West, nobody forces you to join a society. If you choose to join a society, then you usually choose to adhere to that societys rules… laws and social norms and whatnot.

    ” Second, if you do say statistics, please explain what happens between birth and their arrival in the statistics?”

    They are brought up in another society with other rules. When they come here they think our rules don’t matter.

  52. Mark

    Allan

    – “That might take a while before I care to waste my money for such a feat as going to Helsinki, but you could do such a survey.”

    Shame. The point of doing it together would be to open your eyes. So, even though you don’t visit Helsinki or travel on the tube, you still know what’s going on here? How does that work?

    I’m struggling to see how you connected the equality of all men born equal and the idea of ‘freedom of choice’?

    – “They are brought up in another society with other rules. When they come here they think our rules don’t matter.”

    Well, those Somali kids on the Metro are being brought up in Finland, so how does that figure? You connect immigrants with crimes that as far as I understand are also illegal in their countries of origin. In fact, in those countries, the penalties for many crimes are often much more severe.

    And when you say ‘they’, are you talking some, a few, a minority, a majority, or all?

  53. justicedemon

    Allan

    black people do not just “get shot” due to their skin color in Finland. Gang members however do.

    And you have decided that Mark’s hypothetical murder victim is gang member — how?

    You really do need to go back for a refresher course at the Halla-aho school of closet racism.

  54. Allan

    “Well, those Somali kids on the Metro are being brought up in Finland, so how does that figure?”

    Because the parents bring them up with other sets of rules – or don’t bring them up, the ones that get into trouble that is, which is the most common case with teenagers in any case.
    However if you fart away your life as a teenager then its no wonder you don’t get to be anything. But its the institutionalised racism according to Enrique. nothing to do with your own choices in life.

    “You connect immigrants with crimes that as far as I understand are also illegal in their countries of origin. In fact, in those countries, the penalties for many crimes are often much more severe. ”

    Yes, thats why they don’t think of our rules as worth anything as we got such silly punishments… somewhere they would flog you and here they say “naughty”.

  55. Allan

    “The point of doing it together would be to open your eyes” Mark, I lived in Helsinki some 25 years, I have seen enough “diversity” in my time and seen Helsinki become “multicultural”. Even in the 80’s when i was young and stupid and hanged around Lepakko you didn’t need to fear (well when you are young you are immortal). After the floodgates opened in the 90’s Helsinki was changing, but since the last ten years I didn’t even want to go to the centre unless I had to. Never mind the local mall ghettokids, they were just plain annoying. So my eyes have been opened thank you very much. (and I’ve become old)

  56. Allan

    Justicedemon – none, after all good moslems are not allowed to befriend the infidels. Would a hindoo family count, its the same ocean?

  57. justicedemon

    Allan

    So much for the value of your commentary. Perhaps we should consult someone similarly ignorant of Finnish people for equally authoritative insights into your character based, for example, on the Swedish and Russian gutter press.

    I’m sure that the St. Petersburg militsiya, the Tallinn Politsei and the Royal Thai Police have plenty of statistics that can help us understand exactly what you are like.

  58. Corinne

    “And in the mean time, we need to SEE the problem. Brushing under the carpet the fact that colour (and other prejudices) is the basis for so much abuse, assault and general discrimination of minorities, will only deny the victims the right to see their persecutors revealed and properly condemned.”

    In the same breath as you’ve taken, “brushing under the carpet the fact that” some idiots in the non-immigrant communities abuse, assault and general push around those who are younger or seemingly less able to defend themselves (disabled, elderly, etc), “will only deny the victims the right to see their persecutors revealed and properly condemned.”

    Why support only those from an immigrant community in the fight to reclaim respect and decency in our communities? It’s not going to deny anyone anything.

  59. Mark

    Allan

    Even in the 80′s when i was young and stupid and hanged around Lepakko you didn’t need to fear (well when you are young you are immortal). After the floodgates opened in the 90′s Helsinki was changing, but since the last ten years I didn’t even want to go to the centre unless I had to. Never mind the local mall ghettokids, they were just plain annoying. So my eyes have been opened thank you very much. (and I’ve become old)

    So what you are saying is that you grew up in an almost exclusively white country and then saw a minimal amount of immigration during the 80s and 90s. And then for almost ten years you didn’t even go into the centre and now you don’t even live in Finland (am I right?). And the worst you can refer to in the way of person experience is seeing some ‘ghettokids’ hanging around the mall. Doesn’t seem like you have much to complain about? Was there anything even remotely substantial in terms of a real contact with immigrants during that time? Or did you avoid it on purpose so that you could keep your prejudices intact?

    Not very convincing, Allan. Surely there is more to your experience and your claims about gangs of immigrant youths roaming Helsinki tube stations? By the way, if you ever visited any town or city in Finland, you would see gangs of youths hanging around bus stations, car parks, petrol stations, shops, playgrounds and any number of public spaces. The vast, vast majority will be white, Finnish youth. But I guess you don’t see these as suspicious or menacing, even though youth crime in Finland is actually pretty normal for Europe. I think that you and I really do need to take a wander around the town together. It would be very interesting to witness first-hand the things you notice and the things you do not notice. The offer is still open.

    Did you know that according to police reports, the amount of juvenile crime actually went down between 1995 and 2004, just at that time when the immigrant arrivals were according to you at their highest. Care to comment on that?

    As for recorded assaults by young people, the number of assaults remained stable in the same period, but actually assaults by young women actually went up. Does that fit your profile of young immigrant males bringing more crime to Finland? Something doesn’t add up.

    Murders by juveniles are rare, thankfully, but 80% of them involve alcohol, which is similar also to crime in general by Finnish youths. Likewise, two thirds of juvenile offenders in Finland have one or both parents who are alcoholics. Do you think alcohol is a predominantly Muslim problem or a Finnish problem?

    As for the causes of crime, immigrant status or racial or ethnic characteristics are generally not mentioned. This is worth quoting from a publication of Finland’s National Research Institute of Legal Policy:

    Stable individual behavioural propensities in interaction with environmental and community context related factors
    Early family environment, for example violent victimisation in early childhood, severe and inconsistent parental discipline, and alcohol abuse by parents
    Poverty increases criminal propensity of families with children by weakening the willingness and ability of parents to control their children
    Peer groups and media providing models and justifications for criminal behaviour
    Official sanctions that weaken the perpetrator’s bonds to conventional institutions

    See, no mention of immigration or multiculturalism. Are you telling me you know better? Well, of course you are. But there is no credibility to your claims. And the description you gave of your experiences in Helsinki, or lack of them, only confirm that.

  60. Mark

    Corinne

    Thanks for replying.

    Why support only those from an immigrant community in the fight to reclaim respect and decency in our communities? It’s not going to deny anyone anything.

    Who said I am only supporting immigrants? I have also been involved in active campaigning in Finland to reduce violence against women. At the end of the day, we are absolutely on the same page in condemning all forms of violence, I hope.

    But if it became a trend or fashion to attack old disabled people, assaulting them in various ways and at the same time calling them ‘stupid old cripples’, ‘piss off back to crippleland’, then I’m pretty sure that these specific negative attitudes towards disabled people would get discussed. I’m only asking for the same here. I’m asking that the racist nature of the crime is not diminished or watered down or thrown in with ‘other kinds of violence’, because that only leaves the prejudice to sit on it’s laurels of privilege and entitlement.

    I still do not understand your reluctance to accept that the nature of the crime is important in both understanding the crime and in working to prevent it. I’m sorry, Corrine, but something fundamental about your approach to this subject does not make sense to me.

  61. Allan

    “Was there anything even remotely substantial in terms of a real contact with immigrants during that time?”

    Well after getting mugged by some human garbage from the horn of Africa I naturally started seeking their company… No Mark, I tend to steer clear of the “diversity” at the railway station. I worked in a line of business that 90% of the people were foreigners, so yes I did have contacts with people from all over the globe.

    “See, no mention of immigration or multiculturalism. ”
    Good, so the immigrant families all have work, are not poor, the kids have had a healthy childhood, their peer group is all college boys and Migrant Tales doesn’t provide them any excuses. Right on mark, Mark!

  62. Allan

    “I’m sorry, Corrine, but something fundamental about your approach to this subject does not make sense to me.”

    You are asking for “equality” and then you are yourself segregating. Doesn’t work that way. If immigrants want equality, they go to the queue with all others, don’t form their own queue and don’t push themselves before other people in the queue. Equality, something that you diversity-worshippers forget.

  63. justicedemon

    Allan

    I worked in a line of business that 90% of the people were foreigners, so yes I did have contacts with people from all over the globe.

    So how many times were you mugged by your colleagues?

    Good, so the immigrant families all have work, are not poor, the kids have had a healthy childhood…

    Another own goal there. You really are so good at this that i’m beginning to suspect that you are a synthetic persona created by a social studies project to illustrate the self-contradictory disputation that typifies racist thinking.

  64. Mark

    Allan

    Well after getting mugged by some human garbage from the horn of Africa I naturally started seeking their company

    Allan, you got mugged. Rebecka gets abused in the tube on a weekly basis by Finns, but she doesn’t think that all Finns are bad. Now if a 14-year old child can figure it out, why can’t you?

    Good, so the immigrant families all have work, are not poor, the kids have had a healthy childhood, their peer group is all college boys and Migrant Tales doesn’t provide them any excuses. Right on mark, Mark!

    Allan, this is the heart of the matter right here. You are spot on in pointing out that some immigrants are poor, unemployed, while the kids have poor well-being (including discrimination), and that is why it is no surprise to see that immigrant youths, like Finnish youth, also appear in the crime statistics. In fact, we would predict that they would appear more so, relative to their numbers, because the factors of crime, of having parents who themselves are probably suffering mental health issues after having escaped persecution and then arrived in a country that is to some extent, not welcoming, facing unemployment, facing massive challenges of integration. Immigrant minorities are among the most vulnerable groups in society, because of the convergence of social problems, poverty and difficulties in properly integrating. You are helping them by labelling them.

    THESE ARE THE FACTORS at play. It’s not ethnicity, it’s not race, it’s not culture, it’s not multiculturalism. That’s why these things are NOT mentioned. And the factors that are mentioned of course affect immigrant families, sometimes more so. So, rather than disproving me, you have only come to the conclusion that is the basis for my criticism of your racism, Allan. Ponder that amazing fact, a moment Allan. You finally see the light. Let’s see how quickly you move to snuff it out! :)

  65. Mark

    Allan

    You are asking for “equality” and then you are yourself segregating. Doesn’t work that way. If immigrants want equality, they go to the queue with all others, don’t form their own queue and don’t push themselves before other people in the queue. Equality, something that you diversity-worshippers forget.

    Why is looking at the causes of crime a form of segregation? That doesn’t make sense. If you think I’m saying that racist crime is more important than other crime, I’m not. I’m saying that the causes of racist crime cannot be melded into some idea of just ‘there are bad apples’, and racist crimes simply reflects this. Racist crime reflects political, social, economic and institutional prejudice. People find it hard to sustain a view of the world when all the facts and the establishment are behind the idea. That’s why you don’t have any ‘flat earth societies’ any more.

    Where on earth did you pull the idea of ‘queuing’ in regard to racist crime? You pulled this idea straight out of your arse, didn’t you! What are you talking about, queuing at the police station? There is no ‘queue’ Allan. If a crime is committed and there is evidence, the police will act. It’s that simple. No queue. Immigrants getting justice in no way means that Finns are not getting justice.

    So, you pulled two ideas out of your arse, segregation and equality, used them in completely nonsense contexts, and then sit back and congratulate yourself on your intellectual command. And you think we are leaning towards the religious! Allan……

  66. aliena

    “I still do not understand your reluctance to accept that the nature of the crime is important in both understanding the crime and in working to prevent it. I’m sorry, Corrine, but something fundamental about your approach to this subject does not make sense to me.

    What i am saying is that violence is violence. I am not going to segregate anyone. What is segregation going to do?

    Read the words again for understanding and sense…. “Violence is violence”. I am not discussing crime against immigrants. I’m not discussing crime again the elderly. I’m not discussing crime again women. I’m saying that violence is violence and we as people (of whatever ability/age/race/sex) need to say..this is enough and help build back respect and decency.

  67. Mark

    Aliena / Corinna

    What i am saying is that violence is violence. I am not going to segregate anyone. What is segregation going to do?

    Segregation? That sounds awful. But there is no segregation in identifying the victims of crime or the motivations of the crime. Only enlightenment about society’s attitudes. Segregation is such a strong word, but it’s wholly inappropriate here. The word you should use is differentiation.

    The ironic thing is that anti-immigrationists are quite happy to see this differentiation when it comes to crimes committed by immigrants and yet are dead against it when it comes to identifying crimes against immigrants. Funny that, in it!

    Corinne. You were not simply saying ‘violence is violence’, and it’s all bad and we should just respect each other. You were saying that we, i.e. the people discussing violence and abuse against immigrants on this blog, should also not be focusing on it either. Sounded a lot like a form of censorship to me. Do you see why I might put up a little bit of resistance?

    If you were simply choosing to draw the parallel between disrespect in general and violence and harassment against all members of society, I would have agreed without reservation. But you weren’t. You said that we should not focus on race or colour.

    Now you tell me it is because you think it is segregation. That doesn’t surprise me. It wouldn’t surprise me if you went one step further and said it’s actually racist to be so focused on crimes against immigrants.

    Finland has created its own legal obligations to protect the rights of minorities and to foster equality, including gender equality. Sometimes that means not doing things (such as actively suppressing minorities) and sometimes that means doing things, like providing proper support services. The government needs information to see the status of minorities and whether they are being abused. Without this data and an analysis of it, it is very hard to see if there is a problem, other than what some immigrants might be saying, sometimes loudly.

    If you want to build up respect and decency, i suggest you try to be a little less embarrassed when hearing other people choosing to talk about abuse and crimes against immigrants and the children of immigrants. In other words, if you want respect, you should perhaps give respect.

  68. Allan

    ” You are spot on in pointing out that some immigrants are poor, unemployed, while the kids have poor well-being (including discrimination), and that is why it is no surprise to see that immigrant youths, like Finnish youth, also appear in the crime statistics.”

    OK, so lets stop right there. Why are the immigrants unemployed? Why do we have them then if we have poor troubled people of our own?

    “Immigrant minorities are among the most vulnerable groups in society, because of the convergence of social problems, poverty and difficulties in properly integrating. ”

    OK, so why do we have these immigrant minorities? We have no need for them, we do not need unemployeds, we dont need them to bring color to the streets and we dont need their “culture” whatever that is. You are needing diversity and multiculture, nobody else is.

    “It’s not ethnicity, it’s not race, it’s not culture, it’s not multiculturalism. ”
    Yes it is all three of those. That is what you are wanting. The result we see in crime statistics.

  69. Allan

    “I’m saying that the causes of racist crime cannot be melded into some idea of just ‘there are bad apples’, and racist crimes simply reflects this. ”

    Raping women has nothing to do with culture, its just a bad apple that saw a woman in a miniskirt.

    “There is no ‘queue’ Allan. If a crime is committed and there is evidence, the police will act. It’s that simple. No queue. Immigrants getting justice in no way means that Finns are not getting justice”

    Yes it means, there is a queue for resources. Does the police investigate the racism or the stolen bicycle? Well, if the immigrant wouldn’t be in the country, there wouldn’t be any stolen bicycles and no racism.

  70. Allan

    “In other words, if you want respect, you should perhaps give respect.”

    Respect is earned in Finland, and the least respect is given to people on charity who demand.

  71. Mark

    Allan

    Gosh, should I even bother? Usual twaddle coming out of your mouth.

    OK, so lets stop right there. Why are the immigrants unemployed? Why do we have them then if we have poor troubled people of our own?

    Yes, let’s stop right there. That was what I wanted. Because these and many others are the social issues that underlie much of crime, poverty, deprivation. And immigrants are disproportionately affected by it, typically because of lack of work or because they are a target for discrimination and crime. In turn, some of them may also turn to crime. What’s important to recognise is that these are not factors of ethnicity. There is no intrinsic link between an ethnicity and the social conditions. For example, Somali communities have done very well in parts of the US.

    But there is a link between ethnicity and social conditions, and that link is being made by the host population and by people like yourself Allan. And you are and several others are making the link in a way that constitutes clear discrimination and racism. These responses to the ethnicity of some immigrants only compound the problems, while also producing a self-fulfilling prophecy, that it is because of the ‘intrinsic nature’ of some kinds of ethnicity that they will not be successful or productive members of society. What is forgotten is that each of these factors are also factors in the host nation’s social strata, producing much the same problems, in some respects to a greater degree (alcoholism and related crime), in some instances to a lesser degree (long-term unemployment).

    Not for one second do I defend the rights of immigrants because I want to see ‘colour’ and ‘diversity’. It’s not for the sake of some extra spice in the food that I defend human rights, but rather because I don’t want to see the whole meal go foul.

  72. Mark

    Allan

    “In other words, if you want respect, you should perhaps give respect.”

    Respect is earned in Finland, and the least respect is given to people on charity who demand.

    I thought it was clear that I was saying the same thing, that respect is earned.

    So, do you have this attitude to all welfare dependents in Finland, or only the ones with the brown skin?

  73. Allan

    I was brought up believeing the high taxes and hard work to build Finland was done by the Finnish people for the benefit of the Finnish people. I was not paying taxes to become the welfare office of the world.

  74. Mark

    Allan

    Yes it means, there is a queue for resources. Does the police investigate the racism or the stolen bicycle? Well, if the immigrant wouldn’t be in the country, there wouldn’t be any stolen bicycles and no racism.

    And why can’t they explore both? Of course, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect the police to prioritise, and so if it’s a serious assault or a mars-bar crime, then they will look at the assault before the petty crime, I’m sure. But assault is assault, as Corinne has been saying, and what I understand from that is that the police would investigate it in the way they would investigate any assault, with particular attention to identifying if there it was aggravated assault if the motive was purely racial or ethnic hatred.

    Nothing complicated about this Allan, or do you seriously hate so much of how society in Finland actually works? It’s funny that people accuse us immigrants of talking down Finland, but actually, in many instances, it is us defending the Finnish system against the ill-informed criticisms of those that claim to love Finland. Irony, it’s never far away, is it.

  75. Allan

    I only know that the police academy graduating class graduates directly to the unemployment office queue. Someone getting called a bad name on the public transport is not an “assault” by any definition. If all Finns went to complain what the crazies, drunks and kids yelled to them at the street your racially motivated case would be in the queue way back in line. If you can not stand public transport, then you must take a taxi. Or move to Holland and not learn the language.

  76. Mark

    Allan

    I was brought up believeing the high taxes and hard work to build Finland was done by the Finnish people for the benefit of the Finnish people. I was not paying taxes to become the welfare office of the world.

    We already knew your upbringing was probably to blame for much of your ignorance, you don’t have to show us.

    If you and others stopped your hating and your carping about immigrants, then perhaps they could get work more easily and also contribute taxes. As it is, only 29% of immigrants are unemployed, meaning the greater majority are in some kind of productive activity.

    By the way, the comment about Finland being the welfare office of the world is bloody funny, seeing as Finland is well-know as one of the so-called Nordic welfare states. :)

    Hate, hate, hate. But no sense. And no real appreciation of what Finland was actually built up to be.

  77. Mark

    Allan

    Someone getting called a bad name on the public transport is not an “assault” by any definition.”

    Yes, and why did we go around the houses on this issue in the first place, Allan? Corinne introduced the idea of violence and talk about crimes extended largely from there. However, in the earlier posts, I was talking about the racist verbal abuse of a 14-year old. Still doesn’t make it right, though, does it?

    And it’s not about simply being called names, is it. This is racist adults systematically abusing a child. But maybe you don’t think that is important. Fact is that you don’t give a shit, but you still want us to believe that Finland should turn in the direction of your moral compass. It never will. You are just a sad fucking case. How you can possibly downplay the regular systematic abuse of a child is beyond me. ‘Being called names’. It’s called bullying, and the last time I checked, the Finnish school system, for one, works hard to stamp it out. But, you are saying its perfectly acceptable.

  78. Mark

    Allan

    Someone getting called a bad name on the public transport is not an “assault” by any definition.”

    Yes, and why did we go around the houses on this issue in the first place, Allan? Corinne introduced the idea of violence and talk about crimes extended largely from there. However, in the earlier posts, I was talking about the racist verbal abuse of a 14-year old. Still doesn’t make it right, though, does it?

    And it’s not about simply being called names, is it. This is racist adults systematically abusing a child. But maybe you don’t think that is important. Fact is that you don’t give a shit, but you still want us to believe that Finland should turn in the direction of your moral compass. It never will. You are just a sad fucking case. How you can possibly downplay the regular systematic abuse of a child is beyond me. ‘Being called names’. It’s called bullying, and the last time I checked, the Finnish school system, for one, works hard to stamp it out. But, you are saying its perfectly acceptable.

  79. Allan

    I am not downplaying it. I am putting it into its place. You are trying to present it as something that requires attention before all the other things requiring attention. You are jumping the queue.

  80. Mark

    Allan

    I am not downplaying it. I am putting it into its place. You are trying to present it as something that requires attention before all the other things requiring attention. You are jumping the queue.

    I see, like you put immigrants in their place too, I suppose? You are downplaying it, completely. You have expressed absolutely no sentiment that this is unacceptable, on any level. On the contrary, you have made out that it’s no big deal. Perhaps for you. But this was enough of an issue that a young girl wrote to the editor of a newspaper. I guess it was a big deal for her. And I think rightly so.

    And at no point have I said that it requires attention before all other things. Quote me, if you can. All I have said is that it is a clear case of racism in Finland and that it is unacceptable that a 14-year-old girl gets abused in this way on a weekly basis. You were the one to introduce the idea of queues. As you have claimed again and again on this blog that there is no racism based on colour in Finland, this story, one of many, clearly refutes your ridiculous claims.

    You first deny there is racism in Finland, and when faced with clear evidence, you claim it’s no big deal. You cannot have it both ways. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If you are admitting that it exists, but that it’s no big deal, then fine, but you have contradicted your earlier statements that it doesn’t exist. Who cares about a little thing called consistency, eh?

  81. Allan

    Mark, there is no racism in Finland. There is no apartheid legislation, there is no definitions of race, not even statistics. What you find is, as you say it is not right to extend actions of an individual to a group, culture or nation, so Finns are not racists. Thete might be individuals out there spewing abuse, but that is that individuals problem, not the societys or cultures problem. Eat your own medicine, how does it taste?

  82. Mark

    Allan

    That was a sad story. Hard to say what was behind, but as not much was certain about the attacker, I suppose it was a Finn, otherwise they might have stood out more. Not that that is significant, except to say that these things affect all societies. This is exactly the kind of random attack that can happen. It’s not good, but it’s also quite different to the kind of weekly abuse that Nickola gets. She doesn’t get abused by ‘random strangers'; she get’s abused because her skin is the ‘wrong’ colour. I really wish you would wake up to that. It’s not about saying one kind of abuse is worse than the other, it’s just recognising the abuse for what it is – i.e. not random!

    Mark, there is no racism in Finland.

    Oh, let me guess – you redefine racism in such a way that it ‘magically disappears’. Maybe this is what you mean by the ‘magic wall’. :)

    What you find is, as you say it is not right to extend actions of an individual to a group, culture or nation, so Finns are not racists. Thete might be individuals out there spewing abuse, but that is that individuals problem, not the societys or cultures problem. Eat your own medicine, how does it taste?

    Tastes good, Allan. Finally we are on the same page. Yes, it is about individuals. Finns are not racists because they are Finns. Some Finns are racists because they choose to be. It is society’s problem if they antagonise other people. It is society’s problem if they do nothing to stop it. It is a problem of Finnish culture if that culture were to ignore or dismiss the negative effect on other people of that attitude of some individuals within society. In the same way, some elements of foreign cultures can also harbour very negative or abusive behaviours, within families, within domestic violence, in the rights of women. I know you have mentioned these things, so I still think we are on the same page.

    Gosh, a miracle!

  83. No ihan vaan täältä

    i can’t believe this discussion… uskomatonta keskustelua, onto mukana yhtään muita Suomessa oikeasti asuvia kuin Allan…

    First of all racism is of course not acceptable. however the claims this girl is making are somewhat “to be proven”, in different articles she says racism happens every week, then every month and one article said she said daily, she has also said the things she told happened actually to some people she has talked with not so much to herself and furthermore her definition of racism might go wider than you would first expect as she speaks in another article about people being sometimes rasistically called gays and vamps.

    If you don’t live in Finland, don’t think you know how racism is here or how it isn’t. I’ve lived here all my life and in capital city area where these sorta things supposingly happening regularly and i have NEVER saw a rasistic incident anywhere and i use public transportations daily. However in Finland there are many drunk men on public transportations and sometimes they say whatever but no Finn is saying on the papers how some drunk man once called her fat or whatever.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi No ihan vaan täältä, welcome to Migrant Tales. I think, however, the most of the people who visit our blog live in Finland. We have some Finn like Allan who live in England.

      But let’s go to the point. You mentioned that an adolescent, who had the courage to stand up against racial harassment in public is suspect. Maybe the moral to the Rebecka Holm story is that that all types of hatred are unacceptable.

      What do you think we should do about this? Should we speak out against it or should we deny it? It’s difficult for a white Finn to see these types of things. I hear a lot about them and have seen it happen to me. Racism is a personal thing: some people get more affected by it than others. Some have worse luck than others (they are in the wrong place at the wrong time).

      Contrary to what some Finnsh visitors may say on this blog, we do not like to state that ALL Finns are racists like ALL immigrants are this or that. Some, however, are.

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