There is hope if racism thrives on ignorance and isolation

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

If racism thrives on ignorance and isolation, then there is hope but a lot has to be done. Instead of lowering oneself to the diatribe and hatred of anti-immigration groups, we must strive to find solutions. People who spread racism are by no means infallible. Racism is like Dracula. Not only does it live on by infecting the person, it cannot stand the light of day. 

Another weakness that racism has is that it is a loner and likes isolation.  That is why it loves attention sometimes because it is a chronic narcissist.

Our blogger, Asian, correctly pointed out that one of the challenges facing visible minorities in Finland is institutional racism. It is another silent culprit acting behind the scenes hindering integration and people from tapping their potential in our society.

Here is a good description of how institutional racism works in our society:  “Institutional racism is that which, covertly or overtly, resides in the policies, procedures, operations and culture of public or private institutions – reinforcing individual prejudices and being reinforced by them in turn.”

The suggestion by a former student that apart from accepting ourselves, we should strive as well to extend our hand of friendship to those that loathe us, is a very effective way of challenging such a social ill.

There is a lot of hatred out there in countries like Finland: the election in April and their sugar-coated arguments that constantly attempt to fool us by hiding the real face of racism by arguing the complete opposite.

Despite the challenges, our aim is not to run to a corner and become like those that want to confine us in prisons where we lose sight of things like purpose. Our aim is to be stronger than hatred.

We must come up with solutions. And there are many good ones out there from many of us. One of these made recently on Facebook was by Abdirahim Husu Hussein, a Center Party member, who is an example to many. He said: “I also think that we need [to strive for] 10% representation in all the municipalities [in the October municipal election].”

In other words, more immigrants and Finns with international backgrounds should seriously consider running for city council. This is crucial, especially during these times when an anti-immigration party has become one of the biggest in Finland.

Joining a political party is one solution out of many.

If we look at ways to get more power and recognition in Finland, it will certainly not happen as long as we remain passive and offer excuses like “Finland isn’t my country.”  Finland is our home. We must therefore show leadership by offering solutions. In simple English it means empowering yourself and taking control.

We will continue to be kicked around as a group as long as we don’t demand our rights and simultaneously extend our hand to those that loathe us.

If we don’t do anything we have nobody else to blame than ourselves.

  1. Seppo

    A good post, Enrique!

    “more immigrants and Finns with international backgrounds should seriously consider running for city council.” Absolutely. In the last municipal election I voted for a person with an immigrant background and I’m happy to do it again if I find a good candidate.

    “If we look at ways to get more power and recognition in Finland, it will certainly not happen as long as we remain passive and offer excuses like “Finland isn’t my country.””

    Right on spot. I know it is easier said than done but I would like to encourage immigrants and Finns with immigrant background to become more active in the society. Candidate in elections, become members in associations (also those that are not directly connected to immigration issues), write letters to the editor. Be brave to show and exercise your position as a full member of this society.

  2. depressed immigrant

    I totally agree with you. many immigrants became passive, that they dont want to better their current situation. they are sitting and waiting for things to change but things will not change if you do not stand and and do something about it.

  3. Asian (Realy I am Chinese so I know my own reality)

    Yksilön kohdalla rasismi voi tulla tietämättömyydestä, mutta yhteiskunnan tasolla rasismi on rakenteellista. Rakenteelinen rasismi perustuu tiettyihin perus olettamuksiin joita yhteiskunta heijastaa. Yksi perus olettamus on että Eurooppalainen kulttuuri on ylivertainen verrattuna muihin kulttuureihin. Joten meidän ei kannata opettaa muita kulttuureja koulussa. Toinen perus olettamus on, että Eurooppa on ykkönen koska he ovat ahkeria ja kekseliäitä. Väärin Eurooppa oli ykkönen koska he ryöstelit Aasiaa ja Afrikkaa.

    Kaikista inhottavin perut olettamuus on että valkoisuus on hyvää ja kaikki muu pahaa. Massa media pyrkii esittämään valkoiset kauniina ja hyvinä mutta värilliset joko eskoottisina tai vaarallisina.

  4. depressed immigrant

    Asian : Kaikista inhottavin perut olettamuus on että valkoisuus on hyvää ja kaikki muu pahaa. Massa media pyrkii esittämään valkoiset kauniina ja hyvinä mutta värilliset joko eskoottisina tai vaarallisina.

    so true. if you follow finnish media you will see, they tend to broadcast about immigrants in negtive view. when immigrant does something positive it’s not broadcasted but when immigrants does something wrong it’s broadcasted in big news.

    • Enrique

      –if you follow finnish media you will see, they tend to broadcast about immigrants in negtive view.

      One factor behind this is because there are so few of us writing these stories.

  5. depressed immigrant

    Enrique: One factor behind this is because there are so few of us writing these stories.

    this is why this blog is so important for its existence, becus now we can monitor the racism that’s going on in finland.

  6. Seppo

    “One factor behind this is because there are so few of us writing these stories.”

    I only wish this blog would post more in Finnish – that’s the only way to get more visibility among the so called native Finns.

  7. Peter

    Seppo: in addition to this blog posting more in Finnish, I encourage you to also set up a blog. The more people discussing these matters in a constructive manner, the better better it is for our society.

    Some day I’ll get around to blogging myself. I hope that you will too. 🙂

  8. Depressed for Reason

    ive got a day topic for you guys. Why’re most finns so racist? what is a factor in here and a cause? ……we need participants, let’s hear it guys…..if you have some ideas.

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