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.