We speak of two-way integration but too many still believe in assimilation

by , under Enrique

Finland’s integration law is exemplary in many respects because it aims to integrate newcomers as equals in our society. No law is, however, written in stone and is only as good as the institutions and people that enforce it. One of the matters that some have a difficult time grasping is what two-way adaption, or integration, means and implies. 

Integration is the opposite to assimilation, which is one-way integration. Those who are in favor of assimilation, believe that most if not all of the adapting to cultural diversity will be done on their terms. One of their favorite arguments is: “Why should I adapt to them if they are in my country.”

Assimilation is a lazy and convenient way to exclude and keep others corralled with the help of our suspicion. This integration model is one of the reasons why intolerance is still the rule instead of the exception in many European countries.

Assimilation not only is a lazy model and sustains itself with the help of ethnocentrism, prejudice, white privilege, outright discrimination of whole groups and, worse, by defensive and repeated denials that we don’t have any issue with intolerance.

Take for example Finland’s Romany minority, which have suffered the greatest hostility in our society. They are a good example if any of outright social exclusion.

A US state department human rights report stated recently: ”Groups of Roma have lived in the country for centuries, and Roma are classified as a ’traditional ethnic minority’ in the ombudsman’s report. The Romany minority was the most frequent target of racially motivated discrimination, followed by Russian-speakers, Somalis, and Sami.”

Some Finns are still waiting after 500 years for the Roma, which number about 10,000 in Finland, to turn “white.” By turning white, I mean giving up their traditional dress, identity and ways of life in order to gain greater acceptance.

The paradox, however, is that if they gave up their identity they’d be in worse shape then they are today. The aim of  intolerance and the victimization of groups like the Roma, is to wipe them off the Finnish cultural map.

One matter we should be careful to avoid when promoting two-way integration is exclusion by default. The best of example of this is when elementary schools continue to call third-culture children as students with immigrant backgrounds (maahanmuuttajataustainen) irrespective that they were born and have lived all their lives in this country.

Living in a culturally diverse society where two-way adaption, or integration, is the rule is the most effective and less-expensive way to adapt newcomers.

Even if our society promotes mutual acceptance, our laws and human rights play important roles.

The greatest integrators of all are social justice and equal opportunities – the very values we promote in our laws.

  1. Farang

    A US state department human rights report stated recently: ”Groups of Roma have lived in the country for centuries, and Roma are classified as a ’traditional ethnic minority’ in the ombudsman’s report. The Romany minority was the most frequent target of racially motivated discrimination, followed by Russian-speakers, Somalis, and Sami.”

    This is actually an outrageous lie. The most frequent target of racially motivated discrimination in Finland are the Finns.

    • Mark

      Farang

      The most frequent target of racially motivated discrimination in Finland are the Finns.

      So, Finnish Roma are not Finns now? Correct me if I’m wrong, but official statistics in Finland cannot record ethnicity as a category, as it’s forbidden by law. Therefore, Roma who are Finnish citizens who would suffer a racist attack would be recorded as simply Finns! Correct?

  2. Mark

    Farang, you are ignoring my question. Am I correct or not? Would not Roma be classed as ‘Finns’ in the statistics?

    • Farang

      Propably they would. It still doesn’t affect my point.

    • Mark

      Exactly. And yes, it DOES affect your point, but you are too fucking stupid to see or admit it.

    • Farang

      This is what I wonder about you, Mark.

      You constantly in the middle of debate ask trivial questions, to which everyone knows answers.

      How do you think those questions would help in the discussion?

    • Mark

      Trivial? lololol 😀

      It’s like arguing with the village idiot!

      You stated that it was an outrageous lie that Roma were described as the most discriminated against. You claimed it was the group Finns. What you failed to tell people is that Roma are officially categorised in that group of ‘Finns’ to which you alluded. At the very least, you were seperating Finns and Roma, something the police do NOT do in their statistics.

      It is a huge problem in Finland that ethnicity is not recorded in racist crime beyond the empty marker of ‘Finn’, as the discrimination against the Roma in Finland has effectively been hidden by this statistic. But anyone that studies this topic understands who it refers to!

      Not the gimp that is Farang! Better not tell the poor devil, his embarrassment would be awful! 😀

  3. Farang

    You stated that it was an outrageous lie that Roma were described as the most discriminated against. You claimed it was the group Finns. What you failed to tell people is that Roma are officially categorised in that group of ‘Finns’ to which you alluded. At the very least, you were seperating Finns and Roma, something the police do NOT do in their statistics.

    It was very clear form my post that as Finns I meant those Finns that don’t fall into any of those subcategories. Finns that are not part of any ethnic minorities.

    And you know this and you know you can’t counter argument that, therefore you try to twist with meaning of words again.

    Even when we separate Romas and other minorities, the white Finns are still the most discriminated group.

    • Mark

      Farang

      It was very clear form my post that as Finns I meant those Finns that don’t fall into any of those subcategories. Finns that are not part of any ethnic minorities.

      And yet it is impossible with the bald statistics to actually know what number of these ‘special’ Finns there were among the victims of hate crime. Or are you saying you have a magic crystal ball?

      The group ‘Finns’ as used by the police include Roma and almost certainly explaints the high number of racist attacks against ‘Finns’.

      Even when we separate Romas and other minorities, the white Finns are still the most discriminated group.

      Okay, time to cough up a source, please!

      Oh, and when you say ‘most discrimated’, is that per head of population or the highest number of attacks? It’s quite likely that per head of population would give a very different picture than taking the sheer number of cases. Or do you disagree?

    • Farang

      It has been shown that there are maximum of 1 discrimination cases per year towards romas, so there is no need to do any thorough comparison against finns.

    • Mark

      Farang

      It has been shown that there are maximum of 1 discrimination cases per year towards romas, so there is no need to do any thorough comparison against finns.

      hahahaha – living in cloud cuckoo land. Okay, source, Farang, you know that we do not take your word for anything. Same applies to us when we make a claim.

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