Migrant Tales launches a new series called kotoutuminen, or integration. Readers are encouraged to send their personal experiences, comments on integration programs, and policies. Send your comments and observations to [email protected] KOTOUTUMINEN #2 Kotoutuminen, or integration, functions in many ways like white fragility. It is a weapon and tool to subjugate newcomers and migrants who
Search Results for: white fragility
S. Ukkola’s colorblind racism, white fragility, expose a wider problem of Finnish society
Sanna Ukkola, a YLE journalist married to Matias Turkkila, the editor of the xenophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party publication Suomen Uutiset, not only exposes in a column colorblind racism* and white fragility, but wider issues about Finnish society on racism, ethnicity, and identity.
Does Ibrahim’s claim about Hepatitis B expose white fragility?
Migrant Tales published a story about Ibrahim’s* “voluntary” return to Iraq after coming to Finland in October 2015. While there were many that felt for Ibrahim’s case, some were more preoccupied with what he alleged, or that he contracted Hepatitis B when going to a Finnish dentist. In journalism, you run up against a lot
Thank you Abdirahim Husu Hussein for exposing white Finnish fragility
Social Democratic Party Helsinki city councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein tweeted that all the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and their supporters are racists. If you think of it, he has a point. The PS is not only an Islamophobic party, but it is also a far-right party as well. A PS councilperson from Nurmijärvi, Maiju Tapiolinna, filed charges
An incomplete study on the rise of the PS of Finland shrowded in white denial
Yle published Saturday, a study that tells us something we have known: The fear of losing one’s economic status is fuel for the rise of populist parties like the Perussuomnalaiset (PS). Hanna Wss, the researcher, states that the rise of populism in countries like Sweden, the United Kingdom (Brexit), and the election of President Donald
Exposing Finnish white privilege #67: Pirkka-Pekka Petelius’ apology exposes deep-rooted white Finnish supremacy
Helsingin Sanomat carried out a survey asking if Pirkka-Pekka Petelius did the right thing to apologize to the Saami for mocking them in a racist manner in the Hymyhuulet show (1987-88). The survey showed that 57% thought that Petelius was wrong to apologize, while only 29% said that he did the right thing; 14% had
Kotoutuminen* #6: The white Finnish teacher and the migrant adult child. Stop infantilizing!
Red lights should start flashing whenever a person teaching integration 101 to newly arrived migrants states: “These students are my children.” It is important to note, however, that there are many good and inspiring teachers who do wonders for their students and make them feel welcome. But for those who see their students as “children,”
Exposing white Finnish privilege #53: Why is our tolerance for racism at street level
When US President Donald Trump viciously attacked “The Squad” (Congresspersons Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar), when he told them to leave the country (see tweet below), there was dismay and outrage from politicians and other sectors of society. In Finland, a politician like Maiju Tapiolinna can tell a Helsinki city Councilperson,
White Finnish media story of the day: Sanna Ukkola ja huomiokipeitä kirjoituksia “sanavapaudesta”
En viitsi analysoida yksityiskohtaisesti Sanna Ukkolan viimeistä Yle-kolumnia “sananvapaudesta”, koska hän ampuu tykillä muurahaisia (siis vähemmistöjen edustajia) eikä vaikuta reilulta. Kannattaa muistaa, että Ukkola on perussuomalaisten Matias Turkkilan vaimo. Varmasti Ukkolalla kotona riittääkin puhetta Turkkilan kanssa maahanmuuttajista ja muista vähemmistöistä, onhan Turkkila perussuomalaisten Suomen Uutisten vastaava päätoimittaja. Ukkolan viimeisin kolumni on hyvä esimerkki siitä, kuinka
Finland’s speaker of parliament stokes the white Christian flames of “us” and “them”
Conservative National Coalition Party speaker of parliament, Paula Risikko, was quoted as saying in Senäjoki-based daily Ilkka that she is concerned about the role of Christians in Finland. “Was it easier before to be religious,” she was quoted as asking in Keskisuomalainen. “For example, it’s not as easy today to bring one’s religious views at
Maria Rittis Ikola: Imagine a world without white privilege
Maria Rittis Ikola* Imagine that white Finns like me weren’t able to speak over others in every medium available. Imagine a time when white people were not able to express their confusion and dismay over political correctness in prime spaces in Finnish newspapers, because nobody would let them. Imagine that racialised journalists didn’t have to
KOTOUTUMINEN #17: Cultural sensitivity deniers and silent support for institutional racism
Silence can be very revealing. It’s not what you say but what you do not say. Your inaction and silence in the face of racism, specifically against institutional racism, speaks volumes. This fact is one of the biggest challenges to Finland during this century. The outspoken racist is a danger, but the worst threat is
KOTOUTUMINEN #16: Schools should encourage pupils to be proud of their roots
One of the biggest challenges and shortfalls of Finland’s integration law is that it is one-sided: Here is a list of things you must do to adapt to our society. This aim is very general, and if you start to study it closer, you will find no answers. While language is essential, and Finland places
The worst racists of Finland
Wrong. I am not talking about people who post a lot of racist trash like from the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. I am specifically talking about those who claim to be against racism but are unwilling to challenge institutionalized racism and suffering, in many cases, from white fragility. Our system of institutional racism has so
Warnings and flashing red lights
In English, a snow job means a grand deception. Snow jobs happen year-round in Finland, irrespective of the season. The different excuses, arguments, and counterarguments to justify institutional racism are so common that we do not see them even if they are right under our noses. A good snow-job spotter and when red lights should
“The world’s happiest country” faces a labor and talent crunch
How is it possible that the world’s happiest country is suffering from a severe labor crunch? Here are some facts: the number of over-65-year-olds per 100 working-age people will rise from 39.2% to 47.3% in 2030; to plug its pensions deficit, Finland needs to double the level of migrants to 20,000-30,000 annually. In Europe’s most
KOTOUTUMINEN #15: Finland only promotes gender equality
An interesting video posted by a CaroxElMundo, who tells us in Spanish about her experiences about Finland, makes a very good observation: Finland promotes gender equality, but all other types of equality take a back seat. She makes a valid point. Finland has made a lot of progress in gender rights. There are still many
KOTOUTUMINEN #14: Disseminate and vanish
Remember back in the 1990s when Finland brought Vietnamese refugees and dispersed them like pepper throughout Finland? It appeared back then that the main goal of the migration authorities was to disseminate newcomers and make them vanish. One matter that this type of coercive assimilation aimed at doing was to ensure that these Vietnamese boat
KOTOUTUMINEN #13: There is no good Finnish word for inclusion just like with integration before
For decades, Finland has been such a far-flung country that it still does not have any good word for inclusion, never mind any willingness to promote it to newcomers. The same happened to the word “integration,” which became part of the Finnish language in the late-1990s. Those were the good old days when foreigners and
KOTOUTUMINEN #12: Integration is as easy as 1 + 1 = 2. NOT!
THE STORY WAS UPDATED Having taught many students about Finnish society for many years, two matters surprise me about this teaching line: Are the people giving these courses qualified and simple, 1 + 1 = 2, explanations to a complex matter as adaption. If the integration model is overly simplistic, treat it with tweezers because
Kotoutuminen #11: The teacher asks the student why Muslims kill people
A sixteen-year-old Muslim teenager was approached by her teacher and asked her why do Muslims kill people as we saw in France? I am certain that the question must have surprised and shocked the teenager. Why did the teacher ask her such a question about such an outlandish incident? Certainly, irrespective of his or her
Kotoutuminen #10: Misleading expectations that will keep you (dis)integrated
Many, if not most migrants who have moved to Finland, have heard the following claim: Learn the language, and presto you are integrated. While learning the language of your new homeland helps, it is only one of many things that will help you adapt to society. Erna Bödström’s dissertation, “Welcome to Fantasy Finland,” points out
Kotoutuminen* #9: Spreading half-truths about integration
If the learn-Finnish-and-you’re-integrated promise is misleading, so are many others spread by people who should know better. “The best way to eliminate racism is to get people to know each other,” goes the affirmation. It is like the claim that traveling opens your eyes to the world. After we do all these things, will we
Kotoutuminen* #8: Let’s do away with “us” and “them”
In many schools where there are people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, they may be asked to participate in “cultural events” where the pupils are obliged to represent their perceived country and or culture. Is this ok? Is the problem too much emphasis on “us” and “them?” One matter that gets lost or forgotten
Kotoutuminen* #7: How do we deal with our prejudices and exceptionalism?
One of the reasons why so many integration courses are a failure is because those teaching them to believe that teaching “culture” and “adaption” are simple matters that any person can do. Wrong. In 2008, I came up with this adaption guide for Russians who move to the Kymenlaakso region. Have perceptions changed since then?
Kotoutuminen #5: Perpetuating the Ulysses syndrome, a chronic stress disorder of refugees
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED You ask me my name. I shall tell you. My name is nobody and nobody is what everyone calls me. Odyssey, Song IX If a refugee suffers from fear, loneliness, enforced separation, a sense of despair and is struggling to survive in his new homeland, more salt is thrown on their
Kotoutuminen* #4: Amalgamate, assimilate is the rule, two-way adaption is a pipedream
In the ever exposed hypocrisy of Finland’s migrant integration program, it’s clear that two-way adaption is for the gullible. Do you believe in social fairy tales? I don’t. It is surprising why the Finnish school system has apparently done too little to look after children who are not white. As some studies reveal, schools are
Case Abdirahim Husu Hussein (again) and the racism of the Perussuomalaiset party
Helsinki City Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein has a lot of grit against racist parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and its band of followers. The latest incident proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the PS is a racist party. Hussein is a courageous politician who gets stronger with every racist death threat and harassment
Kotoutuminen #3: To touch or not to touch
Many times I wonder where people who work and assist asylum seekers and migrants get their cultural training. If you are a teacher, is it stated, for example, in the national curriculum, how cultural diversity is supposed to work in the classroom? If you are a social worker, how do you promote two-way adaption? These
Thank you, Hussein and Silvenoinen for exposing who the Perussuomalaiset are
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED It’s been a tough bubble-bursting July and August for Finland’s second-biggest party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* Helsinki city Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein tweeted that the party and supporters were racists, while history researcher Oula Silvenoinen reminded and called the PS a far-right party on television. Silvenoinen isn’t the only researcher
Perussuomalaiset a racist party? You bet!
A racist is an individual, always an individual, who does not like people based on race – must be conscious – and who intentionally seems to be mean to them. Robin DiAngelo, sociologist THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Using DiAngelo’s definition, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* their politicians, their voters, and followers are racists because through such a party
A danger to democracy
If there is one matter that US President Donald Trump’s self-coup has evidenced, it is the fragility of our democracy. This is also the case in Finland with the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, a pro-Trump radical right party that openly supports Trump. Some factors unite Finland with the United States. Finns have – incorrectly – said in
Abdirahim Husu Hussein claim about the Perussuomalaiset is a threat to the far-right party
DiAngelo’s definition of racism incriminates the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* with their hand in the racist cookie jar. The whole political message of the PS hinges on consciously being mean to people of color, especially Muslims and Somalis.