A rude message on a Center Party politician’s door

by , under Enrique

Abdirahim Husu Hussein, who is a Helsinki Center Party politician and hosts a popular radio talk show on YLE with Ali Jahangiri, his wife was the first to read a rude message written on their apartment door: “Binladen was here.”  

If I’d read something similar on my door,  I’d be pretty annoyed to say the least. Some people in our society still believe that they have the right to pry on people’s privacy and to insult their home in such a racist way.

32380_10201221021911484_1198852286_n

 

Abdirahim Husu Hussein’s family found the following message written on their door this morning: “Binladen was here.” He published the news on his Facebook page.

“I’m not too worried about what happened but my wife was and she encouraged me to file a complaint to the police,” he told Migrant Tales. “I don’t want to give too much importance to what happened because that is what these people want,  attention.”

Husu said that while similar types of messages have been written outside their apartment house before, it’s the first time that they have done it on their door.

It’s incredible how a few racists can effectively soil the good name of the Finns and Finland. If we are serious about defending our good name, we have to take a strong stand against racism and this type of harassment.

Migrant Tales wants to assure Husu and his loved ones that they’re not alone and that many people in this country are just as outraged by what happened as his family.

  1. Farang

    It’s incredible how a few racists can effectively soil the good name of the Finns and Finland. If we are serious about defending our good name, we have to take a strong stand against racism and this type of harassment.

    Quite bold statement from you to claim it was a finn who wrote it.

    • Mark

      And here is Farang once again casting doubt on the veracity of Finnish racism, even when presented with what to most sensible people is irrefutable proof!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Quite bold statement from you to claim it was a finn who wrote it.

      Did I state it was a Finn? I said that such writing soils the good name of Finns and Finland.

    • Mark

      Almost certainly was a Finn, Enrique, why beat about the bush here! It would be ridiculous that for every obviously racist/bigoted event committed anonymously in Finland that the first conclusion has to be ‘must have been done by a foreigner or immigrant living in Finland’. Can we call that political madness gone completely doo lally?

    • Klay_immigrant

      Why not a non-Muslim immigrant or person of immigrant background? How can you be so sure? Oh yeah ofcourse you can’t be, just showing your natural prejudice towards Finns Mark.

    • Mark

      Yeah, right!

      My kids are Finns, Klay. My wife’s a Finn. I have nothing against Finns.

      What I do have something against is people going to ridiculous lengths to dismiss any sign of racism in Finland.

    • Klay_immigrant

      Show me a country where there is no racism at all? There doesn’t exist one and there will never be one either because just like theft or drink driving people will always do them even though they’ve been told many times it’s wrong and against the law.

      The question should be is the extent of racism and how widespread it is, not if it exists at all because then every country is guilty of that. In the case of Finland it’s not a problem or a major concern. That doesn’t mean there aren’t isloated instances of racism but they are the exception and not the norm in Finnish society.

    • Mark

      Klay

      Show me a country where there is no racism at all? There doesn’t exist one and there will never be one either because just like theft or drink driving people will always do them even though they’ve been told many times it’s wrong and against the law.

      Klay, you really should stop commenting about things of which you are completely ignorant. There is also a complete irony in you using drink driving as an example. In the ten years from 1995 to 2005, drink driving deaths actually INCREASED in Finland, while in Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic, drink driving deaths have been declining at more than 10% a year. Why are Czech and Germany so much better? I’ll tell you – zero tolerance for drink driving. Czech you cannot drive legally with any alcohol. Germany is the same for commercial drivers/public transport and novice, probationary drivers. The ingredients for reducing drink driving deaths? Effective limits, proper enforcement and publicity.

      Now imagine if people took the attitude you take – well, you will never stop racism….

      Or imagine that Finnish society would properly enforce anti-discrimination laws and publicise anti-racism. Perhaps we would see a similar improvement in racism in Finland, no?

      The question should be is the extent of racism and how widespread it is, not if it exists at all because then every country is guilty of that.

      More bollocks. First it is extremely difficult to measure rates of racism and statistics are generally open to massive abuse in terms of interpretation, either in underplaying racism, or overplaying racism in minority groups (as if it were a league table). If statistics reveal a ‘low’ level of racism, then it’s all too easy for society to be complacent, like you are being with drink driving deaths. The fact is that ‘any racism’ is reason for society to work to improve the situation for those who are the victims and to tackle the obvious political and social causes, i.e. poverty, deprivation and political ignorance or opportunism.

      In the case of Finland it’s not a problem or a major concern.

      Not a problem or not a concern? Or ‘a major problem but not a concern’?

      Fact is that racism is has been very little researched in Finland, especially by international standards. Likewise, much of the work of the researchers stays within the confines of ‘subscription-only’ journals, available only to academics. So unless you are an academic, Klay, my guess is that you haven’t a clue about racism issues in Finland beyond your own experience, which makes any conclusions that you care to share not that particularly useful.

    • Farang

      Enrique

      Did I state it was a Finn? I said that such writing soils the good name of Finns and Finland.

      Why would you say that? Why would that soil name of Finns and Finland? I don’t see it that way. That text in no way soils the name of Finns and Finland.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –That text in no way soils the name of Finns and Finland.

      In my book racism is a shameful thing. When certain groups go overboard, like the Germans in WW2, the stigma of racism and anti-Semitism follows them around many decades after the crimes were committed. In the United States and in Europe, there is a thing called the white man’s burden.

      So answering you question: Yes, I believe that racism soils the good name of the Finns and Finland.

    • Farang

      Mark

      Almost certainly was a Finn, Enrique, why beat about the bush here!

      Interesting that just couple of days back you were saying how it’s a bad thing if ethnicity of the perpetrator is mentioned in news. But now you are eager to blame Finns for this even when nobody yet knows who it was.

      Obviously you think it is good thing to cencor the ethnicity only in cases where perpetrator is a muslim or dark skinned person.

      But if the perpetrator is white, then you have no problem if ehtnicity is mentioned 😀

      Who’s the hypocrate 😀

    • Mark

      Farang

      Obviously you think it is good thing to cencor the ethnicity only in cases where perpetrator is a muslim or dark skinned person.

      So, you want me to censor all information on ethnicity from racist crimes? That’s your usual two-brain-cells contribution to this debate!

    • Farang

      Enrique

      So answering you question: Yes, I believe that racism soils the good name of the Finns and Finland.

      Are you really that blind to your own ignorance?

      You put the blame on Finns and Finland even when you don’t know who did it. And even if it was a finn, how can you collectively put the blame to all finns and Finland?

      You are doing exactly same as what some people are doing when they blame all immigrants of the act of one individual.

      You are exactly the same as the people you claim to be fighting against, Enrique.

    • Farang

      Mark

      So, you want me to censor all information on ethnicity from racist crimes? That’s your usual two-brain-cells contribution to this debate!

      What makes you so sure this is a racist act?

      Is it the name Bin Laden, which makes you think so? What if it had read “Timo Soini was here”? Would you then consider it a racist act?

      Or is the the name on the door? If the name on the door was Virtanen, would you consider this a racist act?

      How come you immediately assume racism when a foreigner or just a foreigner name is involved? Doesn’t this tell us a bit of you own attitudes? This is exactly what I have said many times: You use people’s ethnicity and origins to decide how you relate to them. You treat people and situations differently based on the ethnic background of the people involved.

      That is racist, Mark. No matter how you try to twist it, you and Enrique demonstrate racism with your own actions here in Migrant Tales. How do you expect to fight racism and get rid of racism, if you constantly act racist yourself?

      Could you please put some thought in what I just said?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Is it the name Bin Laden, which makes you think so? What if it had read “Timo Soini was here”? Would you then consider it a racist act?

      What about if a German lived at Husu’s home and we’d write “Adolf Hitler lives here?” What about if a Finn lived there and you wrote “A drunk lives here?” These are all racist stereotypes of national groups.

      Smell the coffee! Get with it, Farang!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Do you believe that the following statement below is correct by MP James Hirvisaari, who is a known anti-immigration PS hothead who has been sentenced for ethnic agitation?

      “Normal Finns are generally quite friendly and tolerant of diversity as long as they [immigrants] keep an appropriate distance [from Finns] and behave accordingly. Finns don’t need to be taught or “educated” about these things.” Source: blog entry 263, http://jameshirvisaari.com/

      What is a “normal” Finn? Does Hirvisaari consider himself to be in that group? Do “normal” Finns get into politics because they are xenophobic and racist?

      If Hirvisaari is such a “tolerant” person who doesn’t need any guidance on how to adapt to a culturally diverse society, why does he believe that Muslims and immigrants are a threat to Finland and why was he sentenced for ethnic agitation?

    • Mark

      Farang

      If the name on the door was Virtanen, would you consider this a racist act?

      Yes, of course, because having the name of an international Arab terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths is just no different to having the name Virtanen on the door!!!

      Is there no end to your sophistry?

      Doesn’t this tell us a bit of you own attitudes?

      Yes, it tells people that unlike you, I have not sacrificed all sense of reality just to deny that racism exists in Finland.

      You treat people and situations differently based on the ethnic background of the people involved.

      Bullshit. I couldn’t give a fuck whether it was a Finn, a Russian or a Mongolian that wrote that message, it is still an insulting and racist message that was intended to harm the individuals living inside that dwelling just because they had a Muslim name and Arab on the door. You don’t give a fuck about that, preferring instead to play stupid fucking games as to whether it was racist or not and comparing it to any other fucking grafitti. You add insult to injury, Farang, and it’s ignorant twats like you that give Finland a bad name!

      That is racist, Mark. No matter how you try to twist it,

      Up to your old tricks again, eh. Anyone that dares to stand up for Abdullah and the hundreds or thousands of other victims of racism in Finland is in turn denounced as a ‘racist’ themselves, because they dare to see ‘ethnicity’ in the insults PAINTED ONTO THEIR FRONT DOORS. You are a neoNazi propogandist, Farang.

      Could you please put some thought in what I just said?

      Your idea about my racism rests entirely on the notion that I treat people differently based on their enthnicity, and yet have not been able to demonstrate that in any way. In fact, what the fuck would even motivate you to do that in a situation where I am clearly standing up for someone who has been a victim of hate speech? Why would you do it if it isn’t just to try to discredit any kind of critic of racism in Finland?

      Keep doing this Farang and you illustrate for our audience exactly the nature of the problem in Finland. Exactly!

    • Farang

      Yes, of course, because having the name of an international Arab terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths is just no different to having the name Virtanen on the door!!!

      If there was a finn living in that apartment with finnish name on the door, would you still consider the text bin laden as racist?

    • Mark

      Farang

      I am not going to entertain your sophistry any longer. Go discuss with yourself. Go make up stories about how racist we are. Go tell yourself that you are defending free speech.

      All the while, those words will stare out of the photograph as a testimony to the racism and bigotry that exists in Finland.

    • Farang

      Yes, dodge the question. you dont want to answer because you would reveal your racism against finns.

      Did it ever occur to you that the writer could as possibly be someone like you who would like everyone to believe that there is racism?

      Like that member of parliament in Sweden who sent those hate mails and forged them so that they looked like they were sent by nazis 😀 But that idiot was caught.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Yes, dodge the question. you dont want to answer because you would reveal your racism against finns.

      Do you know how many times we’ve been accused of being racist against Finns? Why don’t you surprise us and show a new accusation.

  2. Klay_immigrant

    As an Englishman Mark haven’t you watched ‘East is East’? Just because your wife is a native and your children are born and raised in a certain country doesn’t mean you have to like the country. That’s the beauty of multiculturalism you can live in your own foreign cultural bubble in a country you despise.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Nice one Klay, “foreign cultural bubble.”

      If you feel that you are such a good example for others to emulate, could you tell us how you are integrating into Finnish culture? What are doing right in your opinion?

    • Klay_immigrant

      That’s a very open ended question Enrique. You have to be more specific otherwise I could easily write a multiple page essay on how I’ve adapted and succeeded.

      It’s an ongoing process that never stops as there is always new things to learn or immerse yourself in. The problem is my method is exactly the opposite of what you advocate and if I followed your advice I would have struggled and probably have left Finland as a consequence.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      How have you adapted to Finland, Klay? Simple question, no?

      I have lived on and off in Finland for the past 34 years. During this time I have fed myself, raised a family and never been unemployed. I have succeeded and survived in Finland.

      How long have you lived here? Two years? But who knows, maybe you know better than I how to adapt to Finland. That’s why I asked you a simple question: What is your recipe for success?

    • Mark

      I’m not an Englishman Klay!

      And for the record, I love Finland and the vast majority of Finns that I have met have been decent people. But that doesn’t stop some of them being racist. You can be a decent person in most respects and still be a racist, and even think it’s perfectly normal to be that way, even. I also have friends who are PS voters, so it’s not a case of being rabidly political that I would never class a PS voter as a friend. One of my best Finnish friends is a PS voter. I wouldn’t say he’s a racist, he is a gypsy after all, but he does tend to spout the party line when it comes to immigration.

      But for all that I like Finns, I do know that there is a lot of open racism in Finland. I’ve seen it and heard it, especially when I was teaching adults, where it came up often in classes with Finns. That’s just my experience. But my openness to seeing the racism issue here in Finland pales into comparison with the experiences of those people who have actually experienced it, sometimes on a daily basis.

      You don’t seem to even begin to understand the issue, Klay, which certainly makes me curious as to your position within Finnish society.

  3. Farang

    Enrique

    Normal Finns are generally quite friendly and tolerant of diversity as long as they [immigrants] keep an appropriate distance [from Finns] and behave accordingly.

    This is once again an intentional mistranslation.

    What Hirvisaari said was that people in Finland are used to keeping so called comfortable distance to other people, except when the person is your friend or other close person. You can see this phenomenon in bus or metro for example. Some people rather stand that go sit next to unknown person. Here’s a good example of the “comfortable distance”: http://d2tq98mqfjyz2l.cloudfront.net/image_cache/128957499142090.jpeg

    You translated it like Hirvisaari would have said that immigrants should stay within a distance from Finns, which is totally incorrect. Did you do it on purpose to make Hirvisaari look like racist?

  4. Juudo

    when my car was messed up with a graffiti 15 times bigger than this one, I called my friend to help me wipe it off. It took 15 minutes and then I drove on.

    Do you think I should have called the police, the newspapers and internet blogs instead?

    • Mark

      Juudo

      When my car windscreen was smashed by a stone, I didn’t think it was anything to do with the fact I am a foreigner. Kids messing around in the car park, throwing stones, my car was the unlucky one to get the stone (found it on the ground, quite small).

      In your situation, I too would have washed off the graffiti and not thought much of it. But when the graffiti or the damage is quite clearly related to your ethnicity, then clearly it has a different meaning, and yes, the media, the police and the community at large should be aware of how foreigners are being treated in Finland.

      Your alternative of turning a blind eye diminishes the importance and significance of racist crime. That is in itself a moral failure and a failure to work to ensure proper cohesiveness in our society.

      I expect that there is some line in the sand that you would draw about how much injury you will take, either emotionally or financially before you decide to approach the police or to make other people aware of your loss? It is the reporting of crime that helps to keep crime low. How can the police act if no-one reports anything? If no-one reported crime, and the media took no interest in it, then it would be rampant!

      Why do you think racist crime should be treated any differently? Of course it should be reported. It should be taken seriously as well. It is more than just ‘graffiti’! Why would you close your eyes to that? Why is there this constant denial, denial, denial in Finland about the harm that comes from racism?

  5. Juudo

    no, I did not pursue a racist agenda, though the most potential abusers would have been the Turkish people who without exception terrorized half of the neighbourhood.

    Lack of evidence and so on made me run away.

    Perhaps this is a racist crime or may be the perpetrator took the wrong door. Should we call Yle to get the truth?

    • Mark

      Didn’t pursue a racist agenda, but clearly had one all the same!

  6. ALWILBGOOD

    Klay_immigrant is fake. And me think he is a bit mental. Last time me responded his post i asked him to get help. Me think whatever therapy he got didnt do any good. Hey Klay hows your phd job going. Get real kaly and stop being coward

  7. Juudo

    Didn’t pursue a racist agenda, but clearly had one all the same!

    we live in a scary era Mark. I think this is a nightmare to witness. And this all will have serious consequenzes.

    • Mark

      I see you have bought into the Far Right’s narrative of despair and social upheaval. How old are you Juudo?

  8. Juudo

    I see you have bought into the Far Right’s narrative of despair and social upheaval. How old are you Juudo?

    I have seen what is going on in the society. It was a good remark, the rhetoric is similar here to what was going on in nazi germany, said a researcher.

    How do you count your age Mark, in case you do not know the number by heart?

    I have to do it that way, start counting from my year of birth, then the month then the day…

  9. Juudo

    I have seen what is going on in the society. It was a good remark, the rhetoric is similar here to what was going on in nazi germany, said a researcher.

    How do you count your age Mark, in case you do not know the number by heart?

    I have to do it that way, start counting from my year of birth, then the month then the day…

    need abacus Mark?

    • Mark

      Why would I need an abacus to count something that you yourself have obviously decided to put beyond my reach – i.e. your age. My guess is you are one end of the spectrum or the other. That’s where despair tends to take hold most easily!

  10. Juudo

    Why would I need an abacus to count something that you yourself have obviously decided to put beyond my reach – i.e. your age. My guess is you are one end of the spectrum or the other. That’s where despair tends to take hold most easily!

    I am still counting.

    You did not answer yet Mark, how do you count?

    • Farang

      Yes he has. He has made clear the point that minorities usually blame racism for all the negative happenings.

      That kind of writing could happen to anybody, it’s only immigrants who thinks it happens because they are immigrants.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Yes he has. He has made clear the point that minorities usually blame racism for all the negative happenings.

      Come on Farang nobody is suggesting that everything that goes wrong is due to racism. You seem to suggest that racism is such a small problem that it doesn’t even exist in Finland.

  11. Juudo

    you should soften down a little, you can see that the toxic climate we have in the society is not improving with your harsh input

    • Mark

      My harshness is aimed at people who seek to scapegoat some of society’s most vulnerable people. Simple. You are adding nothing and your personal baiting of me doesn’t make up for that fact. You are trolling. End of.

    • Mark

      Toxic climate? I don’t see it. If you mean social problems – well, time to wake up, all societies have social problems and tensions of one kind or another. It is also possible to increase those tensions and to get different groups, whether ethnic or political, to start fighting each other. Finland has its own history of this particular kind of social strife – reds and whites?

      So, what evidence do you have for this ‘toxic climate’ Juudo? You talk about anti-racists discussing racism without ‘evidence’, and yet you present a very dire and ‘toxic’ description of society and yet I haven’t seen a shred of evidence. I’m sure there are problems. No doubt about it. But at what point do you ‘condemn’ a society as ‘toxic’?

      I deleted your comment about my sex life, Juudo. I’m thinking now that perhaps I shouldn’t have, because it reveals just how low some people are prepared to go. Perhaps you were just baiting, but it is interesting that for someone like me who speaks out against racism, I am attacked in such macho-bullshit terms as you used, like ‘he’s obviously not getting enough’. And you think I write like a 15-year old?

      When you first started writing here in recent days, I genuinely wanted to understand why you felt despair. That is why I asked about your age, because the despair of a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old are quite different in character. Perhaps you are closer to middle-age, I don’t know. But I was curious to try to get a handle on where your sense of despair was coming from. That is why I asked about your age – not to pull rank or to get one up on you. But you decided instead to play games and get abusive over it. Fine.

      The possibility is here for you to have an open debate, but it is fast diminishing. I take as my starting point the things that YOU write. I respond to that. If you want to go ahead and label me an ‘anti-racist’ and dump all your ‘despair’ and ‘toxicity’ at my door without explaining anything about it, providing any evidence, or engaging in any kind of debate, then there is nowhere for this discussion to go…nowhere. You came here with your ‘despair’ and you will leave with exactly that same sense of despair!

      For me, it is not a surprise that you use words like this. Not because I believe that the situation really is that bad. Like I said, the ‘narrative of despair’ is a well-known feature of extremist politics and radicalisation and indeed it can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy if pursued with determination and with numbers.

      Also, it is only when people think that society is on the brink of a disaster that they will personally choose to become ‘political’. Among the BNP in England, it is very common for personal conversations among members to involve simply swapping ‘horror’ stories about the horrible effects of blacks, foreigners etc coming to the country. But this swapping of ‘anecdotal evidence’ leaves everyone with a tangible sense of despair – they are left staring into their beers. But is it real, or is it just an easy way for men to ‘bond’ over a pint and a shared ‘enemy’?

  12. Juudo

    yes, I just want to tell you that anti-racism propaganda wihtout evidence increases intolerance. And polarising

    How anti-racism lessons INCREASE pupil intolerance by ‘causing animosity to other cultures

    Children who are given anti-racism lessons in school are more likely to be intolerant outside the classroom, a major study found yesterday.

    • Mark

      Juudo

      yes, I just want to tell you that anti-racism propaganda wihtout evidence increases intolerance. And polarising

      What on earth do you mean by ‘anti-racism propoganda’? I guess you pick and choose on that one, don’t you?! And what do you mean by ‘without evidence’? Does that mean that anecdotal stories are dismissed, personal stories are likewise dismissed as ‘lone voices’?

      How anti-racism lessons INCREASE pupil intolerance by ‘causing animosity to other cultures

      You state this as if it is a fait de complete and all such ‘lessons’ should stop. Increase pupil intolerance in what way? Does it make views more visible or does it actually change views? WHAT kind of ‘anti-racism lesson’? Some lessons, all lessons? What is the mechanism by which this ‘intolerance’ inceases? When you say intolerance increases, what do you mean by intolerance? Is this a short-term increase or a long-term increase?

      What you are presenting is so lacking in any kind of analytical depth or objectivity that it is clear to me that you are presenting not ‘evidence’ or even ‘an argument’, but a closed opinion supported by some notion that there is ‘evidence’ that proves you are right. Come on, Juudo, you can do better than that – you have obviously set the bar high for yourself, so time to deliver. Otherwise, you really are just another troll on this website!

    • Mark

      Okay, so here are some of the answers to the questions that I asked:

      The kind of ‘anti-racism’ lesson that can increase ‘animosity’ is accusing white pupils of racism. I’m not surprised that this would raise animosity and it certainly isn’t the only approach to teaching anti-racism. Indeed, the report concluded that the simplified ‘victim-perpetrator view’ of ethnic tension is inadequate, and I think most people would agree. However, I would also say that this ‘them and us’, or ‘good guys vs. bad guys’ way to talking about culture is being made much worse by anti-immigrationists and politicians who exploit immigration. They are pushing exactly this kind of narrative that creates the feeling of animosity.

      Also, being ‘accused’ of being a racist is likely to be unpleasant, especially if you consider yourself to be quite tolerant. But the difficulty is that many people do not see their intolerance and often think themselves ‘reasonable’ people regardless. The same applies to other kinds of prejudice like gender bias. It is also possible that animosity is not the only reaction or result. A student may be resentful of being accused of holding ‘racist’ beliefs and expectations, even without realising it, but that resentfulness may result in them paying more attention to their own attitudes and thereby reducing their implicit racism. Also, it doesn’t make sense that a person feels resentment at what a teacher is telling them, but rather than resent the teacher, they resent the class of people about which the teacher talks. That doesn’t seem right.

      The study was based on a pupil survey. So when we ask ‘what lessons’, we are not actually told, and we cannot connect those lessons directly to the attitudes, i.e. that the lessons are causing the attitudes. This is a cross-sectional study, so no causal relationships can be claimed.

      It also asked about different kinds of anti-racism teaching, but it doesn’t tell us if the pupils have an accurate view of that teaching or if the view of what was taught was already coloured by the pupils views. Pupils were 14 and 15-year-olds, so it is of course certain that they will have already formed quite strong views by this age.

      It said that discussing sensitive ethnic concerns such as honour killings paints minority group children in a bad light. I think this is true up to a point, but this is actually discussing anti-immigration propoganda that already exists within society and of course it PAINTS MINORITIES IN A BAD LIGHT, that’s the whole point of discussing it. By that argument, you would never discuss racism, because that racism paints minorities in a bad light! I’m afraid as an argument, that is totally inadequate!

      The survey said children who live in mixed neighbourhoods are often free of hostility towards other racial groups. Now why didn’t you report that fact Juudo? So the people who had the highest amounts of intolerance were those with the least experience of multiculturalism! Surprise surprise!

      I’m pretty sure that you got this story from the Daily Mail in the UK. They end their story with this comment:

      ‘Pupils are being accused of things they haven’t thought or done. Multiculturalism attempts to manipulate children’s thoughts, beliefs and emotions, it amounts to indoctrination, and it doesn’t work. It is counter-productive.

      I think this is quite familiar, even from discussions here on MT, where we have talked about implicit racism, the racist attitudes that we are simply not aware of. My guess is that teachers are trying to get at the idea of ‘privilege’, and this is notoriously difficult to explain. No-one wants to take responsiblity. A very similar problem exists in the gender argument. Men who are not themselves violent resent being told that they are in any way responsible for other men that are violent. And yet it is ‘masculinity’, which is the narrative of gender relations, that causes the problem, and all men in some way contribute to reproducing this narrative, as do most women. Taking responsibility for the stories that we tell about the kind of people we are supposed to be is difficult. It appears all too easily that ‘no-one’ is responsible, except the most obvious persons that act out on that narrative’s most distasteful aspects.

      This is not an easy thing to teach. But it surprises me that the idea is that the teacher is standing there ‘accusing’ everyone of being a racist. Perhaps the teacher is saying that we all indulge in racial stereotyping and that this is a form or racism. In which case, that is not so bad. Why would it cause such resentment as described? And why is that resentment then directed at people of different ethnicities?

      The problem with this study is that it really doesn’t get at the detail of what is being taught and how. How can we form a proper judgment about it or the quality or effectiveness of it? Lumping all teaching and lesson into one basket and saying ‘rotten’ is ridiculous and unnecessary.

      Also, importantly, this Daily Mail article is saying that ‘multiculturalism attempts to manipulate children’. So, Multiculturalism stands in the classroom with a big stick telling the kid what to think? I don’t think so. This is a ridiculous notion of multiculturalism and a very sinister distortion of the study’s methodology and even the teaching curriculum. Not surprising from such an historically racist paper as the Daily ‘hate’ Mail.

      It is teachers that ‘manipulate’ children, not multiculturalism. Attempting to making ‘multiculturalism’ into some kind of manipulative and sinister ideology is plainly false. Multiculturalism is simply the fact of different ethnicities being part of the same society. That is not an ideology. If there is an ‘ideology’ that underpins the education, it is the ideology of tolerance. This is the belief that children must be prepared for the world, the good the bad and the horrible. In the category or horrible is ‘racism’. It seems naive at best to think that schools are to prepare children to live in society and yet not deal with any of the difficult issues that societies have faced.

      ‘This study shows that when people try to manipulate children’s minds, it bounces back on them.’

      That this is presented by the Daily Mail as the take-away idea from this study is itself horribly bigoted. I say that because only a person with their own ‘anti-multiculturalism’ agenda would come to this conclusion. At the very worst, we would say that this study raises questions about the best way to teach children about racism. It also raises questions about how to teach about different ethnicities and bigotry in areas where there is greater homogeneity, as the simple lack of contact can make the subject very difficult and awkward. It can also make subsequent contacts between cultures likewise awkward. But kids will if they haven’t already, come up against negative racial steretyping.

      We have discussed here on MT whether there is too much emphasis in talk of ethnicities and multiculturalism on ‘differences’ and not enough emphasis on shared values. An anthropologist very quickly learns to step back from their own society and understand that the ‘normal’ is actually just a variation on a theme, often a theme that has universal representation in different cultures. In my view, it is this perspective on culture that we should attempt to cultivate in pupils. Not as a means of undermining their own cultural identity, but just a sufficient ‘loosening’ of the cultural ‘glasses’ so that we can see the world in ‘different colours’ too.

      The issue of shared or not shared values is a problem not of ‘multicultures’, but of all ‘cultures’. Indeed, it is a ‘human’ problem that people have different value systems, or seemingly different, or similar values, but very different ideas about how those values are to be realised. Let’s not turn ‘multiculturalism’ into a scapegoat for all of society’s problems and challenges.

  13. Juudo

    Dutch study finds discussing sensitive ethnic concerns can be counter-productive
    Education Secretary Michael Gove under fire over plans to stop teaching teenagers about multicultural topics

    • Mark

      Again, this leaves far too many questions unanswered. And it is such an important issue that it cannot be left at this level of understanding, even among the general public. Everything about education would tell us that if you teach children the horrors of history, they would be LESS likey to repeat it, so what is going wrong here? Without proper answers and a proper appraisal of the study by fellow educationalists, this Dutch study is being used purely as a propoganda tool by anti-multiculturalists.

  14. Juudo

    Again, this leaves far too many questions unanswered. And it is such an important issue that it cannot be left at this level of understanding, even among the general public. Everything about education would tell us that if you teach children the horrors of history, they would be LESS likey to repeat it, so what is going wrong here? Without proper answers and a proper appraisal of the study by fellow educationalists, this Dutch study is being used purely as a propoganda tool by anti-multiculturalists.

    Mark, what do you expect of people you start insulting personally?

    • Mark

      Juudo

      Mark, what do you expect of people you start insulting personally?

      In the most recent exchange between us, my first reply to you was:

      Juudo

      When my car windscreen was smashed by a stone, I didn’t think it was anything to do with the fact I am a foreigner. Kids messing around in the car park, throwing stones, my car was the unlucky one to get the stone (found it on the ground, quite small).

      In your situation, I too would have washed off the graffiti and not thought much of it. But when the graffiti or the damage is quite clearly related to your ethnicity, then clearly it has a different meaning, and yes, the media, the police and the community at large should be aware of how foreigners are being treated in Finland.

      Your alternative of turning a blind eye diminishes the importance and significance of racist crime. That is in itself a moral failure and a failure to work to ensure proper cohesiveness in our society.

      I expect that there is some line in the sand that you would draw about how much injury you will take, either emotionally or financially before you decide to approach the police or to make other people aware of your loss? It is the reporting of crime that helps to keep crime low. How can the police act if no-one reports anything? If no-one reported crime, and the media took no interest in it, then it would be rampant!

      Why do you think racist crime should be treated any differently? Of course it should be reported. It should be taken seriously as well. It is more than just ‘graffiti’! Why would you close your eyes to that? Why is there this constant denial, denial, denial in Finland about the harm that comes from racism?

      This was a perfectly reasonable response.

      Your reply was:

      no, I did not pursue a racist agenda, though the most potential abusers would have been the Turkish people who without exception terrorized half of the neighbourhood.

      I had not accused you of pursuing a racist agenda. I had pointed out various questions that arose from your post. You then replied with an obvious and blatantly racist remark about Turkish people.

      We then moved on to the issue of ‘despair’ and my attempt to get at why you had bought into this narrative. The ‘age’ thing came up and rather than answer my question, you decided to be rather vague and obtuse talking about forgetting your age and asking me how you are supposed to count it. And so on. You then go on to declare that I am in fact 15 years old! When it becomes clear that I am not 15 years old, you ask me why I write like a 15 year old!

      Up until this point, the most critical thing I have said about you is that you were being obtuse, which I think is a fair adjective for your talk of abacuses and how do you count your age.

      After this insult about my writing, I called you a jerk. And I cannot pretend that I have had any positive feelings towards you after that. You brought it on yourself with your crass remarks and insulting my ability to write. YOU chose to reduce it to the level of personal insult. You did that all on your own and without any help. So stop fucking whining about it that I called you a jerk for doing so. When I see this is your approach, then I am not going to start being all ‘nice’ just to make you like me.

      What I wrote in answer to you above about the Dutch study was a fair and detailed response to your claims. I’m not sure you deserved the response, but instead of responding like a fucking grown up, you start on about being ‘insulted personally’. Well, I’ll tell you something Juudo, being told that you write like a 15-year-old when you are middle aged man is being insulted personally.

      So stop being a jerk or your email WILL be added to the ‘troll’ list. I think you can take this as fair warning!

  15. Juudo

    You started with personal insults Mark.

    I do not miss people who are, who get intolerant and angry as the article suggested when doing anti-racism work. You can stick up my email wherever you want, I won’t suffer a personal loss at any cost if you do so.

    • Mark

      By the way, Juudo, I think we really should be intolerant of prejudice. The irony is that many people get angry about immigration and immigrants ‘getting something for nothing’, being scapegoated and made into political capital even though they themselves have very little political representation, and that is supposed to be acceptable, that everyone MUST listen to this public anger, as if this self-righteous bitterness and grievance was utterly valid. And yet, when someone dares to get even a little emotional or passionate about the abuse of these vulnerable people, then dicks like you start accusing us of being ‘intolerant’. Well, I am intolerant of statements like you made about Turks. And yes, I am angry when you suggest that ‘anti-racism’ work doesn’t work and you don’t stop to think for a second why that would appear to be the case or to question it to any extent, preferring to quote ‘evidence’ from a well-known racist newspaper’s twisted interpretation of multiculturalism. If you had read the research, and not that bastardisation of it done by the Daily Mail, you would have heard the researchers say this:

      Unconstructive approaches to discrimination and racism (e.g. a one-sided offender–victim approach) could also be considered as non-support.

      They are very clear that there are positive approaches to teaching about discrimination and racism. And as far as the lessons given in the schools that were surveyed, they also say this:

      Further research regarding the contents of the multicultural curriculum must be done before reliable recommendations concerning multiculturalism (in) lessons can be made.

      Yet if you trawl the Internet hate sites this month you can see them all gloating over this study as if it was the ‘Golden Lamb’. When people hear what they want to hear, they all too often block their ears to any further discussion. That’s not how I think. And that’s not how people should think. We are far too lazy in our thinking when it comes to subjects that concretely affect the wellbeing of minorities in our society.

      So, yes, I will continue to get angry. I’m not a teacher in a classroom and I assume the people that read this blog’s comments are adults capable of seperating out what is fake outrage and what is and should be of genuine concern to all of us. The victims of racism are innocent people. The crime is committed by the ‘society’ in which they live if that society turns a blind eye or practices endless denial about the realities of living with prejudice and stigma.

      Society has made enormous strides in this respect in the last 30 or 40 years, but that can easily be undone by a new generation who are missing ‘the lesson’ and are instead being fed on grievance politics stirred up by Far Right groups who have no interest in welfare politics or even the notion of Nordic equality. They fail to understand the basis through which the entire Nordic region has become a beacon of civility and progress throughout the world. They want to turn the clock back.

      So, you might not suffer ‘personal loss’ if you are banned from this site for trolling, but other people DO suffer because of statements that you make, like the one you made about Turks. YOU are causing harm to other people in our society for no other reason than you refuse to understand or apply the lesson that ‘one bad apple does NOT make the whole barrel rotten’. Ethnicity or nationality is NOT a barrel of apples. People are individuals and they deserve the dignity of being treated equally positively within society.

  16. Mark

    It’s in black and white above. I get angry when dicks like you start slagging off Turks saying racist things like ‘Turks without exception were terrorising people’. You lost my respect at that point, but even then my remarks were civil. I called it as I saw it. But from then on you tried to make it personal. You have done nothing but troll this site. Goodbye!