Abde Hussein shows there is more than one way to put racism on the defensive

by , under Enrique

There’s more than one way to put intolerance on the defensive. Abde Hussein wrote on Thursday an encounter he had with a young unemployed white Finn, who said in public that he was a “monkey” and “living off welfare.” A discussion ensued but to make a long story short, the young white Finn turned out to be the monkey (no insult intended to these primates).  

Without getting hot under the collar, Hussein turned the insults hurled at him against the young man, who was ignorant of Finnish grammar, unemployed and living off welfare.

The encounter, published on Abde Hussein’s Facebook wall, has attracted over 9,440 “likes” and 1,565 votes.

Just like Ricky Ghansah’s encounter with a racist, who insulted him at a bus stop but forced him to apologize in public after paying his bus ticket, Hussein’s posting shows that we can beat the crude racists at their own game.

If there were a school to learn how a social ill like intolerance happens in our society, Ghansah’s and Hussein’s cases would be discussed in the elementary course.

Exposing intolerance in the intermediate and advanced levels of the course, however, would be more complicated.

At the advanced level, you’d study institutional racism, politicians, public officials and common people expressing their intolerance but in such a way that it is difficult to make out. At this level you learn that intolerance exists because there is a system that is maintained by our prejudices and fear of losing power and privilege.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-9-29 kello 9.02.38


This post on Abde Hussein’s Facebook wall had over 9,440 “likes” on Sunday.

Just like social media brought some Perussuomalaiset (PS) politicians  to the attention of the media and public before the 2011 parliamentary elections, we can beat intolerance with the same tools.

While there may be many ways  to beat a social ill at its own game, silence is one method we should avoid at all costs.

If financial market suffer from bursting bubbles, like we saw with the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy of 2008, so do political bubbles fed by xenophobia, anti-immigration and populism.

Political bubbles burst when we discover they are based on the opportunistic hype of politicians.

Hussein’s posting encourages us to believe that Finland’s darkest period in modern times isn’t invincible.

Thank you Amir Hassan for the heads-up.

  1. Klay_immigrant

    -“A discussion ensued but to make a long story short, the young white Finn turned out to be the monkey (no insult intended to these primates).”

    So if you get called an insult the way to be the moral superior is to label that person the same insult? Hmmm and I thought we were out of kindergarten. Kind of like your hero Muhammad Ali calling Joe Frazier a gorilla numerous times before their fights to the laughter of liberals like yourself.

    What is the point of these stories put on Facebook? What will it achieve? Anyone can make up anything they want without any sort of verification to look good and dignified.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –What is the point of these stories put on Facebook? What will it achieve?

      It empowers people and is a very effective response against people who are challenged to live in a culturally diverse society.

      Klay, the big difference I noticed in Los Angeles after the Civil Rights movement came to an end was a totally different way of interacting with blacks. It was shameful to be a racist. How did that happen? By marches and by demanding one’s rights not be patronizing with those that loathe you.

      Great leaders came out of those days: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Emmet Till just to name a few. There path would have never been cleared without famous abolitionists like Fredrick Douglass, John Brown, William Lloyd, W.E.B. DuBois and many others.

      What would you have personally told these people who sacrificed their lives to rid the US of slavery and a Jim Crow system? Would you tell them not to challenge the very system that oppresses them?

      It’s the same thing here and now in Europe.

  2. Joonas

    Even this is a good reaction to a racist acts, I have my doubts this is actually a real story. These kind of people who are using racist slurs probably wouldn’t use only verbal assaults, if the person would comment back – especially if there are four of them and only one victim. If the assaulter is not smart enough to give good replies back, the person usually start to threat with violence and sometimes also commits those threats. I don’t think the reaction from the older man seems quite genuine either.

    But if I’m wrong and the story is true, then bravo.