Adolescent to receive Red Cross Award against racism

by , under Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Rebecka Holm, 14, will get the Red Cross Award on the UN Day Against Racism on March 21 for her noteworthy example in denouncing racial harassment against her friends and herself, according to Swedish-language daily HBL.

The adolescent from Helsinki wrote a letter to the editor of HBL in January speaking out against racial harassment of her friends and herself. Her story received wide national attention.

“If Finland is now the most secure and stable country [in the world], why do people of [different] ethnic backgrounds get attacked every day?” she asked.

Holm said that  she sees such attacks publicly take place several times a week. ” I am subjected to [those types of] attacks maybe once a week,” she wrote to HBL.

Holm is a  good example of how the ever-worsening negative climate for immigrants and visible minorities in Finland has brought out the best in some members of our community.

Migrant Tales personally congratulates this brave adolescent for her very important example, which we hope will catch on.

    • Migrant Tales

      Good morning D4R. You are absolutely right! Rebecka is a shining example that we can do something to confront a social ill like racism. First of all our reaction to racism must be a reaction.

  1. Peter of Finland

    I think that the strength this young lady has shown is inspirational. Rebecka Holm gives us hope for our future. I am proud that this young lady has the sisu to stand up to her bullies.

    Congratulations Rebecka for this recognition! It is well deserved!

  2. Mary Mekko

    Imagine if I had spoken out in 1970;s San Francisco against the racial harassment of “white” girls on the public buses, then won a NATIONAL AWARD for my courage!

    The concept is astounding!!! We were told to SHUT UP AND RUN AND DODGE AND IGNORE IN CASE THEY HAVE KNIVES AND WEAPONS and they might KILL YOU!

    Of course I am talking about black youth as the perps, but far be it from me to condemn people solely on their youth, their color or their gender – I say, let the individual take the blame, not the whole black race for what they did to “us”, the “white” girls.

    And I say to Rebecka Holm, before you condemn the “Finns”, consider tha they are also individuals – some will hate you based on your gender, hair and shoes and eyes and skin, others will be indifferent, some even attracted, who can say?

    For if we do not have individual free will in USA and Finland, where individuals and not groups are held responsible for their actions, then what is the point of law courts and the concepts of crime and punishment? Just chuck all Finns into jail because some don’t like the looks of you? I should arrest all black youth in 1970’s because some were scumbums, full of racial hatred?

    Think twice before condemning any group, lest your group be judged, perhaps deported en masse.

    I wouldn’t push the Finnish nationals too far in your arrogance if you are not a native Finn. Remember to be a guest and show respect. How are things in your born-in country, or that of your foremothers and forefathers? See how the racial tensions there are before you start aiming blame at host countries. Only your own people can you really change, perhaps even only one’s self. Dictate to the Finns and find out what the Russians knew about Finland.

  3. justicedemon

    Mary Mekko


    You are just impossible to parody any more than you already parody yourself. Such a huge contradiction in what you write and in who you are. Perhaps lack of logical acumen is an asset for you, otherwise you’d never get started in the morning.

    But you’re welcome to come visit anytime. Our drinks cabinet is securely locked.

  4. Mary Mekko

    I enjoy being paradoxical and illogical. The main thing is to comment directly on the illogic of others, namely, that Rebecka Holm makes a mountain out of a molehill, the usual sexual/racial harassment that all white city girls in USA have known, and then gets a NATIONAL AWARD for whining out to the planet!!! Instead of just shrugging or walking away or pursuing her own academic and professional future, she makes a huge fuss and WINS!!

    I only say, we white girls should have done that back in the 1970’s. The nonstop harassment was enough to get me off public transit forever, to ride my bike to school and never listen to the racist remarks again. Check with people who knew me then… I wasn’t ever violent, but when we protested to parents and teachers repeatedly (as Rebecka did?), with no results, that’s when I took individual action and bailed out of the transit forever.

    I HAVE A DREAM!!!!! Rebecka and her success will give others the courage to SCREAM OUT LOUD!!!

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