Racism squanders talent, growth, and opportunities.
Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance.
Most of our perceptions of visible migrants and minorities are erroneous and an outright lie. Remember when Perussuomalaiset* party secretary, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, labeled all refugees in 2015, including those from countries like Syria, as economic migrants and welfare shoppers?
This populist and hateful statement by Slunga-Poutsalo was supported by Foreign Minister Timo Soini and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government. Remember the prime minister? He’s the one who offered his home to asylum seekers but then broke his promise like so many others during his mandate.
Since they are “welfare shoppers” and “economic migrants” we give into lies that in turn help justify our ignorance and prejudice. It is the fuel and justification for tightening immigration policy and socially excluding such people.
#sokeaoikeus takaa yhdenvertaisen oikeusturvan jokaiselle meistä. Tällä hetkellä lakimuutoksista johtuva resurssipula on vaarantanut turvapaikanhakijoiden oikeusturvan. Turvaa sokean oikeuden toteutuminen: https://t.co/bPQvDDBcTU
Oikeus nyt on oikeutta tulevaisuudessa. pic.twitter.com/LXtGRhrJkY
— Pakolaisneuvonta (@pakolaisneuvo) March 9, 2018
A good video message by the Finnish Refugee Advice Center.
Such lies about asylum seekers and migrants spread by politicians and the media have labeled us as a problem that should be treated with suspicion and makes it ever-difficult to get employed.
Ibrahim  is an Iraqi asylum seeker who came to Finland in 2015. He is a computer hardware specialist who regularly applies to 25-35 jobs weekly.
“During my stay in Finland, I have applied to hundreds of jobs,” he admitted. “I’m still unemployed.”
Ibrahim said that the vast majority of job applications he applies to are through Linkedin (70%) followed by different Facebook groups (20%) and the rest in places such as Jobs in Helsinki, fairs and the like (10%).
“Very few companies tell me outright that they cannot hire me because I am an asylum seeker,” he said. “I feel that the main reason why they don’t want to hire me due to fear.”
Ibrahim agrees that those that tell him that they cannot hire him because he is an asylum seeker are guilty of discrimination. Section 6 of the constitution states clearly that everyone irrespective of his or her background is equal before the law.
“What can I do?” he said about discrimination. “Other factors make it hard for me to find a job. Government restrictions and red tape.”
Despite the situation, Ibrahim won’t give up and will continue to search for a job in Finland despite all the obstacles he faces.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity. One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic.
A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.
 The name of the asylum seeker was changed in order to protect his identity.