Blog “neighbor” Zuzeeko: Keep up the great work!

by , under Enrique

Immigrants and minorities should never forget to stand up for each other, especially if anyone of us is being harassed in a racist manner. When I worked as bureau chief in Colombia, one of the most violent countries in the world at the time,  I always felt that I’d never be abandoned by my employer and colleagues if put in harm’s way. 

Migrant Tales’ blog “neighbor,” Zuzeeko, got a racist tweet this morning (see below) that should be condemned.

Why? Because intolerance is a serious social ill that isn’t only costly to society, but stunts its growth and ruins the lives of people by short-changing them of opportunities.

We take intolerance seriously on Migrant Tales and that is why we want to show our solidarity with Zuzeeko.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-7-5 kello 12.01.08
@Zuzeeko tweets that there are four-month waiting lists to enroll in a Finnish language course in Helsinki. @jaskapask responds: “Nothing keeps you from studying [Finnish] on your own you n-word rapist, go back to where you f-word came from!!!”
Kuvankaappaus 2013-7-5 kello 13.52.17Our response to what happened to Zuzeeko.

While there is a lot of unity in the immigrant and minority community of Finland, there are still those who think they can control the debate on our ever-growing cultural diversity. These individuals commonly act in an authoritarian manner, play down racism, and even chastise those who disagree with their point of view. There are Tuomo-setäs in Finland as well.

We have written on a number of blog entries in the past that show the intolerance of immigrants by immigrants is sometimes worse than those of native white Finns.

Sad but true.


  1. maramez

    Will you stop mentioning that Colombia is one of the most violent countries in the world? update your book will you? Colombia is now the 3rd economy in Latin America and at the forefront of innovation and development in the region…quite a different country from the time you were there…besides what does it add to the conversation and the problems in Finland to mention everytime you mention Colombia that “it is one of the most violent countries in the world” then if that is the case, where do you classify Syria? Afghanistan and Irak?? Geez…and then you don’t want people to build stereotypes but apparently your only association with Colombia is violence…

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi Maramez, I understand your concern and that this stigma of being “one of the most violent countries in the world” does label Colombia. However, while a lot of progress has been made, Colombia, like many Latin American countries has lots of issues with violence and kidnappings. As you know, I have a lot of respect for Colombia and lived there for two years in 1998-2000. While peace talks have begun with the FARC and the paramilitary forces have been disbanded, Colombia still has a long way to go to heal from the wounds of about six decades of civil war.

      Contrary to other Latin American countries like Argentina (Juan Perón), Mexico (Emiliano Zapata) and Brazil (Getulio Vargas), Colombia has never had a social revolution. This explains why the wealth gap is so great.

      Please don’t think that I am an enemy of Colombia. Living there was one of the best times of my life professionally.