Defining white Finnish privilege #19: My rape statistics about your group

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales has followed migrant rape statistic stories for some time. You should always treat them with tweezers when two matters appear: 

  • The news story only cites percentages, not numbers
  • The percentages are used to label all migrants, especially some groups.

Most of the stories written about migrant rape cases in Finland fit these two characteristics to a tee. Why? Because the percentages have more umph and permit us to eat our cake and keep our prejudices of others.

The Enbuske & Linnanahde talk show is one of many shoddy and racist examples of how the Finnish media labels whole groups in this country thanks to their interpretation of crime statistics.

Now you see the ad below…

Näyttökuva 2015-3-21 kello 10.30.28
This ad, which asked “why Somalis rape” was removed after people started sending emails to the talk show. There were 38 Somalis who were convicted of rape between 2009 and 2013. In 2013 there were over 15,789 Somalis living in Finland who were not Finnish citizens or who spoke Somali as their native language.*

…now you don’t.

Näyttökuva 2015-3-22 kello 16.40.42


Certainly the Tapanila gang-rape case has emboldened the media and anti-immigration group to label and paint certain migrant groups with a broad brush as “rapists.”

What the Tapanila case has revealed, however, is that racism is alive and kicking in Finland. One of its biggest accomplices is the media.

Definition #19

White Finnish privilege gives the right to label whole national and religious groups as “rapists.” Not only are migrants from such a group forced to carry such a label but are asked to apologize for the whole group.

A National Research Institute of Legal Policy (Optula), “Immigrants as crime victims and offenders in Finland,” has been used as a weapon to label migrants as “rapists.” Percentages have been used and taken out of context to show that certain migrant groups are more prone to rape than white Finns, who are actually responsible for the majority of rapes in this country.

The Optula study warns that one should not try to draw conclusions concerning differences in rape statistics according to cultural and ethnic group.

But how many rape convictions were there in 2009-13 that involved Somalis? The number is 38.

Näyttökuva 2015-3-22 kello 13.03.22
This pie chart shows the number of total convictions (2,889) for rape during 2009-13. Thirty-eight of them were by Somalis.


Can we label and victimize a whole group on the basis of 38 rapes during a four-year period?

In Finland this is possible. An A-Studio program in 2012 about migrant rape cited 7 rape convictions by Iraqis during the first five months of that year. The television program suggested that there was a “big” rape problem in the Iraqi community. In 2012-13 there were 5,919 Iraqis living in Finland, according to the Population Register Center.

Migrants have a difficult time challenging discrimination and racism in Finland, especially when the media uses studies by Optula and interprets them to suit their prejudices.

That is one of the “rights” that white Finnish privilege bestows at the cost of migrants and minorities in this country even if those statistics are unreliable to begin with.

See also:

* See Jussi Ojajärvi’s blog palkikat for a comprehensive loo (in Finnish) about the Optula study. 

Thank you Kadar Gelle for your contribution.