I never have or want to “integrate.” I have, however, learned how to survive in Finland.
If there is one matter that the sexual assault cases of Oulu have exposed in the raw is a false expectation about migrants. If we listen to the media, police and politicians, migrants cannot commit crimes because Finns rarely do if ever break the law. White Finns are model humans, asylum seekers are not.
This erroneous expectation becomes clear when the Oulu police and the media announce a new sexual abuse case by “a person of foreign origin,” which is code for Muslim, asylum seeker, and non-EU citizen.
Unfortunately, more of these types of crimes will come to light because men commit such crimes constantly.
Blaming asylum seekers and migrants for not “integrating” enough reveals our false expectations and ignorance of cultural diversity.
Take effective steps to do away with racism and discrimination if you are serious about integrating newcomers.
I have worked in helping new migrants to get an understanding of Finnish society and their rightful places in it.
If a student states that there is no equality in Finland, I agree with him. All this talk about how we respect equality in Finland is a lie. The correct question you must ask is who has the right to demand equality in Finland.
But what can you expect with the rise of far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in this decade and the present government that wants to label and shame Muslims and other groups? What can you expect from a country where mainstream parties like the National Coalition Party and Social Democrats lack the leadership to speak out against racism but instead succumb to it?
All this talk about gender equality (tasa-arvo) and social equality in general (yhdenvertaisuus) is problematic, to say the least. If those teaching these important values to newcomers cannot see flaws in the system, it means that such teachings will have little meaning to newcomers.
If you want to know what is inside the heads of those who are “integrating” newcomers in Finland, you should ask them if the end-game is to convert their students into white Finns like them?
Jussi Halla-aho brought this point to light when the PS chairperson twisted his words to promote a misconception about Other Finns. He got away with this because the reporter was clueless.
On Yle’s Ykkösaamu, Halla-aho justified keeping Finland white and Christian by stating that he would never be accepted as a Somali if he became a naturalized citizen of that country.
Wrong. Halla-aho believes that Other Finns aspire to being white like him. What these Other Finns want is respect and treated as equal citizens of this country on their terms.
My mother is Finnish. Still, the last thing I would ever want to be is a white Finn. I am a Finn but I chose my identity, no one else does that for me.
So what is wrong with our integration system? Here are a few points:
- Those who teach integration courses falsely believe that integration (two-way adaption) means assimilation (one-way adaption);
- They falsely believe that the Finnish language is a magic bullet that will automatically integrate people into this society;
- There is no interest, or very little interest, in the culture of others except to promote one’s own;
- Deep inside, those who teach integration courses are suspicious of the cultures of those whom they are integrating. They want to teach them to respect Finnish culture without respecting theirs;
- One of these is gender equality, which is important, but too little or nothing about racism and discrimination in our society;
- Too little motive or oversight to challenge one’s ethnocentrism and prejudices;
- Power and privilege are off-limits to too many Other Finns and migrants and accept the jobs and life offered to you as second- and third-class members of society.
The ever-worsening atmosphere for migrants and minorities is a call for action.
If we do not rise up and use the means that our society offers to challenge those that oppress us, matters will only get worse.
If you want matters to stay as they are, then just sit quietly and listen to the fairy tales about “integration.”
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, 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 never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.
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.