KOTOUTUMINEN #17: Cultural sensitivity deniers and silent support for institutional racism 

by , under Migrant Tales

Silence can be very revealing. It’s not what you say but what you do not say. Your inaction and silence in the face of racism, specifically against institutional racism, speaks volumes.

This fact is one of the biggest challenges to Finland during this century.

The outspoken racist is a danger, but the worst threat is the person who remains silent and hides and uses institutional racism to protect his work. In other words, the system allows the person to eat and have his cake simultaneously.

Believe it or not, some principles and teachers working and representing culturally diverse learning institutions don’t believe in cultural sensitivity. They are the fake know-it-alls on racism. They don’t need to update their racist views because they are exceptional people.


The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends cultural sensitivity being a more prevalent part of research concerning culturally diverse groups. THL correctly states that cultural sensitivity is not cultural relativism, a term used by anthropologist Franz Boas to criticize armchair researchers. And there were too many of them in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Source: THL

Institutional racism allows the same forms of discrimination and privilege to see another day unchallenged.

It is the elephant in the room that must be called out.

See also:

*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration. It came about in the late-1990s because there was no such term in the Finnish language. Finland is one of the few countries in the world that has an integration law. The many holes this law has is that it does not grasp what integration, or adaption, means for the person who “integrates.”