Migrant Tales launches a new series called kotoutuminen, or integration. Readers are encouraged to send their personal experiences, comments on integration programs, and policies.
Send your comments and observations to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kotoutuminen, or integration, functions in many ways like white fragility. It is a weapon and tool to subjugate newcomers and migrants who have lived in Finland for a long time.
Robin Diangelo describes as white fragility in her best-selling book, “White Fragility.” She states that most white people “are absolutely not receptive to finding out their impact on other people.” She also mentions that the reaction caused by white fragility is nothing fragile but hostile.
A good example of how even governments use kotoutuminen as a tool to control people is their hysterical and politically opportunistic response to the sexual assault cases of Oulu.
In this particular case, the former government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä blamed the integration program for the sexual assault cases. Then Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen even threatened to give newcomers tests to determine if they are a danger to society.
Any sensible person can see that these types of political soundbites were made for public consumption before the April parliamentary elections. Aren’t people innocent before they are proven guilty? Isn’t Mykkänen’s disregard for this human right worrying?
The use of integration programs to control migrants is another example of why such programs face challenges.
- Kotoutuminen #1: A good synonym for kotoutuminen is too many times the reinforcement of structural racism
*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration.