Kotoutuminen* #9: Spreading half-truths about integration

by , under Enrique Tessieri

If the learn-Finnish-and-you’re-integrated promise is misleading, so are many others spread by people who should know better.

“The best way to eliminate racism is to get people to know each other,” goes the affirmation. It is like the claim that traveling opens your eyes to the world.

After we do all these things, will we kiss and make up and live in a post-racial society?

Dead wrong.

What we are doing with the argument is what Robin DiAngelo points in her white fragility argument, or how to keep race off the table.

“All of those narratives function to get race off the table close the exploration [and] exempt the person from any further engagement and protect the racial hierarchy in a white position.”

When we mention things like more contact, traveling, learn the language, we are also taking race, or precisely the solution, off the table.

In order to tackle racism in society, we need to understand how we form part of the racist hierarchy and the role of power and privilege in such a social ill

Like traveling, contact with people can reinforce making you even more racist and hateful of other ethnic groups.

Traveling and living in different lands can have the same toxic impact and blunt our efforts to find credible solutions to winning racism.

See also:

*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration.