Migrants’ life in Finland: Some endure intolerance better than others – some hit back, others don’t

by , under Enrique

The ocean is a desert, with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above.
Under the cities lies, a heart made of ground,
But the human will give no love.

A Horse with No name, America

Intolerance, bigotry, racism, prejudice and a list of other social ills strike their victims in different ways. Some of us can endure such hostility better than others, even when it lashes out at you at the right moment when you make the wrong move. 

You can get in trouble with the order of things when you question your hapless predicament. If you choose the normal route, or not to rock the boat, some recommend that you grin and bear the situation and remember that you are the one being watched, not the thing that is watching you and giving you the short end of society’s stick.

It’s like being on a horse with no name in the desert with not even a shred of evidence to make a case in your defense. Under the perfect disguise of the desert above, lies concealed the source of the loathing and prejudices, deep underground.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-10-20 kello 12.11.41
Listen to full song with lyrics here.

Dana is one of Migrant Tales’ frequent visitors. She has contributed beautiful poetry and shared her grief, when her mother and father died in May and July, respectively.

She blames the system for “killing her parents.” The system, which makes family reunification in this country like winning the lottery, didn’t even grant her the opportunity to see and feel the warm embrace and love of her parents before they died.

Those who have been victims of racism and discrimination, understand what is meant by sensing hostility. It’s like bad karma, telepathic messages from Pandemonium, a defense mechanism that warn you that you are now under attack.

No, you don’t understand what I mean. You cannot feel Dana’s pain or that of others like her because too many of us are too white to grasp that kind of pain.

Some of us deny its existence if we can’t feel other people’s suffering. Denying racism is the new racism.

Writes Dana: “If your mind is dirty, how can u make peace with anyone? If ur mind is dirty, how can you make peace??? If I think my color, my race, my blue eyes are better than your black and darker ones, then I’m a very sick person. That sickness will poison your blood and make you cranky, sick and put you at war – that’s the problem. Why can’t you see that a black person is also a human. What’s wrong with a black person???”

Dana told me that for the last six years she has been fighting back. Whenever she feels that people attack her with their hostile looks or comments, she doesn’t run away in silence but turns to her attackers and calls them, “racist.”

The reaction she gets is mixed and people either ignore her, threaten (and sometimes do) call the police and security guards, or call her a “terrorist” who should be kicked out of the premises and Finland.

“I’ve learned a lot from the time that the police arrested me at the social-welfare office,” she says. “I make an escape before anyone can detain me. I won’t take this kind of hostility any longer. I always fight back in public.”