Posts Tagged: Prejudice

Why exaggerating about the dangers of “Sweden’s immigration problem” is racist

You hear a lot from anti-immigration politicians like the Perussuomalaiset* and even the police about how we must contain “Sweden’s immigrant problem” from coming to Finland. If you analyze such a claim and weigh its truth you will rapidly arrive at the following conclusions: It is racist and untrue.  It is racist because it paints

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Racism is an ugly monster that can and must be slayed and banished from our society

Do you remember five years ago a young brave fourteen-year-old called Rebecka Holm? A letter to the editor about the racist harassment she endured regularly when going to school changed her life.
Do you remember five years ago a young brave fourteen-year-old called Rebecka Holm? A letter to the editor about the racist harassment she endured regularly when going to school changed her life.

Do you remember five years ago a young brave fourteen-year-old called Rebecka Holm? A letter to the editor about the racist harassment she endured regularly when going to school changed her life.

Do you remember five years ago a young brave fourteen-year-old called Rebecka Holm? A letter to the editor about the racist harassment she endured regularly when going to school changed her life.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: White washing in Finland

If Finland had a very effective white washing* process in place from independence, who dismantled it or was it ever dismantled? I have my serious doubts. Blackfaces are still aired on Finnish television. The clip above was shown on Pressiklubi on October 6, 2017, and the full movie in 2016. In the 1970s, when it

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Finland’s bigoted and perilous path

Finland has become in a short time a country that has lost its way. The police service, public officials like politicians and even ministers, who should know better, don’t. The most shameful matter that exposes these wretched times is that we’ve allowed xenophobia and nationalist populism to not only enter through the back door but through the main and wide one as well.

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Iraqi asylum seeker: The first Finnish word I learned was “vittu”

It’s a Sunday and we’re at a fast-food Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of Helsinki. I have an appointment with a twenty-six-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who came to Finland in September via Tornio and who is staying at one of Luona’s asylum reception centers. Like many who have the misfortune of staying at a reception center run by Luona, he too isn’t happy about the poor and humiliating treatment he’s getting.

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UPDATE (November 20): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. November 20 Aukeavatko suvakin silmät? – (Tamperelainen) What’s wrong with this community paper editorial? Community papers like Helsingin Uutiset and Vantaa Sanomat are just as bad as other

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THL survey in Finland says first-generation migrants more likely to experience bullying, physical and sexual harassment

A new survey shows that first-generation immigrants are more likely to experience bullying, physical threats and sexual harassment than white Finns, according to YLE in English, which cites the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The survey revealed some 32% of “immigrant” children found it difficult to access school welfare officers. Should the findings

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Effectively challenging intolerance and promoting respect in Finland and elsewhere

An effective weapon that racists use is to convince you that you don’t count. One of the overriding matters that I’ve learned time and again is that silence is the worst decision you can make when challenging intolerance. There are many effective ways to challenge racism like a simple question: I disagree with you. Can

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How the Finnish media continues to be part of the problem by reinforcing stereotypes and racist perceptions of migrants and minorities

A news story about migrant crime was published by the Lahti-based Etelä-Suomen Sanomat with a provocative drawing of a black man’s arms handcuffed. Migrant Tales got in touch with the reporter that wrote the story and asked why it was considered news at the end of July if it was based on a study published by The

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Challenging prejudices against migrants in Finland should be a priority. But who’s doing this?

Dr. Gareth Rice’s  claim that foreign academics are being bypassed for permanent tenures in favor of Finnish academics raises a wider issue that migrants and minorities face in Finland. Finding a job is one matter for an immigrant in this country but being hired on a permanent basis is quite another story. One may ask

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Challenging urban tales about migrants and ourselves should be our first and foremost priority

After contributing regularly for Migrant Tales and reading and answering some of the over 30,000 comments we have received in the past seven years, a bigger picture emerges. This has been reinforced by my work at a folk high school, where the majority of the students on campus aren’t white Finns. As Don Flynn of

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Jussi Halla-aho: “Do not tolerate the intolerant one”

  Migrant Tales insight: We get a lot of email and tip-offs from our readers. The latest one we got is of three blog entry translations in English of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation. This last one, Do not tolerate the intolerant one, was published in Scripta on December 20, 2007.  Apart

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Does Finland promote two-way or one-way adaption of immigrants?

Our integration law promotes two-way adaption as opposed to assimilation, which is a one-way process. Section 17 of the Finnish Constitution states that each person living in this country has the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. What do these two important laws mean in practice and how are they applied? Sensible Finns

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Internet policeman Marko Forss mildly reprimanded by deputy ombudsman for tweeting stereotypes of the Roma

Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja mildly reprimanded Internet policeman Marko Forss for tweeting a so-called joke about the Roma, reports YLE. The personal tweet, as Migrant Tales reported in November, spread and strengthened stereotypes about the Roma.  What did Forss, who was named policeman of the year in 2011, tweet? “Some funny things happen in police

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The media should stop stereotyping immigrants!

Black is beautiful, but I have a question: Why is it that whenever there is a story about immigrants or refugees in the Finnish media, the picture that is published with the story is usually of a black man or Muslim woman? Publishing pictures that feed the public a stereotypical image of immigrants does nothing more

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Sara speaks out against the racist harassment her son endured at a school in Mikkeli, Finland

What would you do if you heard that an African single mother decided to leave Mikkeli for Helsinki because her eight-year-old child was a victim of racist harassment or bullying at school? Would you just register the news and brush it conveniently under the rug and reassure yourself that these types of things don’t happen

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The Boston bombings reveal a deadlier blowback

I was shocked to hear about the twin bombs in Boston and my heart goes to the victims. Two days after the incident, however, speculation has been rife about the probable ethnicity of the perpetrator. The eerie silence of the killer suggests that this was probably carried out individually.   The latest story on the

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Common Ground News Service: Spreading “anti-rumours” about immigrants

By María-Paz López Barcelona, Spain –“They are invading us”, “They don’t respect the rules”, “They don’t pay taxes”, “They don’t want to integrate”, “They get special subsidies to open businesses”, are just a few of the often repeated accusations against immigrant communities in Spain. To deal with rising prejudices, Barcelona City Council is now beginning

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How discrimination works in Finnish basketball

If there is a game that is played by people from diverse backgrounds, that game is basketball. When I moved to the United States as a child, basketball was my door to new friends and acceptance.  Basketball was a way of life in Hollywood, California, for many young people like me. In Finland it is

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Go for the values and weaknesses of a group if you aim to destroy their self-esteem

How would you go about destroying the self-esteem of a group? If you were an anti-immigration politician, certainly you’d target the group’s values (religion) and exploit your racist arguments by pointing the finger at their most vulnerable weaknesses, like high unemployment.  Prejudice and racism are diehard social ills because they take generations to wear off.

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Prejudice discourages employers from hiring deaf people

I read an interesting news story on YLE in English about how prejudice hinders deaf people from getting jobs. Sounds like a familiar excuse heard commonly by immigrants, right?  The jobless rate of deaf workers and immigrants in Finland is about three times greater than the national average. Unemployment in Finland in April stood at

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Rasismin määrittäminen

Melkein jokaista ihmistä kohden on eri määritelmä rasismista. Jos Suomessa on suunnilleen viisi miljoonaa ihmistä, joten meillä on suunnilleen viisi miljoonaa eri määritelmää rasismille. Tämä voi olla vahvaa karrikointia, mutta ei ole kaukana todellisuudesta. Jos aiomme taistella rasismia meillä on oltava vähintään, jokin selvä määritelmä sille mikä on rasismi.   Rasismin voi ajatella Malcolm X:än

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from August 19, 1992

Migrant Tales will begin to publish Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how they reflected some people’s xenophobic and racist views.

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Community Village Activist: Teaching Children To Respect One Another

Has anyone seen research where the researcher asks children, instead of a closed ended question like “Who is the smart one” but instead “Are all phenotypes equally nice and equally smart?” (Children may not know what a phenotype is but that creates a good opportunity to explain that a phenotype is only skin deep). Children can then be asked to explain their answer and where they learned their knowledge or stereotypes. Maybe they learned it from TV, radio, friends, students, family or even their parents.

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Am I a carrier of European right-wing populist rhetoric?

We all know that right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe. By the same token, many us without knowing it, may carry the same seeds of intolerance that these groups spread without ever knowing it. Certainly our democratic society must be able to debate a wide range of issues that affect us like immigration. We must, however, be able to distinguish what are inaccurate claims and facts.

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Is Finland prepared for multiculturalism?

In an interesting article published by Siirtolaisuus – Migration issue 2/1996, social psychologist Professor J. W. Berry asks what factors have to be in place to establish reasonable harmonious relationships between diverse groups. Ethnocentrism is a theory devised by Sumner in 1906 and means when “one’s group is the center of everything, and all others

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