Posts Tagged: social exclusion

How the Finnish media Others racialized pupils

One of the casualties of the war in Ukraine will be social rights and the recognition of racialized people in Finland. Are we witnessing more aggressive reporting as a result? Helsingin Sanomat published Wednesday a whole spread about how “over half of the students at several schools in Espoo don’t speak Finnish as their mother

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How will we treat Ukrainian refugees in Finland?

The interior ministry estimates “tens of thousands” Ukrainians moving to Finland as a result of the war in that country, according to  Yle News. There are about 7,000 Ukrainians in Finland, but Anna Rundgren, a ministry of interior senior specialist, believes that the actual figure is several times higher. In 2015, the country saw a record

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A-Studio: Riikka Purra wants to tighten Finnish citizenship law, do away with pull factors

Riikka Purra, the favorite to win the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* leadership at the party’s annual meeting over the weekend, said Wednesday at Yle’s A-Studio was one of the many steps she took wants to tighten citizenship laws. This summer, the first vice president of the PS said that the party would not join any government that would not tighten “significantly” immigration

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Biden inauguration: Words of unity and inclusion that reverberate in Finland

After four years of chaos and division, an illness that even inflicted the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and politicians in other parties that sow division heard long-overdue healing words. Without losing sight of the wars, CIA-inspired coups, and the human destruction brought on by the United States, it took a despot-inspired president like Donald Trump to give

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Kotoutuminen #10: Misleading expectations that will keep you (dis)integrated

Many, if not most migrants who have moved to Finland, have heard the following claim: Learn the language, and presto you are integrated. While learning the language of your new homeland helps, it is only one of many things that will help you adapt to society. Erna Bödström’s dissertation, “Welcome to Fantasy Finland,” points out

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Nordic Council Literature winner Jonas Eika: In Denmark, “racism is both cultural and legal. We have state racism.”

The 2019 recipient of the Nordic Council Literature Prize, Jonas Eika of Denmark, took the opportunity to expose generally the racism and social inequality in the Nordic region and in particular, in his home country of Denmark. Eika, speaking at the Stockholm Concert Hall, blamed Danish Social Democrat Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen for perpetrating state-sponsored

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White Finnish media story of the day*: Stop toxic labeling of people of color and minorities

It is not the first time when Migrant Tales has spotted mistakes by the Finnish media. The latest one involves a story concerning US President Donald Trump’s racist tweets against four minority congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar. The original story, which referred to the four congresswomen as “people of migrant

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Part I: Racism causes trauma and mental suffering

Maailman Kuvalehti, a periodical which often takes up issues of xenophobia and racism in Finland more bravely than the mainstream media, cited the article Häpeää, itsesyytöksiä, masennusta – toistuvan rasismin vaikutukset mielenterveyteen voivat olla vakavat (Shame, self-blame, and depression – continuous racism encounter impact on mental wellbeing can be severe). Dated April 24th to a study by Robert T. Carter (University of Columbia), it stated that day-to-day exclusion encounters cause mental depression and symptoms similar to war trauma. Read the article here.

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Oulu’s knee-jerk reaction to the sexual assault crimes will do a lot of harm to the city’s image. Blame the media, police, politicians.

The question Migrant Tales asked a while back if the City of Oulu’s decision to ban visits by asylum seekers to child care centers and schools is legal. Can you ban a single group, in this case, asylum seekers, from visiting such places? As far as how the law works in Finland, the ban should

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European Agency of Fundamental Rights: Finland has the most racial harassment cases against PAD of 12 EU countries surveyed

A new study by the European Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals that a third of people of African descent (PAD) surveyed have experienced racial harassment in the last five years. That’s not all: Perceived racist harassment was highest in Finland (63%) and least prevalent in Malta 20% (see chart below).

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Sweden’s parliamentary elections expose the country’s issues with racist exceptionalism

Sweden heads for the polls on Sunday to elect 349 seats to the Riksdag (parliament). Despite the good showing in the polls of the far-right Sweden Democrats, which has roots in the neo-Nazi movement, is slated to capture 20% of the votes. The rise in popularity of the Sweden Democrats has been fast and a reminder that

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Denmark proves that Nordic “equality” is selective and does not apply to minorities like Muslim women

While we should not be surprised that Denmark, the Nordic region’s and one of Europe’s most Islamophobic country, voted to ban the niqab and burka,* according to Politico. While I have seen only twice in my lifetime in Finland a woman wearing a niqab, I have never seen one using a burka. How many women will be affected by this ban? Apart from making it clear who has the right to gender equality in Denmark, the measure is another example of Europe’s hypocrisy. The women Denmark targets are the ones that it now attacks with more gusto thanks to the ban.

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Migration Summer School 26/7/2018 – 1/8/2018 in Athens, Greece

Migrant Tales received the following mail from Dr. Theodoros Fouskas.  Check it out. 2018 MIGRATION SUMMER SCHOOL (MIGSS) on Precarious Labour, Human Trafficking, & Social Exclusion in Europe A unique summer program with on-site visits in Greece 26 July- 1 August 2018 EPLO premises in Sounion Α 7-day program in English will offer a state-of-the-art overview of

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: How the Finnish government ostracizes migrants and asylum seekers

Migrant Tales insight: How the Finnish government labels and ostracizes in general migrants/asylum seekers in Finland and undocumented migrants in particular. Do you need more proof why Finland is a hostile place for migrants and minorities?   Finnish posting by Jukka Eräkare: Read the original text here. English translation: “In this context, illegal migrants are defined as

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #47: President Sauli Niinistö’s “culture inside four walls”

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED Instead of showing leadership and giving a public face to our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse non-white society, President Sauli Niinistö does the opposite again. I have said it before and I wil say it again: President Niinistö is no friend of non-white Finland.  In an interview on YLE, Niinistö gave

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Finnish identity isn’t a monolithic slab held together by power, privilege, prejudice, and bigotry

The biggest challenge facing our culturally and ethnically (non-white) community this century is the narrow definition of who we are.  As long as our definition excludes others,  all efforts at “integrating” newcomers and ensuring that they become members of society will fail. The aims of our schools to teach children of foreign parents to become

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Facebook Zimema Mhone: Clarification on why “I am cheaper”

Migrant Tales insight: Zimema Mhone has done some stories for us and he now posted something on Facebook that too many foreigners and minorities face in Finland. Did you know that nationally in 2014 foreigners earned 27.3% less at 21,479 euros/year compared with 29,550 euros, according to Pasi Saukkonen. In Helsinki, the gap was even higher

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Who determines who we are?

Here’s a simple question: By law, a person is a Finn if he or she is a Finnish citizen. Why, then, are some of these Finnish citizens spoken of and near-constantly reminded by society that they are so-called “people with foreign backgrounds?”

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Defining white Finnish privilege #25: This land is my land, this land isn’t your land

It’s disturbing to watch in Finland journalists who maintain and promote urban tales and racism. One of these is Tuomas Enbuske who invited Lenita Aristo to his television talk show to speak about Muslims. When Aristo opens her mouth and gives her opinions about cultural diversity, it’s evident that she still lives is a provincial and stuffy time warp of pre-1990s Finland.

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Migrant Tales (January 26, 2013): Making torture and hate acceptable

Even if the media in the United States speaks of torture as something recent, the truth is that it has been going on for a very long time. These type of barbaric interrogation techniques were widely used in the last century in regions like Latin America. The CIA and the United States trained and promoted torture and state-sponsored terrorism in places like the School of the Americas.

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Perussuomalaiset Maria Lohela: Inte min talman, or not my speaker of parliament

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Maria Lohela got elected Friday as speaker of parliament. Lohela is no ordinary MP but one who doesn’t believe in religious freedom, migrant and homosexual rights. As a politician she is the antithesis of Nordic values unless those values are supposed to socially exclude some and include others, like white Finns.

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UPDATE (Apr. 22): 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. Apr. 22 Tapanilan joukkoraiskauksesta syytteet viidelle (YLE) What’s wrong with this story? The news story by YLE on sentencing five youths with so-called “foreign backgrounds” is an

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On Sunday we vote in Finland – future generations will be watching closely the result

Finland will hold parliamentary elections on Sunday. According to the latest polls, the Center Party is well ahead with the National Coalition Party (NCP) and Perussuomalaiset (PS)* trailing in second and third place, respectively. The Social Democrats are in fourth place.  Migrant Tales has tirelessly reported on the ongoing anti-immigration debate in Finland daily since 2011.  Since Finland is our

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Finland goes to the polls Sunday – don’t vote for these anti-immigration candidates

Finland will hold  parliamentary elections on Sunday. One of the interesting question marks is who will come in second or third place. One poll predicts the Center Party winning (no surprise) with the National Coalition Party (NCP) and Perussuomalaiset (PS)* coming in second and third, respectively. The Social Democrats are in fourth place.  During the last

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Defining white Finnish privilege #21: Who can be a Finn?

A Finn is anyone with Finnish citizenship, right?  Citizenship can be obtained through birth (jus sanguinis) or naturalization. Even if this should be clear as day, certain public services like the police continue to group Finns according to their so-called “foreign” or “immigrant” backgrounds. I don’t have any problems with my foreign background even if

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You can live in Finland as long as you are culturally invisible (and conform to our stereotypes)

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala’s statement on Seinjäjoki-based daily Ilkka is another clear example of how some politicians, and even the National Board of Education, continue to deny our ever-growing cultural diversity. There is a lot of talk about “multiculturalism” and little action. This leaves us with a hostile message lingering above us: We, white Finns,

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Michael McEachrane: Seeing Sweden’s race problem for what it is

Michael McEachrane* Two things seem abundantly clear regarding the rise of ultranationalism in Europe today. First, it is symptomatic of a broader form of nationalism which all European states are steeped in. Second, it is this broader nationalism that ultimately needs to be confronted if equality is ever to become a reality in Europe. Read

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November 6, 1981: Address to the international seminar (on the plight of foreign students in Finland)

Enrique Tessieri Finally the consciousness of the Finnish government and the Finnish public via the press have come to the point where the status of foreigners has been recognized as a problem. The simple fact that this issue has found its way into the public consciousness shows that we’ve come a long way. We’ve made

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How to tell a Finnish politician that he or she sounds racist

The atmosphere for migrants and minorities in Finland is going to get worse as parliamentary elections near in April 2015. Two recent cases, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén and National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma, reinforce that matters are going to get worse before they improve. A good way to uncover these opportunistic politicians’ motives

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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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Finnish anti-immigration politicians and parties spread on purpose lies to hide the truth and their culpability

Ever wonder why the Finnish media and politicians continue to spread lies about migrants and minorities like we’re lazy, stupid, criminals, rapists and a burden on society? OK, not all of them lie on purpose but too many remain silent and allow these types of urban tales to slip past them in silent approval. Say

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Defining white Finnish privilege #5: It’s ok to be a racist

In many respects white privilege, or specifically white Finnish privilege, is a good way to understand some of the challenges that migrants and especially non-white Finns face in this country. Migrant Tales invites readers to share their thoughts on the social ill. Please send your comments on the topic to [email protected] We’d love to hear from you.

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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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Healthy advice: Don’t flirt with racism, include don’t exclude, involve and we’ll learn to live together

One of the matters one learns after answering thousands of comments on Migrant Tales and posting near daily on this humble site is the language and arguments used by anti-immigration groups, which are openly against a Finland that is international, multicultural and open.  By multicultural I mean treating everyone in this country, irrespective of their background, with

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The high price of being too alike and not thinking outside the ethnic and national box

Some may correctly ask what is the price Finland pays today for its lack of cultural and ethnic diversity. Finding answers to this question would require some serious thinking outside our ethnic and national box. This question is an important one today for two reasons: Our population is seeing dramatic changes due to the graying of

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Why do we consider Timo Soini to be “a good cop” if he brought all these “bad cops” to power?

Doesn’t Perussuomalaiset (PS) leader Timo Soini bear responsibility for giving people like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli Immonen and a very long list of others a platform to spread their hatred and intolerance?  Why does the media let Soini get off the hook so easily? Is Soini the culprit for anti-immigration sentiment and

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Jussi Halla-aho’s broken record: destroy cultural and ethnic diversity

We hear over and over again the same anti-immigration diatribe by politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho, who complain constantly about too liberal immigration policy and multiculturalism. PS MP Jussi Halla-aho would like to restrict free movement of people in Europe and tighten migration policy if elected Euro MP, according to Swedish-language daily HBL.

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Sweden’s white paper on the abuses and rights violations against the Roma will have a positive effect on Finland

Sweden published on March 26 a white paper on abuses and rights violations against the Roma during the last century. The white paper is significant since it is the first time that the Swedish government has published and acknowledged Sweden’s long history of discrimination against the Roma minority. Should Finland follow Sweden’s example? If sociologist

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European Network Against Racism report highlights Finland’s racism and discrimination challenges

Shadow reports on racism in Europe by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) reveals something we’ve not known and written about on Migrant Tales for a long time. Apart from racism and discrimination happening in employment, the question behind the question is why is this still an issue? Why are governments still doing too little?

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Migrant high unemployment in Finland is a good way to measure discrimination and social exclusion

Apart from Jim Crow laws and centuries of discrimination, one of the many social issues that the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s addressed was high unemployment among blacks. In a country like Finland, which sees work as a crucial pathway to inclusion and acceptance, it’s clear that unemployment is an effective

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When will people with “immigrant backgrounds” be accepted as Finns on their terms?

After following on a daily basis news about cultural diversity in Finland and elsewhere, the stories that Migrant Tales aims to cover in 2014 are those stories that the mainstream media doesn’t consider news.  One reason why the mainstream media still writes about cultural diversity from it’s perspective is because those writing the stories are mainly

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Are you a perpetrator or victim of white Finnish privilege?

One matter about intolerance is that it is universal. The social ill can manifest itself in different ways by speaking different languages and historical context but don’t be fooled by these deceptions: Intolerance is the same ogre.  White privilege is one of the many faces of racism and means automatic access or exclusion to the

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Dana: Why doesn’t President Sauli Niinistö care about immigrants? What’s his stand on racism?

Dana Finland is a small country but a very proud one about its political and legal system. Some Finns believe they are, however, so different from other people on this planet and they can’t explain why. For example…in Finland the law functions like magic; they believe that the law is so comprehensive that no-one in

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Thai berry pickers shed light on a much wider problem in Finland for immigrants

The fifty Thai berry pickers, who are protesting against long hours, poor pay and huge risks they take when working for Ber-Ex, not only shed light on their plight but the poor job security that immigrants generally face in Finland.  While berry pickers are seasonal workers that come from Thailand, their issues reveal a much serious

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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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ENAR press statement: Anti-Roma statements in France: a race to be the most outrageous?

MT comment: Taking into account the xenophobia gripping Europe these days and how far right, populist and even mainstream parties are vying for the anti-immigration vote, the same is going on in Finland. The victims are the most vulnerable groups  like Romany beggars. A story on YLE in English  reports that the National Coalition Party is

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Dana: Woes for you killers who kill without a knife

By Dana Why should I personally challenge Finland’s disgraceful family reunification obstacles? I won’t. Why should I? For whom? For other foreigners? But some abuse the laws. Not only some foreigners but some Finns too. I paid, as a result, a high price for their ways. Some foreigners live here for years, or maybe they

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Let’s challenge Finland’s disgraceful family reunification obstacles

Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN) of Britain shows how organizations can do valuable work in lobbying for change against unfair family reunification laws (see Migrant Tales 28.6.13). Politicians, who have tightened such laws, are short-sighted and have created a tragedy for those who live separated from their loved ones.  The same suffering that separated families suffer in Finland

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Zuzeeko’s blog: Finland – Discrimination accounts for high Somali unemployment

Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng Somalis are among the largest groups of immigrants in Finland. They are also among the largest unemployed group of immigrants in the country. Many people [mistakenly] think that the high rate of unemployment among Somalis is because they are not willing to work. This, in my view, is not the case. Read

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Ariela Patterson: The right to be me on my terms

One of the biggest challenges facing Finland in the new century is to come to terms with its ever-growing cultural diversity. While some Finns have no problems with this, others oppose it. Finland’s cultural diversity is, however, something that nobody can stop. There are today tens of thousands of Finns with multicultural backgrounds. Ariela Patterson,

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How the Finnish police and media spread prejudice against Romanians and the Romany minority

Here is a good example of how the police and media treat certain immigrant and ethnic groups publicly. A story on YLE tells us that the overwhelming amount of grand larceny cases committed by foreigners in Finland are by Lithuanians.   The majority of suspected grand larceny cases in Finland are  committed by Lithuanians. Why

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My Conscience Your Conscience

By Dana Who has conscience? Who doesn’t have conscience? Finnish law doesn’t because it made a deep wound in me and it could not feel it did anything bad, oh nothing at all.                                                                                                       So why is this law  so cruel to me and my situation??? Because it isn’t wise…. because wiseness has conscience.                                                                                                What about racist people? Black

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Racism Review: Sweden – No Longer the Exception to Western Racist Rule

Authored by Tobias Hübinette and L. Janelle Dance Since May 20, 2013, mass vandalism, material damage and outbursts of rioting in the poor and non-white suburbs of Greater Stockholm have dominated Swedish and international news media. This civil unrest was sparked when, on May 12, the police shot and killed a 69-year-old man from Husby, one of

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Sweden and Woolwich reveal the eager face of intolerance

Be it the riots in Sweden or the tragic murder of a British solider in Woolwich last week, it’s always the eager face of intolerance that is ready to expose itself. The knee-jerk reaction to these events reveals something disturbing about us: our prejudice, intolerance and near-clueless answers on how to move forward in a

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ENAR press statement: Riots in Sweden – time for government to finally address ethnic minorities’ exclusion

Comment:   As Migrant Tales has written on a number of postings, the riots in Sweden mirror the dire situation of some immigrant groups in that country and how marginalized they are from the rest of society.  ______ Brussels, 28 May 2013 – The ongoing riots in Stockholm, Sweden are a strong wake-up call for

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Sweden riots: People cannot live off football, crumbs and destitute pity

In the face of the riots in Huusby, Sweden, which have now spread outside the northern Stockholm suburb, there’s one culprit we should pay close attention to especially here in Finland: The erosion of Sweden’s comprehensive welfare state system.  Faced with a seven-billion-euro budget deficit, it isn’t surprising that few if any politicians in this

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Migrant Tales Literary: Helloless culture

By Dana Hello!
 Well yes, hello! Hello! Let me tell you about a helloless culture.
 What is wrong with greeting people anyway?
 In Finland saying hello seems very difficult. 
It looks like they’re afraid to say hello even if u told them hello over and over again…and i’m wondering how many times i have to take

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Migrant Tales Literary: Boycott تحریم

By Dana نه رفیق و خانواده                  چهره ها پر از افاده نه در و نه پنجره، راه        مهر وموم و قفل و هم چاه نه کلید و رحمت و نور           همه کس بگویدت زور تازیانه می زند هار                 دیو زشت موذی

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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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Our lopsided debate on immigration and refugees serves to keep our society white

The most startling fact about a US state department report on human rights for 2012 weren’t the sentences for hate speech handed to Perussuomalaiset (PS) party members such as MP Jussi Halla-aho and Freddy Van Wonterghem, but the discrimination suffered by Finland’s Romany minority, which number about 10,000. Read full US secretary of state human

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Does PS MP Olli Immonen have any idea what Finnish culture is?

There’s a three-part story published on Suomen Kuvalehti with Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Olli Immonen, who states why postmodern movies, or those that don’t strengthen Finnish national identity, shouldn’t be funded by the state. Immonen was elected the new president of Suomen Sisu, an extremist association that discourages white Finns from marrying foreigners.  Suomen Kuvalehti published

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It’s the cultural diversity, stupid!

Would it be fair to say that the biggest challenge facing Finland during this century is accepting its cultural diversity and deconstructing our white national identity in order to make our society more inclusive? Will this happen easily?  The central issue being debated in Finland today about immigrants boils down to one question: How much

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Migrant Tales Literary: Abandonment

By Leo Honka There’s a place by the heart, possibly nearer to the soul, where eyes gasp for air,  in their own pain Amid arid and warped hills Grass blades sagging like broken horses on desolate plains expanding endlessly in all directions.   Abandonment is a lonely place where I long to be. Despite the

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Post-Jyväskylä: Where do we go from here?

Considering how the media treated before the April 2011 election racism and far right ideology and how social media sites were teeming with racist online lynch mobs, we are today waking up from the hangover of our state of social inebriation. The aftereffect will not go away in a day, week, or month but will

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The social tragedy of the family reunification problem of Somalis in Finland

The Finnish Immigration Service states in a report (see page 4) that at the end of 2011 there were a total of 6,100 family reunification applications by Somalis living in the country. Even so, only 329 family reunifications took place on average annually between 1999 and 2010, according to the Refugee Advice Center. No matter how one

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Making torture and hate acceptable

Even if the media in the United States speaks of torture as something recent, the truth is that it has been going on for a very long time. These type of barbaric interrogation techniques were widely used in the last century in regions like Latin America. The CIA and the United States trained and promoted torture and state-sponsored terrorism in places like the School of the Americas.

Read on »

THL study shows high amount of mental health problems suffered by Russians, Somalis and Kurds

The first question that came to mind when I read a disturbing study of Russian, Somali and Kurdish immigrants by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is why now? If the THL study is the first-ever of its kind in Finland about immigrants’ health and living conditions, why has it taken such a long

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Send kudos to those who speak out against racism

We must change the ever-adverse debate against immigrants and visible minorities in Finland.  The way to end it is by giving our silence a voice and by sending kudos to those who have the courage to speak out against racism and prejudice. Source: Lake Harriet Community School. Migrant Tales would like to give kudos Tuija

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Kouvolan Sanomat: Racism on the rise in the Finnish city of Kouvola

A city official that works with immigrants in refugees in the city of Kouvola, located 100km north of Helsinki, claims that racism and social exclusion are on the rise, reports Kourolvan Sanomat. The official, Tuija Värynen, said that complaints by immigrants of more racism and harassment rose clearly in March-April. Victims of racism can be

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Joseph: What being Finnish means to me (Part I)

By Joseph* I came to Finland at the age of three. I spoke only English and understood Spanish since my mother was a Finn who lived many years in Venezuela.  We moved to a small city called Lappeenranta in eastern Finland. It is a beautiful city and the current unofficial capital of Karelia after Finland ceded

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Enrique Tessieri: Why I write about racism

I write about racism and social exclusion in Finland because it affects me and those I care about. I should know because I used to live marginalized from this society for decades.  I didn’t live marginalized because I was maladapted. I was marginalized because I was well-adapted. Too many didn’t consider me a “real” Finn

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EU Commissioner for Human Rights: Protection against discrimination should be strengthened in Finland

  This is a statement by the EU Commissioner for Human Rights: Strasbourg, 25/9/2012 – “The Finnish Government has started a timely reform of the national equal treatment legislation. It is now crucial to ensure accessibility of the protection framework to all victims of discrimination and avoid unnecessary fragmentation of equality bodies” said today Nils

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An interesting discussion with some PS members about Finnish identity

I had an interesting discussion on Saturday with a Perussuomalaiset (PS) candidate for Mikkeli city council. The woman, who claimed that her mother is Russian, stressed that the PS strives to look after everyone’s interests in Finland, including that of immigrants.  Good news. Even if such views are hard to find in the PS, they

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Teach me that we are more alike than different…

 …teach me not to hate. Teach me the lie and shame of racism [because] it hurts all people. Teach me to learn from you and to learn about me…  Inspirational words from the Center for the Healing of Racism that should be the guiding light enshrined in our national curriculum for schools (opetussuunnitelma) concerning cultural diversity.

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Du Bois and Finland: “Your country”

I read an interesting blog entry on Racism Review about what W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), sociologist, historian and civil rights activist, wrote* about blacks in the United States. His words still ring out today in light of the hostility we see today towards immigrants and visible minorities in many parts of Europe and the United

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Exceptional Finns with immigrant backgrounds

Some Exceptional Finns with so-called immigrant backgrounds are Husein Muhammed, Nasima Razmyar, Arman Alizad, Tino Singh, Abdirahim Husu Hussein and Ali Jahangiri. All of them have one thing in common: They are exceptions to the stereotype but have immigrant backgrounds.   But how can you call a person who has lived most of his or her life in

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Finnish youths with immigrant backgrounds are the new underclass

A new map published by Statistics Finland shows the percentage of marginalized youths (15-29 yrs) by regions. It not only shows a growing problem in this country, but an especially serious one among youths with immigrant backgrounds, who have a much higher chance of being marginalized than white Finns. A marginalized youth is anyone who

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Somali-Finn Abdulah: Living in no-man’s land (Part 2)

When Abdulah*, 30, talks to you about his twenty-two years in Finland, one of the first questions that arises is how has so much suffering escaped our attention. For Abdulah, acceptance isn’t only virtually impossible from white Finns, but can be  just as hard to get from the Somali community.   “I have decided to

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Study: Homophobia and racism hinder young minority athletes from joining Finnish sports clubs

Helsingin Sanomat reported that homophobia and racism are two factors that hinder young minority athlietes from joining a Finnish sports club, according to a study. If the story is true it is not only another indication that some Finns live tucked deep in the values of the previous century, but for this to be going on still today is shameful, self-defeating and above all unacceptable.

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