What did Makwan Amirkhani forget to say on his video?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Violence is wrong and it’s commendable when people speak out against such anti-social behavior. Makwan Amirkhani, who speaks perfect Finnish on a video, claims that he’s disappointed at non-white Finnish youths that were in a video kicking and hitting a person on the street.

Amirkhani states that these youths should not forget that they are “guests” in this country.

Guests? That sounds like he’s echoing the code term “person with migrant or foreign background,” which labels you indefinitely a “guest” of this country and reminds you that you can never be a “Finn” because you “have foreign or migrant background.”

Instead of calling these people “guests” or any other label that reminds them that they are outsiders or marginalized from society, we should go to the core of the problem. The answer lies in inclusion and opportunities not in exclusion and labeling others as outsiders.

I would have said what Amirkhani stated in a totally different manner.

One important matter I’d tell these youths is that since they’re not white Finns, and since they are dumb enough to commit such an act of violence, video and post it on Instragram, they should remember that white Finnish privilege is maintained by structural racism and urban tales.

Their actions strengthen such social illnesses.

The tweet below by Sally Kohn should explain to them how things work.

The Finnish version of the tweet below would be: “Shooter with foreign or migrant background” = entire group guilty, and white Finnish shooter = mentally troubled lone wolf.

Näyttökuva 2015-1-8 kello 19.56.09

“I don’t have to tell you this,” I’d continue to tell these youths, “you know better than anyone else that you are under scrutiny 24/7 by those who label and have power over you. Instead of posting videos that racists and populists can use to label Others in this country, study and learn how to challenge those very racist structures that label and constantly remind you that you aren’t good or worthy enough to be treated equally and with respect by this society.”

Näyttökuva 2015-9-16 kello 10.29.12
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

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