Yve Sheperd: 2022 – the year as an alien!

by , under Yve Shepherd

Mid-week on British tv, the lead news story was of the racism, caught in Buckingham Palace. The victim is a black British woman who helps female assault victims. The offender is an elderly white woman who has been many years in an honor position. It was a huge embarrassment for the Royal Family, and the offender resigned immediately after being called on it.

Although the victim was not in danger, it was fortunate that the room was packed with other people, and there were witnesses to the racist statements and questions. An hour or two later, it was the lead story on the 6 pm news. If what happened wasn’t important, then you likely don’t know that racism is a CRIME.

After that, I was full of mixed emotions. I was glad that the offender was caught, heartfelt for the victim who had to deal with it, and brave enough to call it out. I was also frustrated and envious because the Finnish police here do not take this crime seriously. I am still bearing the brunt of the racism, Anglophobia, and ageism from a Finnish offender who was in a power position over me because when you have no justice – you have no peace.


Read Yve Sheper’s earlier essay here about life in Finland.

The struggle to be accepted as normal, legal, equal, capable, and human is a burden foreigners don’t usually expect from a country like Finland – and it is a huge burden because the bar is set higher in many ways for non-Finns.

Originally I had planned to update you that I am still waiting for the ( replacement) permanent residence that was promised to me by October 6, 2022 – and emphasize how my new police ID can be processed in 8 weeks, and yet I have to wait more than a year for a status, and, in the meantime get questioned by officials while at the same time paying taxes and having your benefit put on hold. But the first part of this report blends into the second – and becomes continual disrespect.

I recently approached my local church to say that I would like to use materials I brought from Canada to have a Bible study group – but without committing – they just asked me to help set up the staff breakfast meeting the next week and offered some free bread and potatoes :/ I don’t get it – and I know I’m not the only one. 

It’s hard for me to understand the over-compensating machismo, the empathy dissociation of many authority figures, and the strange logic of limiting ideas that could produce a useful life harvest. I have more in common with the Sámi than the other citizens. 

My personal study will happen another way, and I will survive another day. But it shouldn’t be the struggle it is. Not for me, nor for anyone who has invested one’s life here and tried so hard. 

Further reading: Shadow racism in the happiest country