Is there racism in Finland?
One of the most successful posts of this blog is, Are you a target of racism in Finland? In my opinion the reason why so many have read it is because there is a racism problem in Finland. A Mikko wrote a recent comment, where he states, “there are some real problems in Finnish society but racism is not in the top 5.”
If unemployment is about 7% among Finns and about 20% among foreigners, certainly that shows that there is a problem. Is this due to racism, discrimination or because Finns are suspicious of outsiders?
Some Finns argue that one reason why foreigners don’t have jobs is because they don’t speak the language nor understand the culture. This sounds like an excuse to justify the present situation, whereby some foreigners continue to be marginalized from Finnish society. It is, however, a good point, but it is not a valid one. In Spain, where there are many Latin Americans who speak Spanish as their mother tongue and even have the same religion as many Spaniards. one would guess that integration into Spanish society would be easy. Wrong. Most of the Latin Americans, especially those from Ecuador, Dominicans, Bolivia and others, who are racially different-looking from Spaniards, suffer racist attacks and are at the lower end of the societal totem pole.
This suggests that that a big part of the problem resides in Spanish attitudes towards outsiders.
Why do Africans from former French colonies, where they speak French, are a target of constant racism in France? Shouldn’t a common language unite them? Or is it racism?
A so-called “civilized” country like Finland is measured by its ability to accept – not reject and exclude – and facilitate the integration of “outsiders” into society. Up to now, it has done a pretty poor job at this.
When unemployment of foreigners and Finns is at about the same level, then that will be one indication that we have slain, or at least contained, the ogre of racism that is still alive and kicking in Finland.