Monday, March 19, 2012

Finnish Racism - A Post From Guest Author James Thompson

This guy, Jim Thompson, and I, have a lot in common.

We're both Americans. We've both spent years living in a foreign culture. We both have a considerable insider's knowledge of those cultures, and we both write noir police procedurals about them.

Helsinki White, Jim's latest, deals, in part, with racism in Finland.
Not something you'd expect to find in a society that most of the world views as nearly perfect, is it?
No. Me neither. But it's there.

Read on. (And, after you've finished, drop in to Jim's page, on Amazon, and read the reviews of Helsinki White. One of them is mine:  )

Leighton - Monday

Finnish Racism: the Victims Speak

A week ago tomorrow, my latest novel in the Inspector Vaara series, Helsinki White, was released in the U.S. It focuses on the themes of racism and corruption. Early reviews, both from trade publications and advance readers programs have been good, but at the same time thought provoking for me. The review in Kirkus rightly noted that most of my research was simply reading newspapers. Much of the rest was reading hate material from right-wing organizations. Much of it is true crime. I’ve found telling the truth a most effective way of making a point.

Over the past couple years, I’ve come to be viewed as a social commentator, as my novels point out social ills. That role was never on my agenda, and I didn’t realize it had happened for quite some time. Then I noticed just how many reviews used phrases like “the dark portrait Thompson paints of Finland.” I write what most label noir novels, and one aspect of the nature of the genre is to point out social ills. I was taken aback to find that writing bleak novels would lead people to believe that the worlds I created would be taken as a blanket statement of my personal feelings about the culture and country I live in. After all, I’ve never heard it said that Ian Rankin thinks Edinburgh a terrible place and Scotland the pits of hell, or that James Ellroy believes Los Angeles a city beyond redemption and the United States a death trap. Both, as best I understand, love those cities and their countries. We’re writing fiction. Key word fiction. I’m still grappling with why readers and reviewers cast me in a role not assigned to most other crime writers setting their novels in other locations.

I like Finland. It’s home. It’s been good to me. Sure, it has a lot of social problems, but what place doesn’t? Looking back, I felt compelled to write Helsinki White only partly because of the social problems I address, but more so because of hypocrisy, because of the national denial that they exist, because of the spin doctors who have convinced the world that Finland is a Utopia, when in fact, it faces a nearly identical set of problems to those much of Europe and the United States, and economically, these problems have been brought on by financiers and power brokers in the European Union and Finland. Yes, much of the book is scripture pure truth, but like everywhere I’ve ever been, this country is multi-faceted, and there is far more to it than suicide, alcoholism, and the many other ills I’ve ascribed to this society. Those facets are simply stories for other writers, not me. They aren’t the themes that compel me to write. It’s just not in my nature.

I’ve lived in various places, but never felt truly attached to any of them, but that lack of feeling has nothing to do with the cities or countries I’ve lived in, but because I’ve adopted the attitude that I take myself wherever I go, so to a certain degree, where I live doesn’t matter that much. I seldom consider my place in society. Although I’ve assimilated, I don’t think of myself as a Finn. I don’t think of myself as anything. To define a thing is to limit it. Why should I limit myself? I’ve very seldom in my life felt that I belonged to anything, have always felt that I’m an observer more than a participant. An outsider by nature. And I’m comfortable with that. A major Finnish magazine, Suomen Kuvalehti—sort of a Finnish Newsweek—publishes most interesting quotes of the week. I was once quoted as saying. “If foreigners don’t like it here, they know where the airport is.”

And I did say it, but my meaning wasn’t critical or malicious. I was sincere. If you don’t like where you are, go somewhere else. I’ve tired of places and moved on. What’s the big deal? Also, most of the people I associate with are Finnish. The reason: put a group of immigrants together, and more often than not, the main topic of conversation is how Finland sucks. I don’t think it sucks and tirades against it weary and bore me. I have two good American friends. Both are attorneys. Both are thriving. They’ve built lives here and love this place.

But hypocrisy, and particularly the hypocrisy of hate, repulses me. It exists everywhere, but as I write novels set in Finland, I discuss it in Finnish terms. And yes, I think that in some ways I must be a hypocrite, too. We lie to ourselves about ourselves as a way of getting through life. The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves, and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t guilty of it. We’re all fucking guilty.

I’ve let myself believe that if I can make it here, other foreigners can too. Of course, I have the distinct advantage of being white. I’ve always been aware that it makes a big difference, but it never hit home to me until this week how this culture can destroy people, flatten them, steamroll them. Especially people of color. It began with an e-mail from a young black man, a 25-year old Nigerian, and ended with a small mountain of correspondence falling into my hands. The man wishes to remain anonymous, because he’s afraid of retribution from racists, but wishes these texts to be published, and so I will, in a series. When you see editing, assume I did it to protect identity. When you see poorly written English, realize that English is usually a third, fourth, or fifth language for the writers, so personally, I think they’ve written very well indeed. I begin with the correspondence that sparked this post. My part in the conversation is irrelevant and so deleted.

Also, these opinions are not my own. At times, you may feel they’re shrill and unsupported. To me, that’s of little importance. What moves me is how these people feel.

Hello James,

Oh James, Many thanks indeed for this. It was all I needed -- and I 'really' needed it.

Will now look forward to the future, plus speed up my plans to move away from Finland. I am here now for seven years and the immigrant situation in the country really isn't getting any better. You and Alexis Kouros (owner of Helsinki Times) are the only foreign-born persons I know who are successfully doing what they enjoy doing in the country. Others, mostly, are either saddened and trapped, or saddened and running away. :)
Have a blessed day!

Please feel free to share my experiences anonymously.

I am currently 30, and came to Finland at age 22. A trained nurse -- studied  here in Finland. I am from Botswana.

95% of the guys with whom I started life in Finland have all emigrated to the US, Canada or their home country following graduation in Finland. They all left out of frustration stemming from their inability to get decent jobs that match their studies.

This is a country that just keeps talking about how much it needs immigrants, especially bright ones, but does nothing to retain and respect them when they get here. I have met countless smart and well-educated expatriates across the country whose lives have been turned upside down by the country and its women.

But worst is that Finns don't want to be confronted with the truth, which makes me think they may never get this immigration matter, much less solve it. I have tried through numerous ways to affect the situation with no success. I have written to the right governmental ministries….

I have really tried to affect the situation positively. For instance, despite knowing "integration" is a myth and that Finns mostly use it to cover up their inability to accept and employ the immigrant, I have mostly tried to share the blame equally between the two camps (immigrants and Finns). To be candid, I used to be optimistic about Finland eventually getting the immigration puzzle, but not anymore. I have all but given up as I talk to you. Finns often blame the immigrant's woes on the immigrant's poor knowledge of the Finnish language, but the truth is, the more Finnish you know, the harder life becomes for you in Finland. EDITOR’S NOTE: IT SOUNDS STRANGE BUT IS TRUE, I HAVE REALIZED THIS MYSELF. I am a testimony. As a matter of fact, I was warned by older, frustrated immigrants upon arrival in Finland back in 2005, but I defied them, believing that positivity and hard work will always result in success, unaware that as I was warned, Finland is an exception.

I have lived across 5 Finnish cities. It's indeed a dark country. After sharing a Helsinki apartment with a seriously alienated and mentally sick Finnish guy, I moved to a new house about a hundred meters away from the former one, hoping for a safer living, but only to discover that my new neighbour (or flat-mate) was about as sick as the former. A few weeks after moving in, I discovered that this my new mate had just bought himself a very long and terrifying sword. And I was relieved as I shortly afterward had to move from there to Vaasa where I was offered a job. Lo!, James, my new flat-mate there in Vaasa was, if truth be told, sicker than the two preceding young men in Helsinki. This young man in Vaasa was dangerously troubled and yelled from his room every night, a very chilling cry. Moving to Forssa from Vaasa after half a year wasn't any better. There in Forssa I knew an American man who was disturbingly bullied and used by his Finnish wife with whom he had moved from the States. To wrap up, not long after moving from Forssa To xxxx -- a Finnish guy who shared my Forssa block was found dead in his apartment. So much dark stuff taking place in such a small place.

I have so much to say but would neither like to steal your time nor spoil your day. In less than a year here in xxxxx I suffered two (physical) racial attacks. One was on the bus on my way home from work; the other happened at a bus stop on my way to work.

At my most recent work place (a large hospital), mental and emotional troubles are so prevalent among the staff my employer has stopped offering sick leave pay to those suffering it. A cost cutting measure which forgot to take into account that both mental and physical health are clearly inseparable. Ironically, such injustice is happening in a health care environment.

Indeed, James, you may not imagine this one possible in Finland but not long ago here, being a nurse, I was asked by a patient of mine to call his son and tell him his father was down and dying. I did, and instead of a promise of an immediate last visit from his son on the phone, the younger man was furiously demanding to know why I called him when his father wasn't yet dead, adding that I should call him only after he was dead.

Finland is a dark and heavily imperfect place but where citizens are superlatively pretentious. Back in the Catholic seminary which I attended as a young boy, such an attitude was referred to by seminarians as "washing the cup's outer side, when its inner side is indeed the side in need of sanitary attention".



I am a black foreigner, I have a job, I pay my TAXES. I consider myself as a hard working person and I get along with some Finns, mostly educated ones who don't suffer from low self esteem.

I have realized that most Finns that are racist have very low self esteem and feel big when they put a black person down.They complain that foreigners are here to take their jobs and take money from the state. Well from my experience foreigners especially black want to work and are usually not employed because of the colour of their skin. Give them jobs and you will never see them at KELA or sosu FINNISH UNEMPLOYMENT AND WELFARE OFFICES. They will do any job, and most often they get the jobs that Finns themselves don't want then they complain that they are taking away jobs. One thing that the average Finn doesn't know is that Finns are scattered all over the world, I was shocked to discover that some Finns actually live in the country I come from. And the funny thing is that although they look different they are welcome and free.

Finns need to be welcoming and friendly to outsiders.Above all they need to learn other ways of building self esteem, like teaching their children respect,caring for their old parents,caring for their neighbour, not feeling jealous about what the other person has achieved,being friendlier, spending more time with their children and family not just at joulu or any other holiday, learning more about other cultures.
Don't get me wrong not all Finns are bad and they are some positive things about Finnish people but sometimes they get overshadowed by the bad things.One of these positive things is that they are hard working.


You describe us Finns quite accurately, I think. Many of us, yes, perhaps the more educated ones, and those who have lived elsewhere, have no problem with foreigners, but there is a visible minority who are racist. Like racists everywhere, Finnish racists try to cover their insecurity by bravado and bullying and blaming those who look different.

I feel that there is a section of 'humanity' missing in our society. This is difficult to explain, and I'm not even sure if this is true about the majority or just some people I've met. I've lived in two other countries, and will never return to Finland to live (I hope), and can say I have not met such simpletons anywhere else as so many of us Finns are. It's as if many of us were living some bad farce with few lines and only in a minor role. We are not a fully functioning human being, we are actors not quite familiar with the script, and certainly not able to write the script. Some kind of automatic robots going about our routine actions, saying routine phrases, reacting, not thinking. This is not being human. Being a human is to exprerience life fully, find a connection with others, creating one's life instead of reacting to events like a rag doll.

I respect many things about the Finnish culture, and admit that we have many good qualities, such as the ability to work hard, and persistence, sisu. I'm glad you are living in Finland. People like you wil eventually bring some light into darkness, even against the will of some of the population. Stay positive, keep smiling.

One memory from my past. I was living in a small town before I emigrated. I found most people difficult to get along with, and rather narrow minded. The only one I was able to talk with as a human being talks to another, was a black man. He was working as a doctor. He was wonderful, but I got the impression that many didn't appreciate him.


When I moved to Finland 12 years ago, people always asked: "Are you accustomed to the Finnish culture?”

Culture - where is it? Is it a man running down a woman at the door of a shop? Is it when the kids trample on the meal table? Is it a young man sitting in a bus and an old woman standing? Is it, as well, when adults seem to have forgotten the words "Hello" and "Thank you"?

Feast day is Saturday. Then have to drink to the memory loss. The main streets look like after urinary competitions.

It’s a pity that Finnish nation do not have friends and they do not respect their parents.
Elderly make suicide every other day in Finland. The reason is loneliness and depression.



  1. Choose clean nature.
    Choose safe environment.
    Choose free education.
    Choose a f*n big country
    with a f*n small population,
    Choose taxes the size of a yearly income elsewhere,old cars, half a year of darkness and a meter of snow.
    Choose no sleep, high alcohol content and no mental therapy.
    Choose fixed union salaries.
    Choose a rented shoebox for a family of five.
    Choose no friends.
    Choose black jeans and matching combat boots.
    Choose an axe for your cottage in a range of f*n forged steel blades.
    Choose a Finnish partner and wondering why the f* you're logged whining about Finland on a bulletin board on a Sunday morning.
    Choose sitting in a classroom listening at mind-numbing, spirit-crushing Finnish grammar,
    craving f* foreign food into your mouth.
    Choose leaving at the end of it all, selling your last piece of furniture at a loss to some miserable newcomer, nothing more than an embarrassment to the rose-tinted-glasses-wearing, f*d up losers spawned by Ryanair to get over to their Nordic Welfare Paradise.
    Choose your future.
    Choose Finland.

  2. Sometimes its good to focus on the positives - I know saying it might not please all but it will make daily life a lot pleasent.


    This was listed just a few posts after yours on Facebook today. Having been to Finland, I was completely unaware that this was such as issue. I found the country and it's people completely charming. I had an amazing time in Helsinki and anticipate my return in June. "Helsinki White" was certainly an eye-opener. I read the book in one evening. I couldn't put it down. Onnea!! ... you went above and beyond my expectations.

    1. Yeah, before I go to America I should read Tom Clancy books and take them at face value.

  4. Powerful stuff, Jim. I've met a lot of Finns on Mykonos and from my experiences with them, I must say I never would have imagined anything like what you any your correspondents detailed. In fact, Mykonians tend to think of Finns as among the best behaved and most welcome of tourists.

    All of which prompts me to ask, why do you think things are as you (so very eloquently) described?

  5. Damn Hank, that was powerful. I'm not sure what to think about it yet, but I'm going to re-post it.

    Anonymous. It's true that it pays to accentuate the positive, and as I said, I like this place, it's been good to me. But as the people cited in my essay wrote, that's not the truth of life for many people. As I'm fond of saying: people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but first they have to have boots.

    Catherine, what can I say except thank you.

    Jeffrey, I really don't know why things are as they are. I just observe and comment on them. If I wrote a 10,000 word essay, maybe I could find a way to begin to articulate it. I believe it's a multitude of factors that have culminated in where we are today. Whether you survive or thrive in this environment is also determined by a number of factors, from socio-economic to race, to your personality, and many many others.

  6. I read and reviewed HELSINKI WHITE and I consider it an exceptional book in part because of its honesty in presenting a country as it is experienced by those who live there.

    Racism is a concept/culture/philosophy that defies rational thought. It has been responsible for preventing the United States from developing its best resource, its people.
    Before the late 60's, Boston, Massachusetts had a policy of open enrollment in the public schools. As long as there was a seat available, a student in any part of the city couls attend a school in another part. Then a judge, who lived in one of the wealthiest towns in the state, ruled that the schools in Boston practiced de facto segregation. Schools weren't segregated by law but they were segregated by neighborhoods - parents sent their children to the closest school. Garrity ruled this segregation and ordered that children be bused to other parts of the city, generally miles from home, so that some racial balance could be achieved. Instead, families who could afford it either moved out of Boston or moved their kids into the local Catholic schools. neighborhoods died and the Boston public schools haven't recovered. In essence, the Boston schools became segregated by court order.

    When most Americans think of the Nordic countries, if they think about any countries at all, the think of free health care and socialism although few could define socialism. They like the idea of "free" health care but have no idea what that costs the Finns in taxes.

    America is the "great melting pot" where people from everywhere can come and blend into the society and culture. Of course, this rosy view evolved when most immigrants were white and from northern Europe. The Irish had a more difficult time because they were Catholics but they settled in the cities (they didn't have any money so they had to stay wherever the boat docked), had large families and soon became a major force in politics. With the exception of Ash Wednesday,white Protestants and white Catholics looked the same.

    Skin color became the dividing line. a professor in college suggested that the racism in the US evolved after slavery ended. Poor whites and poor blacks were equally disenfranchised so whites seized on skin color as the determining factor in deciding the value of a person.

    The Boston school debacle succeeded as planned. Instead of people of all races working together to get valuable education for their children, the battle became poor against poor and everyone's children lost.

    1. "because of its honesty in presenting a country as it is experienced by those who live there."

      I gather you don't even know where Finland is on the map?

      Yes, its like San Fransisco experienced as someone on LSD in the 60's.

  7. I have never seen a human group where there isn't some kind of hierarchy established. (Maybe not in the rest of the animal world as well.) The color of one's skin, the accent, the way of speaking a language-one way or another, people have a way of making themselves feel better at the expense of the other. We are very imperfect, us humans. All that being said, I really like your books, and Helsinki White is on its way to me, which makes me happy.

  8. Hi Beth, I lived in Boston for quite some time. At first in South Boston. Before or since, I haven't seen that kind of extreme racism--where a black person walking the streets after dark might be killed--or that kind of hopeless. Bank robbery became a young mans' profession in Charlestown, despite the greater part of them being arrested within 24 hours. Sigh.

  9. In Boston, in the 1970s, there were rocks thrown by racist whites at Black school children being bused. And then an incident occurred in downtown Boston where a Haitian man was pulled out of his car and beaten. This made front-page news all over the country. This set forth some Civil Rights activities in Boston, one which I attended of 25,000 people in December, 1974.
    There was plenty of racism during the time of U.S. slavery by the slavocracy and their Northern supporters. There is no way enslaved people could have been beaten -- even to death, abused, families separated, people who'd fleed hunted down, etc. -- without extreme racism.
    Even the U.S. Constitution did not count Black people as full people. Several presidents had owned slaved. There were fist fights in Congress over slavery. Tons has been written on this horror. There were, however, abolitionists organizing and writing in the North. Then in the late 1870s the Ku Klux Klan arose, carrying out extra-legally what the slavocracy had carried out legally against Black people.
    It's terrible to see racism occurring like this in Finland, a country which many of us see as part of the progressive Nordic countries, with peace, harmony and social benefits for all. Apparently not.
    Good that these letters were written and posted and that this awful situation is being publicized. Perhaps this will help to raise awareness there, although there are probably some active civil rights' groups there. Is that so? I hope so.
    Glad that Helsinki White delves into these issues, a harsh reality but one that needs to be told. Look forward to reading it.

    1. "It's terrible to see racism occurring like this in Finland"

      It isn't. There isn't so much racism in Finland so you have to make up stories. If douchebag kids shoot rockets at newyears, and it ends up on someones balcony, its 1 row news. If the balcony happens to belong to some whining foreigner its frontpage racist attack. Theres people living off this industry so the more they propagate this kind of hysteria in the media, the more funding they get. Please rest assured America still leads in racism.

  10. what's with the fenmale contingent of this blog? they never seem to get their material in on time?

  11. Hi James,

    I have not read your book but definately intend to after having read the above post. I do not know what to say about it, the first half seemed very insightful while the e-mails you posted felt a bit bogus - please note that I am not implying that you made them up but I find the first story a bit exaggerated. How can anyone rent four or five apartments in a row that all end up having a mentally ill roommate in them? And what is with the comment "I have met countless smart and well-educated expatriates across the country whose lives have been turned upside down by the country and its women." Could it be that this man is himself biased against women? Or am I misunderstanding something, how are the Finnish women to blame for lives being turned upside down if the misery regards racism? Are they worse than the men or what?

    Sorry, I do not doubt there is racism in Finland as much as elsewhere. Maybe more - I do not know and after having read your post I must assume this is the case. But one thing I do know coming from a country with a small difficult language as is the case for Finland - you are not worse off trying to learn the language than you are not knowing it. Were I to go to the States just speaking Icelandic I can assure you I would not get a job as an engineer. I would be lucky to get a job at MacDonalds - in the back. Further to this I once worked on an English speaking project here and a French guy, highly educated and specialised, was sent over as an expert to consult. He spoke only French and was returned to sender as he was as a result useless for the task he was to conduct. No one understood him.

    So, although I am not a big commenter I find myself obligated to add my 2 cents as the Finns are semi-related to us here in Iceland and I feel they are not portrayed very justly in the piece above. Generalizing about a whole nation and insinuating that everyone there is mentally ill and heartless is in essence akin to racism so the e-mail writer is not perfect, anymore that the rest of us. But perhaps his words are a result of bitterness caused by ill treatment. If so then this is a sad state of affairs for him as well as those who have treated him injustly.

    I hope I am not out of turn and that the situation you describe is of a small, bleak and shady corner of the Finnish society. If not and this is the general way of things in Helsinki then bedlam must prevail there.

    bye Yrsa

    1. Sigh, Yrsa, I just wrote a reply to you longer than your post, hit PUBLISH, and it disappeared into a cyber black hole. I don't have time to re-write it now, but will soon, and thank you for your thoughts. I haven't checked this blog for a while and didn't know you had commented. Back to you soon.

    2. Hi Yrsa,
      I'm rather glad my earlier reply didn't go through, as much of what you discuss seems to have been lifted from this site:
      and in many cases been altered and given a much more bitter tone than the original author often intended. The posts here will provide you with better articulated answers than the ones I provided you with in my condensed answer. And yes, I think your interpretation was accurate, "much is the result of bitterness caused by ill-treatment." I stated earler in this series that the correspondences related in this series were generated by emotion and unsupported by fact, and that it was the feelings of the writers that I wished to relate, not to defend their positions. Because many feel these things. I know, having heard them many times over the years. Saying 4-5 roommates in a row were mentally ill, for instance. How is that defined? It's a generic term encompassing everything from depression to schizophrenia and therefore almost meaningless in a professional essay. But these are not profesional essays. These are by and large cries for help from people in pain. I don't endorse their views nor criticize them. I only document the condition of a group, as described by themselves, and caused, I believe largely, by a culture. I would go so far as to say that fault lies with no one. The culture pre-existed their place in it, and many, including myself, are content in this culture. It seems to me to be much like a car crash, and these people were critically injured by it.

    3. "How can anyone rent four or five apartments in a row that all end up having a mentally ill roommate in them?"

      I am not crazy, everyone else is!

  12. Having read of Finland from several other sources, I can help but agree completely with this article. And for Yrsa Sigurdardottir who doubts some of its content, may I ask which country in Europe has the highest suicide rate per capita? Isn't the answer Finland? And which country in the old Europe has the lowest number of immigrants per capita? You bet it's Finland!

    That said, I recommend you see this validating link:

    And here, scroll down and see real comments by expatriates in Finland:

  13. Erratum: I "can't" help but...

  14. Australia had a white only immigration policy up until 1971 I believe. I like Australia and Australians. A good bloke is a good bloke as they like to say. Yet there is no question in my mind that the country as a whole benefited from this racist policy when compared to the USA the UK and Europe. Does that justify it? No. Did they benefit form their racist policy? In my opinion, yes they did.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. You are quite right that Australia benefitted from the racist policy. But let me just point out, that Europe's and America's immigration woes are directly as a result of failed political approaches. I do not know, however, why it is so hard for Europeans and Americans to see this. Today, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore, immigration is extremely successful and gainful. The reason is simple: those guys have a fair, pragmatic and well-thought-out approach towards the matter; kudos to their smart politicians. Across Europe and in the US though, the politicians keep failing vis-a-vis immigration and instead of admit to their people that they are unable to produce quality immigration policies, they go about fuelling racism and chaos and declaring multiculturalism dead.

  15. Suomeen on -90-luvun laman jäljiltä jäänyt erittäin korkea työttömyys eli työpaikkoja ei yksinkertaisesti riitä kaikille!!!
    - se etteivät ulkomaalaistaustaiset aina löydä työtä ei siis johdu pelkästään rasismista - edes kantasuomalaiset vastavalmistuneet eivät tahdo löytää itselleen koulutustaan vastaavaa työtä.

    Pätkä-, silppu- ja muut alipalkatut paskaduunit - sekä työttömyys! - kuuluvat tätä nykyä ihan suomalaisten akateemistenkin työhistoriaan. Työ toki olisi paras kotouttaja maahanmuuttajille, mutta kun sitä EI yksinkertaisesti OLE!

    Huono taloudellinen tilanne - ja kaikenlainen muu näköalattomuus - luo epätoivoa ja pistää köyhät kilpailemaan keskenään alati vähenevistä resursseista - ja tämä negatiivisuuden kierre on omiaan lisäämään myös sitä oikeaa rasismia.

    Mutta kuten blogisti toteaa, täältä pääsee kyllä poiskin, jos ei maassa lainkaan viihdy. Etenkin koulutettujen ulkomaalaisten osaamiselle on varmasti käyttöä muuallakin, jos työpaikkaa ei Suomesta löydy eikä ihminen noin muutenkaan täällä viihdy!

    Ja Suomi nyt vaan on Suomi - jos haluaa ympärilleen kaikkea mahdolisimman ei-suomalaista - kannattaa noin loogisesti ajatellen suunnistaa pois Suomesta - eihän Suomi voi kerta kaikkiaan olla suomalaisuutta vihaaville hyvä asuinpaikka miltään kannalta, minkään maan ihmisiä kun ei vain voi noin vain "vaihtaa" tai muuttaa.

    Ja vaikka maahanmuuttomyönteiset eivät tätä tunnustaisikaan - niin myös ulkomaalaisilla itsellään on ollut oma roolinsa rasismin tai pikemminkin maahanmuuttovastaisuuden kasvussa Suomessa; näin rumasti sanottuna ryöstöt, raiskaukset (toki yksittäistapauksia) ja erilaiset erityisvaatimukset kustannuksineen eivät välttämättä ole edistäneet maahanmuutajien asiaa. Maahanmuuttosektorin talouden paisuminen samaan aikaan kun muualta supistetaan yms. asiat eivät myöskään ole omiaan lisäämään myönteisyyttä maahanmuuttoa ja -muuttajia kohtaan.

    Suomen ja suomalaisten jatkuva syyttely ja haukkuminen monikulttuurisuusaktivistien taholta ei myöskään lisää positiivista suhtautumista ulkomaalaisiin tai edistä suvaitsevaisuutta muutenkaan! Haukkuminen ja pakottaminen kun on harvoin synnyttänyt mitään positiivista - missään maassa. Tarvitaan siis molemminpuolista hyväksyntää ja suvaitsevaisuutta!!!

    Toki on hirveää, jos ihminen joutuu syrjityksi tai muutoin kaltoinkohdelluksi pelkästään ihonvärinsä tähden - tällaisen rasismin kohteeksi joutuneet antaisevat myötätuntoa ja tukea. Ja toki valistusta ja konkreettisiakin toimenpiteitä rasismia vastaan on syytä lisätä.

    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Your opinions are valued, as are all who have commented here. This series has pieces on three blogsites and has generated much controversy. Unfortunately, the demographic of this site's visitors includes few Finnish readers, and so your message will be received by very few.

      I'm not singling you out, but addressing all who have chosen to remain anonymous. I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable publishing posts without names on them. This isn't my site, I'm a guest, but will discuss with the admin about whether we should allow the practice to continue. It hurts you, the writers, as people suspect that your writings are fraudulent, and personally, I feel people should sign their names if they want to deliver a public message.

      "But who will blog the truth?" You will, if you want, publish what you believe to be the truth on my blogsite. It has a high Finnish demographic. Still, most readers are native English readers. If you want your thoughts heard, I will deliver them to thousands of people. Write anything you like. I ask that you send the text in both Finnish and English (sorry, I don't have time to translate for you). I insist only that you sign your name to it. If you have interest, e-mail me at

      Thanks for your contribution.

  16. (cont.) - Even if there are a lot of university graduates and PhDs and whatnot in Finland, in many other things the country seems still stuck in 1940, and you can't even figure what would be the cause of that. The weird attitudes and behaviors that are passed on as part of the "culture"? Respecting the medias and the authorities which have spoon-fed since babies with constantly telling how great the country and its people are? If its language was not so unlike any other language, would they be less weird? The odd attitudes and behaviors seem present even the larger Finnish businesses, such as Nokia (why should they advertise for their product? Surely having a Nokia must be like owning a pc, if you have one you'll sure stick to Windows or Nokia for the rest of your life), which stays in Finland even if it's failing (where most other companies would move their HQ to a country where they are not raped by taxes, like to Ireland. But not Nokia, it's too Finnish for that). Yep, stuck to the past where the Finns still don't understand why neekeri might not be such a pleasant world, in the times where the Finnish design is still to them (and the others - for the style at least) what it was in 1960. Hey, let's promote some Finnish architecture and make them do some ultramodern stuff, that should prove the rest of the world how modern we are, right? As long as you're (of the correct type of) white, you probably just buy that picture and move on. Something's wrong in that country, and I can't put my finger on it. But that's how you get all these stone age Finns still roaming around and voting for persus, and trying to rid themselves from the not-so-Finns.

    I love history, and it's scary how short time it has been since the slavery and segregation were banished. John Howard Griffin's "Black Like Me" was written barely 60 years ago. An interesting read, and scary how short time ago that was. Maybe someone should do some more modern experiment with the same concept: do the US again as a black (or Hispanic) guy, or do Finland as a black guy. Some journalists did a similar experiment a few years back in Italy, where they hired themselves as illegals for farm hands, and that was quite scary (even if we don't pretend there should be a difference between the legals and illegals).

    Racism can be so weird sometimes. In one city I'm not naming here, in Southern (but continental) Italy, I got stared at weirdly because I was lighter and had hair dyed blond. Add to that my housemate of the same constitution, but whose skin tone was to the other direction, so a too black French (or from Madagascar too) girl, especially when we happened to walk together. Sometimes you can read so much from the people's eyes. And yet too light in that city, I was still obviously too dark and too not-Finnish-enough to work in a nameless architect's office in Kuusisaari (one of the pricier areas with embassy presence). Maybe I should just thank them for making my mind clearer of not belonging in the country.

  17. Wait, now blogspot ate my first part of the post?
    Here's what was supposed to be the beginning of it:

    Finland can be a hugely different place depending on your setup: white person born there (you'll probably like it, and if you were spoon-fed all the stories about the Finnish superiority in everything since the time your Finnish godfathers gave you a Finnish spoon as a baby, you might not ever see anything wrong there), or a white arrival (probably for the Finnish wife or the job? Some of them like it there enough to stay and find new ones after the wife and the job are gone), or a black... even if you were born in Finland but are black, it's harder. Can the Finns now distinguish a bit more than they did in the '90s when I lived there? Somalis (of which many have been living in Finland since they were born or kids)/other Africans/Black Americans? When I lived in Finland, I hated seeing how the 'less white' were often treated. And I'm not talking about the redneck Alabama of Europe, Joensuu, but everywhere. I once saw an African man on the ground suffering from stroke or something other serious close to Stockmann, and I wondered how many hundreds of people had walked by without lifting a finger? Even if the Helsinki typical reaction supposedly is to walk by and pretend to not see anything if someone's lying on the ground ("they could be drunk! it's their own fault), how do live with yourself if you walk by when someone probably is dying in front of your eyes?

    The Finns that live elsewhere are (usually) of a completely different kind, Jeffrey. Or after simply living elsewhere for years, like in UK or US, where not everyone is folded out from the same mound (like the Finnish, or the Finnish cities). Once they realize that and learn to live with that, they're more fun to hang out with. Those who fail to integrate to the rest of the world then return back home and vote for persus and live "happily" ever after.

    Where do they (most of the world?) get the idea of a happy socialist paradise that welcomes the newcomers and where it's all eternal sunshine and dancing on the midsummer roses? Oh, perhaps from a quick holiday in Sweden (where they have 7 11 stores, and which seem to be largely run by a Swedish Pakistani version of Apu), but where they didn't stay for long, and where they didn't even have a peak for the more sinister Nordic parts of the character by doing just a quick cruise to Finland by a trombonave (a cruise ship where it can be pretty... entertaining to watch the locals)?

    1. You definitely are truthful, Anna, and know well of what you speak! :)))

  18. One thing about Jim: he tells it like it is, comfortable or uncomfortable. That's why he's such a terrific writer.

  19. Hi All,

    Jim's point about anonymous posts is certainly valid in some respects.
    But here, on MURDER IS EVERYWHERE, are going to continue to allow them.
    It's been our experience that many of our contributors don't know how to attach their names, or are to shy to do so.
    And yet make very worthwhile contributions to our discussions.
    So we don't want to deny them a voice.
    And, for every mean-spirited anonymous comment, we get many more that are of true value in informing and entertaining our readers.
    So keep on being anonymous if you like.
    But, that said, it would be nice to get to know you better.
    And we can only do that if you sign your name.

    1. Reposted from Facebook earlier today:

      Regarding the series on racism that I'm blogging in cooperation with the site, Murder is Everywhere. I receive and disseminate the blog material itself. I won't accept anonymous blogs unless an excellent reason is given to me, and I can't think of many. On Murder is Everywhere, anonymous comments on blogs are acceptable. Comments in Finnish are fairly useless because so few of the site's readers can understand them. It's up to the admin there to publish or not if in Finnish only. At the very least, I'll likely vet them. If you want to blog in Finnish, that's fine, but even for my site, I need an English translation and will publish both, as about 25% of my readers are Finns and I don't want to lock out the rest of the world. Comments to blogs in Finnish on my site are acceptable, just realize that you're message will reach only a fraction of readers. Anonymous comments i will look at on a case by case basis. On principle, I'm against them, but Leighton Gage at Murder is Everywhere is of the opinion that there are far more people that are just shy than are frauds. I'll trust his judgment. Basically, if I feel the comment doesn't have a name on it because the position is so extreme, I won't publish it. If you're shy, fine. If you're a mean-spirited racist bastard but don't have the balls to stand up, no publishing. If you want your voice heard, sign it. Lastly, if you're shy about your English language skills, I'll clean up your grammar and punctuation if you ask me to.

  20. Well, with this kind of an attitude I'm not sure I wonder why they're not really making much friends. I would have trouble listening to this kind of whining in real life and be tolerant of the immigrant, although I'm quite easy to get along with otherwise :p

  21. Just a bunch of trash talking about Finns, as usual. You're absolutely no better than the "racists" you think you're fighting.

  22. Hi Jim,

    your reply to my comment of the 21st of March only came to my attention now with Hank W's input. I must say that I hope I am misundertanding this: "I'm rather glad my earlier reply didn't go through, as much of what you discuss seems to have been lifted from this site:
    and in many cases been altered and given a much more bitter tone than the original author often intended."

    Are you really implying that I lifted my comment off some webpage? If so I would like you to know that I have never heard of this "trappedinfinland" page and I am perfectly capable of summing up my own conclusions without stealing text from others.

    If you choose to dish it out you must at least be able to accept that not everyone everywhere will always agree with you.

    Sum-up: I did not "lift" my comment from anywhere and am very offended at the insinuation. Not that you will care.

  23. Great blog Powerful stuff, Jim. I've met a lot of Finns on Mykonos and from my experiences with them, I must say I never would have imagined anything like what you any your correspondents detailed. In fact, Mykonians tend to think of Finns as among the best behaved and most welcome of tourists......

    Kingsmill Studios | Closest student accommodation to Huddersfield University

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.