I was speaking today with a woman from an African country who had been in Finland for five years and had never held a job. She said that she had tried to find work as a cleaner but, surprisingly, she said that she could not because her Finnish wasn’t good enough.
Some wrongfully accuse those of speaking up for cultural diversity in Finland of “whining” and being “ingrates.” Apart from exercising one’s democratic right of free speech, bigger steps will have to be taken by minorities in Finland to drive home their message of equality and fair treatment.
When debating discrimination of immigrants and refugees in Finland, one can scent two matters in the air: hostile suspicion mixed with a dose of patronizing.
If one wants to do an interesting study into the role of the state and the media, one could look at the cold war years of Finland.
The tragic events that occurred at the Sello Mall in the suburb of Leppavaara right next door to Helsinki do not only shed light on a deranged man but continue to feed some of our highly polarized feelings on immigration and refugee policy.