My Oulu: City of Oulu’s Immigration Council: There must be no room for hate crimes

My Oulu

Julkaistu: Kirjoittaja: My Oulu

Jaa sosiaalisessa mediassa:

The city of Oulu’s Immigration Council has published a statement regarding the stabbing that took place in the Valkea Shopping Centre last week. The Immigration Council are prepared to work in close cooperation with the city of Oulu to eradicate discrimination and racism.

The city of Oulu’s Immigration Council is shocked and grieved due to the tragic event. A 12-year-old child was stabbed, and another child was attempted to be stabbed in the Valkea Shopping Centre located in the Oulu city centre. The victim of the stabbing was of an immigrant background. The person suspected of two charges of attempted murder had a background in far-right movements. No child should be a target of a hate crime due to their background.

“Unfortunately, extensive societal discussions are awoken only after tragic events. However, dialogue, multidisciplinary cooperation, intervention in injustice and commitment to non-discrimination should be strongest when something can still be done about them”, is declared in the statement.

Away from structural discrimination

In order to understand this, the Immigration Council encourages people to examine the five levels of the pyramid of hate.

“Each level represents a hate act that has progressed. It starts with ignorance where unequal treatment is ignored or, for example, young people’s experiences of racism are belittled.

The next levels are biased thinking and acts. These can be stereotypical thinking, discriminatory or racist messages, bullying or fear mongering over differences. This includes hate speech and its normalization, for example, in anti-immigration policy.

“Prejudiced thinking and acts lead to structural discrimination in society. It leads people into unequal status and people become targets of discrimination in communities, organizations and institutions. If we do not regularly intervene in discrimination and racism, if we turn a blind eye to societal defects, we offer silent acceptance for unequal treatment and discriminatory practices. This can lead all the way to the top of the pyramid of hate. On the top of the pyramid of hate is violence.”

Active measures are needed

The city of Oulu’s Immigration Council wants to strongly highlight the need for improving the city’s preparation and active measures to eradicate discrimination and racism as well as to reduce polarization.

“We need critical evaluation of what concrete measures can be taken on the city level to ensure that no one will end up on the top of the pyramid of hate, neither as a victim or offender.”

On behalf of the city of Oulu’s Immigration Council

Anna Litewka-Anttolainen