Police confirmed the presence of 30 - 40 protesters opposing the arrival of asylum seekers in Lahti. One of them wore the robes of the white supremacist movement the Ku Klux Klan.

Finnish Ku Klux Klan clown needs to read his history. The Klan hated Finns too.

In the late evening of September 24, the vile reactions to refugees in small towns around Finland took a quick turn for the absurd… at least in the eyes of those who know their history.

Finland’s public service broadcaster YLE reports that a bus transporting 49 mostly middle eastern asylum seekers were met by a group of 30-40 individuals protesting their arrival. The mob launched fireworks at the bus and later threw rocks at Red Cross workers operating the gates of the refugee center. As picked up by international media by now, one of these clowns wore an improvised Kuu Klux Klan outfit, of all things.


This kind of abhorrent reaction to the relatively miniscule number of asylum seekers reaching Finland has been discussed at length elsewhere. As a modest contribution to this, we want to give you this tidbit on how Finnish immigrants were perceived by the clan in early 20th century Oregon:

“The Klan’s law-and-order platform resonated with diverse Oregon communities. In the lively port town of Astoria, the Klan succesfully attracted citizens who abhorred the flagrant wantonness of the port culture, as well as those who felt threatened by the city’s large Finnish population.”
– Abrams, Paula 2009. Cross purposes. Pierce v. Society of Sisters and the struggle over compulsory public education. University of Michigan Press (link).

This should come as no surprise. Our short history of Finnish immigrants in America shows racism against Finns was commonplace and accepted.

We also recommend taking a glance at another essay on ethnic relations in early 20th century Astoria, Oregon. The town of Astoria had a large Finnish population, largely thanks to opportunities in the fishing industry. The paper notes “[an immense] drinking problem among Finnish- Americans and their often violent behavior when drunk”.

This sounds a lot like the daft, present-day Lahti culture Vice documented a couple of years back in a stunningly depressing photo essay by Antti Sepponen.

Read more: How Finnish immigrants helped build America

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54 replies
  1. finn
    finn says:

    You preach about people’s lack of history knowledge, but you should check yourself. Ku Klux Klan had 3 distinct eras. Early 20th century was the reign of the first generation KKK (latter generations also had the infamous outfit). This opinion about Finns being second class citizens might have been popular among the first generation, but the WW2 and Finland’s coalition with the Nazis changed the opinion dramatically. Nowadays KKK and far right minded people in the USA generally have a positive attitude towards Finnish people.

    Reply
    • el comemdante
      el comemdante says:

      You’re hilarious! Rather than commenting on this idiot dressing up like a fool and chucking fireworks at little kids all you care about is how much yank racists love Finns. Hate to piss on your parade buddy, but most American I know haven’t got a fucking clue where Finland is. And those ring wing nut jobs who do, they think it’s a socialist work camp. Even far right’s beloved Furher originally considered Finns lesser people. At the end of the day who cares what a bunch nutters think? What any sane minded individual would care about is that this fool is allowed to act like such a prize prick to families running away from war.

      Reply
      • Just so you know
        Just so you know says:

        Umh, just so you know, there is 0 little children coming to Finland, they are all young men in good health. Finland get’s all those who’s just after free meals, none of those in real danger.

        Reply
        • sherlock
          sherlock says:

          Umm, just so you know there’s a thing called Google which shows you’re talking utter shite. In less than 10 seconds I found footage showing little kids getting off the bus Fuckwit the Clown and his oh so brave buddies were chucking fireworks and rocks at. Pro tip: research before making yourself look like an idiot in public.

          Reply
      • jonathan doesmith
        jonathan doesmith says:

        to be honest, most of Americans don’t know any other countries than USA… good that if they know locations of their neighbouring states

        Reply
    • funn
      funn says:

      I’m not sure what your point is, but you might be missing out on the bigger picture if your response is listing a taxonomy of who’s been hated at which point. It’s not like this post tries to chronicle white power movements in the US.

      Rather, people who are perceived as different or represent changing demographics are convenient targets of fearmongering opportunists and moral panics.

      Finland was a shithole worth getting the fuck out of due to being close to unihabitable with the agricultural technology of the 19th century. People got out, turned up somewhere else and were met with great suspicion for a bunch of generations. Boom.

      Reply
      • KHS
        KHS says:

        Yes, there was a big migration wave of Finns going to USA and Canada from about 1880 forward even up to close to WW2. Far more than the 40 refugees showing up at the Finnish border. Also the Finnish emigrants moved due to lack of opportunities in Finland, not because of a civil war…. It might be that even that silly KKK person in the picture has had many relatives in the past that have migrated to another country from Finland.

        Reply
        • Petri M.
          Petri M. says:

          I agree that the KKK guy is a silly.

          But you do not have a grasp on numbers. We are talking about 30,000 refugees this year. In proportion to the size of US and Finland this is already three times as significant as the whole Finnish population in US. And if the rate stays the same, we are on same level in absolute numbers in few years. We are definitely not talking about “40 refugees showing up at the finnish border”.

          Reply
      • mohawk
        mohawk says:

        Im starting with this: sorry about my bad english. but dear funn I think United states of america is a shithole and a 2nd world country.. most of your “free” people dont have homes where to live, most of your people dont have money to buy food.. most of your people cant afford to college or some shitty “school” you have there.. lets face it.. your country has lot to learn about nordic countries before you can say “Finland is a shithole” oh shit I almost forgot your AIDS medicine shit 6 dollars to 700 or what ever? america is the most corrupted, shittiest & fucked up colony that has been started by vikings – Finland

        Reply
        • Finn
          Finn says:

          Yes, indeed your grasp of English should’ve been better, so you would have understood that he didn’t speak of PRESENT DAY Finland. He was talking about the 19th century, when the waves of immigrants left Finland. Now stop being so damn defensive and try to understand before commenting.

          Reply
      • S Heikkinen
        S Heikkinen says:

        Much like the refugees going to Finland in recent times. So perhaps those who are unhappywith the refugees ought to remember that many of their relatives Finland justas the refugees are fleeing their countries. BTW….my great grandparentson both sides all fled Finland due to war, little access to farmable land, etc, and came to the US. They were treated poorly yet were good ccitizens who accepted into the family new members from many ethnic and racial groups. It saddens me to hear about Finns treating horribly those who seek refuge in Finland.

        Reply
    • Tiina
      Tiina says:

      That’s what you focus on?! Not the national embarrassment of these morons making the news, but whether American racists like Finns or not. The ghost attire has no history in Finland, so it’s utterly ridiculous even for a dipshit racist to use.

      Reply
    • Joel
      Joel says:

      Terribly sorry to disappoint, Joni. We’ve yet to give Che the love he so thoroughly deserves. However, happily, we have showcased some incredible female revolutionaries on our sister blog, including his companion Celia Sanchez. Do have a read. I’m sure you’ll love it.

      http://www.whizzpast.com/10-intriguing-female-revolutionaries-never-history-class/

      But many thanks for your marvellous story idea. We’ll certainly add that to our editorial calendar. I’ve no doubt our half a million plus monthly readers will love it. 🙂

      Reply
      • ygrop
        ygrop says:

        Che was a mass murderer.

        “Exiled former Cuban prisoners have expressed similar opinions, among them Armando Valladares, who has declared Guevara “a man full of hatred” who executed dozens without trial”

        Reply
        • Cubano
          Cubano says:

          “Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years … and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.”

          Senator John F. Kennedy, 1960

          What a shame Che risked his life to get rid of this evil fuck, a real mass murderer…see can I cherry pick quotes from history too.

          Reply
  2. What a twist...
    What a twist... says:

    If you actually study the history behind this absurd claim you will soon find out that it was the left/communist Finns the KKK hated. The KKK had no problem with the religious Finns, who were mostly Republicans and involved in politics, and were concidered as the “White Finns”!

    It’s funny that a leftist is now trying to claim that the KKK hated all the Finns in Oregon, when infact they actually hated the leftists. The communist radicals.

    Reply
  3. Klan
    Klan says:

    It would be ok for me if they did not want Finnish immigrants. But that is not even true.

    KKK is ok in my eyes. I have nothing against them. And nothing against Finnish people wearing KKK costumes.

    Reply
  4. Päällikkö
    Päällikkö says:

    This whole thing is ridiculous. For sure that dude in KKK costume was a joke but what nobody knows is the mindset of the Finns. We can take lot of shit but when it gets too much things can escalate quickly with quite grim results.
    Anyone who knows Finnish history there are plenty of examples of similar situations which have turned very bad.
    I understand that shallow people like Americans have difficulties to see what’s happening in Europe. This is because United States of Assholes has very different refugee policy. Unlike European countries USA picks only the ones that can be utilised in some way i.e doctors and other professionals. Meanwhile Europe receives all the rest who are just useless.
    Actually USA should take all the refugees from Middle East.

    Reply
  5. One Finn
    One Finn says:

    Hi, I am a Finn living in Helsinki, Finland. We get 1000 refugees with smartphones and top level clothes every single day. Young men who escaped their country and left women and kids to fight for .
    Our economy is now very bad.,We have to do savings a lot. But it doesn’t help up because of these refugees will cost us at least two billion euros more every coming year. So, do we like them? Absolutely not!
    Ok, it is good that whole world knows we don’t want them because of this one KKK guy but who cares of him anyway. We just can’t affort to these new so called rich economy refugees. And that is reason we dont want them now.
    We are nation of 5,5 milloin citizens and there is 200.000 refucees coming here. Obama said that USA will take 10.000 of them. Think the difference and think again. We don’t want them and thats it. We cant give jobs or money to our own people either.

    Reply
    • Joel
      Joel says:

      Hi, I’m a Brit living in Helsinki, Finland. I arrived here with no job, a smartphone and top level clothes. Should I go home too?

      If that’s the criteria for sending people home, maybe we should also send all the Finns I meet in London with no job back home. Pretty sure they had phones and top clothes as well.

      As for the figures you quotes, feel free to share a source because as far as I can see they’re utter rubbish. Finland has been asked to take a measly 30 000 men, women and children. How many Finns went to Sweden as economic migrants in the 1960s? At least 200 hundred thousand.

      If anything you should be welcoming every able-bodied young man here. You’ve got the fastest aging population in the EU, your economy is in the doldrums and you have a government doing everything in its power to make things worse. Unlike you, I have evidence to back up my claims and can share countless studies which show immigrants add to an economy rather than take away from it, myself included. In fact, I’ve paid a ton of taxes so Finns, such as yourself, can get all your marvellous state benefits.

      So, how about looking at the facts, stop being so scared and take this amazing opportunity to make Finland a better, infinitely more interesting place, by helping these poor people make the most of their lives, for the benefit of yourself and our entire society.

      Reply
      • Citizen of humanity
        Citizen of humanity says:

        This is an excellent comment! I think that the problem is that those Finns who are the loudest against the refugees are the ones who have the least education and have never travelled outside Finland, reasons that can make someone very narrow-minded in their thinking.

        Reply
      • Huulio
        Huulio says:

        A great comment! Unfortunately the loudest refugee opponents are the ones who do not know the difference between an emigrant / refugee and base their “facts” on information sources such as MV “news” magazine.

        Reply
      • ygrop
        ygrop says:

        You at least can speak English, these people who come into Finland mostly speak only Arabic or Somali and many are also illiterate. And considering the current economic situation in Finland, including our own 300 000 unemployed, “refugees” will be just a strain on our welfare system.

        When Finnish people went abroad, times were completely different, for example there wasn’t as good welfare system as now and many jobs didn’t even require any education or language skills. Also USA and Sweden were experiencing economic boom and they needed more workers for their growing industries.

        Reply
        • Joel
          Joel says:

          I am English, so yes, happily, I manage okay with the language. 🙂

          You seem to be working under the premise that immigrants are a burden rather than a blessing. You might be interested to hear that when I first arrived in your splendid country, I was told (or rather my girlfriend was told because the lady at the police office where I needed to register didn’t bother to address me to my face) that, and I quote, “You do know he can’t claim welfare benefits for 6 months?”

          I’ve never claimed benefit in Finland and now have my own business (which employs Finns) and I pay more in tax than most Finns earn. Interestingly, I’ve achieved everything despite the Finnish state, not because of it. What’s more, my story is nothing special. There are countless examples in this, and every country on earth. Why? Because immigrants, unlike natives often haven’t got the option to sit on their arse and do nothing. And guess, what when you give up everything you know and love to make a new life in a strange new place, you don’t want to sit on your arse, you want to make something of your life and contribute to your new country.

          So, rather than see us as a burden, why not see us as an opportunity? Many of the people coming here have amazing expertise and Finland currently needs all the help it can get. Languages can be learnt, as you yourself so beautifully demonstrate. Skills can be shared and we can all benefit. I, along with tens of thousands like me, am living proof of that.

          Reply
          • Aava
            Aava says:

            You act like only good can come from immigration. It has its downside, and it’s definitely not automatically a blessing, like you make it out to be.

      • Ioanna
        Ioanna says:

        Right to the point, Joel!
        I’m a EU citizen that moved to Helsinki.

        I especially liked your last paragraph (amongst others) and I have a similar view.

        Reply
  6. heikki
    heikki says:

    Does someone seriously believe that a fool in paper hat does any knowledge or hold the any of the ideology of the Klan?. He was just going for a international symbol for fear… We cannot be this stupid.

    Reply
  7. Citizen of humanity
    Citizen of humanity says:

    Well I truly wish that this blog and its comments are read only by Finns, because the comments are embarrassing at their best but also tell all about SOME of the lovely people in Finland.

    I’m from Finland myself but haven’t lived there for a long time so I observe the Finnish playground from further away.
    First, in my opinion it is stupid to make yourself a clown by harassing refugees in a KKK costume.

    Second, it’s customary to Finnish people to comment on details, they don’t normally see the bigger picture (as here the act of the KKK clown) but see one detail which bothers them (as here that the original KKK actually disliked Finns) which they then comment about forgetting about the rest. If it’s right or wrong or stupid I don’t know, but it does look funny. Alas, if you hurt a Finn’s pride regarding of his home country, it makes him hate everything about you and blurting out ridiculous comments as seen here.

    Most of the Finns are good people though, even if they are very serious most of the time and don’t talk much which makes them seem a bit slow which is not the case (always). It’s just that they don’t like to talk. Since I’m a Finn also makes my comment absurdly crazy too of course ha ha.

    Still wanted to comment since living abroad makes me realise how stupid it is to attack people who have left their country for any reason. I surely wouldn’t like that if someone would tell me to leave ‘their’ country. I’m living in. Obviously, if you never leave Finland even for a holiday, you can act stupid and not think. It’s a shame though that those stupid acts are the ones that stay in people’s minds and make them think about what certain nations are like as a whole. And that makes the life for the people who don’t think alike more difficult abroad and for wrong reasons, reasons they don’t sign but are labelled to because of their origin as part of a certain nation. That is how the life goes unfortunately.
    Peace to all.

    Reply
  8. Åke Tyvi
    Åke Tyvi says:

    I do not know were this 3K came to Finland and why people gave media popularity to this topic similarly to those photos of Members of Parliament, were some representatives are posing with members of some New-Nazi organization, however I may be able to give some explanation why some people do not like any foreigners in Finland; by reading my Facebook article ‘A letter to an unknown researcher of the observations made’ (the website link) you may get some understanding what may be one of the reasons, why some people start hating those who they think may difficult their social or financial position. Naturally other reasons also exist.
    I am interested in Finland based on my personal experiences, read articles on books and magazines, and believe me, unless I had not been educated to take most of these punches, I would have been very close to start hating both Finns and other nationalities, however as I have been educated both domestic and foreign origin experts I rather seen the academic reason that fall into these traps. However, there exists people, who prefer being on their own kind, and I think they are as entitled to live with their kind, like those who like more international atmosphere as long as no one suffers.
    By reading the article I am convinced of the fact that any foreigner can sum of one plus one, and make their own judgments on how Finland treats their own kind or foreigner.

    Reply
  9. Natte
    Natte says:

    well, I am a Finn and I can understand the frustration there is whit theese so called refugees, I do also understand they need help, specialy those from syria, but there are way more things that annoyes the hell out of me whit it.

    problem is, our goverment, is doing anythign they can to make it even worse for students and low payed people and unemployed people, but at same time we take in about 30k refugees, who seems to be able to have way better things that we have, they pay up to 10k dollars to come here, and then some of them come here and say how much Finland sucks and they wana go home again, like wtf why did they come in the first place, sounds totaly idiotical.

    their demands are also stopid, many of the demand to get a place to live close to or in our bigger cities, and seems they will get or at least some do, I wana live there to, but I cant even get an appartment closer to a bigger cite due to not having a job and not being able to get a job, but theese people seems to get it.

    the hole way things is playing out seems so unfair it is redicilous and I am affraid theese racist attacks will escelate in to a way bigger problem and it happens soon.

    Reply
    • S Heikkinen
      S Heikkinen says:

      It must be remembered that Syria, prior to the war and strife getting bad, had educated people, business owners and, businessmen.people had homes, properties, cars, niceclothes, cell phones, household ggoods bank accounts, investments, etc, just like people do in most countries. One does not need to be poor and without belongings, clothing, cellphones, and bank accounts in order to flee war and oppression! Having a cell phone and nice clothing does not mean they are safe from being captured shot, or beheaded. It also does not mean their home is still standing and in their possession. If terrorists groups declared war on your country and were bombing every inch of your homeland, would you moy take your clothes and cell phones with you when you fled? Would you not transfer your bank account to a safer bank elsewhere? Would you not withdraw what money you need to relocate? Good lord, people, think outside of yourself a little, use some common sense and at least TRY to imagine what you would do with your assets would you need to flee your country? I know my great grandparents brought with them whatever they could when they came to America from Finland. Why would not others do the same when they seek refuge or a new country to . All home? And speaking of rrefugees….most do not desire to become citizens of a new country. Most just need a place to stay until the conflict ends, and desire to return to the land that they love and where their roots are, where they feel most at home.

      Reply
  10. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    Well, most Finns believes Finland is paradise for any immigrant or refugee, so they feel insulted that Iraq refugees are going back! Having lived here for more than 20 years, as an immigrant who works hard, more than most Finns, claims no benefits, whatsoever, even my first month here, I never needed any benefits, because I came to work , I have continued to hear all foreigners live on KELA and SOSU money!!! Finns claims to feed us, even uncle Juuka, who has lived all his adult life holding a bottle of koskikorva, will shout that he feeds you!! How ironic, when my taxes pays for his saulmate the bottle, buys him the cold makkara he eats as lunch on the street, and the free shelter he gets , free breakfast included!!! If you are a refugee, remember to toss your smart phone you had in your country before war broke, before coming to Finland!!! Because to a Finn, a refugee and a smart phone, is unacceptable……………..Its a crazy world we live in, but I choose to live my life like there is no tomorrow, I work and I enjoy the fruits of my labour, keep ranting KELA, SOSSU etc, before you know it, you are in a dementia ward, thats right, life will pass you by, trust me it does not wait even for the “mighty Finns”. Peace.

    Reply
  11. Eräs Isä
    Eräs Isä says:

    Anyway, don’t put too much weight on the appearance of one clown. Obviously he just wanted to be seen. He succeeded, worldwide. So much for that.

    Background
    The 3K outfit does not mean anything in Finland, really. It is only known from a few movies and comic books and could easily be mistaken to be someone dressing as a ghost for a masquerade. I think it should’ve been called that, there’s too much noise about it now.

    Reply
  12. Marshal Ironsides
    Marshal Ironsides says:

    This kind of context mutilation is to be expected when the author of the article has a liberal axe to grind. The bulk of the port-area KKK’s activities in Oregon 1922 were aimed at fighting for a Compulsory Education Act which would have required all children in the state of Oregon to attend public schools. It was aimed at draining power and support away from Catholic schools. In fact, that is the main idea in Abram’s book. Any resentment the Klan had toward the Finns evaporated as soon as they learned about Finland’s noble history of fighting against the forces of Bolshevism, which they did not immediately know of in 1922. So, no mutilating history for your unacceptable purposes, you naughty sneaky left-wing revisionist, you! I don’t support the Klan, but I despise sneaky left-wing revisionists. At least the Klan comes right out and tells you, “We hate. You’re probably on our hate list.” But you sneaky left-wing revisionists come across as self-appointed liberators. You’re everybody’s loving, liberating shepherd until you learn that some people prefer to think for themselves….then out comes the censorship and the surveillance and the torture and the struggle sessions and the show trials.

    Reply
  13. Sainpas
    Sainpas says:

    its very common to finns to think we are the center of the earth.
    KKK didn’t hate ‘Finns’.. they hated meaningless people who came from even more meaningless country.. finland.

    Reply
  14. ILOVEU
    ILOVEU says:

    Ok, now you can write how many great things have already been made by “refugees” in Finland, Germany, Denmark (starting businesses) etc. Because u Americans- like yourself – are so fuking conservative and hate refugees u never take these amazin people to live in your country.

    Reply

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