Tracy Mantan, 25-year-old Congolese living in Jyväskylä who moved to Finland with her family in 2011 took to her Instagram page to narrate how she experienced racism during her early years in Finland.
Below is what she posted on Instagram,,
Since I started my election campaigns, I have often been asked (have you ever been the victim of racist acts?)
I have already answered this question in a live. When I moved to Finland in 2011, I was 16 years old. I did not know what it was like to be the victim of racist speech or racist acts, because in my own country I had never experienced this, except acts of discrimination, and it exists in all societies in the world. One day, I was going to school, I was waiting for the bus, then I stopped a bus, unfortunately the bus driver didn’t stopped, so it was the first time that I had felt racism. Then when I started my studies in high school, I really felt alone and different. When we have the sports class or during the group work, I also felt alone, because the language also created a barrier.
I was there because I had a goal, so I didn’t let that feeling get me down. Besides, I said that at least I haven’t endured this since my childhood. How many adopted children, raised and born here or born with a Finnish and foreign parent are victims of racism? When I was 17, I had this desire to know more about myself. Yes that’s right, I knew who I was and where I was from, but I didn’t really know my real history and that kept me from valuing myself and being easily hurt by racist comments. Is not like i was illiterate, I went to school, I did my first year of high school in my country. History has always been one of my favorite subjects, but since we have a French school system, it didn’t help me to know my real history. I asked, what do I know about myself? I realized that “I didn’t know anything” except that my ancestors were sold, we were colonized, before colonization we had no history.
I had no idea of Afro-decent inventors, heroes and heroines, but at school I heard about Jean de La Fontaine, Molière, William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Carl Von, Aristotle, Plato etc … But a character that looks like me, I didn’t know much, because this educational system is programmed to brainwash us, I’m not saying having general knowledge is bad, but it’s important to know our history first , I mean “our real history ” because falsified history can create consequences in us, like an inferiority complex.
You are young, ignorant you ask yourself, but what have we brought to this world? This is where I started to research and learn more about my history , it helped me rebuild myself, and forget about the falsified history. Now I know who is Thomas Sankara, Oba Ewuare Ogidigan, Sonni Ali, Soudiata Keitä, Nzingha Mbande, Kimpa Vita and more and more.
All are heroes, heroine, inventors, whom I did not know and who have been forgotten in our history. Today I am 25 years old and during those eight years I have learned a lot. I still have more to learn. I have learned to value myself because I know who I am. Today, I am proud of myself because I will be able to share what I have learned with my children. Today no racist comment can hurt me. In front of this kind of comments I will put the person in his place or either ignore him.
These people often use the N word.
Negroes and Mulattoes are words created by those people who practiced slavery in America. They came to take our ancestors by force and reduce them to slaves to build the continent that was stolen from the Indians and then use this N word on them. Yes the story is terrifying.
From the moment you know your true history you will be deliberate about this brainwashing and after that you will value yourself more and nothing will stop you.