Race-mixing (white women, black men) club in Finland

Jessica K. writes:

This photo pretty much says it all (and more pictures here).

It’s from a bar attached to The University of Helsinki called “Club Swagga.” It caters to African students and the Finnish girls who want to meet them.

Much Eloi taxation lies ahead in Finland, I believe.


LA replies:Each of those young women is thinking how cool it would be to give birth to a little Barack Obama.
- end of initial entry -

Karl D. writes:

If you think that is crazy, take a look at this video entitled “Black Lifestyle in Japan”. A lot of young Japanese are fascinated and have a romantic view of black culture. I know someone who is a tour guide in New York City and every time she gets a group of young Japanese they almost all are dying to see Harlem. She warns them that there really is not much to see besides the Apollo theatre and maybe a couple of other things, but they insist on going.

LA replies:

In 1979 I was driving a cab for a couple of months in New York City and once I picked up a group of French tourists who had just checked into their midtown hotel and were on their first outing in the city. The first thing they wanted to see was ” ‘Arlem.” Think of it. In their minds, the best known, most interesting thing about New York City was Harlem. So I drove them up there. It was at night. There was nothing to see. But that was what they wanted. They seemed satisfied. They had finally seen ” ‘Arlem.”

KB writes:

This question may be beyond the scope of the post on the mixed race club in Finland.

My roommate in college who was a Japanese language major noted that the Japanese have a weird relationship with black American culture. Not just Japanese, but Koreans and Chinese think very ill of African Americans as a race. They call them monkeys, yet they love wearing NBA T-shirts and aping hip-hop culture. Cowboy Bebop (a popular Japanese cartoon) took a lot of inspiration from blues music and blaxploitation films. The attempt to bring the NBA to China failed miserably, and George Lucas’s Red Tails was shot down by studios not because America is racist, but because the rest of the world simply doesn’t care about an all-black cast, even in an action movie.

So what explains European tourists’ attraction to ‘Arlem? Are they cosmopolitan world travelers who genuinely love African American sub-culture or are they going to Harlem like the white tourists on the “slumdog millionaire” tour in India?

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

Here is my version of your “French Tourists Want to See ‘Arlem” story. As an undergraduate and then again as a graduate student I was indebted to and quite fond of my Norwegian teacher, an extremely accomplished and civilized woman. In the mid-1980s, a visiting professor came from Norway to the institution and was chaperoned for a few days by my Norwegian teacher, who was an associate professor. What did the visiting Norseman want to see in Los Angeles? Watts. South Los Angeles, where the too-obliging lady took the nincompoop so as to be nice to him, so he could see directly the supposed victims of his leftwing idea of the USA. The story she told was harrowing. The two of them were lucky to return to safe precincts with life and limb. They parted with several hundred dollars in order to do so, ransoming themselves. I remonstrated the newbie from Norway, who did not speak to me again, and so did a number of other students who were fond of the same instructor. He never spoke to them again either.

Philip M. writes from England:

I can think of many reasons why whites may be attracted to the company of non-whites.

One that has never occured to me until now is that if a woman is completely deracinated and cut off from her roots, being regarded so intently as “white” by foreign eyes (and that is undoubtedly what these black men will be primararily seeing them as—white women) may be the one time they are able to have the illicit thrill of revelling in their own identity and whiteness, their uniqueness and differentness. Ironically, being surrounded by blacks could become the one time women who have been cut off from their racial roots can experience its powerful reality.

I have a gut feeling that many of the most anti-racist liberal whites are deep-down the most ethnocentric and race-conscious. Sometimes their obsession with race—which I think many of these women have—borders on a perverse and bizarre kind of “anti-worship” of their own whiteness, a weird inversion of the Nazi obsession they have so negatively been shaped by all their lives.

Racial identity is a powerful force. It cannot be denied. Push it down in one way, and in certain people it will find a way of expressing itself, or will become a curiosity that must be explored. Race is the liberal version of sexual repression in many ways.

D. in Seattle writes:

In a way I don’t find Finns or Japanese being fascinated with black culture that shocking. Finland and Japan are just about the most ethnically and culturally homogeneous among the first-world countries. Their shares of non-native populations are just a few percent each. Meaning, they have practically zero exposure to black culture in its native habitat—Helsinki and Tokyo ain’t no Detroit. And from that follows, when Finns and Japanese are exposed to American and Western European propaganda about the goodness and sanctity of black and other non-white cultures, they have almost no way to do a reality check at home, and can therefore fall easy prey to such propaganda.

The question one can ask is, is it better for them to be (a) largely insulated from black dysfunctionality in everyday life and therefore easily fascinated with black culture on a recreational basis, or (b) exposed to large doses of black dysfunctionality in everyday life and become less accepting of black culture? I think it would be rather difficult to be both insulated from something and immune to it; I believe option (a) is a better option. But at the same time, I believe that this fascination with alien (especially low-grade) cultures is a sign of cultural decadence. From what I know about China, they aren’t fascinated with black culture and their opinion of blacks is rather negative. One way to interpret that is that Chinese culture is healthier, despite their one-party rule and crony capitalism—we may not like it, but they seem to like it better than other options.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 24, 2012 01:54 PM | Send

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