Pullerits: Tähelepanu, meie seas on pealekaebajaid!
To whom it may concern
In Estonia, Scanpix is sponsoring the blog of a Mr Priit Pullerits who is a well known journalist and university lecturer. Lately he has become known as the voice of the far right, who likes to sound off at the pursuit of gay rights (he is, for instance, vehemently opposed to the idea that Estonian gays should be able to form civil unions), women's rights and apparently also racial minorities nowadays. I'm writing to you mainly because of his most recent blog post, which can be accessed here: http://suusk.blogspot.com/2015/03/pullerits-kuidas-valtida-rattasoidus.html The title reads "How to avoid shady negroes while biking".
The word "neeger", which roughly translates into "negro", is a tricky one here, since it is not officially taboo, however many consider it bad taste to use it. Anyway, the story focuses on an incident mr Pullerits had in New York, where "some negroes" tried to offer him a bike to rent and he refused. Here is an example paragraph translated by myself (you can let some other Estonian confirm if you wish) "Kui mööda Broadwayd sinna lähenesin, panin juba eemalt tähele kahe-kolmeliikmelisi neegrite gruppe, kes vähegi sportlikele inimestele lähenesid ning püüdsid nendega vestlust arendada. Sain aru, mida nad püüavad teha: nad üritasid neile, kellel võiks olla huvi ratast laenutada, mingit oma diili pakkuda. Ühed neist lähenesid oma pakkumisega ka mulle, ent nagu mulle on õpetatud: New Yorgis ei tasu võõraist, kes sulle lähenevad ja sind kõnetavad, mingil juhul välja teha. Nii ignoreerisin ka mina neid neegreid täiega, (jah, nad olid viimne kui üks neeger)"
"As I approached via Broadway, I noticed from a distance already these 2-3 member negro groups, who were trying to spark up conversations with even moderately athletic looking people. I realized what they were trying to do: they were trying to offer some kind of a deal to people interested in renting bikes. Some of them also approached me, however I've learned that in New York it is not advisable to make notice of strangers trying to approach and converse with you. So I also ignored those negroes totally (yes, every last one of them was a negro)."
Whilst as an Estonian, I can live with the idea of well respected people using the word "neeger", even though it is in very bad taste, what irks me the most is that the author you are sponsoring is making a point of constantly stressing the skin colour of these obviously undesirable street vendors. It would seem that he is trying to make a point that these are the kinds of things black people do (pirate bike peddling etc). The title of the post is, as you remember, "How to avoid shady negroes", so despite spending the latter half of his post mouthing off at multiculturalism and how he is not, in fact, being racist, his writing is very obviously making a statement about race. A statement that I do consider racist. The skin colour of the street vendors is coincidential, it is not something you need to stress unless you want to make a certain race look bad.
Now, seeing as this is not the only time that mr Pullerits has made backwards remarks at the principles of modern society, I would like to ask you whether his are really the kinds of values Scanpix stands by?
Citizen of Estonia
petistest rattalaenutajatest rääkivas loos selgelt kirjas, viitega nii autoriteetsele allikale, nagu seda on New Yorgi politsei:
«Cops described them [varastatud rataste pakkujad – P.P] as a group of African immigrants; Gillis’s description of the man with his bike matched that.»
Sellise pealekaebamise peale, nagu tegi Karmo Koovit, saatsin Scanpixi vastavaile tegelastele konkreetse ja resoluutse kirja:
Please check the use of the term «neeger» in Estonian language on the official site of the Institute of the Estonian Language http://en.eki.ee/index.php which is a research and development institution whose mission is to contribute to the survival and good health of Estonian by the cultivation and advancement of standard Estonian, by compiling and editing dictionaries essential for the national culture and by the maintenance of relevant data collections, as well as by fundamental and applied research supporting the above activities, and by providing the language with a language-technological support.
If you call up the meaning and usage of the word «neeger» there
you can see that the Institute of the Estonian Language does not indicate any demeaning or pejorative or any other negative meaning or connotation to it. It is a word commonly used in Estonian language, though some people, obviously someone named Karmo Koovit among them, have tried to label it as a non-welcome word - but with no result to their futile efforts.
I would like to point out that any attempt by Karmo Koovit to pressure the Estonian language ta abandon its inherent rules and traditions and to force Estonian language to live and operate by foreign rules and traditions, using foreign mechanisms and help for that, would amount to extreme cultural imperialism.
As for the second point, concerning my views about gay marriage and unions - yes, there is freedom of opinion and expression in Estonia, which is guaranteed by our Constitution. As you might not know, but by several recent public polls more than half of Estonian population, approximately 2/3 of us, is against gay unions, and yes, Estonian people, journalists among them, are free to openly express their moral and other convictions and opinions. We in Estonia do not punish people for that. We are a democratic country. If someone would try to suppress those freedoms, he or she is openly going against our Constitution, and we in Estonia would not tolerate that.»
Sellest on vähem kui kaks aastat tagasi, mil üks tüüp avaldas soovi minu peale Schibstedile, Postimehe tollasele omanikfirmale kaevata, ja mille peale kirjutasin Postimehe arvamusküljel kolumni «Uued küüditajad», mis lõppes nii:
Niisugused inimesed, olgu otse öeldud, on potentsiaalsed küüditajad. Need on need, kes teiste inimeste mõtete ja arvamusavalduste peale tahavad kohale kutsuda nn mõtte- ehk meelsuspolitsei.
Need on need, kes koogutavad väljastpoolt pealesurutud mõttemallide, hoiakute ja väärtushinnangute ees, võtavad need omaks kui absoluutsed, vastuvaidlematud ja ülimuslikud ning on valmis nuhelda laskma kõiki teisi, kes nende pealesurutud mõttemallide, hoiakute ja väärtushinnangutega pimesi ei nõustu ega käitu nende järgi vastuvaidlematult.
Need on need, kes tunnevad sadistlikku mõnu, kui saavad teisi nende arvamusavalduste pärast ähvardada, olgu paragrahvi, rahatrahvi või ühiskondliku hukkamõistuga. Need on need, kes tunnevad rõõmu, kui võivad endaga mittenõustujaid esmalt süüdimatult sildistada ning lõpuks avalikult areenilt sootuks isoleerida.
Need on uusküüditajad meie seas.»
Kui Karmo Koovitil oli pretensioone, oleks arukas olnud nendega esmalt minu poole pöörduda. Aga ei, tema jooksis kohe kõrgele ja kaugele kaebama. Jah, Karmo Koovit on käitunud täpselt nii, nagu need, kes nõukogude okupatsiooni aastatel jooksid kaasmaalaste peale suurtele parteijuhtidele ja Moskvale ette kandma. Selliseid inimesi ei sallinud tollal mitte keegi. Kas nüüd peame selliseid inimesi sallima?
Aeg on tuua sellised inimesed avaliku arvamuse kohtu ette.
Sõna on teil, lugejad: mida arvate Karmo Kooviti käitumisest pealekaebajana?
Utah. 28. aprill 2012. Pildistanud Priit Pullerits. (Suuremalt vaatamiseks klikkida pildile.)
Fotod 1 ja 2: Jalgrattatee märgid New Yorgis. Fotode autor: NYT/Scanpix
Foto 2: Rattaraja ehitus New Yorgis. Foto autor: NYT/Scanpix
Foto 4: 1949. aasta küüditaja Stepan Nikejev (paremal) 2002. aastal kohtuprotsessil Kuressaares. Foto autor: Egert Kamenik, Postimees/Scanpix