On Friday’s Pressiklubi hosted by Ruben Stiller there was an interesting talk on the rise of racism in Finland. Columnist Kaarina Hazard and Saska Saarikoski, the head of Helsingin Sanomat’s culture section, threw some hard questions at Matias Turkkila, head of Homma ry and PS MP Jussi Halla-aho’s campaign manager.
When looking at the rerun, see how Turkkila looks and feels uncomfortable as he is slouches in the seat throughout the show. Even his hand movements express edginess.
Some consider Homma ry a place where stereotypes and suspicion of immigrants and refugees have a home. For me it is like a sprinkler that waters much of the racism we find on different chat and websites in Finland.
Some of the posts on Migrant Tales have been debated, or discected, on Hommaforum.
Scripta, Halla-aho’s blog like Hommaforum, operate as an army of faithful bloggers that would attack other sites if they did not like what they were reading. One of of these was Migrant Tales’ in September 2008, which got over 800 hits from Scripta.
Turkkila claimed on the show that Homma ry represents 60% of the Finns’ opinion of immigration and immigrants.
While Turkkila is stretching it quite a bit with such a claim, the website is the humble servant of the hostile message to immigrants and refugees of politicians like Halla-aho.
One of the matters that surprised me most on the talk show was his explanation why Homma ry was born. According to Turkkila, the media always exaggerated and glorified immigrant but never bothered to report on the negative matters.
I have lived in Finland on and off for over thirty years and there has been very little of what Turkkila states of the Finnish media. If there have been human-interest stories on immigrants it has been more on what a great country Finland is to live in. Rarely have they treated seriously the social problems and exclusion that some immigrants may suffer in this country.
If immigrants were “glorified” as Turkkila wants us to believe, why are so few taking part in the ongoing immigration debate in this country?
One of the biggest problems with websites like Hommaforum is that most of those giving their opinions of immigrants are Finns. It’s like a groups of only male chauvinists giving their unchallenged views on women.