By Enrique Tessieri
I read with some dismay that 12 Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MPs have filed a complaint to the Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN) about a cartoon that was published in the Helsinki Lutheran Church’s weekly Kirkko ja Kaupunki, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The cartoon showed PS chairman Timo Soini and a number of MPs wishing those who weren’t white, conservative and heterosexual Finns a shitty Christmas.
This story and the action taken by a group of PS MPs is highly revealing since it shows that some in the PS are just as much in the dark about free speech as they are about racism and other cultural groups.
They expose as well their distorted view of the world. It is ok to insult Muslims but not ok to make fun of the PS.
Moreover it shows that the PS considers the cartoon more offensive than the racism and hatred of some of its MPs like James Hirvisaari, who got fined for hate speech or if its members belong to neo-Nazi and racist associations like SKV.
Getting a taste of one’s medicine can be humbling experience although I think these MPs are out for blood.
They are not going to get it for a number of reasons. For one, the PS is a political party and those portrayed in the cartoon are public figures.
Another important fact is that the cartoonist, Ville Ranta, succeeded at portraying the PS as seen by some Finns: A narrow-minded racist and conservative party.
Of course the PS will try to level the playing field in favor by cheating. It will try to make a point that racism against white Finns by immigrants is the same thing. Before the PS sticks its foot in the mouth again, they should read a column on Psychology Today that asked a timely question, “Racism against whites vs. minorities: Is it the same thing?”