A letter of apology for the disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers in Finland by the government

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Dear Asylum Seeker, 

The cartoon below by Ville Ranta could apply to Europe as well. Instead of having politicians like Perussuomalaiset* Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and other government ministers stating that “you can’t come in because there’s no room for you,” it’s our hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy that has been exposed to the tee. 

Even if some may curse your present, I welcome it. Thanks to you, the over million asylum seekers that came to Europe in 2015, you have exposed our hypocrisy and our exceptionalism.

Aminkeng A. Alemanji wrote in his doctoral dissertation a very good description of how our exceptionalism works:

“The imperfection of the other is used to establish and maintain the hierarchies that put the dominant group [white Finns and Europeans] at the top and the Other at the bottom. [T.] Coates [2015, 105] reminds us that “a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below”, and in Finland it is the Other as a result of his/her imperfection that is below – the valley necessary for the mountain [the dominant group] to be a mountain.”

This is an old cartoon from last year but still topical. See the original posting here.

During my life, I have lived under dictatorships in Argentina during the dirty war (1976-83) and had my human rights violated on many occasions. While this may be the case, I cannot compare the suffering and agony that Finland has brought on you.

But make no mistake. Those politicians and people in Ranta’s cartoon above are the same ones that turned their back to grave human rights violations in countries like Argentina not too long ago.

The good news is that our ever-growing culturally diverse Finland, of which you are all members, will do fine amid these morally bankrupt and spineless politicians.

We will prevail.

Why? Because we are who we are. Our suffering is our shield and strength.

Our support for your plight will never end.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

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