After near-constant hostile labeling of Muslims, Somalis and other people of color in Finland by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, it is a positive sign that people are speaking out.
One of these persons who has been in the news is Helsinki city councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein. Watching him deflect the usual rhetoric from people, who like servile migrants but who are up in arms if they speak their minds, was empowering to say the least. Hussein did not budge but kept true to his stand about the PS being a racist party.
The media is one crucial factor that has helped Hussein get national attention after he tweeted that the PS, its voters, and supporters are racist.
“The aim [of my tweet] was not to provoke on purpose,” he was quoted as saying on Ylen aamu-tv, “but to bring this debate that we need to happen. In my opinion, we hide from such a debate, and we don’t debate it except for one party and one group that [aims to] normalize the amount of hate speech and racism [in society].”
PS Nurmijärvi councilperson Maiju Tapiolinna offered in today’s TV interview as in her past tweets why racism is an issue in her party.
I have learned from years of experience as an anti-racism activist that the best people to point out their racism is usually themselves.
As in her tweet, Tapiolinna tells Hussein that he should leave the country if he thinks that Finland is such a racist country. In a previous tweet, she gave an ultimatum to Hussein: “Somalis should leave the country if they don’t integrate.”
Taipiolinna asked Hussein how can someone be racist if that person doesn’t know what the word means.
“I want to encourage migrants [and minorities] to speak out if they have gone through what I have [as a person of color],” he told Migrant Tales by phone, adding that Finland needs a long-overdue debate about the role of racism in this society.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.