There are some encouraging signs in the Finnish immigration debate recently. So-called immigration “critics” such as Jussi Halla-aho, Eero Heinäluoma and others have been strangely quiet on this front. Even ultra-critical immigration bloggers such as Tiwaz have vanished from our blog. One of the best pieces of news yet was that hate website, patriootti.com, ceased to exist from Monday.
There are still spooky hate websites like www.palautus.org, where the person instructs people on how to kick out immigrants from Finland by force. The person states after spewing all this hatred, however, that he/she has nothing against foreigners.
Why haven’t we heard anything as of late on SDP’s immigration policy, maassa maan tavalla? Is there a serious policy rethink taking place on immigration in the party?
(There has been a debate in Migrant Tales over the definition of maassa maan tavalla. I define it as “Finland, love it,” based on the old pro-Vietnam War slogan “America, Love it or Leave it,” while others, who want to give the SDP the benefit of the doubt, define it as “In Rome do as the Romans do.”)
Even though it is too early to see where the debate will head next, one matter is for certain: When speaking publicly about racism the state and government must take a firm leadership role. If one leaves discussion to people that still live in the 1930s when it comes to ethnicity (in the same spirit as Alfred Rosenberg and others), and to opposition politicians, the debate can turn ugly.
Who was Alfred Rosenberg? He was one of the chief ideologues behind Hitler’s racial policy that gave the smoking gun by publishing, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, to exterminate millions of people through outlandish “demographic engineering schemes.” Believe it or not, Rosenberg was an architect.
One of the biggest mistakes that hate groups make is that their views of other cultures are based on a lot of boloney. Even though they would be the last ones to admit that they are racists, their strategy is seriously flawed. Why? Because it hinges on inciting nationalistic sentiment and rhetoric at the cost of excluding others from society. It is not based on fact but on ethnic fairy tales and over-exaggeration.
Like alcoholics, however, people with such social ills can change.
This is a good moment in the ongoing debate.