By Enrique Tessieri
Christian Democrat presidential hopeful, Sari Essayah, was quoted as saying on Jyväskylä-based daily Keskisuomalainen that racism hasn’t increased recently in Finland. She blamed the media for increasing such perceptions for following more closely what is written on different anti-immigration online forums.
The socially conservative candidate said, however, that society should have zero tolerance for racism.
What is unclear by Essayah’s statement is how serious of a social problem she believes racism is in Finland and how it should be tackled. Playing down the problem by blaming the media for doing its job will not help racism and prejudice to go away in this country.
Different anti-immigration forums like Hommaforum, Scripta and others gave a big boost to the Perussuomalaiset (PS) election victory in April.
PS leader Timo Soini plays down the role that the anti-immigration vote in the recent election.
Like Soini and Sauli Niinistö of Kokoomus, Essayah did not see the far-right posing a threat to Finland, according to an MTV3 poll in December.