Exposing Finnish white privilege #62: On free speech and scared white men

by , under Enrique Tessieri

It is amusing to hear how some people, usually white Finnish males, are so concerned about free speech. From rock bands like Eppu Normaali to politicians from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party and others, the message is clear: the state is undermining our free speech.

Really?

How can people who grow up with privilege and power in Finland feel so threatened? Why is it usually that white Finnish males and women who support them, usually those that hate migrants and minorities, the ones that feel so threatened?

We all know the answer to that question. The issue isn’t undermining your rights to free speech but the fact that white Finnish men and women are scared because their privilege is being challenged. One of these privileges is to insult, oppress, and bully Others.

A good example is the racist and disgraceful tweet in March that cost the Perussuomalaiset Youth chapter 115,000 euros of funding by the ministry of education and culture.

Those that remember the tweet, there is a picture of a black couple smiling happily at their newborn child with the following tweet: “Vote for the Perussuomalaiset so that Finland won’t look like this.”

PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho gave his usual defense of why racism should be seen as a “normal” matter by society and why it was wrong to cut funding to the youth chapter.

“My view is that cancelling and recovering funding is an unreasonable action over one silly tweet. There’s reason to appeal the decision – and if needed – take it to court,” Yle News quotes him saying on Facebook.

Anyone who is familiar with the actions of the PS Youth will conclude that it wasn’t a “silly tweet” by a member of that youth chapter but a clear pattern used over and over again by the party.

Playing down the impact of one’s racism is a common strategy used by racist parties like the PS. If racism happens, it is an exception “or silly” (sic!).

White Finnish privilege #62

It is a good matter that the ministry of education and culture cut funding (taxpayers’ money) to an organization that builds its support on racist ethnonationalistic views.

But the interesting question is why such parties feel so threatened that their free speech is being watered down?

The only answer I have is that it is the main thrust of the far-right message: Vote for us because you will be a minority. Are you scared? Vote for us!

White Finnish privilege allows you to cry about your privilege so you can continue to oppress and malign Others with impunity as well as keep institutional racism unchallenged.

If these people want, I will gladly offer a handkerchief to help them wipe the crocodile tears from their eyes.

See also:

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.

Leave a Reply