By Enrique Tessieri
One of the political dramas that Finland is facing today is that it does not know what racism and fascism is. The Finnish media up to the April 17 election not only lost its teeth and forgot its important role in defending our civil rights but helped the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) with its complacency.
It’s difficult to say if some journalists preferred not to write critically about PS candidates that belonged to Suomen Sisu because they were ignorant or because the racism of these candidates appealed to them.
While Migrant Tales calls Suomen Sisu a Nazi-spirited association, this was unfortunately the exception not the rule when it comes to the Finnish media.
If the Finnish media has done a shoddy job at reporting the rise of the far-right and populist threat to Finland, politicians haven’t done any better. Instead of trying to show leadership against racism and neo-fascism in Finland, they preferred to remain silent or, worse, assimilate the PS’ anti-immigration message.
Didn’t the politicians of all of Finland’s major and minor parties elect the head of the PS’ Suomen Sisu wing, MP Jussi Halla-aho, to chair the administration committee in charge of setting immigration policy?
It was only after Anders Breivik appeared on the scene in Norway and killed 77 Norwegians in July that some members of the Social Democratic party started to ask question about Halla-aho’s role in the administration committee.
Another tragedy of the media and too many politicians are their treatment of PS head Timo Soini, who tries to portray himself to the public as a good cop of a right-wing populist party that is anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim.
I totally agree with Poohl. In the ongoing debate on Finland’s political future there is one important matter missing: knowing what racism and fascism is and their threat to our values and society.
Having lived, worked and traveled extensively in Latin America, I know that democracy can be shelved very easily.
Recovering it will be a real bitch.