Finnish whiteness, Russophobia, anti-immigration and our ever-growing cultural diversity

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One matter that became clear in Sunday’s parliamentary elections is how polarized Finland is. On the one hand anti-immigration and Finnish whiteness was heard loud and clear, while two new non-white Finns were elected to parliament: Social Democrat Nasima Razmyar and Ozan Yanar of the Greens.

If there is good news to emerge from these elections, it’s Razmyar , Yanar and let’s not forget Jani Toivola of the Greens, a black Finnish MP, who got reelected.

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The three new faces of Finland’s ever-growing cultural diversity in parliament (from left to right): Nasima Razmyar, Ozan Yanar and Jani Toivola.

Even if the three MPs are small examples of how Finnish society is changing they are huge steps towards greater recognition that Finland is, never was, and never will be an only white society.

Over 1.2 million Finns emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999.

No matter how many Perussuomalaisiet (PS)* and other anti-cultural diversity politicians are elected in the future, no matter how loud and hostile their voices become, there is one matter they cannot stop: Finland’s ever-growing cultural and ethnic diversity.

A good example of the xenophobic voices in Finland are, among a long list of other politicians, Suna Kymäläinen of the Social Democratic Party, who got reelected to parliament with 7,428 votes, and Laura Huhtasaari of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party with 9,254 votes.

An MP from Ruokolahti, located next door to Russia, Kymäläinen campaigned on an anti-Russian campaign to prohibit real-estate purchases by Russians in Finland. Even after her proposal to prohibit real-estate purchases by non-EU citizens was defeated in a parliamentary committee, Kymäläinen continued campaigning tirelessly for such a restrictions by proposing a citizen’s initiative.

 

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Here is a good example of how to succeed as a politician in Finland. Idealize Finnish whiteness by dying your hair bleach blonde, have blue eyes and add some xenophobic sound bites. Presto! Instant election success. Suna Kymäläinen had a strong Russophobic message while Huhtasaari campaigned against immigrants so that jobs wouldn’t go to them. Both got elected with a handsome number of votes.

One wonders why Kymäläinen was so steadfast about her Russophobic proposal. The answer is in the number of votes she got Sunday and her reelection to parliament.

Laura Huhtasaari, who claimed that her anti-immigration party had the only credible immigrant program, stated that on election eve that she wants jobs for Finns apparently not migrants already living and paying taxes in this country.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. 

 

  1. doodee

    It’s perhaps a bit rich to have a post about diversity and then to criticise a persons views based on their hair colour.
    Just sayin’.

    • Migrant Tales

      Is it? If that “diversity” you speak of is used to promote intolerance and white Finnish privilege, then that raises other questions.

  2. doodee

    I don’t think that they purposely decided to dye their hair blonde to promote white Finnish privilege, I think that they just happen to be privileged white Finns who are intolerant.
    I do not agree with their views, or the views of Perussuomalaiset, but I also do not agree with criticising peoples opinions based on their appearance, and to imply that having blonde hair is a tool to promote intolerance is not really fair.

    • Migrant Tales

      I didn’t say all blonde people I only said these two candidates, especially Huhtasaari. One part of politics is the image you give to the public. Sometimes that can form a power message with xenophobia.

  3. PS voter

    Why do you think that Jani Toivola as a MP somehow increases multiculturalism? Or are you using multiculturalism as a code word for race?

    Jani Toivola is half-black, but in all other ways, he feels very Finnish. And he was born in Finland, has Finnish name, speaks Finnish as mother tongue, has grown inside Finland and immersed in Finnish culture, has lived with his Finnish mother (if I remember correctly, his Kenyan father didn’t live with him and Jani has said that when he has visited Kenya, that he finds Kenyan culture alien to him) etc.

    Why do you mention that over 1.2 million Finns emigrated. It is non sequitur to think that it is some kind of proof that it makes Finland more multicultural.

    And why do you think it is wrong that Suna Kymäläinen is afraid that Russia may use real-estate purchases against Finland and some of they are security risk to Finland. After all, Russia is at the very moment, occupying Krimea and waging war in other parts of Ukraine and Russia has threatened other countries as well and made several threatening moves with its military against other countries, including Finland.

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