Migrant Tales publishes on and off Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic, prejudiced, racist or anti-Russian views.
A common stereotype about Russia at the time — and still is — that it’s rife with Mafia criminal gangs. The billboard below claims that the mafia apprehended 70 Finns.
Instilling fear in the population, that the outside world and especially Russia are dangerous places, was and still is the main message of xenophobic groups in Finland. Around 1989, Keijo Korhonen became a household name by warning that the fall of the Soviet Union could bring hordes of refugees.
The argument used once by Korhonen is the same one used by the anti-immigration wing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, which warn us of “Islamization.” The same high-birthrate argument was used against the Jews in Finland in the nineteenth century. Today, Finland’s Jewish population numbers, however, a mere 2,000 people.
*Migration Institute archive.