Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja mildly reprimanded Internet policeman Marko Forss for tweeting a so-called joke about the Roma, reports YLE. The personal tweet, as Migrant Tales reported in November, spread and strengthened stereotypes about the Roma.
What did Forss, who was named policeman of the year in 2011, tweet?
“Some funny things happen in police work, and for some reason these incidents often involve gypsies. In the best one a gypsy woman drops a frozen chicken from under her clothing in a shop. When police take the group into custody one of the men loudly objects: ‘come on, own up! Who threw that chicken at our Ally?’”*
Forss, who is supposed to be an example on the internet, burned his fingers badly with his so-called joke.
He was even quoted on tabloid Iltalehti as saying, “I don’t see any racism in such a joke,” and “it’s pretty disturbing if [people] are so sensitive.”
Read original blog entry here.
Not only was Forss’ tweet revealing but his defense arguments as well. Certainly a white policeman wouldn’t consider racist or insulting a so-called joke about the Roma, who have suffered their share of social exclusion for five centuries in Finland. The point is that Forss should have known better and understood if his joke was offensive to others.
Some advice for Forss: Don’t make any ethnic jokes because you’ll end up in hot water.
No disciplinary action will be taken against Forss.
Migrant Tales believes that Forss should be replaced since the tweet was a blow to his credibility.
If you disagree, why not ask the Romany minority what they think about Forss’ “joke” and if it fueled greater trust, or suspicion of the police.
* Thanks to Justice Demon for the translation.