Media researcher Anu Koivunen believes that Finnish politicians don’t challenge racism because they fear losing voters, reports MTV3. Koivunen said that reaction would have been stronger in Sweden if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen scandal would have happened in that neighboring country.
Organizing a 15,000-strong demonstration at the end of June as a reaction to Immonen’s declaration of war against multiculturalism shows that Finns have the potential to react just as strongly as their neighbors in Sweden.
Koivunen reinforces what Migrant Tales has been saying for a long time: There is a lack of leadership among politicians to challenge racism in Finland. This explains why a party like the PS can rise from near-obscurity to become the second-biggest force in parliament with the help of xenophobic and anti-EU rhetoric.
While some politicians may fear challenging racism because it could end their careers, it’s clear that their complacent silence is more an indication of support for the xenophobic rhetoric of parties like the PS.
While Koivunen speaks of politicians, she should also mention the Finnish media, which has been part of the problem with its too often toothless reporting and by giving a voice to racist politicians from parties like the PS.
Swedish People’s Party MP Eva Biaduet told Migrant Tales recently that two scenarios could develop in Finland as our society becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse.
“As our society becomes more culturally diverse, I see our ties with the Nordic region and Europe strengthening [positive scenario],” she said. “A negative scenario would mean a distancing from the Nordic countries [and its ideals] and identifying more with Eastern Europe and nationalistic ideals with a dominating fear of Russia, which I’m not underestimating.”
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party 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.