Comment: Changing the laws is not enough to tackle a social ill like racism but leadership like Deputy Mayor Pekka Sauri of the Green Party showed on a tram in Helsinki helps a lot. A black family had entered the tram. This prompted a middle-aged man, who was apparently inebriated and drinking beer, to harass the family. Sauri reacted and asked the man to get off the tram, which he did.
Sauri said that the incident, which was first reported by tabloid Iltalehti, shows that the world has become a dangerous place and that people should react and speak out when something like this happens.
“I have got a lot of reaction, 98% positive, after the story was published ,” he said. “I have got feedback from a few racists (as well).”
Despite the leadership shown by Sauri, the deputy mayor said that what concerned him most about the incident was the silence of the passengers.
He said that people should just say “Stop!” loudly enough if such an incident occurred again. “The harassment could stop (as a result),” he said.
Helsingin apulaiskaupunginjohtaja Pekka Sauri kertoo saaneensa paljon kiitosta puututtuaan rasistiseen tilanteeseen eilen Helsingissä. Sauri istui eilen illalla tuttujensa kanssa raitiovaunu 10:ssä, kun Kansaneläkelaitoksen pysäkin kohdalla sisään nousi afrikkalaistaustainen perhe.