Parties that use racism and xenophobia to attract voters play a dangerous game. It’s like having a rapid dog on a short leash that everyone notices. What those parties don’t want to know is that that rapid dog can bite back at its supposed owner, and hard.
Anders Brevik is one of many examples of how unpredictable and lethal that rabid racist dog is.
In Finland the government, the opposition, even President Sauli Niinistö never mind the media give mixed signals about what we’re supposed to do about racism in our society. In English we have a good terms for it: doubletalk, wishy-washy, snow job etc.
Politicians say one thing and then send a message usually in code stating another. They do this because they are white Finns with ethnic privilege and because they fear losing votes and support. Migrants and minorities matter at the end of the day little to them.
But what can you expect? For decades politicians from all parties have turned a blind eye to this social ill until one, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* figured out that they could become one of the biggest parties in Finland by exploiting people’s racism.
Since no party has promised to rid Finland of Somalis and Muslims, among other minorities, the PS told their future voters that they would “solve” the problem.
They never did and never will because that would mean turning Finland into a dictatorship or a country like Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.
But in the process all the PS “solved” was fuel “us” and “them” with the help of bigotry.
All matters aren’t lost, however. If we and our institutions are incapable of coming to terms with the problem that has threatened Finland today, we have the foreign media that will do it for us.
They are our last hope. They will name and shame us into action against the menace that has gripped this country.
And mark my word: That threat is racism and fascism.
This story appeared in the Washington Post.
This story was covered by the BBC.
* 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.