Comment: Countries like Sweden, of which about 14% of the population are immigrants compared with Finland’s 3%, asks why anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity groups are growing in popularity.
Even if there is no empirical data to link the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party to the ever-worsening atmosphere, we could say that the PS’ victory on April 17 did not help matters for immigrants and minorities.
One of the saddest matters about racism and prejudice is that it does not spare anyone, not even children. Too many schools in the past in Finland with the silent collusion of the teachers have been responsible for allowing racism to take place at such places.
A Multicultural Finn tells of her ordeal at school in Otavan Sanomat, a student publication: “Lieksa is a small town in the Pohjois-Karjala region and there didn’t live a lot of Russians when we moved there,” she said. “It was tough being in middle school because my classmates made fun and excluded me from the group. It was a hurtful and lonely place (to be).”
The Multicultural Finn says that even to this date as an adult people make fun of her Russian background at Lieksa.
The student quoted in Otavan Sanomat went to middle school in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Even though teachers today try to confront racism at school, some feel that they are fighting a losing battle. “Certain terms and insults cannot be used at (Finnish) school but they are openly used publicly by members of parliament (like PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen)…” said researcher Anne-Mari Souto.
Maahanmuuttoa ja monikulttuurisuutta vastustetaan Suomessa yhä avoimemmin. Helsingissä järjestetyssä seminaarissa todettiin, että asenneilmapiiri on koventunut ja maahanmuuttajat kokevat arjessaan suvaitsemattomuutta entistä enemmän. Vihapuheet kohdistuvat myös maahanmuuttajataustaisiin lapsiin ja nuoriin.