The repackaging and marketing of hate by anti-immigration parties and groups in Finland

by , under Enrique

Migrant Tales has shown on a number of blogs how neo-fascist groups like Golden Dawn of Greece, Hungary’s Jobbik and our own Finnish version of the latter, the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, are examples of the growing intolerance in Europe. Any sensible immigrant, visible minority and European should be worried by the situation. 

In Finland, our collective denial of racism is so deeply rooted that even in our history we deny being allies of Nazi Germany during the Continuation War (1941-44). Officially, we were a co-belligerent of Nazi Germany, but not minor allies like Hungary, Bulgaria or Romania.

Instead of going around in circles with such nuances that aim to hide the real fact, that we were at war with Nazi Germany against the former Soviet Union, we must find the courage to look at the issue closer at hand so we can free ourselves from the chains of the past.

Why were we allies of Nazi Germany? The explanation that you’ll hear boils down to revenge for the Winter War (1939-40) and our deep hatred of our old foe and master, the Russians. We went to bed with Germany in 1941 because Finland believed the Nazis would win the war.

What kind of world would we live in today if Nazi Germany would have triumphed in Europe? For one, this writer would not be here today because part of my family was Jewish.

We can already see how extremist groups like Suomen Sisu and parties like the PS have changed their tactics on how they attack immigrants and our ever-growing cultural diversity. Many don’t have to make inflammatory racist statements as before because they have today much more power than before.

A good example is a Suomen Sisu statement, where the far right anti-immigration association, which holds pretty much the same ideas about cultural diversity as the Ku Klux Klan and the U.S. American Nazi Party, calls for immigrants to integrate by learning Finnish, getting an education and a job.

Should we believe them? Certainly not. It’s only a red herring to hide their hate agenda, which is now being repackaged and marketed for a wider audience.

Two videos below of skinhead, neo-Nazi and anti-immigration groups throws back a disturbing question at our faces: Would this be possible on a much greater scale in Finland?

Certainly there’s such a danger and potential for our intolerance to escalate into further violence. The PS and the silence of other political parties are the best indication of our xenophobia and our opposition to cultural diversity. Certainly there’s also the euro crisis that brought voters to the the PS, but how do you explain its April 2011 election victory, when it received 19.1% of the vote (39 seats in parliament) versus 4.05% (5 seats) in 2007?

Such a major shift in the political paradigm in Finland doesn’t happen by chance. It comes from somewhere and buds at the right time.

Matters will unfortunately get worse in Finland before they improve.

The only way that immigrants, visible minorities and Finns can challenge the menace that Finland faces today is by reacting to it.

Complacency and silence to intolerance is waving a white flag at those who seek to not only defeat you but change our society permanently.

  1. Barachiel

    I wouldn’t go so far as to compare the PS to Jobbik. Unlike Jobbik, the PS does not openly scapegoat Jews for the country’s ills on a regular basis. I think they have more in common with the Dutch Freedom Party or the French National Front, which at least keep that kind of rhetoric on the down low.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Barachel, I agree. The PS have more in common with the Dutch Freedom Party and French National Front. But if you look at all of these anti-immigrant parties, they make the same point: we don’t like group x (usually Muslim) because you are so different from us. You are so different from us that you could never adapt to our way of life.

      All of these groups make the same point about their “favorite” scapegoat.

  2. Joonas

    – Why were we allies of Nazi Germany? We went to bed with Germany in 1941 because Finland believed the Nazis would win the war.

    Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils (Communism vs Nazism). I think Finland made the right choice to “ally” with Nazi Germany, even we lost the war. Finland would be totally different place now, if Soviet Union would have been able to occupy it.

  3. Jssk

    I fully agree with Joonas. I dont feel any quilt about us aligning with Germany back then, it was the best choice we could have made in that time. It was out of necessity, to save our independence. And that alliance didnt come free of charge.

    Also, why you are saying russians are our foes? Sure, there was conflicts beetween soviet union and finnish militants even before winter war. Not to mention there was many wars over finland beetween Russia and Sweden. But russians as a people being our enemies? No.

  4. Barachiel

    Barachel, I agree. The PS have more in common with the Dutch Freedom Party and French National Front. But if you look at all of these anti-immigrant parties, they make the same point: we don’t like group x (usually Muslim) because you are so different from us. You are so different from us that you could never adapt to our way of life.

    All of these groups make the same point about their “favorite” scapegoat.

    That’s true.

    There’s something else that separates the PS from Jobbik, however: the PS at least tries to put a filter on its hate speech to be more presentable. (Not that that really works, see Helin for example.) Jobbik, on the other hand, revels in red meat. You might want to look at articles on Jobbik on Expo.se to see what I mean.

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