Do you want the secret to tame dog, destroy anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and challenge the deep prejudices in other political parties and society? The answer is to bust wide open the urban tales that are living off the fat of our prejudices.
Apart from being illegal, a social ill like racism is destroying the future of Finland today. Ever since the 1970s, when Finland decided not to pursue an active immigration policy to invite skilled laborers to the country since so many Finns had emigrated to Sweden, we’ve been on denial mode for a very long time.
From Strange Days (1984). Cartoon by Rabbah Boussira.
We have denied for decades that we don’t need migrants in Finland because we are obsessed with self-reliance and our prejudices that feed that latter. We are suspicious of cultural diversity because we’ve been wrongly taught that the only Finn is a white Finn.
We need racism and social exclusion in this country like a hole in the head. The best we can do in the face of these challenges is to show our suspicion, even hostility, towards migrants and especially asylum seekers.
Allowing our prejudices to get the best of us is creating a society that lives in moral compromise with its own values.
Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987), one of the founders of Sweden’s Nordic welfare state authored The American Dilemma, a book that looked at how much in conflict Jim Crow laws of the 1940s were with their country’s Enlightenment ideals enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
Thus, the very fact that there is economic discrimination constitutes an added motive for every individual white group to maintain such discriminatory practices. Discrimination breeds discrimination.
In the same way, our prejudice and social exclusion of migrants and ethnic minorities in Finland through institutionalized racism, and the simple solutions given by anti-immigration groups to latter social ills, feed the prejudices of white Finns about non-white Finns.
Pekka Myrsklä claims that about 60% of migrants in this country live in poverty. Why aren’t we discussing this problem, which should definitely include a social issue like ever-growing poverty in Finland?
Urban tales, and those who put forth simple remedies for complex problems, run so deep in this society that we should be especially concerned about how gullible we are. Our prejudices have made us so unsuspecting that we can be told almost any wise tale about migrants and minorities and we’ll believe them to be true.
Politicians like Tom Packalén, Pia Kauma, Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari and a very long list of others are good examples of the latter. They have made a name for themselves with this formula: urban tales + our ignorance = political career and/or job.
One way of challenging urban tales is questioning those who spread them and, most importantly, tell them in a civil manner: I disagree. Let’s talk about this.
Why is it important to challenge social ills like intolerance, which feed our prejudices?
Because we don’t want to see Finland fed to the dogs those who would care less about this country.
* 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.