When Finland celebrates its first centennial on December 6, 2017, what will we be commemorating? Independence? Our Nordic way of life? Social equality? Will there be two Finlands, one that is socially included and another one that is not, celebrating on that special day?
Source: Cornerstone News and Information.
People who aren’t socially excluded will have good reason to celebrate in 2017.
But matters will be very different for those who belong to socially excluded Finland, which comprises of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, visible minorities and the unemployed. They have dreams of a better life but many of their hopes end up at the social security institution, Kela, unemployment office or as a worker at a menial job that pays too little and which forces you to live in debt.
The problem with these two Finlands is that those that have power, the included group, want to keep things as they are. As their greed and go-go-capitalist values and self-centered lifestyles grow, so do the ills of our society.
While nobody has given this form of exclusion a proper name, it should be called white Finnish privilege. It is the same social ill that has kept minorities like blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and others oppressed and excluded in the United States and elsewhere.
White privilege uses race and ethnic background as a social filter to exclude others in order to control important resources like jobs, political, social and economic power.
Excluding part of society in such a hostile manner is expensive and costs taxpayers an arm and a leg.
One example of how intolerance has raised its head in Finland was reported by YLE, which revealed the last time Finland was able to accommodate 750 refugees in its UN annual quota system was in 2003. Opposition by municipalities to receiving refugees is one reason why Finland hasn’t been able to bring 750 refugees yearly, according to the story.
We’re not talking about thousands never mind tens of thousands of refugees but a few hundred!
One of the culprits of the present situation is the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, which campaigned in the last elections that municipalities should not accept refugees.
Just like few will admit a white Finnish privilege problem in this country, even fewer will agree that our intolerance is homemade and spoonfed at home by our parents and reinforced at our schools.
Finland did everything in the last century to limit immigration and foreign investment to the country. Imagine what kinds of attitudes and prejudices you must teach new generation of Finns to have maintained such a Draconian system.
Only after 1995, when Finland became an independent country, matters started to change for the better.
We have made progress but in 2017 there will be two Finlands celebrating our first centennial.