When I read the news story that Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stated that she wants the country to accept zero asylum seekers, I sarcastically thought that one of the EU’s most Islamophobic countries had found a solution to end global inequality and strife.
The Perussuomalaiset (PS), Finland’s close ideological ally of the Danish People’s Party and admirer of Frederiksen’s anti-immigration policies, was overjoyed by the prime minister’s zero-asylum seeker goal.
The PS’ leader, Jussi Halla-aho, and his Islamophobic party has expressed the same plan: end asylum seekers from the Middle East and other developing nations from coming to Finland.
Considering that populists and parties lack imagination and prefer to copy-and-paste toxic ideologies, we only must look at former President Donald Trump’s cruel immigration policy of family separation and denying refugees access to the country. Such policy did not only fail but brought great suffering to its victims.
Ignoring the global suffering, we wrought in the first place would let in other toxic ideologies that give rise to countries that base their government’s popularity on hatred. Having our head in our rectum will not improve our eyesight.
The 2019 recipient of the Council Literature Prize, Jonas Eika of Denmark, gave the following speech (see video clip below) about state racism in Denmark and its then-new prime minister Fredriksen.
OK, Eika is a poet and poets usually have noble ideals.
In November, an Iraqi asylum seeker called Ziad* from Jämsänkoski heard the court sentence a man who had threatened him the previous year with a knife and called him a vitun pakolainen (f**king asylum seeker) and vitun ulkomaalainen (f**king foreigner).
The verdict? A one-month jail sentence and a 700-euro fine paid to the victim.
One of the most significant matters about the case is that it was not considered a hate crime. Ziad does not have an answer to why the police and court did not see that way.
Ziad said that after the court case he no longer trusts the Finnish justice system, never mind the police. He admits, however, that matters would be different if he were a resident.
The silence emerging from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politicians are highly revealing. Their populist autocratic mentor, former President Donald Trump, is history and no longer in power.
While only PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari and PS MP Veikko Vallin were some of the very few politicians of the party to comment on the transfer of power, Jussi Halla-aho, Riikka Purra, Ville Tavio, Mauri Peltokangas, Juha Mäenpää, Vilhelm Junnila, and Wille Rydman of the National Coalition Party, as well as Sari Essyah of the Christian Democrats, were silent on Facebook.
After four years of chaos and division, an illness that even inflicted the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and politicians in other parties that sow division heard long-overdue healing words.
Without losing sight of the wars, CIA-inspired coups, and the human destruction brought on by the United States, it took a despot-inspired president like Donald Trump to give US’ exceptionalism a forceful blow.
One party, the PS, has built its politics on sowing ethnic hatred, rage, violence, and bigotry on brown Finns and other people of color. Politicians in the National Coalition Party, Christian Democrats, and others have flirted with such toxic ideas.
President Joe Biden is correct in stating that we must not stand idle or be silent. “Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things,” he said in his inaugural speech.
Are the same foes that Biden cites the same ones sowing discord in Finland?
I believe so.
A politician who spreads racism lives in constant conflict. How can he or she accept that some people have all the rights and others only on paper?
Twenty-two-year-old Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet ever, offered us today in Finland and the EU some sobering thoughts in her poem, The Hill We, Climb:”
“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.”
One of the interesting facts about white nationalism is that it is copied from somewhere else. Thus, white supremacist conspiracy views in Finland are nothing more than copy-and-paste jobs from somewhere else.
Some may play down the PS as a “light” version of white supremacy. We disagree. The PS under the leadership of Jussi Halla-aho is aiming to become a white supremacist political party in the same league as Donald Trump’s administration and Viktor Orbán of Hungary.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a racial justice group, states the following about white supremacy in the United States: “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites.”
And then we move closer to home here in Finland, the SPLC offers more light on this social ill:
All the latter sounds like the rhetoric spewed by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party when it victimizes and labels asylum seekers, Muslims, and visible minorities.
As the tweet below, Riikka Purra and other PS MPs are near-constantly reminding us how white Finns will become a minority in Finland.
According to the SPLC, white supremacists aim to end non-white immigration, multiculturalism, and miscegenation to preserve white, ethnic hegemony.
It is quite extraordinary that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* continues to play down and deflect criticism for their admiration and support for outgoing US President Donald Trump whose most recent crimes included actively inciting a mob to violently assault the legislative branch of government to overturn the election he lost by seven million votes.
PS leader Jussi Halla-aho, like Trump, suffers from obsessions that are perilous not only to them but to the whole nation.
If Trump is driven by his vanity, Halla-aho’s political message is based on racism and hard-right economic policies in the worst conservative tradition.
Apart from “digging” Trump and claiming that he is the best thing to happen to the United States and the Western world, Halla-aho shows support for the outgoing US president’s immigration policy.
But that isn’t all.
What about Trump’s Muslim ban? What about his open support for white-supremacists and their violence? And who could forget the tear-gassing of peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square for a photo shoot holding a Bible upside down?
Halla-aho and in the case of Trump was quoted as saying in Ilta-Snomat that too much attention has been given to him for his unorthodox style. Even so, he said the outgoing US president raised critical issues concerning global trade, Chinese dominance, and blocking migration.
In autocratic countries like the former Nazi Germany, North Korea, and elsewhere, snitching was one way to deal with enemies of the state. The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are now asking students and people who speak against the party.
PS MP Jani Mäkelä, who sees no wrong with Trump and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, tweets:
“Important message. Report it to the party if you encounter anti-Perussuomalaiset politicking at school or any similar places. Who, where, and how and importantly, how you can prove it [what was said]? Our youth arm and MPs will receive your messages.”
In Nazi Germany it worked in the same manner.
The Holocaust Explained writes: “Informers had various motives including antisemitism, racism, a strong belief in Nazi ideology and governance, fear, personal gain, professional gain, and personal disagreements [e.g., informing the Gestapo that someone was a communist in response to a personal dislike or argument with that person]. Most informers were aware of the consequences of their actions.”
While the Nazi regime’s downfall happened in 1945, it is scary to imagine what kind of a Finland we’d live in if the PS ruled the country.
Mark my words: The PS under Jussi Halla-aho on his cronies would not think twice about turning Finland into an “illiberal” republic like Hungary.