Abdirahim Husu Hussein: One matter is the racist attacks but far worse is the indiffernce of the SDP and other political parties

by , under Enrique Tessieri

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)


Setting aside the racist attacks and harassment that Social Democratic (SDP) Helsinki city Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein received due to a tweet, why are members of his party and other politicians near-silent offering token support if any to defend a politician of color?

We could ask what is worse, the racist attacks Hussein has endured or the indifference of Finland’s political class?

Hussein tweeted last month that all members of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, their voters and supporters are racist. The tweet raised a storm during Finland’s vacation month of July.

On July 19, Hussein tweets from India: “Was yesterday’s tweet update too much for you. Let me be more concrete. All of the Perussuomalaiset and their voters/supporters are racists. Yes i said it. Do you need proof? Look at your history and how you were elected as Finland’s second-biggest party [in parliament].”

While Hussein denies that his tweet aimed at provoking the PS and its followers, it’s clear that Finland does need a long-overdue debate about its racism issues and why politicians and political parties have failed at containing and challenging the rise far-right populism.

How low has Finland stooped? Why is the country’s political class near-silent in the face of a black city councilperson who is being attacked in a racist and hostile manner? In my opinion, it reveals a scared and racist nation unwilling to take leadership and do what is right.

Hussein published on Facebook Thursday an especially vicious attack against him from a person who claims to be a PS supporter:

Racist: “Hi n-word.
You will soon be HISTORY N-WORD!!!
If I am a racist then you are an n-word:
Do you understand????
N-word. If I support the persut (Peususualaiset party) then you are an n-word.
Go back to where you came from.

So why aren’t the leaders of other parties saying anything substantial to defend and support Hussein who had the guts to speak out? Where is Prime Minister Antti Rinne, who is a member of the same party as Hussein? Where is Pekka Haavisto of the Greens, Left Alliance, Swedish People’s Party, and Center Party leaders? What about the National Coalition Party?

The indifference and near-silence of these parties and their leaders is deafening and reveals why populism has entered Finnish politics big time during this decade. It also shows us that our mainstream parties and society as a whole are at a loss in dealing with such a threat.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.