By Enrique Tessieri
Behind all the rhetoric spread by anti-immigration groups in Finland and elsewhere a fact emerges: they are out to destroy the lives of as many immigrants as possible with their prejudice and racism. When a Justice Ministry official hands over rape statistics on various immigrant groups he gives a power weapon to slander and victimize people from various countries.
Such statistics have little value apart from hindering the integration of hard-working immigrants and those that want to make and build their future in this country.
Risto Laakkonen said on YLE’s Historiansarjoja: Raggarit, rasismi ja suomalaiset program how Swedish newspapers stopped linking crimes to national origin in 1970. The Finnish Embassy in Stockholm was instrumental in reaching an agreement with the editors-in-chief of Sweden’s major newspapers, who agreed not to publish the nationality of individuals committing a crime.
Things had gotten so bad in Sweden that the media had a common saying whenever a Finn was involved in a crime: En finne igen, or Yet another Finn.
Racist perceptions of different groups in Finland is more widespread than people would like to think, and the media have played a key role in spreading racism and prejudices among the population.
The fact that a political group openly spreads and distorts crime statistics about another national group is the worst form of chicanery.
If anti-immigration groups like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party are honestly interested in promoting the integration of various cultures in our society, why do they commonly single out immigrants and never suggest the same things for Finns?
A case in point of the latter can be found in a good opinion-piece by Hussein Muhammed. PS MP Jussi Halla-aho has suggested that unemployed immigrants should be put to work, even if this means digging and refilling holes. Muhammed asks: “…why must this kind of work only apply to “newcomers?” Shouldn’t it apply equally to “natives” or to the majority population that are unemployed?”
Why do anti-immigration groups apply two standards? One of these are for “newcomers” and the other for “natives?” Why are they so eager to use crime statistics and point the accusing finger at the whole group?
The answer to that question is simple. It is prejudice with a capital P, and racism with a fat R.