Perussuomalaiset (PS)* leader Jussi Halla-aho is shedding crocodile tears concerning the scandal with the PS Youth’s racist tweet over the weekend.
The tweet is straightforward. A black couple is smiling in an EU ad at their newborn child. The PS Youth tweets: “Vote for the Perussuomalaiset so that Finland won’t look like this.”
There are a few matters that make me wonder about the reaction to the PS Youth’s tweet. One is Halla-aho’s comments to steer clear from its youth wing and the fact that prosecutor general Raija Toiviainen will decide whether to charge PS Youth of ethnic agitation.
Halla-aho and some members of the PS have taken a tight line against the PS Youth. He wrote on Facebook that the aim of the party is not study a person’s genetic makeup or how Finnishness is defined. According to him, people who do not understand this are in the wrong party.
The wrong party?
Despite Halla-aho’s statement, he recently did question on TV that citizenship does not make Somalis Finns. “The question who is a Finn is [an] interesting,” he was quoted as saying. “The problem is that in Finnish, we don’t have a term that classifies who is an ethnic Finn and a Finnish citizen.”
And then adds: “If I would, for some reason, go to Somalia and become a Somali citizen, would that make me a Somali?”
Even if Halla-aho is trying to limit the damage caused by the PS Youth on the party, believing that he has changed his opinions is a pipedream, but that is a bit the message he wants to convey.
It is, however, a well-crafted pr snow job by him and the party.
Prosecutor General Toiviainen disappointed some when she decided not to file ethnic agitation charges against PS MP Juho Eerola last year.
The MP wrote on Facebook that he would spit at Roma panhandlers and ask them if they accepted credit cards. “[They are] drug dealers and criminals,” he wrote. “If you don’t give them money they treat you aggressively; they [then] disappear.”
Toiviainen’s decision not to file charges against Eerola was criticized.
Kyösti Roth, a well-known voice of the Roma community: “By not charging [PS MP Eerola of ethnic agitation] means in practice that anyone who wants can condemn publicly as drug dealers and criminals the Roma and Roma beggars. Is this what social equality means in Finland?”
The ministry of education is another institution looking into the possibility cut PS Youth’s 115,000 euros of state aid this year.
The decision by the ministry of education and whether the prosecutor general will file charges against PS Youth is vital because it is a red line.
* 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.