Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs got his brief moment in the media by insulting migrants and minorities. Today, however, he showed us one of the oldest political tricks in the books: say something outrageous, usually racists, and then apologize.
He regretted calling some asylum seekers “welfare surfers” or shoppers. He said his statement was inappropriate because it undermined human dignity.
Such racist outbursts are harmful and only raise the level of hostility and suspicion of migrants and minorities.
Even if Pylväs spoke of “parasitic” asylum seekers who live off our social welfare, he meant our migrant and minority community. Asylum seekers don’t get social welfare but a small monthly allowance.
We’ve seen this same strategy many times. Remember Pia Kuma and her baby carriage claim? Another one that comes to mind is Perussuomalaiset MP Veikko Vallin, who took pictures secretly of children and employees of a Helsinki nursery.
Like Pylväs today, so did Kauma and Vallin apologize.
It is surprising that the media does not catch on quicker and how easily it becomes the mouthpiece of such politicians.
But what can you expect if newsrooms in Finland have little to no minorities.
There is no condemnation, never mind a hard-hitting editorial.