Christian Democrat candidate does not see Finland "more racist" than before

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Christian Democrat presidential hopeful, Sari Essayah, was quoted as saying on Jyväskylä-based daily Keskisuomalainen that racism hasn’t increased recently in Finland. She blamed the media for increasing such perceptions for following more closely what is written on different anti-immigration online  forums. 

The socially conservative candidate said, however, that society should have zero tolerance for racism.

What is unclear by Essayah’s statement is how serious of a social problem she believes racism is in Finland and how it should be tackled. Playing down the problem by blaming the media for doing its job will not help racism and prejudice to go away in this country.

Different anti-immigration forums like Hommaforum, Scripta and others gave a big boost to the Perussuomalaiset (PS) election victory in April.

PS leader Timo Soini plays down the  role that the anti-immigration vote in the recent election.

Like Soini and Sauli Niinistö of Kokoomus, Essayah did not see the far-right posing a threat to Finland, according to an MTV3 poll in December.

  1. Mark

    Well, politicians are very rarely ‘close’ to the people, are they? Blame the internet and social media! Very novel.

    What does she mean by saying ‘racism has not increased recently’?

    Does that mean it’s high, always was high, always will be high, so what’s the problem?

    Does she mean that the same number of people who were racist before are still racist, but maybe a bit more so, now that they have a political platform for their prejudices and online forums to write in?

    Of course, I doubt that. Point is, she seems to have no capacity to articulate what racism is, what it is specifically in Finland, or how to combat it.

    So what on earth does it mean when she says she has ‘zero tolerance’ for racism? Fuck all, I guess!

    • Enrique

      Mark, the same questions you are asking I asked when I read the Essayah story. I totally agree: she lacks depth and knowledge about an issue like racism. It’s must be a bit like her stand on homosexuality and same-sex marriages.

      The “zero tolerance” is something she must have thrown into the sentence in order to confuse us even more!

  2. Martin-Éric

    I’m not surprised. Essayah is not know for having her feet firmly resting on the ground. She usually means well though but, as with most career politicians, she lives in a golden cage, away from the realities faced by her constituents.

  3. justicedemon


    This thread title is ungrammatical.

    Racism is an acquired state of mind or system of belief. We gauge the racism of a population group through attitude research and observations of behaviour.

    An increase in visible immigration readily results in diminishing racism accompanied by a rise in cases of racially motivated misconduct. This is no more surprising than finding an increase in grand larceny as a population becomes more affluent and more honest.

  4. justicedemon

    For our resident epähiket, I might add that car theft is now much more common in Finland than it was in 1920. Does this show that people in Finland are now much less honest than they were between the wars?

  5. Jonas G

    Together with Niinistö and Soini, she also said that she doesn’t think attitudes have hardened towards Swedish-speakers in Finland either on yesterday’s debate on FST.

  6. Allan

    Thats quite funny, as if Essayah would be elected, she would indeed be “Finland’s Obama” – what do you have against immigrant-background people, Enrique?

    This racism-hysteria is like the warnings of perverts that circulate. The social media drums up the issue and all of a sudden theres a pervert behind every bush and weird cars driving around the village.

  7. justicedemon


    That kind of obscene reversal of the truth is typical of fascist movements. You want to argue that unreflective media coverage of deliberate statistical distortions suggesting an immigrant crime wave is reasonable freedom of expression, but it is hysteria to point out that such coverage is racially motivated.

  8. Allan

    The job of the customs was that day to apprehend a person that they had a tip on who fit into a description. So all people fitting that description were investigated – quite a standard procedure if you think of it, but I can understand if it makes your head hurt.

  9. Allan

    Justicedemon – I’m waiting for the rant on how EVIRA & the police are racists going after the multicultural kebab-empire. Human trafficking and kebabs, you need to play the Sweeney Todd musical score reading the newspapers.

  10. justicedemon


    The job of the customs was that day to apprehend a person that they had a tip on who fit into a description.

    1. Where, exactly, did the customs authority give this as an official explanation? All I noticed in the HBL item was speculation to this effect from an official who was not involved in the incident and took pains to stress that he cannot explain why it happened.

    2. Where, exactly, did HBL complain about the assignment to apprehend a particular person? There was no such complaint, except in your prejudiced mind.

    3. Do you think the customs would have taken every pinkskin to a back room for a separate interview if the description had specified a white suspect? Go on, give us another laugh.