Defining white Finnish privilege #33: Appropriating our narrative to maintain the status quo, amass more power and privilege

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the most important matters that one learns when reading about our ever-growing culturally diverse society in Finland is that there is fierce opposition from some circles against cultural and ethnic diversity. According to these groups, the only way that a multicultural Finn, migrant and minority can live in Finland is if they have control of the narrative. 

Catchwords such as social equality (tasa-arvo), equal opportunities and Nordic social welfare democracy are minefields laid by white Finnish society to amass power, privilege and, most importantly, keep minorities passive.

Far-right group Suomi Ensin (Finland First) demonstrating aganist asylum seekers at the Helsinki Railway Square. They are the vocal side of bigotry and racism in Finland. Many Finns are closet racists who don’t come out like Suomi Ensin. Photo: Enrique Tessieri.

Another catchphrase used ad nauseam in this country by politicians, public servants and the like is “we have zero tolerance for racism.”

When xenophobic and ultranationalistic politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ville Tavio can state with a poker face on A-studio: talk that he has zero tolerance for racism, you understand that such a statement isn’t worth much.

White Finnish society in this context means the effective whitewashing that has taken place in Finland during its near-100 years of independence to erase as much as possible all traces of cultural and ethnic diversity off the map.

Definition #33

The fact of the matter is that despite all the rhetoric about being “against racism” there are in the backdrop of that statement few if any multicultural Finns, migrants and minorities in places of power. When a public official states “he or she is against racism” it is usually code for maintaining the status quo and keeping cultural diversity on a short leash or passive.

If politicians were really interested in doing away with racism and bigotry they would stop using catchphrases and take concrete steps to give multicultural Finns, migrants and minorities representation in the police service, Finnish Border Guards, politics, management, and many other professions.

The reason why nobody wants to change the narrative, and why it has been appropriated by those that have power and privilege, is because nothing is supposed to change.

For many of us, social equality is nothing but a catchphrase used to pacify multicultural Finns, migrants and minorities from demanding their rights and to be treated as equal citizens.

See also:

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”