Does the Trump phenomenon in Europe reflect that white Europe is being challenged?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

If Donald Trump stands a good chance of being nominated as the Republican party’s presidential candidate this year, surely it says a lot about the moral state of USAmerica. Noam Chomsky, the renowned scholar, was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post that the Trump phenomenon revealed that white USAmerica is dying. 

Are there political Donald Trumps in Europe and do they reveal that white Europe is dying as well?

Taking into account Europe’s colonial legacy and history, white Europe is being challenged by minorities that are demanding their long-overdue rights of being treated with dignity and as equal members of society.

Unfortunately, the Trumps of Europe are springing like mushrooms. They too are using the same political mumbo jumbo with that toxic mix racism, bigotry, bullying, and belligerence.

Some of these European Trumps that come to mind are Marine Le Pen of France, Geert Wilders of Holland, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Pia Kjærsgaard of Denmark, Finland’s Timo Soini, Visegrad Four, an anti-EU alliance comprising of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, to name a few.

In Finland, about 18% of voters voted in the 2011 and 2015 parliamentary elections voted for a party that sees cultural diversity as a threat and that near-constantly exploits and maintains ethnic suspicion, especially against Muslims and blacks, for political gain.

Even if the track record of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is shamefully linked with racism, bigotry and ties to far-right groups, some Finnish scholars like Heikki Hiilamo, a social policy professor at Helsinki University, believe that the PS has done “a great service to [Finnish] democracy” by letting off (racist?) steam of the “suppressed middle classes, especially working class men.”

Hiilamo continues: “The danger of radicalization is especially high today since support for the PS [in the polls] has plummeted and many still don’t know for which party they’d vote for.”

This argument that if support for the PS nosedives in the polls fuels radicalization was used in a so-called “study” by the Police University College, which cost taxpayers 200,000 euros. The report painted a bleak and threatening picture of Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society. In a nutshell, it claimed that migrants and minorities should be treated with suspicion since they are a threat to Finland.

If we look at these two cases and add YLE’s A2-ilta debate on Wednesday about how asylum seekers fuel uncertainty a pattern starts to evolve: white Finnish entitlement.

Certainly for Hiilamo, the authors of the Police University College report and the hosts of the A2-ilta debate have a difficult time seeing how their entitlement blinds them to their ethnocentrism and “diplomatic” bigotry.

Setting the tone of the A2-ilta debate, the first person that the hosts interviewed was Sari Hassinen of Kankaanpää, who has very strong nationalistic views about migrants, asylum seekers and cultural diversity.

Näyttökuva 2016-2-25 kello 21.55.14
Sari Hassinen “likes” on Facebook the following pages: “Ban the burka and niqab,” “Finland first,” “Romany panhandlers out of Finland and close our borders,” “We Finns are against refugee quotas from the EU,” and “We’re against the interior ministry’s 2020 migration program.”

When asked why she’s collected signatures for a petition against asylum seekers in Kankaanpää, where a building that was going to become a refugee reception center was razed to the ground in December, she responded:  “They [asylum seekers] haven’t done anything yet, certainly there have been looks [by them], speaking in a language we don’t understand, laughs, but we still want to make sure that nothing [bad] happens [to us and our children].”

 All of these sad examples above show and underline how ethnocentric and one-sided the present debate is. We can speak of insecurity caused by asylum seekers to white Finns but not a word is mentioned in the A2-ilta debate about the violence and uncertainty felt by asylum seekers in Finland, which extends all they way to the countries they came from.

The fact that the PS have risen from near political obscurity to becoming one of the biggest parties in Finland in the last two parliamentary elections shows that our country is in crisis.

The reason why far right and right-wing populist parties like the PS have grown in recent years is because minorities in Europe are challenging and demanding to be treated as equal members of society.

If Europe is sensible it will accept the present demographic realities and use the same social policies that enabled it to build successful, peaceful and well-functioning societies for its white population.

Key values like inclusion and social equality should be the standard, or values where racism, bigotry, bullying, and belligerence have no place.

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.