Exposing* white Finnish privilege #39: The Hollywood ending of racism that will never happen in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

There is one characteristic when watching for some years Finnish journalists, public officials, politicians and the public debate about racism: Everything will end like in a Hollywood movie, and we’ll live happily forever.

Happiness for some doesn’t hinge on ending racism in this country but on perpetuating it so that white Finns could have, at the cost of minorities, power, and privilege.

This type of wishful thinking permits journalists like Pressiklubi host Sanna Ukkola to provoke and flex her muscles at minorities by putting on an Amerindian feather hairpiece and show a clip of Pekka ja Pätkä blackfaces before diving into a sensitive topic like cultural appropriation.

Read Sanna Ukkola’s opinion piece (in Finnish) here.

Ukkola went even further by – yes, she did this – got in touch with a teacher’s employer at a school to point out that his tweets were out of line. The teacher, Tero Hannula, tweeted a poll asking whether Ukkola should wear a dunce cap, a Perussuomalaiset cap, a Ku Klux Klan hood or a bottle of all-purpose adhesive on her head.

Ukkola also went after blogger Suvi Auvinen and asked for a correction but didn’t make clear what she wanted to be corrected.

Today she even published a rebuttal telling us what a terrible place social media is. Nowhere did she apologize for offending minorities with her actions.

As mentioned in a previous story, last Friday’s Pressiklubi show was a fiasco for a number of reasons. It showed ignorance, white privilege, and that wishful Hollywood ending that made it all happen in the first place.

Too often Finns, who play down and are in deep denial about racism in our society, naively believe that the way to end such a social ill is to hit it with a soft stick. Such a strategy will not make racism go away but strengthen it.

Disagree? Take a look at the hatred and far-right ideology that has become more vocal in recent years. The soft stick approach has only emboldened and strengthened racism and bigotry in Finland.

Are we serious about identifying and tackling racism in Finland? The quality of journalism on Pressiklubi suggests the opposite, or that we’re interested in maintaining the order of things.

If we, however, wanted to fight against racism in Finland and elsewhere, a good source would be feminists’ and women right’s activists who have not only fought but gained greater gender equality in Finland.

Did they get such rights by journalists near-constantly inviting sexists on their shows so we’d hear their toxic side of their story?

Of course not.

Finnish privilege #39

Ukkola has done great harm to the Finnish journalism profession by exposing how she is a servant of power and privilege in this society at the cost of minorities.

Like UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s incompetence is the greatest political windfall to the Labor Party, Ukkola and her brand of journalism help expose what is wrong with Finland when it comes to white Finnish power and privilege.

See also:

* The column on Finnish white privilege will be headlined today as “Exposing” white Finnish privilege.

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