Exposing white Finnish privilege #42: Labeling and shaming

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales published in 2015 a Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism that aimed at highlighting the too frequent shoddy reporting by the national media of our ever-growing non-white community of Finland. A story published by Iltalehti on October 27 is not only an example of shoddy journalism but one that is racist as well. 

One of the oldest stereotypes about the Roma minority in Finland is that they are thieves and cannot be trusted.

The Iltalehti story reinforces such a stereotype with a story about a 30-year-old woman, who shoplifts food from a market and hides it under her skirt. While the story doesn’t use the term “Roma” once, they use code to identify the ethnic group:  “hides produce under her skirt.”

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

White Finnish privilege #42

One of the ways that white Finnish privilege exposes itself is through the media. The story by Iltalehti of the suspected Roma shoplifter is an example of how stereotypes of specific ethnic groups are maintained.

How many of these types of stories do you read about white Finns? Certainly there are some but they must be pretty fantastic for them to be published.

Why would a tabloid like Iltalehti be interested in a shoplifting case that involves tens of euros?

The answer is simple: The unofficial role of the media is to reinforce stereotypes as well as label and shame specific ethnic groups like the Roma of Finland.

See also: