Exposing white Finnish privilege #78: the spread and acceptance of white nationalism

by , under Enrique Tessieri


Events after the storming of the Capitol building in Washington on January 6 exposed white nationalist terrorism as the biggest threat facing the United States. Since the events that took place at the Capitol did not happen spontaneously, are we going to see something similar in Finland’s ever-hostile far-right groups like the PS?

As with the United States, is there a blind spot to this threat if the people spreading violence are white Finns? Does Finnish law enforcement take this threat seriously?

There is a strong indication that law enforcement is not up to the job. One of the problems is that such institutions are white and run by men. With so little participation of minorities such as brown and black Finns in the police, newsrooms, and the halls of power, it is not surprising that the anti-racism debate in this country is one-sided and dominated by whites.

The best example of Finland’s racism blind spot is the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party and other far-right groups, which have become more vocal in recent years. It is amusing in a negative light that a party like the PS, where the vast majority of its municipal election candidates are white Finnish males, are dead set on denying minorities equal rights.

Even if we give recognition this week to the UN Anti-Racism Day, behind the chatter we find extraordinarily little action to challenge those institutions that give racism and white nationalism its legitimacy. We don’t do enough as a society because we don’t want to.

White Finnish privilege #78

In the same light, we should ask who Finland’s law enforcement and other institutions don’t take white nationalism and racism seriously. Some members of such institutions may not want to because they sympathize with far-right ideology, which is entrenched in racism, misogyny, and homophobic attitudes.

Finland has two choices: Deal and quell its far-right or normalize it.

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