Exposing white Finnish privilege #91: The right to generalize and victimize minorities

by , under Enrique Tessieri

THE STORY WAS UPDATED

Those who are worried about the blow to the credibility of the security guards due to several scandals that even led to the death of a woman in Espoo are quick to point out one should not jump to conclusions and label all security guards and the sector.

True, we should always be careful not to generalize.

There is, however, something wrong with that defense. The same people who are saying that we must not generalize are the ones who constantly generalize about migrants.


President Sauli Niinistö, who is no friend of Finland’s culturally diverse communities, added more feathers to tarred minority youths in the ongoing debate on youth crime. Source: Yle

Downplaying the problem is also an important part of the narrative about white crime versus crime committed by minorities.

A-studio talk show hosted by Marja Sannikka, who is opinionated on migrants, is a good example of playing down the problem and outright denial.

Trying to give the impression that the scandal was not a broader case of toxic work culture, one after another attempted to play down the problem.

Perussuomalaiset* MP Mari Rantanen, who usually has nothing good to say about migrants in parliament, was surprised by the use of excessive force by security guards. Last month in parliament, she placed the blame of the supposed youth gang violence “problem” on Finland’s failed immigration policy.

Sanna Heikinheimo of the National Police Board said that the few suspects using excessive force are only a minority compared with the 65,000 people who work as security guards.

The same could be true about the number of youth members in gangs, which, according to police estimates, number between “100 and 200 people.”

According to Statistics Finland, there were in 2021 a total of 469,633 people in Finland with “foreign backgrounds.” That totals 0.04% of those youths that are members of gangs. Moreover, those members citied by the police are not even suspected of crimes.

So what gives?

Finnish white privilege #91

The way politicians, the police, and the media frames youth gangs, which are supposed to comprise mainly people of migrant backgrounds, offer a good opportunity to study how white Finnish privilege works when white Finns and minorities commit crimes.

The debate about the security guard scandals offers us a dichotomy: those who play down the crime tend to label all minorities at will by calling attention to the problem.

Why don’t we speak in the same way about minorities as white Finns? Why have we heard dear little from the police that despite an alleged gang violence problem, why don’t they say that we should not label all minority youths?

Finnish white privilege is exposed once again.

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