Exposing white privilege in Finland #84: Suomineidot offers refuge to privilege, white power, whitewashing, the far right and racism

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Comments about the Yle television series on far-right young women, Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens), went viral, and for a good reason. Apart from revealing how much in the dark Yle is about racism and the far right, it also exposes white privilege in Finland.

In a nutshell, the series is about three young women:

  • Meri Kartta is a far-right ethnonationalist who hangs out with neo-Nazis.
  • Jasmin Ollikainen is an avid follower of Pentti Linkola, an ecofascist.
  • Liisa Siira is a member of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party.

One of the best arguments against the program is that it lacks context. The journalists who did the series acted as obedient stenographers instead of critical reporters.

Despite the criticism of the program, Yle defended the program in a tweet below:

“Improving our understanding of each other and the world is one of Yle’s aims. By confronting different points of view, we increase our understanding and empathy and challenging confrontation. If we understand the reasons behind a particular point of view, we may feel that it isn’t so threatening.”

Source: Twitter

White privilege in Finland #84

Factors like institutional racism and whitewashing history are other factors that Suomineidot promotes.

A good example of the latter is a picture of Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim and Heinrich Himmler. I have asked some friends and the board of Mikkeli Klubi where the picture stands on the wall together with many Nazi German generals like Alfred Jodl and Nikolaus von Falkenhorst.

Here is the historical context missing from the picture: What about mentioning the Holocaust for starters? When both men held schnapps glasses in the picture, Operation Heydrich was in full swing in 1942.

Operation Heydrich, the elimination of all Jews and the Roma was in full swing.

The answer I get from those I ask about Mannerheim and Himmler and other Nazi generals is that the pictures are ok since they “are history.”

Like in the Suomineidot series, no context leaves much room for whitewashing and admiration.

Few of our acquaintances and friends will admit that they are openly racist, neo-Nazis, or “understand” Nazi Germany. But seeing programs and reading about such social ills reinforce their worldview.

A picture of Mannerheim and Himmler on the wall in 2022 without context is a way to whitewash a lot of historical pain and shame.

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