A feature about a PS white supremacist and how the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) normalizes racism and bigotry

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Northern Finnish Kemi city councilperson Harri Tauriainen is a white supremacist that is head over heels about US President Donald Trump. In a sloppy human-interest story about Tauriainen, the state-run Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) makes no mention of the councilperson’s racist and bigoted political views except him denying that he’s a racist and neo-Nazi sympathizer. 

The Finnish media, like other media in the EU, has difficulty in grasping how racism impacts migrants and minorities since they are white.

In the YLE story, there was no mention as well of Tauriainen’s most infamous quotes like, “It’s incredible that this human trash [convicted foreign criminals] aren’t put in their places. Put a stamp on their asses and deport them for good from Finland.”

Read the original story here.

But if the YLE reporter appears to suffer from convenient amnesia, she could take the trouble to see one of Tauriainen’s latest Facebook posts on how “hate speech is legal in the United States,” and how “illegal human trafficking rages on.”

In the story, YLE only had nice things to say about Tauriainen even if it mentions the far-right vigilante group Soldiers of Odin. The reporter even played down the 47.4% plunge in votes he got in the 2017 municipal elections from 2012.

Migrant Tales will go even further to help the YLE reporter to understand who Tauriainen is and what he symbolizes to our ever-growing culturally diverse society.

Below are three snapshots of the councilperson’s Facebook page taken in 2012, 2014 and 2017. The first one, published five years ago, has a picture of a monster that looks like a black person with a white hand pushing him back telling it to go back where you came from. There are two pictures praising white supremacists and white power as well.

In the second snapshot below, published in 2014, there is only the picture is of the black monster.

Today here is no black monster.

Snapshot of Tauriainen’s Facebook page in 2014.
The latest snapshot was taken today of the same pictures he published in 2012.

In my opinion, the story written about Tauriainen by YLE not only reveals lazy and shoddy reporting but is a good example of how the media normalizes racism.

It’s sloppy and anemic reporting at its worst.

* After the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity, one is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic. 

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and thereafter the acronym PS.