After the bombshell news that one of the suspects arrested Friday who brutally attacked Pekka Kataja of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in July, the new chairperson of the Center Party, Annika Saarikko, said on Ykkösaamu Saturday that she could form a government with the PS.
In light of the PS’ links with far-right groups, Saarikko’s response was inopportune and ill-timed.
In a very white country like Finland, where few minorities wield power, her affirmation is not surprising. It reinforced how white power structures are that there is little political will to challenge them.
Nothing or very little will change as long as people of color and other minorities are kept powerless on short leashes.
Politicians like Saarikko may feel it is ok for several reasons to form a government with a party that is openly hostile to Muslims and ultraconservative. She can see matters this way because she is white. The PS is not a threat to her whiteness per se.
If we look at the rise of the PS since the 2011 parliamentary election, disgrunted and racist white Finns have found in the PS a voice that is anti-immigration, anti-EU and anti-establishment. Even if racism, sexism, and fascism have risen their heads, do politicians like Saarikko naively believe that consensus will work matters out?
As a person who grew up in the United States and who has, as a native Argentinean, followed and lived through the recent history of Latin America marred by violence, injustice, and poverty, it is not difficult to understand why racism and the PS live another day.
I worte in January that those who believe in Hollywood endings to racism are white people who don’t experience racism and speak on behalf of those that do.
There will not be a Hollywood ending to the racism problem in this country but one that will lead to a Hungarian ending.
As the Kataja case proves that violence and fascism are already here and taking root. It is our call to put an end to them.
Going to bed with the PS will not do it.