Finland must do more to ghostbust its race-and-blood myths

by , under Enrique

What do the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) and Kokoomus’ Saul Schubak’s statements concerning child allowances have in common?  Setting racism and greed aside, they are the ethnic and social myths that continue to be taught and reinforced at our schools, homes and society. 

One of the biggest myths and social constructs about our national identity is that only one group owns it or, as Schubak claimed, rich people who make money and have conservative views have special rights and privileges in our society.

The mere fact that a person like PS MP Jussi Halla-aho can spew fascist-eugenic ideology from the 1930s and claim that certain groups have less human dignity than others, shows an enormous failure of our educational system that is haunting us today.

One clear characteristic of how racism and discrimination work in Finland is that they tirelessly aim to undermine your rights and place obstacles in front of your path. There are no solutions, only obstacles.

While many racist ideas in Finland have their roots in eugenics and nineteenth-century colonialism, they continue to flourish in some circles like the PS and Schubaks’ National Coalition Party youth wing.

At the best, parties like the PS and Schubak show that Finland is still a predominantly white society that has no intention of relinquishing its privileges to other groups. Values such as social equality (tasa-arvo) are not meant for immigrants and visible minorities. They are for white Finns.

Meanwhile, the Police College of Finland  told Migrant Tales that 2011 hate crime statistics will be probably published by the end of November.

A total of 860 hate crimes reported to the police in 2010, which is a 15% fall from 1,007 cases in the previous year.

While some officials claim that ”hate crimes fell in 2010,” they may reveal a more worrying trend: Reluctance by some immigrants and visible minorities to report such crimes to the police.