Finland’s blind spot of racism will persist for as long as we play dead and tango with it

by , under Enrique Tessieri

In the land of the blind, the person who can see with one eye is king.

A Latin American saying. 

National Coalition Party (NCP) Interior Minister Paula Risikko is a pretty questionable politician. The minister is deplorable for a number of reasons: she spreads suspicion of asylum seekers and migrants and doesn’t care to between distinguish what is a far-right anti-immigration group like Suomi Ensin (Finland First) and what is not. 

Interior Minister Risikko not only approves but has given the thumbs up to a far right Finland First demonstration in February.

With ministers like these supposedly serving migrants and minorities in Finland who needs enemies?

Interior Minister Paula Risikko giving the thumbs up at a far-right Finland First demonstration in February.

It’s clear that with politicians like Risikko and parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, NCP and Center Party in government, the country’s anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity hostility will strengthen and not go away.

The answer why is right under our noses. It’s in Risikko’s thumbs up in February, PS Foreign Minister Timo Soini’s poker face when he speaks about racism in his party, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s broken promise of offering his home to asylum seekers in September 2015, it’s in the empty “we have zero tolerance for racism” statements from politicians and so-called multicultural associations that are supposed to challenge racism but fuel it instead with their inaction.

Take a look at how our immigration law has tightened under this government and how Finland, a country that prides itself for defending and promoting human rights, denies and keeps families separated. The wretched anti-immigration atmosphere in Finland can be found in the forced deportations of hapless asylum seekers and in our inhumane immigration policy that treats migrants first and foremost with suspicion.

Our blind spot of racism is personified in parties like the PS and racist Islamophobes like Jussi Halla-aho and in the closet fascination of the media for these kind of white fascists. Our blind spot is exposed in Risikko’s and the government’s silence to Friday’s attack of a peaceful demonstration in Oulu by thugs with petrol bombs.

The reason why anti-immigration sentiment has grown and not retreated in this country is obvious. The big challenge lies in lifting the cloak of denial and acknowledge what we’ve known all along: Finland has a serious racism issue that has grown in leaps and bounds in the last years. One of the first places to look is in the government itself.

But in the meanwhile let’s give Risikko a lesson on what is the far right.

Just a note to her: Politicians and groups that make racist statements in this country lack imagination. They are only copy-and-paste jobs of other similar groups in Europe, which copy and paste rhetoric as well. Where do you think Finland First got its name from? From Britain First, maybe?

Who is and what does Britain First stand for?

Continue reading about Britain First on the Hope not Hate site here.

Both Britain First and Finland First have the same objectives, which is to keep their country white at any cost. Contrary to Britain First, Finland First is only a fraction, or a taxi group where all of its active members can sit in the backseat of a car.

At a Finland First rally in Helsinki last year a white European gives a piece of his racist mind to listeners. It shows how close ideologically close Finland First is with Britain First.

The fact that Interior Minister Risikko can’t tell the difference between what is far right and what is not should concern us all because it reveals the government’s blind spot of racism and fascism.

Politicians like Risikko reinforce as well that we cannot and should not trust mainstream politicians to improve matters for migrants and minorities in this country. In their hands, matters have only worsened.

We can take some important first steps in creating a better country for our ever-growing culturally diverse society like when will we see black teachers at our schools teaching Finnish to minorities and white Finns. [1]

The official translation to Finnish of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is the Finns Party. In our opinion, it is not only a horrible translation, but one that is misguided. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Such terms like the Finns Party of True Finns promote as well 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.

[1] We had to remove a video by Musta Barbaari because it was a personal video. 

  1. Finland is a hateful country

    In the land of the blind, the person who can see with one eye is king.
    A Latin American saying, well done, perfect , wise and clear

    So now am a king, i am very much proud of me, salute to me, salute
    : ) i always can see and am no wonder why many and many can not see at all, even those with eyeglasses like Minister Paula Risikko MP Risi Pirakko