There are a number of demonstrations planned today demanding that Finland shut its border to asylum seekers. What may surprise some is that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, a party sharing power in government, is organizing some of these demonstrations like the one in Tornio, a town located next to the Swedish border, according to tabloid Iltalehti.
Racists have done wonders for Finland’s image abroad and these people in Tornio will reinforce that image.
As long a politicians continue to give wishy-washy statements on racism and as long as the media parrots this type of narrative the international media is our last hope. They will name and shame us into action.
Demonstrations are becoming quite common in Finland due to the government’s wishy-washy stand on asylum seekers and racism.
If we are concerned about our international image we should take steps to challenge racism and outbursts of bigotry in this country thanks to parties like the PS.
In the past few days we’ve seen more evidence piled on top of a very high stack stack of evidence about how the PS promotes racism in this country. Facebook is a good source: One of these was a councilman from Sysmä, Ville Moisanen, who posted anti-Semitic and racist pictures and the other latest case is of a councilman of Lahti, Kalle Aaltonen, who doesn’t like the government’s refugee policy and therefore writes that the interior minister, Petteri Orpo, is a dildo.
When you allow a party like the PS to enter government and release their rhetoric and bigotry into the air you know you are in for a perilous journey. It’s like rubbing a Jenie lantern and making three wishes: see no racism, hear no racism, speak racism.
We have said it over and over again on Migrant Tales: The PS will NEVER renounce or denounce racism because that would be committing political hara-kiri. Hoping the contrary shows how much in denial Finland is about its own issues with racism.
The PS is as well a good example of what happens if a social ill is allowed to grow unchecked. The media is one of the main culprits why racism and the PS have grown in Finland. According to a study financed by the Open Society Foundation, Somalis in Helsinki, showed the link between the media and the PS:
“For some respondents, the role of the media in the rise of the True Finns [PS] is quite obvious. By presenting the Somalis as a negative factor in the society, the Finnish media encouraged much of their audience to support the agenda of the True Finns, with the hope that the latter would get rid of the Somali problem in Finland.”
But not to worry. The PS live and swim in their bigoted rhetoric. Their stint in government has revealed their turncoat abilities in the political arena.
How they plan to rid Finland of the “Somali problem” or “visible migrant problem” in Finland is a mystery. They never will solve “the problem” because that would mean purchasing box cars and building death camps like Nazi Germany did in World War 2. But the mere inference that they could is one factor that is poisoning the atmosphere in Finland.
But mark my words: The government will continue to give mixed and wishy-washy signals concerning asylum seekers and racism in Finland as long as they share power with the PS. If they don’t watch out they will end up creating another monster that will look like Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.
So some of us should stop acting surprised and engage in wishful thinking about racism.
It’s real and we should challenge it much more effectively than now.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.