Hate speech and attacks against the Sámi of Finland are a warning to other minorities of the hostile environment

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The hate speech targeted at Sámi activists like Petra Laiti and Janne Hirvasvuopio by MPs from the Center Party and others is a stark reminder of the racism inflicting Finland. Suppose the Sámi, the original inhabitants of Finland, have no right to self-determination. What does this say about other minorities who want to practice and maintain their culture in this country?

If anything, it exposes in raw Finland’s hostile environment and the institutional racism that minorities face.

Apart from Norway and Denmark, Finland still has not ratified ILO Convention 169, thus retarding the rights of the Sámi to self-determination and human rights.

The government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin has brought the Sámi Parliament Act. The Center Party and Perussuomalaiset* have voiced their objection to the act. The Nationa Coalition Party (Kokoomus) has yet to voice its opinion.

Below is a Facebook post by Petra Laiti about hate speech and attacks by Center Party MP Mikko Kärnä, whose anti-Sámi views helped him get elected to parliament.

Source: Facebook

Yle writes that Petra Laiti receives hate messages where they threaten to rape her and kill Sámis. She states: “And since then, it’s been recurring. Once you signal to the internet that this group, this person, is the right one to hate, that signal echoes very far and wide.” Original source: Twitter

If representatives of the Sámi are the target of hate speech and racism for exercising their rights, imagine what groups like Muslims face every day in Finland.

Some may ask where all the hatred comes from in a country that was crowned five times in a row the happiest in the world.

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