I read an interesting blog entry by Julian Abagond that highlights three types of racists in the United States: white bigots, white implicit racists and whites with integrity. How many types of racists are there in Finland?
When studying racism in this country or in other parts of Europe, denial is the most incriminating evidence that a racist leaves behind. The culprit is usually exposed by denying that a problem exists or by affirming that “I am not racist but…”
Writes Abagond: “Racism is something you have to unlearn on purpose. Not by trying to not see color but, as a first step, by understanding how racism works and how it has affected you.”
Racism has impacted Finland in many negative ways. It has been costly and brought great hardships on us. Even today it continues to affect us adversely.
Consider the following predicament: We need to attract skilled labor and foreign investment but the third-largest party in Finland is anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam.
Abagond speaks of three types of racists in the United States. I’d claim that there are four in Finland (if Abagond’s criteria were used, they would be divided in the following manner):
- The so-called working-class bigots (5%) are your typical skinheads. Their behavior and racism shocks most Finns. Some politicians like James Hirvisaari fall into this category.
- Bigots with education and steady jobs (45%) are people who would never act like working-class bigots but agree in principle with their views. Their knowledge of other groups like Africans is strongly entrenched in nineteenth-century racism and social constructs like Finnish nationalism. Jussi Halla-aho, Wille Rydman, Paavo Väyrynen, Päivi Räsänen are some examples.
- White implicit racists (45%) are those who don’t fall in the latter two categories. They may claim they are against racism but their actions suggest the contrary. They strongly believe in religious freedom but would be the first ones – in private – to oppose the building of a Mosque in their neighborhood or city. Many John Does are typical white implicit racists.
- Finns with integrity (5%) are those who have started to study their own racism and taken the first step to put it under control.