How the Finnish police and media spread prejudice against Romanians and the Romany minority

by , under Enrique

Here is a good example of how the police and media treat certain immigrant and ethnic groups publicly. A story on YLE tells us that the overwhelming amount of grand larceny cases committed by foreigners in Finland are by Lithuanians.  

Kuvankaappaus 2013-6-16 kello 10.12.43The majority of suspected grand larceny cases in Finland are  committed by Lithuanians. Why does the media and police give so much attention to Romanians as opposed to Lithuanians?  Is it because Lithuanians are white?  Why aren’t these questions asked by the national media? Read whole story here.

A police statement targeted in early June Romanians as being responsible for the spike in petty larceny and property crimes.

The statement shouldn’t surprise us since it is the way the media and police have reacted to Romanian and Bulgarian Roma that visit Finland. In many respects, it’s no different from how the media has spread fear of certain immigrant groups by pointing out “high” rape cases.

An A-Studio documentary  in August incredibly suggested that since there were seven rape convictions against Iraqi nationals, this suggested a trend and that this community “had a problem” and was prone to commit rape.

The A-Studio documentary reinforced the following prejudices that the Anti-Defamation League calls the “code words of hate:”

  • Immigrants are an army of invaders
  • Dehumanization
  • Immigrants bring crime and disease
  • Conspiracy theory

If we look at the police statement about Romanians, it cites two – yes two! – convictions, one for petty larceny and begging and another for unreported employment.

While it’s a good matter that the police investigate exploitation, abuse and crime, are they protecting the innocent and victims by spreading their prejudice and racism?

Certainly not.

The attitude of the police, media, and the silence of too politicians, shouldn’t  surprise us. Finland’s 10,000-strong Romany minority has lived here for 500 years.

They if anyone can tell about what it feels like to be socially excluded and discriminated for centuries.