Jari Tervo: “Finland is a totally racist country”

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Jari Tervo, one of Finland’s most successful writers and personalities, said in tabloid Ilta-Sanomat that Finland is a totally racist country. Tervo’s statement comes after writer Sofi Oksanen made waves shortly after the April election by stating in Rome-based daily La Repubblica that the ideology of the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has its roots in Nazi Germany.

“Finns get offended when I said that this is a racist country,” Tervo was quoted as saying in Ilta-Sanomat. “Everyone who has visited at least one chat site knows that Finland is a totally racist country.”

I met Tervo in the late-1980s at the Helsinki Press Club. Back then I was a regular columnist for Apu magazine. Our first meeting didn’t hit it off quite on the right foot.

“How’s it going mutakuono (mud face)!” Tervo said to my amazement in front of other journalists. It really pissed me off and we never spoke to each other after that event.

Even though we were not on speaking terms after that incident, he may have thought that calling me mutakuono was the same as two blacks calling each other the n-word. Whatever the intention was, it was highly insulting to me.

Whatever the case, I am happy that Tervo has become outspoken against one of the greatest threats to our society: racism and prejudice.

    • Enrique

      Hi JimPhelps and welcome to Migrant Tales. Yes, Jari Tervo has always been a controversial figure. Still I think it is good that he speaks out against racism.

  1. Mary Mekko

    Is your face the color of mud? Why don’t you post a photo for us all?

    I always liked that Johnny Carson joke, where the dead go on vacation, that’s CLUB MUD.

    MUTA is mud and MUSTA is black, is that right? KUONO is face.

    The best thing to do when confronted wtih racist and sexist insults (come to California and watch the Latino men do it to white women in a foreign language, openly and without punishment): play dumb. If they call me a “white puta”, I don’t know what a puta is. If a Jew calls me a “Mick” as one did at work, I didn’t know what a “mick” was. Put the burden on the accuser to define his terms.

    You can’t get that mad over one insult, Enrique. Imagine if you were here as a white woman and faced with racist/sexist remarks as I have been, then refused to speak to any Latinos at all as a consequence: just get over it, as you would say to me. Ignore their ignorant mudmouths and the mudmerde that comes out of them.

    I have to say, your accounts give me new ideas for insults.

    I will call them mudfaces and mudmouths the next time they start their “puta blanca” stuff.