Jussi Halla-aho and the PS are the wolves in sheep’s clothing

by , under Enrique Tessieri


One interesting matter about how Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politicians spread racism is how they try to hide it in sheep’s clothing. The trick, from the PS perspective, is to spread in code as much as possible your racist views.

An interview on Saturday in Yle’s Ykkösaamu with PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho showed just that, the wolf sheep’s clothing searching out his victims inside parliament.

Jussi Halla-aho. Source: Yle Ykkösaamu.

I sent the host four questions that I’d hope Yle’s Ykkösaamu would ask Halla-aho:

  • Do you want to stop asylum seekers from coming to Finland?
  • As in your past writings, do you still consider the Holocaust an exaggeration and the Nuremberg Trials a farce?
  • Do you believe that we should ditch human rights (UN and EU declarations)?
  • Are you an anti-Semite? What about being an Islamophobe?

Observing the PS for several years, it is interesting to note how their use of language has changed and how they speak in code. They rarely label Muslims directly but prefer to call them asylum seekers or people from the Middle East.

Another matter put into the mix of their hateful rhetoric is justifying by redefining what is racism. This became evidently clear on Yle’s Ykkösaamu when Halla-aho was asked about such a social ill.

Halla-aho: “Yes, I resent all sorts of thinking where people should be treated differently depending on their skin color. I resent this.”

Host: “Does racism only hinge on skin color?”

Halla-aho: “Well, this is the problem, and we are frequently asked to renounce racism, and certainly we reject racism if it is understood to mean treating people differently due to their skin color or ethnic background. In my opinion, the problem is that the concept of racism is expanded to opinions that are not racist.

Host: “An example?”

Halla-aho: “For example, we are very critical of migration from the Middle East and Africa. Not because the people are of certain skin color but because [people from] these regions have great difficulty integrating into the Western or Finnish way of life and the labor market. And that is why we [in the PS] call such migration ‘harmful.’ In some people’s opinion, this is racist, but this has nothing to do with these people’s skin color or ethnic background.”

Apart from the wolf in sheep’s clothing answers, Halla-aho’s script is strikingly similar to other Islamophobes and far-right politicians.

One of the classic arguments is that people from certain regions cannot adapt to our way of life and should be labeled and excluded.

Another problem of the racism that Halla-aho and the PS spread is that they generalize and use absolute numbers. Halla-aho claims that people from the Middle East and Africa cannot adapt to our society.

Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to become vice president. Her father is from Jamaica, and mother from India. How many gifted Kamala Harrises would we kill in Finland if we followed Halla-aho’s advice on an insulting term like “harmful” migration? Source: The Guardian.

This argument is still used to exclude minorities and keep them disenfranchised. The US is a good example of how it has oppressed blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and other groups.

Yes, true, Halla-aho has a Ph.D. in linguistics. However, when he shifts his talk to topics like migration, the only thing he does is Pile it high and Deep.

Nope. I would never want to be a part or adapt to Haslla-aho’s world, which a stuffy place full of intrigue and suspicion of Others.