Knowledge about the threat of racism is nothing new in Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

Lame excuses like “we haven’t had too many immigrants in Finland” are used to justify some of our knee-jerk reactions towards other groups. A talk about racism over 40 years ago on YLE shows that there were people in Finland who understood perfectly well what racism is and what kind of a threat it poses to society.

Check out the talk, Mitä on rasismi (What is racism), on Elävä arkisto.

The nineteen-minute talk on YLE in 1969 shows that people in Finland could analyze what racism is and how racists create and spread urban myths about other groups.

Jussi Jalonen’s blog on Uusi Suomi shows eloquently how groups like the PS’s hit-and-please-forget tactics on racism.

If it was pretty clear to the YLE commentator what a racist was over 40 years ago why is it difficult for some of us don’t know what it is today? Racists are either too opportunistic and/or ignorant to know that racism is a big no-no in a modern society like Finland.

What they do, however, is rehash old racist theories and offer them as something new, which they are not.

Apologies on behalf of the commentator for using the term “n-word” in Finnish.

Thanks to Janne Suuronen for the heads-up.

  1. khr

    Meaning of words changes over time. The time the program was made, “neekeri” did not have the meaning it has now. It did not get widely considered a slur until mid 90’s, so it is not a fault on behalf of the commentator to use a word that was neutral at the time.

  2. khr

    Racism did exist, of course. That was the subject of the radio program too. I just pointed out that the word used by the commentator was not a racist slur by then (any more than any other word used to refer to ethnicity).