Remember in May when Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute councilman called Olli Sademies commented that African men should be sterilized after having three children? While the decision by the police to not press ethnic agitation charges against Sademies was expected, it is the shameful attitude of the PS not to take any action against the substitute councilman that is the most worrying.
In one comment by Sademies and the inaction of his party to his racist outburst, we mock and undermine our own institutions and values.
Writes YLE in English:
When asked why the group didn’t discuss it [the comment by Sademies], [head of the Helsinki PS city council group Seppo] Kanerva told Yle’s Swedish language service: ‘We had so much to talk about that we didn’t have time for such nonsense.’
Kanerva said that if Sademies continues to write similar posts he could be thrown out of the party.”
When was insulting and threatening black people in Finland with forced sterilization “nonsense?”
Certainly sacking Sadimies for such a racist statement would have sent a clear warning to other members of the parties that this type of behavior is unacceptable.
Fortunately we have laws and resources in this country to challenge racism and don’t have to depend on xenophobic parties like the PS.
When I lived in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement (1955-68) and when I attended university in the 1970s, one matter had changed: It was shameful in parts of Los Angeles to be racist. If racist and insulting behavior by whites was acceptable before or during the Civil Rights Movement, it was no longer acceptable at my university.
There was also back then a new sense of pride that blacks and other minorities had been empowered with thanks to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement and to leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and many others.
We are still in diapers in Finland when challenging racism. Our awareness to the social ill will grow as we are shoved and pushed around by racist politicians like Sademies, who make a mockery of our Nordic welfare state ideals.
While in some parts of the United States it was shameful to be a racist in the 1970s, matters have, however, changed for the worse as the Charleston, South Carolina, shootings show.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.