Migrant Talespublished on Tuesday comments by Yaron Nadbornik, the president of the 1,100-strong Jewish Community of Helsinki, concerning the Helsinki district court’s ruling that carrying Nazi Germany flags in public was not ethnic agitation.
If there is one group of people who have a lot to say about Nazi flags and the Holocaust, they are the Jews and other minorities like the Roma.
As usual, the news in Finland about the district court’s ruling occurred in a bubble between white Finns, but to our surprise, the media did not approach one Jew or member of the Roma community for comment.
Migrant Tales did interview Nadbornik on Tuesday and asked him if newspapers like Helsingin Sanomat and others had approached him. His answer was “no.”
After Migrant Tales published his comments, Kirkko ja kaupunki did a story on Wednesday citing Nadbornik’s views.
“Displaying a swastika flag is a demand for genocide,” he was quoted as saying.
While it may surprise some, victims of racism are usually not interviewed by the media but by white authorities who have never experienced racism.
Today is a good time for the media to wake up and challenge those structures that encourage biased reporting.
We all know about Perussuomalaiset (PS)* new chairperson Riikka Purra’s radical views on cultural diversity and migration in general. Yes, she’s the one warning about how Muslims are taking over Europe and how brown and black Finns will replace white Finns.
Her latest Tweet below suggests that white Finns should be the only beneficiaries of social welfare, but Finland must reform the constitution to do this. Purra states that she is ready to reform the constitution if she becomes the next prime minister.
The question that all of Purra’s and her party’s hostile attacks against migrants and minorities should raise a question: Are we going to allow it to happen?
Only the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and Ano Turtiainen’s one-man party expressed opposition to criminalizing the use of the Nazi flag in public. The story by Yle was published a day after the Helsinki District Court dismissed ethnic agitation charges agitation against five men of carrying a swastika flag in public on Independence Day 2018.
PS parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio told Yle that they should not criminalize the use of the Nazi flag.
“In my opinion, our society is not in such a critical [and fragile] state that we need the state to intervene [in this matter],” he said.
Yaron Nadbornik, president of the 1,100-strong Jewish Community of Helsinki, stated that the decision of the Helsinki district court shows that the country still has a long way to go in acknowledging hate crime, and the existence of minorities.
Considering what the Nazi flag symbolizes for Jews and other minorities, Nadbornik said that not a single newspaper had gotten in touch with him about the district court’s decision. He said that the recent case showed the little power the non-discrimination ombudsman has in challenging racism and discrimination.
In an interview in 2020, Nadbornik said that it was not until 2018-2019 when the police started to recognize anti-Semitism as a problem in Finland.
“It is od that even if the non-discrimination ombudsman spoke out in favor of criminalizing the Nazi flag, their position was not weighed by the court,” he said.
Leif Hagert, who is an activist for Roma and minority rights in Finland, was surprised by the district court’s decision.
“The Nazi flag represents hatred and racism,” he said. “I find it hard to understand why such opinions and values need to be proclaimed on the streets. I hope the court of appeal’s ruling is different. [from the district court’s]”
The Roma were also victims of the Holocaust with an estimated 1.5 million perishing during 1935-1945.
Some observers believe that the PS’ stance on the criminalization of the Nazi flag is another indication of the group’s close ideological bonds with the far right and neo-Nazis.
Remember when Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs slammed asylum seekers as “parasites” that wanted to live off social welfare? Pretty sickening and lowly on his part.
I hope that Pylväs get charged with ethnic agitation.
But what is worse? The silence and support for what he said and the arguments that justify the latter?
Hanna-Leena Mattila is a Center Party politician from the city of Raahe in western Finland. She uses the same argument to call migrants parasites and deviants by stating that despite Pylväs’ words, “[We still]l have to be able to discuss [the problems of migration] without hesitation.”
Mattila’s Facebook post below:
The sometimes farcical “discussion” about migrants is similar if only men were speaking about women’s rights.
Another shameful fact of the ongoing debate that won’t be corrected any time soon as long as white Finns control the debate.
One of the big questions that the Hesburger employee debacle proves is that Finnish unions, the police, and state regulators don’t take the law seriously enough. Migrant Tales has cited numerous cases where employers exploited foreigners.
It’s clear that if their employers exploit some migrants, it happens as well to white Finns.
A group of former and present Hesburger employees of the fast-food chain made public the chronic understaffing problems and exploitation at work. Some said they worked long hours without breaks and did not even have time to go to the bathroom.
One may ask how this is possible in a Nordic welfare country like ours that promotes social equality and fairness?
These apply to labor laws, and Finland’s Constitution is supposed to guarantee that everyone is equal before the law. Too often we forget a key component of social equality – equity.
As the Hesburger case reveals, why were the employees who brought these illegal practices to light? Where is the Regional Administrative Agency (AVI)? The unions?
The Hesburger case does not only reveal the illegal working conditions of a fast-food chain but a much broader problem of complacency.
Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs got his brief moment in the media by insulting migrants and minorities. Today, however, he showed us one of the oldest political tricks in the books: say something outrageous, usually racists, and then apologize.
He regretted calling some asylum seekers “welfare surfers” or shoppers. He said his statement was inappropriate because it undermined human dignity.
Such racist outbursts are harmful and only raise the level of hostility and suspicion of migrants and minorities.
Even if Pylväs spoke of “parasitic” asylum seekers who live off our social welfare, he meant our migrant and minority community. Asylum seekers don’t get social welfare but a small monthly allowance.
We’ve seen this same strategy many times. Remember Pia Kuma and her baby carriage claim? Another one that comes to mind is Perussuomalaiset MP Veikko Vallin, who took pictures secretly of children and employees of a Helsinki nursery.
Like Pylväs today, so did Kauma and Vallin apologize.
Jokainen julkinen huomionosoitus lisää rasistipuolueen edustajan uskottavuutta, normalisoi rasistista politiikkaa ja nostaa rasistit muka kunniallisiksi toimijoiksi muiden rinnalle.
Siksi muiden eduskuntapuolueiden puheenjohtajien ja yhteiskunnallisten vaikuttajien julkiset, lämpimät Twitter-onnittelut Riikka Purran tultua valituksi rasistipuolueen puheenjohtajaksi ihmetyttävät suuresti.