Covid-19 is the oxygen that the PS breathes to grow in Finland

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How much is the Covid-19 pandemic impacting in a positive manner the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party? This is not a trivial question considering that the party, which has built its voter base and message on racism, leads in the polls. What future does the PS have when the Covid-19 pandemic subsides? Will it be a painful day of reckoning for it?

Covid-19 has uprooted our lives for over a year. We have faced lockdowns, fear, and our generous share of conspiracy theories like the lie about the great replacement. In such a backdrop, the PS is leading in the polls.

But not to worry. The PS is a tinderbox that will implode due to its own making.

Disagree?

Look at the PS candidates in the municipal elections. All white people, mostly men except for one black person, tell us how they want to take Finland back and do everything possible to continue excluding migrants, especially Muslims and people of color. The white nationalism soundbites are mentally nauseating.

The only reason a party like the PS has grown, and why their politicians can continue to spread racism and hostility against migrants and minorities with near impunity, is because Finland has issues with its racism. I am still confident, however, that we can push back the far-right threat and save our country from turning into a Hungary and Poland.

In the face of such challenges, it is clear that the PS will not make Finland a more socially equal country but exacerbate such social ills.

If you study the history of the PS, it has done everything possible to label and stigmatize migrants and minorities as useless human beings. It even calls some migrant and minority groups as “harmful.”

Isn’t it surprising that after they have tarred and feathered us in public for at least three decades, they wonder why certain groups face high unemployment in Finland?

The PS and its followers are responsible for the hostility, violence, and exclusion that migrants and minorities are presently suffering in Finland.

When the pandemic subsides and when we return to what was normal, that is when the PS will begin to retreat in the polls. People will be able to get out of their four walls and computer screens and interact with the world as they did before.

That is the day that the PS dreads the most.

24 de marzo de 1976: A 45 años del golpe de estado cívico-militar que cambió a la Argentina para siempre

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Un humilde mensaje en una postal mandada en pleno dictadura, en el año 1978.

“Esta tarjeta es una realidad para que siempre te recuerdes de estos pagos tan lejanos, prácticamente en el fin del mundo pero que es tan querido por nosotros. Ya va a llegar un día en que el sol saldrá realmente para todos en estas latitudes, el asunto es seguir siendo como somos y formar a la gente, educarla para que comprenda y comience a despertar, a abrir sus ojos.”

Claudia


Casa de Gobierno – Bs. As. – Argentina. Diseño de Anikó Szabó.

Confirmed again: the PS is a far-right party that is a threat to our security

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Remember Charlottesville, when the far-right, which Donald Trump called in 2017 “very fine people,” marched yelling, “they will not replace us?” While in the US, this message was an anti-Semitic rant, in Finland, politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, Riikka Purra, and Simo Grönroos of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party are playing the same vile tune.



The Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (2020) annual report published Tuesday states that apart from radical Islam, the far right is another cause for concern.

Like in countries like the United States, when the Capitol building was stormed by white nationalists and Trump supporters on January 6, it has become a bitter pill to swallow that white people pose as much of a terrorist threat as Isis. Finland is slowly waking up to the same reality but how can you tackle the far right in Finland when the biggest opposition party in parliament is a breeding ground for such ideology?

One of the PS and politicians’ pet topics like Halla-aho, Purra, and Grönroos is deeply rooted in ethnonationalism and white supremacy. They don’t say, “we will not be replaced,” but politicians like Purra warn us how darker people will replace us.

Writes Supo: “One of the most noteworthy ideological motives of far-right terrorists is known as the Great Replacement conspiracy theory based on the idea of a fundamental threat posed by immigration and multiculturalism to the white population of Western countries. Views reflecting the idea of a Great Replacement have been highlighted in several far-right terrorist attacks.”


Far-right demonstrators in Charlottesville in 2017 and who President Trump called “very fine people.” Source: Inside Higher Ed.

The comment by Supo in the annual report, which equates ethnic replacement as a far-right conspiracy theory, has caused a swift reaction from the PS and its leadership, who are trying to back their claims as “scientific.”

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A low-income employee from Iraq faces bullying daily; being a victim of Migri

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Some foreigners, especially those who came to Finland seeking asylum in 2015 and got a work permit to stay, face a dire situation: either put up with the work or leave Finland. One such case is Majid*, a 24-year-old Iraqi national living in Rovaniemi for the past three years.

Apart from the near-constant bullying and poor treatment he says he experiences at work, it is doubtful that he will be able to raise his hourly wage of 10.88 euros an hour. According to him, the money he makes is not enough to live off.


Finding a job in Finland is a challenge for some. For some, like Majid, it means daily bullying and ridicule.

“I am bullied and treated without respect by my supervisors,” Majid said. “I have turned to the PAM union’s shop steward and spoken directly to the manager of the company about my situation. None of them take what I say seriously, and life at work continues the same way as before.”

The Iraqi national said that a recent bullying case that occurred at the company was with a supervisor. He saw him inside an empty train at work cleaning and asked him to turn off the music. “I told him that the music doesn’t bother anyone,” he said. “Since I didn’t do what he said, he locked me in a small closet for a few minutes.”

When I told a manager of the company about the incident, he didn’t do anything.

“As a low-paid employee and being a foreigner on top of it means that nobody listens or believes you,” he added.

Even if the Iraqi would do anything to change jobs, it isn’t that easy.

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Oletko vilpitön demokratian puolustaja?

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https://reijaharkonen.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/tim-sparv.png?w=1140
Jalkapallomaajoukkueen kapteeni sai myös kuraa niskaan, kun asettui näkyvästi rasismia vastaan.

Rasismin vastustaminen ja yhteiskunnan säilyttäminen demokraattisena ja elinkelpoisena onnistuu vasta kun jakamatonta ihmisarvoa ja tasa-arvoa vilpittömästi puolustavat ihmiset lähtevät mukaan.

Aika iso osa suomalaisista suhtautuu rasistisesti maassa oleviin ”ulkomaalaisiin”. Kirjoitin sanan lainausmerkkeihin, sillä eiväthän he ole ulkomaalaisia, jos ovat tähän maahan asumaan asettuneet. Enemmistö suomalaisista tunnistaa jo ongelman yhteiskunnassa, mutta vain harvat haluavat tai uskaltavat kunnolla asettua rasismia vastaan.

Juuri sinun, tavallinen, hyvinvoiva ihminen, jota politiikka ei juuri kiinnosta, mutta joka ymmärrät, kuinka vakavasta asiasta on kysymys, pitäisi olla aktiivinen tässä asiassa. Mukana olon ei tarvitse tarkoittaa lähtöä barrikadeille. Mutta siihen ei myöskään riitä ajattelu: ”Minä en koskaan toimi rasistisesti” tai ”Minulla on vaikka kuinka paljon ulkomaalaisia ystäviä”. Riittää, kun edes joskus painat tykkäyksen jollekin rasisminvastaiselle kirjoitukselle. Jos oma kaverisi jakaa sellaisia, mikä kumma on perustelusi sille, että et koskaan tukisi häntä näin tärkeässä asiassa? Yksityisviestillä, jos pelottaa, mutta mieluummin julkisesti – tykkäyksin, kannustavin tai kantaa ottavin kommentein. Tämä on asia, jota ei vain voi unohtaa ja jättää muiden hoidettavaksi.

Jos ajattelet, että politiikka on politiikkaa ja taloudesta huolehtiminen on järki-ihmisen hommaa, rasismista hölöttäminen vasemmiston ja ämmien touhua, et kuulu järki-ihmisiin. Jos missä, juuri tässä kohtaa on unohdettava jako vasemmistoon ja oikeistoon ja havahduttava vihdoinkin huomaamaan, että jokainen asia, joka liittyy arvoihin ja toisista ihmisistä välittämiseen, ei ole ”vasemmistolaista” eikä mikään sivuseikka, jonka voit tolkun ihmisenä unohtaa.

Jos taas ajattelet, että eihän siinä mitään väärää ole, jos pidetään vähän ”omien puolta” ja heitetään maasta pois väkeä, jolla on väärä kulttuuri, uskonto, sukupuoli tai ulkonäkö, olet jo – ehkä huomaamattasi – aika syvällä rasismin syövereissä.

Sellaisessa yhteiskunnassa, missä tuollainen ajattelu on yhtäkkiä valtavirtaa, ei piankaan ole ”meitä”. On vain toisiaan kyttääviä ryhmittymiä, jotka ilmiantavat toinen toisiaan pysyäkseen suosiossa ja välttääkseen putoamisen hylkiöiden kastiin. Vihapolitiikka johtaa aina siihen, että hyvää ei enää ole, on vain pelko ja ennakkoluulot, jotka pian yltävät kaikkiin läheisimpiinkin. Vihapoliitikko pysyy vallassa vain vihan ja pelon avulla. Vastakkaiset mielipiteet omassa puolueessa vaimennetaan – vaikka väkivalloin.

Kun puolisoni kanssa aikanaan läksimme vastustamaan perussuomalaisten rasistista marssia, persukonstit olivat monet. Puolisoni yritykseen saapui aivan lähipiiristämme kirjeitä, joissa kummasteltiin, kuinka on mahdollista, että yrityksen työntekijä ja tämän vaimo käyvät julkista kampanjaa perussuomalaisia kansanedustajia vastaan. Ajattelivat, onnettomat, pystyvänsä näin vaikeuttamaan puolisoni työuraa. Arvaattekin varmaan, kuinka esimies suhtautui: ”Oikealla asiallahan te olette”. Emme Suomessa vielä ole siinä vaiheessa, että Puolueen vastustajat menettävät työpaikkansa.

Nyt ovat äärioikeistolaiset otteet kuitenkin jo koventuneet. Jatkuvasti ovat uutisissa murhayritykset, henkeen ja terveyteen kohdistuvien rikosten suunnittelu, järjestelmällinen pandemian kieltäminen ja ihmisten usuttaminen hallituksen määräämiä toimenpiteitä vastaan. Toimittaja on tuomittu sakkoihin natsin nimittämisestä natsiksi. Tutkijat eivät uskalla tutkia tärkeitä aiheita vihakampanjoiden pelossa. Sekä perussuomalaisten että kokoomuslaisen äärilaidan kommentointi sosiaalisessa mediassa on yhä törkeämpää ja syrjivämpää.

Merkit ovat selvät. Yhteiskunnan koveneminen ja demokratian rapistuminen ovat kuitenkin pysäytettävissä.

Se on kiinni sinusta. Se on kiinni siitä, mille puolueelle äänesi annat, mitä vaadit kansanedustajaltasi ja kunnallisvaltuutetultasi. Kuinka kauan ajattelit sallia sen, että sinun puolueessasi saavat esteettä toimia rikolliset, kansanryhmää vastaan kiihottajat ja laiskat moukat, jotka käyttävät kansanedustaja-aikansa lähes pelkästään rasistiseen trollaukseen ja naisvihamieliseen häirintään sosiaalisessa mediassa? Niin kauan kuin sallit sen, olet yksi heistä.

Is Jussi Halla-aho’s deep voice fake?

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Elizabeth Holmes built a 9-billion-dollar company called Theranos from scratch that promised to test blood with a single drop. One of the many deceptions she used to trick investors was her deep voice. As a woman, it gave her more authority.

Those who have watched Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho for a few years will note that his voice has changed. He usually switches to a deep voice when he is answering questions from reporters and on talk shows.

Considering that Holmes is a woman and Halla-aho’s deficiency is that he lacks charisma, does he fake his voice to make up for his dull image?

Below is Halla-aho speaking in 2013 and the video below that is from last month.

Note the difference.

Just like Holmes, Halla-aho is marketing urban legends about migrants and minorities. He does so hellbent on polarizing and stigmatizing even more migrants and minorities in this country.

Even if about half a million people voted for the PS in the parliamentary elections of 2019, Holmes succeed as well at fooling investors of hundreds of millions of dollars on fake promises and deception.

Finland’s PM Sanna Marin is the target of fierce misogynistic attack by online users

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A story published Wednesday in Politico exposed the misogyny against Finland’s woman prime minister, Sanna Marin, and the women members of her cabinet. Considering that Finland’s biggest opposition party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* which is also leading in opinion polls, hate speech has raised its head for many years.

Hate speech and the PS are like a perfect couple walking in the park with a rabid dog on a short leash. The dog, which is used to impress voters, eventually bites its owners, and hard.

A report from the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence concluded that Marin’s government is “overwhelmingly” targeted by sexist online harassment.

Politico writes: “The five most targeted ministers, all female, were overwhelmingly victimized by misogynistic abuse attacking their values, demeaning their decision-making skills, and questioning their leadership abilities.”


Read the full story here.

So much for the myth of gender equality in Finland and that the police clamping down on online hate speech.

One of the most revealing matters about the report is that there are many similarities to the hate tactics of former US President Donald Trump.

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Jussi Halla-aho is a racist, and so is the far-right party he leads

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Uusi Suomi, an online publication that played a key role before the 2011 parliamentary elections in giving the racist rhetoric of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party a platform, published today an interview with a cultural researcher, Tuija Saresma, who concluded that Jussi Halla-aho and the PS are racist.

While these types of statements are a foregone conclusion about Halla-aho and the PS, the big question is why Finnish society appears so impotent in the face of these social ills.


Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

How do you explain the rise of a party in 2011, which won 39 seats in parliament from 5 previously, became the most successful party in parliamentary elections during the last decade?

Some factors explaining Finnish society’s racist and exclusive disposition is its near-geopolitical isolation during the Cold War. The lack of cultural and ethnic diversity, and the whitewashing of this history, have also help feed racism and white nationalism.

Any sensible person will conclude that white Finnish nationalism and racism get their power from the PS. Attacking brown and black Finns and other minorities with the intent of polarizing society creates a dilemma for the party and the country.

How can we state with a straight face that we are for social equality and human dignity when we exclude in a hostile manner, other people?

An insightful Op-Ed article in The Guardian by David Bromell on the impact of the Christchurch killings, sheds light on some of the problems that countries like Finland face in tackling hate speech.

He writes: “There will always be idiots who shoot their mouths off – but in a democratic society we need to learn to live together.”

According to Bromell, public policy should focus on the “effect of harm” and not on the emotions of hatred or offence since you cannot regulate this in an open and democratic society.

But here comes the punchline: “Stirring up and inciting discrimination, hostility or violence against members of a social group, however, is and should be a crime. This may involve speech, but incitement can also be written, mimed, memed, graffitied, cartooned or tweeted.”

The rise of a racist party like the PS in Finland entrenched in white nationalism is not only shameful but reveals how vulnerable and unprepared society and institutions are in challenging such social ills.