A racist is an individual, always an individual, who does not like people based on race – must be conscious – and who intentionally seems to be mean to them.
Robin DiAngelo, sociologist
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
Using DiAngelo’s definition, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* their politicians, their voters, and followers are racists because through such a party they consciously and intentionally aim to harass and bully people they don’t like based on their ethnic and/or religious background.
Take a look at the near-endless attacks against asylum seekers, Muslims, and terms used by the PS’ leader Jussi Halla-aho who calls such migrants “harmful.”
The PS would not exist and get support without its hateful Islamophobic message and rhetoric. Under Halla-aho’s leadership, the PS has forged close ties with neo-Nazis and ethnonationalists.
Finland needs pushback to such ludicrous rhetoric unless we want the next prime minister of Finland to be from an Islamophobic and extremist party like the PS.
Helsinki City Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein’s tweet was just the pushback and wake up call this country needs. It is a long-overdue and honest discussion required in Finland about racism.
The fact that racism, discrimination, hate speech, and hate crime have worsened in Finland is proof that the present debate, which is mostly carried out by white Finns, is ineffective and intended to maintain the present system and change matters very little for people of color and other minorities.
So what does Hussein’s tweet reveal?
- Finland is inflicted by white fragility;
- Mostly white Finns, who are the least affected by racism, debate and give their opinions about the social ill;
- Contrary to what Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government claimed, Finland’s integration program is not a failure. What failed and made matters worse was the tightening of immigration policy and fueling the hostile environment against migrants and minorities;
- Too many people who work with migrants are incompetent, even hostile to groups like Muslims and have racism issues. Since there is little follow up of their work by competent people, the same mistakes persist;
- Our society speaks of two-way adaption but in reality, it is one way;
- Such officials offer too often simplistic solutions to complex matters like integration. Their usual advice to migrants is: “learn the language” and/or get a job, which will solve your integration problems;
- Such advice by the authorities is deceptive and do not help address labor discrimination and social exclusion in general;
- To conclude: The aim of Finland’s integration program is to adapt people to a white Finnish society that has no idea or wish to share public spaces with other cultures.
So why make such a big deal about Hussein’s tweet and racism in general?
To save Finland from a lot of social problems and headaches today and in the future.
We need to wake up from our denial.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.