Post-Brexit Europe: There is a connection between scapegoating and hate crime

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Is there a connection between scapegoating migrants, minorities as well as Others and hate crime? If you look at what has happened after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom it’s clear that there is a connection.

Victimizing and promoting suspicion of migrant and minority groups is one matter but the most worrisome issue that should concern us is indifference.

How low can you stoop? Too many politicians and the media blame migrants, minorities and the EU for the problems they have caused and inflicted.

The late Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner who passed away Saturday, pinpoints the problem in the quote: below:

“Action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all.”

Just like with the alarming rise of xenophobia in the United Kingdom after the Brexit vote, the same is happening in other European countries like Finland that have anti-immigration parties that provoke open conflict with migrants and minorities.

Right after the 2011 parliamentary elections, some Finns saw the victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party as a green light to attack migrants,  minorities, and our ever-growing culturally diverse society. Membres of the Somali community, one of the favorite scapegoats of the PS, were targetted.

Below is a comment Migrant Tales got from a visitor who believed that we’d be out of business because we would stop getting funding [1] from Kepa, an organisation that represents Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) that work in development cooperation.

Näyttökuva 2016-6-28 kello 7.41.29
Migrant Tales has received its fair share of attacks by people who want to keep Finland white.

Like many of our stories and our editorial line, we are interested in asking why there is so much indifference by politicians, the media and the public for migrants and minorities.

Uncovering the answer to that question is seeing social ills like bigotry, racism, white Finnish privilege and denial in the raw.

Like Brexit and other social ills in Finland, one of the greatest weapons used by anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity groups is indifference.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party 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. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

[1] Migrant Tales is not funded by anyone except by the dedication of its contributors and social activists.