Taking into account all the problems and positive solutions that have been found in the town of Lieksa in the region of South Karelia concerning its over 200-strong Somali community, it is disturbing that a city councilmen like Esko Saastamoinen, Perussuomalaiset (PS) town council leader, states he doesn’t want to be in the same room where Somalis meet once a month.
Saastamoinen, who is the town councilman leader of the PS, made his comment on Joensuu-based Karjalainen, which cites the local Lieksan Lehti.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
Here’s a good indication why matters got off the wrong foot in Lieksa, which has been in the national spotlight due to the ethnic tension there.
Matters have improved a lot since then.
According to Saastamoinen, the PS want a ”clean meeting room” to meet.
What are we to think about this?
For one, Saastamoinen puts into question the good work that many are doing to integrate refugees into Finnish society. It reveals as well the intolerance and xenophobia that has afflicted Finland through a party like the PS.
In many respects, Saastamoinen sounds like the racist white Southerners of the 1950s or how leaders of the National Front in the UK reacted to immigrants in the 1970s.
In plain English it’s called racism with a capital ”R.”