PS politics: Problems conveniently disappear if you don’t exist

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Ever wonder why immigrants and minorities are seen as outsiders in Finland with no history? Why do the majority of Finns, when speaking of these groups, usually talk in the present and future tense but rarely in the past tense?  What are they really saying when they deny that racism isn’t a major problem in Finland?

Some like Perussuomalaiset Party (PS) MP Reijo Tossavainen, one of PS MP Jussi Halla-aho’s staunch defenders, are a good example of how Finland’s most anti-immigration party deals with the “foreign question.”

In his latest blog entry on Uusi Suomi, Tossavainen disagrees with President Tarja Halonen that racism is one of the biggest challenges together with the economy for the government.

Tossavainen, who suggested earlier this year that Finland should effectively shut its borders to asylum-seekers, sees Halonen’s words as an attack voting judgement of a half a million of Finns.

I am always amazed in Finland on how some PS politicians like Tossavainen, who are white and come from small towns like Savitaipale, are the first ones who claim that racism isn’t a major problem in this country.

Stating that racism isn’t a major problem in light of what happened in Norway is as ridiculous as affirming that alcoholism isn’t a major issue in Finland. Certainly racism isn’t a major problem for Tossavainen because he is white and a Finn.

Even so, Tossavainen’s affirmation is more revealing than what meets the eye. By denying that racism is a major problem he is effectively saying that we have so few immigrants and minorities in this country that we don’t have to deal with them. Since they don’t effectively exist, they cannot place any demand on us.

That is Tossavainen’s message in the raw: there is no problem I deny you exist.

  1. BlandaUpp

    Of course PS would take this stance. Why so surprised?

    They are the only party going around using the N word to describe people from Africa. In their minds they are not racist. A PS MP making a “joke” like “what is green, black and shits sperm? Jani Toivola” is not racist, oh no, it’s just good fun. Our only Jewish member of parliament is attacked in the street for being Jewish and oh no, it was a lone wolf drunk, of course it’s not racism.

    “We need an instant immigrant rejection law” is a quote that immediately comes to mind, a statement totally devoid of any sense.

    “I know a person working at the border, when a Nigger comes there, the only word he knows is ‘asylum’ and he gets in right away” is another quote.

    This is what they actually believe and this is how they go about dealing with people of colour in their daily life. A glance over at Homma forum or most mainstream newspaper forum comment sections that have now been taken over by Halla-aho disciples will drill this point home, but no, there is no racism here.

    I really do not understand why PS leader Soini still wants to even try to say they’re not racists at the same as his own ranks act the opposite.

    • Enrique

      –I really do not understand why PS leader Soini still wants to even try to say they’re not racists at the same as his own ranks act the opposite.

      This is a very good question. Possible answer: Plays political good cop, bad cop. The other reason may be that Finns don’t want to admit that they have a right-wing populist party with far-right ideology (and many others) that has a beachhead in our country. A party that houses values that are totally against our own. The answer: a bad case of denial.

  2. OnTheRoadToSuccess

    I know a lot has been said about the dangerous rhetoric of the so-called “True” Finns and the party’s extremist elements, but permit me to reiterate without any fear of contradiction that racism is a major problem Finland. It’s true that anyone who says otherwise is probably “white and a Finn.” Believe it or not.

    It’s time people of good conscience in Finland – white or black, Muslim or Christian, Finn or immigrant – admit there is a problem and condemn politicians who use fear-mongering and instigate hate, in a bid to score political points.

    • Enrique

      Hi Zuzeeko! You sure have a way with words and clearing things up! If we acknowledge the problem we can start “fixing” it. However, there are many who don’t want to fix anything. They are happy with the present situation because it bring in a lot of supporters. I would, however, like to read much of the stuff put our by these anti-immigration blogs twenty years from now. I am certain they’d look awfully crude and racist. Nobody would want to associate with such ideas except for some on the extreme fringe of society.

  3. William O'Gorman

    Fix it?Educate, inform and openly debate the situation. Bigots will be bigots but I believe most Finns to be good people who have been blinded by this PS fog. Oh and by having people like Enrique who are not afraid to put them selves out there and actively and fairly question these issues. But at the end of the day individuals need to be aware of their actions and be brave enough to do what is right.

  4. Method


    “It’s true that anyone who says otherwise is probably “white and a Finn.” Believe it or not.”

    Yes. And anyone who says it’s a major issue is propably not. Believe or not. Same type of thought pattern, different conclusion because of a subjective stand. People who are always on each others throats, are usually people who remind each other. I think someone said we don’t hate others we hate our own weaknesses in them.

    How much is a lot of racism? What’s the difference between major, medium and minor? Where do you draw the line? And what do you compare to? Sweden? Russia? I think those questions need to be answered and the answers agreed before there can be any kind of meaningful discussion.

  5. Hannu

    “openly debate the situation. Bigots”

    Am i only one who see problem here? i raise that with similar “We should openly debate but we have too much niggers?”

    Cant you by examples, statistics and so on show us how great immigration is and how much immigration gave us withouth calling people bigots? And by showing i mean actual numbers.
    How many euros on average non oecd immigrant and oecd immigrant generates and consumes. Thats just example but good place to start.