Politicians like Prime Minister Sanna Marin have offered long-overdue leadership when challenging racism in Finnish politics by stating what many know: The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a racist party.
“Looking at the speeches of individual [PS] MPs, these speeches have been racist and genuinely hostile to certain minorities,” said Marin in a debate with Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus). “There is no denying this; it is a fact. I don’t understand why we politicians should smile and pretend that these speeches are not real.”
Finnish politicians need to be faster to react to the rise of the PS. In the 2011 parliamentary election, when it won 39 seats from 5 seats previously, Finnish political parties like the Social Democrats wanted to capitalize politically on anti-immigration sentiment.
The PS is naturally shedding crocodile tears and being defiant about being called out as a racist party.
Purra tweets: “There is nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide about our [party’s] values. We are a nationalist and patriotic party defending Finland and Finnishness. I am very proud of our concept of humanity and our values.”
Really? Is the PS proud of tarring and feathering vulnerable groups to appeal to the racism of its voters?
That’s what it looks like.
Purra and the PS are banking on the hope that its usual line of Islamophobia will help bring it votes in the April parliamentary election.
Time will tell if Finland falls for that trick again as it did in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 elections.
The racist campaign by the PS exposes it as well as a modern Nordic apartheid party where non-Finnish citizens are relegated to second-class status. A good example is Purra’s latest suggestion that non-Finnish citizens should not have a right to social welfare.
Not only has Marin said that the Social Democrats don’t want to form part of a future government with the PS, the Green League, and Left Alliance have said the same.
Eleven years after the 2011 parliamentary election, the PS and even parties like Kokoomus want to portray the radical-right party as normal.
Nothing is normal about a party that constantly labels and victimizes migrants and minorities.
Better late than never to denounce such toxic politicking.