Parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and anti-immigration politicians like MEP Jussi Halla-aho should be thankful to migrants and multicultural Finns. Where would these anti-immigration populists be today without their near-constant attacks against our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse society?
While anti-immigration rhetoric has poisoned the air and made life difficult for some migrants, it has likewise awoken many to a social ill like intolerance. A good example of the latter is Migrant Tales as well as numerous other anti-racism blogs that have appeared in recent years.
Xenophobia and intolerance are extremely harmful and toxic social ills for any country. Finland is no exception. If few people have found their way to Finland in the past and made it their home, anti-immigration parties like the PS and the silence of other ones have made it an even less attractive destination for migrants.
It’s clear that we are paying a high price for not challenging intolerance and for promoting our own urban tales about ourselves and other groups.
What future awaits us if we don’t change course? Is it further graying of the population, rocketing health-care costs to serve an ever-growing aging population, lower tax revenues and productivity as well as greater anti-immigration/anti-cultural diversity sentiment?
Finland is a country that has faced great hardships in its history and overcome them.
None of them, however, are so perilous and far-reaching than the ones it faces today.
Intolerance is like a vampire that sucks the life out of a nation. It quenches its thirst by impoverishing and stagnating a country.
Don’t send Finland but the anti-immigration populist to a retirement home.
* The English name of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is officially the Finns Party. The names 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.