Straight A students in racism and the rise of xenophobia in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

You may be wondering why xenophobia has raised its head big time in Finland these past years and why candidates from parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* get elected on such a platform.

The Facebook post below that sources a false story about migrants called MV, Mitä v****a! or What the f**k!, offers an answer.

The online publication claims that only immigrants (sic!) were granted 85,000 euros in aid to get their own swimming hours, buy personal mountain bikes and free passes to the fitness gym in the eastern Finnish city of Lieksa, which has been a hotbed of racism in recent years.

In a nutshell MV is a source that incites ethnic agitation and reinforces the racist behavior of some people without abiding to any ethical or journalistic standards. 

MV has even been used by PS MP Mika Niikko to lure voters on election day. The MP  used the online publication as a source to incite voters by claiming that foreigners had gang raped again a woman. In light of the hysteria and public reaction to the Tapanila gang rape case last month, the police had to put out a statement alerting the public that the news published by MV was a hoax.

What does using a racist online publication like MV, which has over 34,000 likes, as a source by some of the Finnish public and politicians say about the state of our country?

It tells us that some of these Finns were and still are straight A students in racism, especially those that suffer from low self-esteem.

Näyttökuva 2015-4-30 kello 9.57.27
One look at the picture above will tell you that the person in it never heard of the eastern Finnish city of Lieksa.

Does anyone need to know why a party like the PS is the second biggest in parliament today or why people long to read these types of fake racist stories? We should because this type of xenophobia is impoverishing our country. Being hostile to other groups has its consequences. For one it doesn’t attract foreign investment or skilled migrants to move to places where racism is rife.

There are two Finlands today: The developed one where there are migrants and those regions that are dying, or where there are few migrants.  The former regions have a future whereas the latter have a bleak one.

What we need today is leadership in the area of cultural diversity. We don’t need fear-mongering but facts and answers on how to tackle the real problems in our society, which aren’t migrants or minorities.

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.