Politics makes strange bedfellows.
The old saying claims the latter but does it have to be that way?
There’s one matter that continues to baffle me about Finnish politics: How openly xenophobic and Islamophobic politicians are Facebook “friends” with people who claim to champion cultural diversity and anti-racism. If we look at the US Civil Rights Movement (1955-68), there’s one key lesson: Don’t flirt with those that are your enemies, name and shame them.
The Civil Rights Movement had a big impact on the United States depending on where you lived. Many parts of my former hometown of Los Angeles were “liberal,” or in favor of the aims of the Civil Rights Movement.
How did the Civil Rights Movement impact my life in the 1970s? For one, we openly named and shamed those that still lived in their racist mindset of the pre-Civil Rights Movement. If you had issues with racism, you had to tread with extra care so you wouldn’t be branded a racist.
In Finland, fortunately, some consider racism shameful. Others, however, are proud of being a racist as the comments below show.
This shameful thread on an online magazine alleged that a black man had drowned in Turku. The first comment reads “only one n-word? F**k!” Followed by: “Yep, only one.”
Looks like Heidi Laine, who asked if only one n-word died, changed her profile picture. I suspect all the publicity gave her cold feet.
This comment in Jussi Halla-aho’s blog is a Migrant Tales classic. Most of it is BS but Old No. 7 admits that “there’s discrimination, Russophobia, chauvinism etc and so what? Could the latter be classified as part of Finnish culture since they’ve been denied for such a long time.[?]”
What baffles me about Finland is how politicians like Olli Sademies, who stated that African men should be sterilized, continues to be Facebook friends of people who claim to speak out against racism.
If I were them, I’d “unfriend” any politician who systematically and publicly spreads racism, homophobia and sexism.
Because it’s against the very core of our values.
If we don’t send a clear message to such bigots we’re telling them that their racism is fine, let’s agree to disagree.
True. The task of openly challenging such politicians isn’t made easier considering that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, a party that makes bigotry a part of its political message, is a member of government. The two other partners, the Center Party and the National Coalition Party, are just as bad because they look the other way and are silent.
It’s important that politicians, public figures and the general public show leadership and send a clear message to politicians who spread racism, homophobia and sexism.
Unfriend them and send the following message: I consider your bigotry a threat to our society and will openly challenge what you claim. The first step is to unfriend you.
Thank you Erick Moore for alerting us about the story with the racist comments.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language 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.