WARNING RACIST CONTENT: Helsingin Sanomat survey exposes the DNA of Finland’s racism

by , under Enrique Tessieri


Helsingin Sanomat’s survey published on Monday after another questionable story on “model immigrants” was widely criticized on social media as outright racist. Even so, I would like to thank Finland’s largest daily for exposing the DNA of Finland’s racism and the continued low caliber and racism of its journalism on topics related to asylum seekers and migrants. 

The latest survey, the daily does not cite any sociologists or other experts and gives a clear picture of Finland’s racism without the daily taking any stand on the issue. Instead, Helsingin Sanomat cites as an “expert source” Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson, Jussi Halla-aho, convicted of ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion in 2012.

One of these sources that were not cited is Gavan Titley, a University of Helsinki docent in media and communications.

“These poll questions are so badly constructed they would fail a first-year research methods module,” he said. “Given that they are constructed by a professional polling company, and a national newspaper, we can only assume that this bad method is deliberate. In other words, HS has decided to gain publicity, hits and clicks by shit-stirring about ‘migrants’ in an already tense situation. Debating this strategy, of course, only amplifies it – the only response is to cancel your subscription and tweet to them why you are doing so. There has always got to be some cost for this crap, no matter how minimal.”

As long as the media continues to see Halla-aho as an “expert” on migration issues, the ongoing debate will regress into a swamp of hearsay.

Here are some of the questions the survey asks:

  • Do you believe that the main factors for sexual assault crimes hinges on the migrants culture and religion? 65% answered in the affirmative;
  •  Politicians have done enough to awaken Finns to the news about the sexual assault cases (in Oulu by asylum seekers). The far-right PS were the most critical and believed that politicians had not done enough to raise awareness;
  • The best way to thwart sexual assault crimes is to tighten laws (26%); educate foreigners on Finnish laws and values (19%); lower the number of residence permits granted on humanitarian grounds (10%); and lower migration in general to Finland (10%).

Helsingin Sanomat’s survey asks above how big of a problem are refugees and asylum seekers to Finns and Finland. In 2019: 10% (6% in 2016) said it was “a very small problem;” 34% felt that it was “largely a small problem;” 6% (4% did not know); 31% (38%) thought it was “largely a big problem;” and 19% (27%) saw it as “a very big problem.” Fifty percent (65%) of those surveyed saw asylum seekers and refugees as a problem for Finns and Finland.

In my opinion, the only value this questionable survey on the attitudes of Finns of asylum seekers and refugees is that it exposes their stereotypes, prejudices, and racism. It also shows poor quality prejudiced journalism.

Not only those surveyed but of Finland’s largest daily’s attitudes and views.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

Thank you Sonia Maria Koo for the heads-up.