When can we give the PS and other Finnish parties a racism-free bill of health?

by , under Enrique

One of the biggest deceptions in the ongoing debate about racism in Finland is that it is only a Perussuomalaliset (PS) party problem. Making such a claim would be simplifying matters to the extreme: Racism is a widespread problem in all Finnish parties (some more, some less) and in our society.

5963094283_ac0a771210 Integration must be a two-way process in order to work effectively. Source: Flickr.

If I had to draw a cartoon about the situation it would be something like the following: the PS would be the loudmouth racist and the biggest parties would be the near-silent institutional racists.

If you think that only the PS is responsible for bringing out our darkest side, don’t forget National Coalition Party Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s “debating immigrant issues in this country didn’t make you a racist” never mind Social Democratic Party (SDP) Economy Minister Jutta Urpilainen’s  infamous maassa maan tatalla (In Rome do as the Romans do) statement.

Migrant Tales understands that the brainchild of the maassa maan tavalla flop was Hannu Vesa, who advised SDP MP Eero Heinoluoma on what the party’s stance should be concerning immigrants during a time when the PS’ rising popularity was threatening the SDP.

Vesa is a former executive director of the South Savo regional council and a long-time SDP member with close ties to PS chairman Timo Soini.

Here’s the billion-euro question: When can we give the PS, other Finnish parties, and Finland a racism-free bill of health?The answer: When most of society gives the thumbs down to such anti-social behavior and makes it clear that it is unacceptable.

Look at it this way. How would sensible Finns react if a male chauvinist started to insult women by telling them they had no worth and were only good for making and taking care of children?

Our reaction to racism and intolerance should be no different.  The message should be a clear one: This type of behavior isn’t only  unacceptable but shameful as well.

Parties like the PS, which have a lot of issues concerning racism (see the latest Kai Haavisto-James Hirvisaari scandal), are not interested in ridding their loudmouth racists because they are still useful to the party.

Racism is an illness and society needs a clean bill of health from it in order to grow and prosper.