A tweet by @Mastersson alerted me Tuesday about a comedy called Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä (Pekka and Pätkä as n-words), were the duo blackface themselves. While this may have been “normal” in 1960 when the film was made, one wonders why the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) aired this movie Monday afternoon?
Pekka and Pätkä as blackface performers Neekereinä. WARNING: The link to the video contains racist language that some may find offensive.
Moreover, there is a consensus in Finland these days that the term neekeri is considered racist and insulting to blacks.
The only ones using the term neekeri today in Finland are normally hard-core racists.
At Finnish elementary schools not too long ago children were taught that the letter n stands for the n-word.
Since we know that children like to watch television during their summer holiday, how many watched Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä Monday afternoon? Since we know that racism is learned at home and at school, did the movie dispel or strengthen their views of blacks?
I would stick my neck out and claim that every movie depicting blacks and other minorities like Amerindians back in Pekka’s and Pätkä’s days were racist. Another movie that the comedians starred in 1957, Ketjukolari (Pileup), is so racist that I wouldn’t publish it on this blog.
What does it show? Cannibal blackfaces that show disrespect to Africans by portraying them as buffoons. In the same movie, there are Amerindians portrayed as “primitives” in the most stereotypical manner. There’s a lot of sexism in the film as well.
I’m going to write an email to YLE and express my outrage that this movie was aired on public Finnish television. I invite you to do the same.