Why is there racism in Finland? The answer is right under your nose, stupid!

by , under Enrique Tessieri

It’s odd but whenever a newspaper publishes a story on migrant crime, migrants in general or politicians from parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and other ones make a case against cultural diversity, they conveniently forget the roots of their racism and prejudices. 

Since denial is an important ally of intolerance, it’s clear that racism enjoys near-immunity in many sectors of Finnish society.

Just like Malcolm X once said that “racism is like a Cadillac, they bring out a new model every year,” the same occurs in Finland. Racism may not appear like a new Cadillac in Finland but it may take the form of a new Sisu truck or Valmet tractor.

The message seems sadly to be pretty clear to some migrants that move here:

You are most welcome to our social welfare since this will keep you on a short leash and marginalized indefinitely.  If you are able to beat two- to three-fold higher unemployment when compared to the national average, good for you. You’ll still be making less money and don’t dream about getting permanent employment either.

There are many challenges that anti-racism groups and migrants face in Finland. One of the biggest is busting stereotypes. And there are many out there that should concern us…

  • Migrants don’t want to adapt
  • Migrants don’t want to learn Finnish or Swedish
  • Migrants are lazy
  • Migrants are criminals
  • Migrants come here to live off our welfare

Why so much hostility against migrants and why is the present system so unfair? A recent survey by think tank EVA showed that most Finns saw themselves as hard working, greedy and intolerant.

While we should take the results of such a survey with a pinch of salt, the last two qualities, greed and intolerance,  shed light on the challenges that some migrants face in Finland. If the prevailing attitude is that of greed and intolerance, according to EVA, is it a surprise why Finland is for some migrants a dead-end society with little opportunity?

Even if our country is a Nordic welfare state that promotes noble values such as social equality, our views of migrant adaption and issues like crime are conservative since they blame the newcomer, not society, for the problem. This is understandable considering the level of denial concerning intolerance.

It’s a fairly easy argument that white people, who have never experienced racism, make: If intolerance isn’t an issue in our country, then the migrant must be the problem.

What are those roots of racism that continue to distort our view of people who are different from us and, importantly, are supposed to be treated just like you with respect and equality? In order to answer this question, Migrant Tales apologizes for publishing the racist material below. They were uploaded to show that a great part of the problem lies in our upbringing and can be found right under our noses.


Learn your ABCs at elementary school in the 1970s. N-word washes his face but it doesn’t whiten…
…but if you purchase Kronos Titanvalkoinen paint additive it will turn black kids into white ones.
Näyttökuva 2014-7-1 kello 13.59.59
This racist movie that came out in 1960 was aired on Finnish public television in June.


Racism is a social ill that we should be ashamed of because it makes fools out of you and me. There’s nothing “patriotic” about being a racist since such social ills are costly to tax payers and serve no other purpose but to keep you in a cage of your prejudices. Worse of all they will impoverish you and your community.


* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The 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.