There’s a lot of evidence of how Finland denies an issue like racism and near-constantly plays down its impact on migrants, minorities, and society in general. Prosecutor General Raija Toivainen claims in a YLE News story that racist statement lead to bitterness, radicalization, and terrorism.
Fine. I agree, but then states:
“Racism’s targets are driven into a corner, where it is easy to become bitter. This creates the perfect breeding ground for organised crime or even terrorism… People who have been chased to the fringes of our society are easy to manipulate and cajole into extremist groups. Do people that spread racist hate speech realize the effects of what they are doing?” she wonders.
So hate speech and hate crime drives “victims” into a corner and from there they become radicalized and terrorists.
While this may be the case, Toivianen forgets to tell us about the danger of terrorism by white Finns. Why didn’t she mention Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who murdered in cold blood 77 people in 22/7?
And what about the complicity of the politicians and public officials who should know better?
Hate speech is the soil from where violence breeds. It is indiscriminate and emboldens white Finns to commit crimes, even terrorist acts. Hate speech and racism affect everyone in society.
Hate speech and racism affect everyone in society and not just one group.
We should never forget this fact, but it’s convenient and allows us to “condemn racism” and never leave our racialized comfort zones.
Read the full story here.
There is too much “we condemn racism” statements in Finland but precious little action to challenge the structures that breed such hatred in our society.
According to the Police University College of Finland, suspected hate crimes soared by 52% in 2015.