Racism Does Not Exist in Finland, But Bigotry Does

The other day your correspondent was warmly greeted at the local health center by two children with darker skin than me – probably Thailand or Philippines I assumed. They spoke perfect Finnish, were polite and dressed well. Their mother came out of the doctor’s office and smiled when she saw the children talking with me. She nodded smiling, and said in fluent Finnish, “Thanks for looking after them… It’s time to go shopping now..!”

They left and I felt sorry on their behalf because of the recent stories in the press where senior members of two political parties in our government from the True Finns Party and Conservative Party member have been expressing disgusting stories about immigrants here.

Not only that, but even the leading media have been using words like “racism” to describe the posts these people have been writing for months in their social media accounts and in other correspondence that is now in the public domain.

Newspapers and the main media here in Helsinki are all talking about racism as if it really exists, but this is the wrong term for what is unadulterated bigotry, intolerance, and a deliberate attempt to incite to hate others who are less fortunate.

There is broad consensus across the biological and social sciences that race is a social construct, not an accurate representation of human genetic variation. Humans are remarkably genetically similar, sharing approximately 99.9% of their genetic code with one another. There are no discrete races populating the earth. It is simply false to claim that there are different races – we are all members of the human race.

Slavery, the Klu Klax Klan, the belief held by some white “Christians” that they are better than those with darker skins, or that refugees fleeing from despots or death from famine are automatically bad people or simply second-class citizens…

We can recall the rhetoric of Hitler who wanted to exterminate Jews or of white South Africans who voted for cruel Apartheid in 1948. Today we hear the rhetoric of the far right of AdF in Germany, of Marine Le Pen of the French National Rally, previously the National Front, of Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, Swedish, and now Finnish politicians.

They are all joined at the hip by the master of falsehoods called “Ex-Presidernt Trump” whose blatant lies feed a base with stories about how they are losing out because of some people from other countries, some with darker skins, having different religious beliefs or, simply speaking different languages are taking control of our lives!

Trump’s stories that feed hate and discord are no different from Hitlers first moves – and look where we ended then.

Saying sorry for racist comments when made as an adult is sufficient to exclude such people from holding senior public office. Naturally, comments made in anger and are single expletives are easily forgotten but repetitions on social media are cause for such people to be excluded from senior public offices.

One should not be surprised at the anger that many share when our present Prime Minister, Mr. Orpo, has taken the True Finns into his government knowing full well that they have repeatedly and publicly defamed immigrants and defined them as second-class citizens or worse. It is little wonder that his party, the Conservative Party, has seen a big drop of support in the latest polls.

Site Footer