We saw a lot of white Finnish privilege during the April parliamentary elections and government talks, which include the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. If lowly things like turncoat politics and chicanery, racism and white Finnish privilege would have a smell, that stench would knock you off your feet right now.
The new speaker of parliament, Maria Lohela, is a good example of the racist-fascist who became the politician without memory. Lohela has made Islamophobic and xenophobic statements in the past to attract voter attention and get elected. Lohela said, however, right after she was elected Friday as speaker of parliament that everything she said in the past is the past and now a new chapter begins.
Lohela can say such absurd things because she has white Finnish privilege. You can be a racist, even a fascist, and paint yourself as a politician with amnesia by simply erasing everything you said in the past that may undermine the power you enjoy today. You can do so without even apologizing to all those people you insulted with your racist statements.
Another PS MP that has a murky past in fascism is the new defense minister, Jussi Niinstö.
Niinstö’s roots in the early 1990s can be found in a far-right association called Kansallinen Kulttuuririntama. His far right credentials come as well from Suomalaisuuden liitto (Association of Finnish Culture), where he used to be board member. Suomalaisuuden liitto is an association that was founded in 1906 but is today firmly under the control of the PS. One of its former board members is Teemu Lahtinen, a PS member who belongs to IKL, a fascist party founded in the early 1930s.
Even if Niinstö takes care to not even hint about his far right ideology, it became evident in 2012 when he stated in parliament Nazi playwright Hans Johst’s Schlageter, “Wenn ich Kultur höre … entsichere ich meinen Browning” (“Whenever I hear of culture… I release the safety-catch of my Browning”).
Niinstö substituted the word “culture” in Johst’s play for parliamentarism.
Thanks to white Finnish privilege it’s ok to be racist and fascist in Finland and profit politically.The Kansallinen Kulttuuririntama ad above of the early 1990s states what the aim of the far right association is: resist refugees and migrants; strengthen the role of Finnish language, culture and traditions in our society; to bolster democracy and a government by the people; fight against the spread of crime, usage of drugs and other foreign influences that are harmful to the Finnish people. Source: Safka.
The PS’ two other ministers, Jari Lindström and Hanna Mäntylä, are another big question mark for Finland and our culturally diverse society. Both have hostile views of migrants. How much will they do for migrants and minorities in Finland? Probably very little since their political agenda is based on nativist nationalistic rhetoric.
Lindstöm’s educational background as the new minister of employment and justice is middle school. He’s latest profession, after he got the boot from his job in the paper industry, is lab assistant.
What steps will Lindström take to lower unemployment in general, and migrant unemployment in particular, which is two- to three-times higher than the national average? I doubt he’ll do very much but fear that he’ll use his political influence to further victimize migrants in this country.
Mäntylä’s anti-immigration views became evident again at an A-studio talk show, where she said that due to rising poverty among white Finns it’s perfectly fine to be against migrants living in Finland.
“We have in effect people who live and are on the verge of suffering from hunger because they don’t have enough money to pay for food on a daily basis,” said Mäntylä on A-studio. “Yes, these kinds of stories come in loud and clear on the campaign trail like why we have this kind of immigration policy in Finland.”
The mastermind of this tragic-comic play where we are stoking the fires of xenophobia and fascism is none other than Timo Soini, the so-called good cop of the PS.
What do Niinstö, Lohela, Lindström, Mäntylä and Soini reveal to us about Finnish white privilege?
They tell us that as long as you are white you can victimize, exclude and spread Islamophobia and hatred of minorities with near-impunity. In other words it pays to be an Islamophobe and xenophobe in today’s Finland. Like the USAmerican dream, the new version of the Finnish dream will help you become well-off and (in)famous with the help of racism and fascism, which you can conveniently forget if needed.
- Defining white Finnish privilege #1: I have it and you don’t
- Defining white Finnish privilege #2: Third culture children versus “pupil with immigrant background”
- Defining white Finnish privilege #3 No history, no doctrine, no heroes and no martyrs
- Defining white Finnish privilege #4 Holding the short end of the stick
- Defining white Finnish privilege #5 It’s ok to be a racist
- Defining white Finnish privilege #6 Not having a voice and the media
- Defining white Finnish privilege #7 A definitive guide
- Defining white Finnish privilege #8 Underrated and less intelligent
- Defining white Finnish privilege #9 Mohammad Ali’s insight
- Defining white Finnish privilege #10 I can victimize and make up any story I like about migrants because I’m white
- Defining white Finnish privilege #11: Case Teuvo Hakkarainen
- Defining white Finnish privilege #12: Case Tom Packalén
- Defining white Finnish privilege #13: Case Matti Putkonen
- Defining white Finnish privilege #14: Losing sight of the real issue
- Defining white Finnish privilege #15: Case Halla-aho on the PS
- Defining white Finnish privilege #16: Rosa Emilia Clay and my history versus yours
- Defining white Finnish privilege #17:The Perussuomalaiset and our civil rights
- Defining white Finnish privilege #18: Labeling others according to your prejudice
- Defining white Finnish privilege #19: My rape statistics about your group
- Defining white Finnish privilege #20: Labeling Others to strengthen “us” and “them”
- Defining white Finnish privilege #21: Who can be a Finn?
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English 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.