In Finland, there are parties and groups whose sole aim is to defend Finnish white supremacy, a concocted lie to justify one’s racism and oppress and exclude people of color.
The Association of Finnish Culture and Identity (Suomalaisuuden liitto), responsible for whitewashing cultural diversity in Finland, and Suomen Sisu are prime examples. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), Finnish Criminal Police (KRP), academics, and the Council for the Mass Media (JSN), labeled Suomen Sisu a “Nazi spirited” association.
Finland’s second-biggest party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* is where these far-right ethnonationalist groups have found a platform and springboard to expand and normalize their ideology.
One matter that unites them ideologically is that they live in a cultural time warp where culture remains near-stagnant and is under threat by migration and minorities.
Suomen Sisu’s mission statement reads: “Finnishness cannot be redefined, it can only be maintained and developed, or it will be displaced.”
While Suomen Sisu, an association that is openly against Finns marrying and hostile to non-Finns, has caused little outrage and is a source of concern.
Whenever you talk about your group as “a tribe” you start to flirt or flirt with racism. The PS Youth, which had their funds cut this year due to a racist tweet, is a prime example.
The logo of the association gives the impression that Finnish women walked around in ethnic costumes at a time where many people could not afford proper clothing.
The PS held on Saturday its annual congress where it reelected Jussi Halla-aho as their chairperson and three vice presidents, Arja Juvonen, Riikka Purra, and Juha Eerola.
While Halla-aho and all of the vice presidents of the party have built their political careers on the anti-immigration message, its newly elected party secretary, Simo Gönroos, is a member of the ethnonationalist Suomen Sisu and the Association of Finnish Culture and Identity.
Apart from his anti-immigration stance, Grönroos is the executive director of the Suomen Perusta Foundation, whose aim is to “prove” that immigration is costly and harmful to Finland.
Grönroos, an ethnonationalist to the core, was quoted in Helsingin Sanomat by giving his views of Finnishness and Finnish identity. He stated that “the starting point is that one is born a Finn.”
Then he offers a typical Halla-aho interpretation to justify the latter claim.
“If a Finn moved to Somalia, he will not become a Somali,” he reasoned. “If a Somali moves to Finland, he will not become a Finn even if he could be a Finnish citizen.”
This is exactly the same copy-and-paste response that Halla-aho gave in a YLE interview in February. “If I would for some reason go to Somalia and become a Somali citizen would that make me a Somali,” he asked.
In the search for terms to maintain white Finnish supremacy, Halla-aho, like Grönroos, want to separate so-called “ethnic” or white Finn from Finn just like the terms English from British.
“The question who is a Finn is [an] interesting [question],” Halla-aho was quoted as saying in the YLE interview. “The problem is that in Finnish we don’t have a term that classifies who is an ethnic Finn and a Finnish citizen.”
If the above isn’t an example of white Finnish supremacy and relegating Other groups as second-class members of society living as eternal outsiders without history, nothing is.
A clarification to Halla-aho and Grönroos: None of us want to be white like you never mind hold the same racist views as you. That would be horrible. However, everyone, irrespective of their background, is an equal member of society that defines Finnishness in the way he or she wishes. Finnishness does not and never will mean being white.
In order to understand how misplaced Halla-aho’s and Grönroos’ views are, we could apply them to countries like the United States, Canada, Argentina, and others.
The result: Minorities and Other groups would be outraged because it is justifying the whitewashing of their history and white supremacist ideology.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativistnationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.