Think about it. Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has had a total change of heart about refugees, which it has attacked and fed its popularity. Not only the PS, but other parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Center Party, and a “taxi party” Liike Nyt, according to Yle.
A taxi party is one where all of its MPs can fit inside a taxi.
PS chairperson Riikka Purra, who scapegoats refugees with gusto, alleges that Ukrainian “women and children” should get help in Finland.
“There is a war in Europe pretty close to Finland,” she said. “It’s pretty clear that Finland should help mothers and children.”
Center Party head Annika Saarikko used the same argument with code words for white refugees such as women and children. Petteri Orpo, whose party has been hostile to Muslims, stated that we should help Ukrainians because “their integration will be much easier” because they have professions and speak languages.
Our favorable treatment of Ukrainians contrasts with our anti-Muslim racism.
Let’s take the argument that we should help “women and children,.” Politicians who use this argument are bashing with another arm refugees from the Middle East and Africa.
With such thinking, men cannot apply for asylum even if they are fleeing war.
The claim that we want to help women and children is not only sexist but fuels our white savior complex. It is also a toxic narrative spread by anti-immigration parties like the PS.
The war in Ukraine started 33 days ago. We have seen close to 4 million refugees flee the country in that short time.When around 1.3 million refugees came from the Middle East in 2015, the war in Iraq was in its 12th year, and the bloody civil war in Syria in its 4th year.
The civil war in Somalia started in 1991, or 24 years ago.
A lot of destruction and death had piled up in those countries.
Moreover, the journey from the Middle East and other countries like Somalia is much farther than Ukraine is to the EU.
While women and their families had made the dangerous journey, the media rarely writes about this.
While women and their families had made the dangerous journey to Europe from countries like Iraq, rarely does the media write about this.
I hope the willingness to help Ukrainian refugees is genuine and not just a temporary matter motivated by our hatred of the Russians.
In the meantime, let’s work on helping all refugees irrespective of their background.