One clear aspect of Finland’s heated debate about racism is how politicians, especially from the Perussuoomalaiset (PS) party, claim ignorance about what racism is. PS MP Joakim Vigelius went as far as to claim that the term “racism” has suffered from inflation.
I wonder if victims of racism and microaggression feel the same way.
As can be seen with Vigelius’ view of racism, it is always a white person setting the narrative and definitions about such a social ill.
Another politician, MP Jani Mäkelä, the head of the PS parliamentary group, said in Helsingin Sanomat that other groups define the term to fit their political needs.
“They take this term, arbitrarily define its content according to their own definition,” he said.
One of the most unusual comments that Mäkelä made to Helsingin Sanomat was his definition of racism. According to him, the law protects the individual from discrimination but this cannot apply to immigration policy, cultural and national groups.
He said that cultures, where women and sexual minorities are treated badly, cannot be considered equal to Finnish culture.
“Such a culture should be seen as inferior if it treats people like that,” added Mäkelä.
As one navigates through the denials and smoke screens from politicians about racism, it’s easy to understand that such tactics aim to deceive.
Some friendly advice: If you have difficulty figuring out what is racism, ask and do some research. That is how we did it in California: one can achieve a lot with the help of cultural sensitivity and the willingness to learn.
Unless you have lived isolated from people, there is no reason why you should blame ignorance on your racism.
Another piece of advice: if you want people to treat you with respect, then you should treat them with respect, too.