Helsingin Sanomat reported that homophobia and racism are two factors that hinder young minority athlietes from joining a Finnish sports club, according to a study. If the story is true it is not only another indication that some Finns live tucked deep in the values of the previous century, but for this to be going on still today is shameful, self-defeating and above all unacceptable.
Behind all the rhetoric spread by anti-immigration groups in Finland and elsewhere a fact emerges:they are out to destroy the lives of as many immigrants as possible with their prejudice and racism. When a justice ministry official hands over rape statistics of different immigrant groups he gives a power weapon to slander and victimize people from different countries.
I’ve been following with disappointment the stories published in the Finnish media about the East European Romany minority beggars coming to Finland. If politicians don’t get it, it’s pretty clear that a part of the media never mind the public won’t either. Social ills like xenophobia, prejudice and racism are not “fixed” in a few days, months or years but take generations for the wounds to heal.
What should you do if you live in Finland and cannot find employment? The lucky ones can move to another country but for many it is a crude dead-end street lined with little hope: fragmented work life, lower salary than average, health problems and, worse, discrimination that will discourage you to integrate.
The televised presidential debate on Thursday is probably one of the first time when Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman Timo Soini’s lie was uncovered to the tee. His usual response, “I don’t support racism and hate speech,” didn’t work because it was unconvincing. We should thank again the high school students of the city of Järvenpää for their question that brought Soini’s political house of cards down.