As the dust settles over this tumultuous week for the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, the question to ask if business will be back to “normal” in the PS?
The first scandal was MP Ano Turtiainen’s tweet that mocked George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police.
Apart from ending Turtianen’s short-lived career as a dark humor comedian, the MP got expelled from the PS parliamentary group until the end of the year, his racist tweet made him “famous” outside of Finland, and two weightlifting groups in the United States and Canada terminated their business relationship with his company.
Turtiainen’s tweet was even noticed by George Floyd’s family in the US.
“The message glorifies police violence and criminal behavior,” said Goerge Floyd’s family lawyer in Teller Report. “It seems that this not the first time MP Turiainen has published racist messages on social media. We believe that Turtiainen’s colleagues in parliament should be held accountable.”
Moreover, Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen is planning to carry out an investigation concerning Turtiainen’s tweet, according to Demokraatti. The police announced earlier that it would not carry out an inquiry about the former PS MP’s tweet.
Equally disturbing but not surprising was PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho’s excuses. He stated that spreading controversial opinions is “a team sport that requires certain table manners.”
I suspect that “table manners” in Halla-aho’s vocabulary means being racist without sounding racist, speaking in code so your followers can decipher your message’s racism, and avoid ethnic agitation charges.
Halla-aho’s and the PS’ hand has been exposed many times in the racist and misogynist cookie jar.
This week, Suomen Perusta, a PS-funded think tank, published a racist and misogynist book called “Truth incites” authored by Jukka Hankamäki. The book, which claims to be a serious philosophical study “of the information and truth crisis of the left-wing populist mainstream media,” is an embarrassment and insulting joke.
Hankamäki’s book was taken down from the Internet after two days of its publication leaving a lot of red faces and the PS pointing the finger at each other. One of the questions was who was responsible for the book’s publication? It appears that nobody or very few read the book before it was published.
Even Halla-aho had to step in and take responsibility even if the party attempted to distance itself from Hankamäki’s work. “This was our mistake, period,” he said. “We did not know that the book contained the kind of material that it did.”
Apart from its racist-eugenicist views on racial purity, Hankamäki did not spare any nice words for Finnish women. One of the claims he made was that Finnish women choose foreign men as partners because they are rejected by Finnish men.
Minister of Science and Culture Hanna Kosonen described Hankamäki’s views of women as “cruel and disturbing.”
The ministry had granted 120,000 euros to Suomen Perusta for the publication of Hankamäki’s book. It is presently reviewing whether to ask the think tank to return the money because of the book’s contents and views on gender and social equality.