Last week, the Finns Party (PS) in general and its MP Ano Turtiainen in particular got a taste of the #BlackLivesMatter phenomenon in Finland. Even if we consider expelling Turtiainen from the PS parliamentary group a good start, is it enough to rid the Islamophobic party of its racism problem?
Turtiainen has a shady history before he was elected to parliament last year. In 2018, he was convicted by a court for inciting violence against a Red Cross-managed asylum reception center, and in 2010 sentenced for assaulting a 14-year-old.
Turtiainen was quoted as saying in Mikkeli-based Länsi-Savo last year that he had no regrets about inciting people to commit acts of vandalism against the Red Cross. He stated that among the PS, such a conviction is a feather in one’s cap.
Apart from stating that Ebola is nature’s way of keeping down the population in Africa and other racist statements, the Tweet that broke the camel’s back was when he mocked George Floyd’s death.
The “joke?” George Floyd’s wide-eyed face full of terror colored purple with the name of the 1960s rock band “Pink Floyd.”
Cruel, racist, and unbecoming of an MP but that’s not all he tweets. Turtainen stated that as black people get more rights, they become more unruly. He suggested that slavery would be an effective way of keeping blacks in line.
If the PS knew of Turtiainen’s criminal record and his racist outbursts, why was he permitted to run for parliament for the party?
The answer is clear: The PS has a racism problem that it has no intention of correcting.
Populism and racism attract votes.
* Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny, and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.