Racism and Finnish nurses

This is an old thing, never saw this is in Finnish newspapers. Which is very very weird, considering the joke about an American, a Frenchman, a Finn and the elephant. *) I only met it now, through The Telegraph's story about Labour leadership race in Britain.

A prominent British labour politician, Diane Abbot, said "blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls" in her local hospital in West London were unsuitable as nurses because they "may never have met a black person before." This was in 1996, the year when Lola Odusoga was Miss Finland.

It's astonishing that a politician - who has made a career out of claiming to oppose racism - can make such insensitive remarks. But yes, there is a double standard, at least within Ms Abbott, although in this case even she had to apologize. What really was the thing about the Finnish nurses that was bothering her? In a way, it is understandable that people would want to be treated by people who look familiar. But we're told that this would be racism. And in the end, what difference does a person's skin colour make? As long as she or he is a good nurse and speaks the language and can understand what her or his patients say and even their earlier lives?

I don't recall any Finnish commentary about Diane Abbott at the time, though that could of course be due to the fact that with a newborn baby, two other small children, and fresh mortgage, I was in a constant haze due to lack of sleep and overwork.

Anyway, Ms Abbot is now out of the British shadow cabinet, and those who would press the "like" button upon Labour Party's destruction have suffered a setback.

*) The joke: An American, a French and a Finn see an elephant. The American speculates: "How could I make most money out of it?". The Frenchman thinks: "How could I cook it to make unique food?". The Finn wonders: "What is it thinking about Finns?" We're so concerned about how others perceive our country and people that it is inconceivable that a remark about Finns in a major British newspaper would go unnoticed. Well, apparently there indeed was some commentary.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti