Monday, November 18, 2013

Protest against 'racist' Dutch tradition

It's incorrect to be black?

THE Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday to the delight of thousands of children.

But some adults protested vigorously against one element of the beloved tradition they find racist: his servant in blackface make-up, Black Pete.

In the annual Dutch Sinterklaas festival, St Nicholas arrives by steamboat in mid-November and spends a month in the country with dozens of the Petes - clown-like figures who leave cookies, chocolate and other treats for children. The affair ends in a night of gift-giving on December 5.

Protesters say the Petes - servants who wear blackface make-up, red lipstick and frizzy Afro wigs - are blatant racist caricatures and should be banned.

But in a country where 90 per cent of the people have European ancestry, a large majority feels there is no racial insult intended by Black Pete. They say he's a positive figure of fun and the dissent is a sign of political correctness gone overboard.

The debate over the figure has gone on for years, but it is now electrifying - and polarising - the Netherlands as never before.

"The world is watching, and the Netherlands has been found wanting," anti-Pete protester Quinsy Gario told a group of about 300 supporters in Amsterdam, most of whom were black.



Anonymous said...

"It's incorrect to be black?"

Actually, being black is a crime against nature and society.

Anonymous said...

the world doesn't care

Henk said...

A typical AP story full of errors, Swaarte Peet (Black Pete) Is not black because he climbed down a chimney. He is black because he is black, he is a Moor. He is not dressed in a clown like outfit, it was dress of the day. The protesters are not Nederlanders, but immigrants who don't understand a centuries old tradition. This is like saying don't have a white man represent a Viking because it's racist, the Viking is white because he fell in the snow. Idiots

Anonymous said...

I guess Shakespeare's "Othello" should be banned too as it's about a black Moor.

Bird of Paradise said...

Black Pete was around around when their same ansecctors were still living a wild nomanic life in africa