[ View the story "A holiday tradition of blackface" on Storify] A holiday tradition of blackface The Stream examines the debate surrounding the Dutch custom of 'Zwarte Piet'.
The Stream· Mon, Dec 08 2014 16:35:09
The Netherlands highest administrative court, the Council of The State, is
to weigh in on a contentious debate surrounding “Black Pete” or "Zwarte Piet”. Instead, the Council of the State overruled a lower court decision that said Zwarte Piet
“forms negative stereotyping of Black people”
and should be banned from traditional holiday activities.
Below is an image of Zwarte Piet:
In November, 90 people were
for protesting Zwarte Piet at a Sinterklass parade:
Anti #BlackPete and Antifa scum ready to use violence against Police and kids with there parents. Shame on us!
from an 1850 novel by Jan Schenkman called,
The Saint Nicholas and his Servant
. Piete is a Moorish servant from Spain, who helps Sinterkass (Dutch Santa Klaus) deliver presents to children just in time for the Feast of St. Nicholas festival on December 5th. Once presents were given, Zwarte Piet would take naughty children back to Spain. Today, Pete is often
by white Dutch in blackface.
Critics argue Zwarte Piete is a
from the Transatlantic Slave Trade. They
to the character’s cartoonish Black features, dim -witted nature and Caribbean accent.
this #blackface of the #Dutch is the most racist expression ever. Somehow they got stuck in their colonial behaviour #zwartepietBally Sabroso
Last year UN adviser Verene Shepard wrote a letter
the practice and demanding the Netherlands update the tradition. Below is an excerpt from the letter:
“The character and image of Black Pete perpetuate a stereotyped image of African people and people of African descent as second-class citizens, fostering an underlying sense of inferiority within Dutch society and stirring racial differences as well as racism,”america.aljazeera.com
Proponents of Black Pete
the tradition is a longstanding part of the Dutch cultural heritage. They also
Black Pete is not Black; rather he gains his colour from chimney soot.
@AJStream just like any other tradition that people in other nations won't understand just like we don't understand most of there tradionsRaymondzelf
In the video below Netherlands Prime Minster Mark Ruttle
his support for the Zwarte Piete tradition:
Prime Minster Mark Rutte on Zwarte PiethYr1Gx6vySbtoNr-3AVSYA
@AJStream whether they continue the tradition or not, they should at least recognize the concerns others have voice about its messageSt. Erick of Assisi