...Racism..., originally uploaded by AmsterS@m - The Wicked Reflectah.
Shot of the 'Zwarte Piet' at the "Occupy Amsterdam" movement @ the Beursplein in Amsterdam. Taken with my Sony HX1.
Christmas is just around the corner, and the annual ongoing discussion if the little helper of Sinterklaas, who is called Zwarte Piet, is a symbol for Racism, or just a fun character in a fictitious story to enchant the Dutch children, is flaring up again, and instead of making this season merrier, it is causing a tense atmosphere and many heated arguments on- and offline. One interesting thing I've noticed is, that those defending this traditions seem to be mostly white Dutch people, who see this as a part of their childhood experience that should not be burdened with such a heavy topic as racism, and defend this opinion by saying things like "Zwarte Pieten are black because of chimney soot" or "It's fun for the kids", etc, while those who have faced racism and discrimination in their lives, due to their ethnic background or skin-color, are the ones who feel offended and insulted by Black Peter, and might get beaten up and arrested by the police for voicing their opinion, which speaks for itself you might think. One thing is for sure, if even ze Germans are confused and amused about this issue, and start throwing rocks at the Dutch from their little Glasshouse of a racist past on an industrial scale, the Dutch should realize that something is going really wrong here, and it surely is a situation that needs clarification and correction ;-D
Personally I'm a bit divided on this issue, as I love Christmas and the frolic follies surrounding it, but I'd hate to have a good time by insulting large groups of the population of this country in the process, so I've decided that I'll hit any Zwarte Piet I'll encounter in the streets with my bike, but not in any vital areas of his body, so that he'll be reminded that he's a controversial character, yet he's inhabiting a tiny niche in my heart that is devoted to the childish parts of my inner workings, may all of my friends displaying various beautiful shades of skin forgive me for being such an ignorant, retarded Reflectah ;-)
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