Tag Archives: racism

Zwarte Piet : Putting Him Into Perspective, Again!

 

zwarte piet again

Image: cnn.com

 

So let me get this straight:

Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still hand out candy.
They can still wear the same costumes.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and kruidnoten,
and taai-taai,
and suikerbeesten,
and amandelstaven,
and chocolate letters,
and marzipan,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Music Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you (also a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (again, a relatively new phenomenon).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
People can still exchange gifts.
Everyone can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.

The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.

And this is how you react?

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(Welcome in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)

Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?

 

My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.

The Zwarte Piet Debacle From the Outside, Again

zwarte clownOkay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading

Neither Racist Nor Responsible?

20160423_130914Okay, there’s no way I can keep up with everything that’s going on, so I’m just going to write about what I was going to write about.

In the wake of Charlottesville there’s been a lot of talk on social and main stream media about white privilege and white responsibility for blacks’ uphill battles in America. Many white people claim not to be racist, but they also don’t feel responsible for race problems that they were not directly involved in. Continue reading

How to Find a Balance

Image: amazon.com

Image: amazon.com

Sometimes I think that I should take a break from the news, just turn the car radio to music and not read my Flipboard or Facebook feed for a few days, because it gets too stressful. But right after that I think, what a luxury to be able to contemplate turning it all off for a while because it’s too hard to hear, too much to read about. Continue reading

I’m At a Loss For a Title Today

Image: edvardmunch.org

Image: edvardmunch.org

So the Muslim travel ban that isn’t Muslim and isn’t a ban, according to Trump, though sometimes it is–the ban on refugees from several majority Muslim countries–is supposedly meant to keep America safe from Muslim extremists who aim to kill us. It has been pointed out ad nauseam that no refugees from those countries have killed anyone in America in at least twenty years. Continue reading

Civil, Angry, Civilly Angry?

Image: snopes.com

Image: snopes.com

My friend and neighbor had a dilemma two days ago. He wanted to “like” my post to support my family going to the march, but he himself has started holding meetings in Austin to discuss how we can bring back the civil discourse, and my last post wasn’t that civil. Continue reading

I Pledge Intolerance to Bigotry

safety-pinThings changed profoundly in this country on November 8. Mostly for the worse. In so far as things changing for the better, as far as the better half waking up and smelling the shit–it was all too little and too late. Continue reading