I’m reading Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History, by Kurt Anderson. He gives an inventory of all the ways (white) Americans have been more prone than Europeans to believe in big dreams, in get-rich-quick schemes, the supernatural, cure-alls, conspiracy theories, UFO sightings and other “alternative facts” from the beginning of white colonization up to the Trump presidency and America’s current “post-factual” society. It’s fascinating, and it confirms that I’m right when I argue with my American husband that UFO sightings are really mostly an American thing. Continue reading
Posted in Amusement Parks, Education, History US, Music, Racism, Recreation, Slavery, Technology
Tagged African-American History, alternative facts, Black America Show, Black History, Confederate history, entertainment, history education, Nate Salsbury, plantations, Racism, Slavery
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 wear the same costumes.
They can still hand out candy.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and chocolate letters,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you Piet (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (also relatively new).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
Kids and adults can even place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (again, new).
People can still exchange gifts.
Children 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?
(Welcome to the Netherlands, where all cultures are accepted except our own.)
Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?
My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.
Posted in black pete, Cultural Differences, Dutch food, Holland, Language, Mass Communication, Racism, Sinterklaas, Slavery
Tagged black pete, Dutch blackface, Holidays, Netherlands, opinie, Opinion, racial stereotypes, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet
Okay, 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
Posted in American flag, black pete, Books, Cultural Differences, Education, Emigration / Immigration, Employment, Holland, Language, Montessori Schools, National Anthem, Nationalism, Pledge of Allegiance, Racism, School Libraries, Sinterklaas, Slavery, University, Violence
Tagged culture, cultuur, immigratie, immigration, Nederland, Netherlands, politics, politiek, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, tolerance, toleratie, Zwarte Piet
Okay, 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
Posted in History, Slavery, Society, Violence
Tagged America's original sin, Charlottesville, history, Opinion, Racism, Slavery, society, white privilege, white responsibility
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
Posted in Government, Psychology, Society, US Politics, Violence
Tagged anxiety, centering, escapism, meditation, Opinion, politics, Racism, society, Trump, Violence, Xenophobia
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
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Government, Society, US Politics, Violence
Tagged American extremists, hate crimes, Muslim ban, Opinion, president Trump, Racism, racist violence, shooting Indian-Americans, society, Trump extremists, Xenophobia
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
Posted in Language, Media, Psychology, Society, US Politics
Tagged civil discourse, misogyny, Opinion, politics, Presidential Election 2016, presidential inauguration 2017, Racism, society, Trump