With december approaching rapidly, the debate surrounding ‘Black Pete’ is making an entrance once again in our lives. Every year there is a fearce battle. A battle for change. For improvement. Not, as many claim, to destroy a ‘tradition’ or to fundamentaly change a culture. What’s my opinion?
I think it’s outrageous. It goes beyond my understanding that there are still people who’re unwilling or unable to acknowledge the heritage of Black Pete. The fact that people are being hurt, children come home crying because they’re being called “Black Pete” at school.. when is enough enough? There have been made countless of charges filed by the people who are pró-change of Black Pete, the VN has given the Dutch government a strong advice to change the current Black Pete. Millions of people, living in the Netherlands or elsewhere, have spoken their outrage about this racial aspect of the Dutch Sinterklaas. We’ve made international (!) headlines, in such a horrible way. It needs to become a national party that every child can enjoy!
For those who even question the heritage of Black Pete, it should be enough to see how many people are being deeply hurt by this. People come up with all kinds of excuses: “it’s a party for children, how dare we ruin that”, “he’s black due to the chimney”.. Or it’s taken to another level: “why don’t you go back to your own country if you don’t accept Black Pete” or for us ‘white’ people: “you’re betraying your own culture, your own people, your own country..” It’s such bullshit. All ways to deflect from the real issue.. RACISM. There is no excuse to not be aware, all the information you need is out there. Ignorance isn’t a bliss. I’m not a traitor. I’m a mother who wants her son to grow up without racism. I’m a woman fighting for justice and equality. I honestly can’t be bothered by what people claim about my opinion on this matter. Standing up for what is right is one of the best qualities I have.
Big corporations like ‘De Bijenkorf’ are changing the color of their store decoration from Black Pete’s to Gold Pete’s. Last year at the national entrance of Sinterklaas, 25% of Black Pete’s only had some black smudges instead of completely black and even with completely different colours like Rainbow Pete. Some didn’t have the red lips, big golden earrings and the afro hairdo. This year 50% of the ‘Black Pete’s’ will have only some black smudges.. TV shows that normally have dozens of Black Pete’s are now only using Pete’s with smudges!
Small steps, but they’re happening! Change is coming. Improvement is happening.