AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Saturday, July 5th, 2014

What the Dutch court ruling against blackface figure Zwarte Piet means

The Amsterdam court ruling on Dutch blackface hero Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) yesterday quickly went viral. But what does the ruling really mean. In a nutshell: an Amsterdam judge did not forbid the figure of Black Pete, but ruled that Zwarte Piet “is a negative stereotype of black people and the city must rethink its involvement in holiday celebrations involving

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Year the Blackface Tradition in the Netherlands Hit the Big Time

In 2013, the world was introduced to the Dutch December tradition of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”)—the blackfaced sidekick to Sinterklaas. Though a letter complaining of the racism inherent in the practice was sent to the Office of...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

File under: #SMH Mandela Moments

Out of courtesy for Nelson Mandela’s memory (and the movement that he represented), we decided to hold any posts of #SMH (that’s Shake My Head) moments (basically occasions when you simply ask yourself “Why?”), till after the...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

10 excuses most Dutch people make for racism

Today is the day Sinterklaas and his little black slaves give candy to children, although nature got in the way somewhat. As you’re aware, “Zwarte Piet” (translated: Black Pete) is how the helpers of Saint Nicholas are...

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

File under: Dutch Liberalism

In the Netherlands, many people convince themselves that racism is something that exists elsewhere–in South Africa, for example, or in the United States. For this is a ‘tolerant,’ liberal nation. To maintain the facade, often blatant...

Monday, November 18th, 2013

‘Tribal’ Reality Television 2.0

There was this sincere hope that we had seen the end of the so-called ‘tribal reality shows;’ that is television programs where groups of westerners spend some time with one of the ‘last remaining’ or ‘authentic tribes’...

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