07 December 2016

"Black Pete" Is Here To Stay In Switzerland

Black Pete
Sensitive people are always offended with the smallest of things, but, fortunately, not everyone are taking them seriously and has push back against their demand for ultra-special treatment.

Take the Dutch holiday tradition of so-called Black Pete, for example. Known in his native Netherlands as Zwarte Piet, the holiday character has been a winter tradition in the country for some time, and in recent years the tradition has been met with minor protest and cries of racism — as one would imagine for any character traditionally portrayed in blackface, with Afro wigs, golden earrings, and bright red lips.

Many rationale people and fans of Black Pete claim the portrayal is not racist and should be preserved as part of tradition, but social justice warriors will claim that maintaining the celebration is harmful, racist, and long overdue for a change. That's the demand of minority who most probably are not even born in Switzerland, but migrants.

Good thing is that, despite the pushback, it appears that parts of Dutch society will not give in to selfish demands from cry babies.

Many experts and followers of the topic fear that the backlash against the changes could be even more harmful than allowing Black Pete to exist as is. As Anna P.H. Guerts, a teacher and researcher in Dutch Studies in the U.K., explains:

"A large part of the Dutch public, as well as the political establishment, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte, have responded to criticism with outright denial. They refuse to let their fond memories be tinged with the hateful epithet of racism. Anger at the suggestion that their childhood friend might be a racist fantasy has been running so high that riot police had to be on standby for this year’s opening of the festive season."
It is now clear that Black Pete will continue to be everybody's old "childhood friend" in blackface. This year’s festivities should be a sign of things to come, no matter the privileged groups are demanding.