Dutch children's book pulled over discriminatory text

Child reading in a book store
Child reading in a book store. Photo: Tim Pierce / Wikimedia Commons

Publisher Kluitman decided to remove children's book 'Suriname, here we come' from its stock due to accusations that the book's content is discriminatory or even racist. 

The book offers its young readers fun 'facts' about Suriname. But whether Surinamese people would consider these facts fun is another story. An Amsterdam resident spotted the book while in the library with her child and posted some photos on Facebook. Journalist Anna Krijger shared these on Twitter.

According to the book, cheating is common in Suriname and men often have multiple women as partners, Surinamese people deliberately hit dogs with their cars, and people in Suriname used to sell themselves as slaves. "Did you know that phone calls between Surinamese can often take a long time? A Surinamese needs an endless introduction and is unable to end a conversation", another fact reads. 

The posts on Facebook and Twitter resulted in a storm of indignant reactions, including accusations of discrimination and racism. 

Publisher Kluitman therefore decided to no longer publish the book. "Kluitman publishing house regrets hearing that a book by author Sanne de Bakker, 'Suriname here we come', has hurt people with a number of passages. This was never the intention. Kluitman has therefore decided to remove the book from this website and no longer make it available", the publisher said in a statement on its site. 

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