Racist, sexist slurs painted on Hilversum home

Racist and sexist slurs painted onto a home in Hilversum's Electrabuurt, 2 September 2019
Racist and sexist slurs painted onto a home in Hilversum's Electrabuurt, 2 September 2019Photo: Rudsel Maduro, courtesy of Afro Magazine

Residents of the Electrabuurt in Hilversum woke on Monday morning to find racist and sexist slurs spray-painted onto a neighbor's home. Someone had painted the Dutch slurs for sex workers and black people on the home's front door. Rudsel Maduro, who lives across the street from the affected home and is the only black person living in the neighborhood, thinks the slurs may have been directed at him, he said to Marvin Hokstam of Afro Magazine

Maduro was on his way to work when a neighbor stopped him and directed his attention to the vandalism. "We knocked on the door to wake up the neighbor; he hadn't even seen yet what they had done to his house", Maduro said. 

It was only later that it dawned on Maduro that he may have been the intended target. "I slowly started to realize it", he said to Afro Magazine. "The neighbor is Turkish. I am the only black person who lives in this neighborhood. I hardly ever see anyone walking around here who looks like me. This is a pretty white area."

His suspicions were shared by the police officer who responded to the report. The officer came to speak with him after talking to the affected resident. "He was a nice enough guy who properly spoke in terms of 'the N-word' when he mentioned what had been written on the house", Maduro said to Hokstam. "And at a certain moment, he looked at me and said what I had been thinking: 'I think this could have been meant for you'."

Maduro, a Curacao-born business consultant, bought his home in Hilversum two years ago. This incident does not make him feel unsafe in his neighborhood, but it did put him on alert, he said. "There are crazy people all over, and here in Hilversum as well. I do not know what they meant to write exactly, but there is this obvious undertone of racism that leaves me a little uneasy. There is a problem in this city that needs to be addressed."

That is part of the reason why he decided not to just ignore this incident, Maduro said to Hokstam. "Who knows, maybe it was not meant for me after all, but the point remains that someone wrote the N-word for someone else to feel hurt. It does not say anything about Hilversum, but it does sound like a cry for a solution. You never know who around you bears these types of sentiments, and today I got a taste of that."

"I studied, ran big international companies and these days I train entrepreneurs to become better businessmen, but at the end of the day, all that you are to some people in the Netherlands is just another n****r. That's a wake-up call. For me as well", Maduro said. "Luckily I can move on from this pretty quickly, but this needs to be addressed once and for all. I hope authorities take note."