blackface

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Dec 1 '16 08:45

The Sinterklaas celebration with Zwarte Piet in his current blackface form can inadvertently contribute to stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination, Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice wrote in a letter to parliament. The government therefore supports the tradition being adapted, NU.nl reports.

"It is difficult, for example in the U.S., to explain the tradition of Zwarte Piet in his current form", the Minister wrote, but he added that the Dutch who "always celebrate the kids party with great joy" are not directly racist.

Sinterklaas
Nov 30 '16 09:01

The Onze Wereld primary school in Rotterdam decided to scrap their Sinterklaas' arrival parade this year for "security reasons", school principal Tilly Terheijden said to newspaper AD. Instead Sinterklaas will arrive at the school out of sight of the parents.

The school decided to have Sinterklaas accompanied by so-called Chimney Pieten this year, instead of the traditional blackface Zwarte Pieten after a complaint by a parent. This decision led to a heated discussion among parents at the school, with both pro- and anti-Zwarte Piet groups rearing their heads.

Nov 22 '16 16:15

Anti-Zwarte Piet activist Jerry Afriyie filed abuse reports against a number of police offiers on Tuesday. According to the activists, the police use unnecessary violence while arresting him and nearly 200 others in Rotterdam on Sinterklaas' arrival day on November 12th, AD reports.

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Nov 18 '16 10:10

Right-wing grop Pegida decided to protest against Amsterdam's decision not to allow blackface makeup at its Sinterklaas party by parading Zwarte Pieten in blackface makeup through some of Amsterdam's most ethnically diverse neigborhoods.

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Nov 18 '16 09:52

The municipality of Geleen approved a protest against blackface Zwarte Piet at the Sinterklaas party in the center of the city on Saturday. This follows a meeting with the initiators of the protest on Thursday, 1Limburg reports.

The activists plan a silent protest at Sinterklaas' arrival in the city on Saturday. They hope to stand close to the Saint's podium. A spokesperson for the municipality told L1 that a spot has been designated for the protesters, but the location will not be announced yet. According to the spokesperson, it is a small group of protesters.

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Nov 17 '16 16:00

Both intelligence service AIVD and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof contacted Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb prior to Sinterklaas' arrival in Maassluis on Saturday to warn him about possible clashes between anti-blackface Zwarte Piet activists, right-wing protesters and hooligans, the mayor said in a debate with his city council on Thursday, NOS reports.

Anti-blackface Zwarte Piet protesters in Rotterdam, 12 Nov 2016
Nov 17 '16 15:25

Protest group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is plainning at least three more protests against blackface Zwarte Piet in the coming weeks, the organization announced on Thursday, ANP reports.

The group will hold "peaceful protests" at Sinterklaas' arrival in Leiden on November 19th, in Utrecht on November 26th and Rotterdam on November 207th.

Anti-blackface Zwarte Piet protesters in Rotterdam, 12 Nov 2016
Nov 12 '16 22:00

A massive 198 people were arrested in Rotterdam on Saturday for wanting to protest against controversial character Zwarte Piet. Among them were GroenLinks councilor Simion Blom, lawyer Michiel Pestman and activist Jerry Afriyie.

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Nov 10 '16 11:10

A massive 1,075,000 people tuned in to NTR to watch the first episode of Sinterklaasjournaal on Wednesday night. According to rating foundation KijkOnderzoek, Sinterklaasjournaal was the 10th most watched program of the evening, the Telegraaf reports.

There was much interest in the runup to the first episode. Many schools and foundations were waiting to see what Sinterklaasjournaal did with the appearance of Zwarte Piet before making a decision themselves. The first episode featured both a white- and blackface Piet.

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Nov 7 '16 07:40

The Sinterklaas arrival committees in the vast majority of Dutch towns and cities decided to keep their Zwarte Pieten traditional with blackface makeup, according to a survey by NOS and regional broadcasters. Only two of the 223 surveyed committees will have no blackface makeup at Sinterklaas' arrival - Amsterdam and Heemstede.

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Nov 4 '16 10:49

Sinterklaas will be surrounded by only Chimney Pieten during his arrival in Amsterdam this year. While the organizing committee announced earlier this week that 75 percent of the Pieten will be covered in soot instead of traditional makeup, they announced on Friday that not a single Piet will be wearing the blacface makeup when Sinterklaas arrives on November 13th, ANP reports.

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Nov 2 '16 14:45

At least 75 percent of the Zwarte Piet's in Amsterdam will not be wearing the traditional blacface makeup at Sinterklaas arrival in the city on November 13th, Pam Evenhuis said to NU.nl as spokesperson for the Sinterklaas organizing committee in the Dutch captial.

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Nov 2 '16 09:22

Anti-blackface group Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) plans to protest in Maassluis during Sinterklaas' national arrival on November 12th. "For us 2016 will be the last year that December has an aftertaste of colonialism, slavery and opression", the group said according to RTL Nieuws.

According to the KOZP, Zwarte Piet in his current form is a racist figure. 

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Oct 28 '16 12:20

Rob Bleumink, school director of primary school De Boomhut in Arnhem, received several threats after he announced his intention to no longer allow blackface Zwarte Piet at his school. Hundreds of people verbally attacked and threatened him online, AD reports.

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Oct 21 '16 17:21

The Discrimination Hotline for the Amsterdam region is calling on people to report cases of discrimination, harassment and racism during the Sinterklaas season, NOS reports.

According to the Hotline, the “controversial figure of Zwarte Piet”, annually causes situations to get out of hand at school, work and other public places. The Hotline is consciously choosing to actively participate in the debate on what Zwarte Piet should look like.

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Oct 3 '16 09:53

Support for blackface makeup on Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet is steadily declining, though the vast majority is still in favor of it. In Maurice d e Hond's latest political poll 21 percent of Dutch indicated that it is time for Zwarte Piet to change, compared to less than 10 percent three years ago.

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May 30 '16 09:34

More than 100 Dutch celebrities, including directors, actors and athletes, wrote an open letter to broadcaster NTR on Friday asking that the appearance of controversial Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet be updated to fit a multicultural society, NRC reports based on the letter in its possession.

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Mar 2 '16 14:05

The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, nearly unanimously rejected the PVV's legislative proposal to make blackface makeup for Zwarte Piet mandatory. Many parties did so rather mockingly. The SP, for example, wanted to know why the PVV did not get Sinterklaas' advice on their bill, Joop reports.

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Feb 8 '16 18:34

White people were seen dressing up in blackface during several events connected to Carnival festivities held over the past few days around the Netherlands. Dressing up in blackface is a serious problem that casts aside black people and their concerns, says activist Mimi from anti-discrimination organization MAD Mothers.

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Jan 15 '16 09:28

Police apprehended two men investigators say are responsible for a string of armed robberies. One of the crimes was the robbery of an Avia gas station in Borne, Overijssel, where the perpetrator dressed up in blackface and posed as Zwarte Piet.

TweeZwartePieten
Dec 3 '15 08:31

Judi Mesman, professor of diversity in education and development at the University of Leiden, is studying how young children who still believe in Sinterklaas see Zwarte Piet and when they start connecting him to race. The initial results of her study shows that these kids rather association Piet with fantasy characters and clowns than other people with dark skin

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Dec 1 '15 08:08

Roger Williams received death threats due to his Zwarte Piet documentary Blackface. The American director revealed this on RTL Late Night on Monday night.

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Nov 30 '15 11:34

Roger Williams, the American director of the Zwarte Piet documentary Blackface, will be appearing on RTL Late Night on Monday evening. Host Humberto Tan to remain calm and "listen to Williams' story and arguments.

TweeZwartePieten
Nov 27 '15 09:44

Roger Williams, who directed a short documentary about Zwarte Piet, received hate mail in which he was called a "black monkey" after he called Sinterklaas' controversial helper "Holland's dirty little secret".

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