Is ‘Black Pete’ Racist?Roundup: Media's Take
tags: racism, Netherlands, Christmas, Black Pete
John McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and the author of What Language Is (and What It Isn't and What It Could Be).
Recently a student asked me why a photo he found of me shows me at a conference about Indonesian languages taking place in the Dutch city of Leiden, of all places. It’s because of the Dutch’s other hegemony in Indonesia, where today countless brown-skinned people are comfortable in Dutch as a legacy of the colonial era.
Black Pete, then, is not the Dutch version of a Finnish teen bouncing
to Jay Z in an Afro wig. Black Pete in 2013 is a lame, thoughtless
thing, carrying an implication that all that slavery and servitude and
imperialism was some kind of cartoon. Black Hollanders often feel the
same way, in a country where blacks from former colonies are
overrepresented in housing projects....
comments powered by Disqus
- Why the history of slavery in the US South is taking centre stage once again
- New South Wales (Australia) to offer reparations to Stolen Generations
- It’s World AIDS Day and There’s a New AIDS Memorial in New York City
- Auschwitz survivor asks Austrians to remember the past
- Honoring Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust Witness Who Kept a Memory Alive
- Novelist says History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump
- National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is youngest in 30 years in the non-fiction category
- Historian Volker Ullrich’s book on the rise of Hitler is spookily relevant
- People are still talking about historian Mark Lilla’s NYT op ed 2 weeks after it was published
- Rick Perlstein says Trump’s election confirms a paranoid trend in the GOP