I’m sorry to say that as a white Dutch citizen, I also do not want ‘Zwarte Piet’ to leave. I know it is racist, and I know I’m being racist by wanting it to continue, but you can’t blame me for wanting to be able to raise my children as I was raised. In my opinion I’m not a racist person, I don’t make racist comments to people with a skin tone different to mine. I don’t like bullies, and I have had some experience in name calling based on something you can’t help (like having an English mother). Of course that’s not racism and it’s nothing compared to what Afro-American and Asian people get to endure but I like to think I understand at least a little. This is one of these things where I don’t understand what the big deal is about. I watched a lot ofDisney princess movies, but I’m not hunkering after men or dependent on them (except for my father who pays the bills of course). And in the same way I grew up with ‘Zwarte Piet’ and I am not degrading Afro-Americans. Because in the end were all the same on the inside, and that’s what matters.
I hope I have not offended anyone.
At the risk of talking over poc voices, may I offer my viewpoint as a white person who has had to learn and grow?
To say that we are all the same on the inside denies the fact that other people can be deeply hurt by something that doesn’t affect you at all. Knowing on an objective level that something is racist is not the same as understanding what it is to be wounded by a casual denial of your humanity, or understanding the weight those “little” dehumanizations add up to, especially when being dehumanized in some way is pretty much a daily experience.
The thing is, though, our understanding is not required. What is required is that we stop behaving as if we have the right to judge how much our actions hurt them. What is required is that we listen.
What your children would be denied is quite frankly inconsequential compared to what some other children are subjected to.
Remember when Scott Aukerman and Kulap Vilaysack were in Red Sonja
How to Get Away With Murder
- Step 1: Ask yourself “What would Alison Hendrix do?”
- Step 2: Proceed to do it