Most people in The Netherlands do not seem to understand that the national december 5th holiday of Saint Nicholas day ('Sinterklaas') brings back an anual racist tradition: Sinterklaas visits with a small army of helpers: Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). White guys dressed up in blackface. This is an offensive image is embraced as a cherished tradition by the vast majority. Holland has to move on and break with the racial tradition, and this starts with education. Sinterklaas is here to stay, but it's time for Zwarte Piet to go. Legally banning Zwarte Piet from Dutch school will lead to a debate among parents, teacher and children paving the way for the rest of Dutch society to accept Zwarte Piet is outdated.
Special note to my fellow Dutch visitors: This petition is not to stop our great tradition of Sinterklaas. This is about modernising the tradition. We have celebrated the Sinterklaas tradition for many years before we added a century ago, during slavery, Zwarte Piet to the tradition. That might have seemed ok at that time- but looking back we have to acknowledge this is actually a racist blackface tradition.
A possible solution could be to keep Zwarte Piet, but not as a blackface. We should rather just put some sooth (from the chimney) on Zwarte Piet's face: exactly as how the songs go and how we used to do it before we introduced the current racist blackface Zwarte Piet.
Please listen to your international friends outside of The Netherlands (I know, listening to others, not our best quality) and take their advise: it is time to move on for a better Netherlands for everyone.
Please sign this petition, and ask the Dutch Minister of Education Jet Bussemaker to legally ban Zwarte Piet as a blackface from Dutch schools.
R Coenen started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,081 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.