HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Blackface for the holiday...

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:40 PM

Blackface for the holidays

Blackface for the holidays
Dutch deny racism in 'Zwarte Piet' holiday tradition.



Is the Dutch tradition of Zwarte Piet, depicting Saint Nicholas' helpers in black-face, a cultural treasure or racism? Those who love Zwarte Piet say itís for the children and those outside The Netherlands just donít get it. The fans claim thereís no racist intent. Those opposed argue the custom was born of the nationís slave-trading past and itís a harmful and stereotypical portrayal.

The character of "Black Pete" traditionally joins Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicholas, as they travel around the Netherlands, handing out candy and presents until December 6th. He is beloved in his home country, but draws critiques for his black-face makeup and dim-witted behaviour. Below is footage from festivities celebrating Sinterklaas and Black Pete.

The first appearance of Black Pete was in a children's story written by Jan Schenkman in 1850.

Black Pete was historically a Moorish character who would kidnap bad children and take them to his native Spain. Today, he is said to have a black face because of the soot in chimneys.

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/christmas-blackface-0022443-0022443

11 replies, 1049 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Blackface for the holidays (Original post)
The Straight Story Dec 2012 OP
voteearlyvoteoften Dec 2012 #1
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #3
RZM Dec 2012 #7
ieoeja Dec 2012 #2
OneMoreDemocrat Dec 2012 #5
Nye Bevan Dec 2012 #4
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #6
name not needed Dec 2012 #8
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #9
Separation Dec 2012 #10
Marinedem Dec 2012 #11

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:20 PM

1. Holiday tradition

They are calling him sooty not black so they have made an effort to keep the tradition and make it more PC.
Oma and Opa are keeping the old ways going. You can't please everyone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to voteearlyvoteoften (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:22 PM

3. Disney made a change to their toon this year re: it

http://www.thelocal.se/45080/20121214/#.UNIh07Tp4Vs

Disney has deleted scenes from the old Santa's Workshop reel, Sveriges Television announced on Friday, cutting out the stereotypical black doll from Sweden's traditional Christmas Eve broadcast of the Disney mash-up.

SVT said that at least two scenes will be cut from this year's staple diet of Christmas television programming.

One scene features a black doll parading before Santa Claus before stamping herself on the behind with Santa's 'OK' quality stamp. The doll has dreadlocks and oversized red lips, corresponding broadly to stereotypes that many find offensive.

A second now-deleted scene shows a man in a green suit with an oversize nose, white beard, and black hat performing a Cossack dance. That has been cut as it could be perceived as playing on stereotypes of Jews.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to voteearlyvoteoften (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:41 PM

7. LOL. Your handle kind of sounds like it could be the name of a small Dutch village

 

All those Vs and Es.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:21 PM

2. I kind of like that their Santa's assistant is Black.


The story has adapted to the times over history.

It appears to have started with co-opting the black crows of Woden. American Santa "just knows" who is naughty or nice. Dutch Santa/Woden has Black Pete/crows whose job it is to uncover who is naughty or nice.

A modern addition to the tale has Santa rescuing Black Pete from slavery. Pete asks Santa to take him on as his assistant. One could do worse for a living, yes?


As to the part being played by White actors who use makeup to look Black ... I'm thinking there are not too many Black Dutch actors, and using makeup to look the part is just standard theatre. They aren't doing a Minstrel show here. They are playing a beloved, and respected, character.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ieoeja (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:24 PM

5. Wow, interesting...

 

Having Black Pete out there investigating and uncovering naughtiness is much more interesting...when I have kids I might go with this version of the story; way cooler than our own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:24 PM

4. This is good stuff for people who have run out of things to be outraged about (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:26 PM

6. Meh, it's DU - there is never a shortage

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:42 PM

8. You should check out David Sedaris' take on it

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to name not needed (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:53 PM

9. LOL - he mentioned Columbus

Cool clip

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:57 PM

10. There are only two people in this world I can't stand.

People who are intolerant of other people...and the Dutch!

http://m.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:18 PM

11. I'm going to try really, really hard to give a fuck...

 

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
....Nope...nothing...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread