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(Reuters)   Is it racist that Santa Claus has a black servant? Is it racist to portray him in black face? Is it, okay, yes, just, yes it's racist, okay? It's racist   (reuters.com) divider line 223
    More: Obvious, crowd watching, St. Nicholas, freedom of expression, toy stores, racists, Suriname  
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7190 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2012 at 8:55 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-06 09:42:28 AM

ThePastafarian: Witchydiva: eldezod: sodomizer: We're different for a reason.

The great multicultural dream, like ending poverty and other liberal wet dreams, is an illusion and it doesn't work.

You've convinced me. RAAAAACCEEE WAAAAAARRRR!

FREEEEEE BIIIIIIIIRD!

AAASSS YOOUUUU WIIIIIIISSHHHH


Social engineering experiments, such as mandatory school busing and massive housing projects, were total failures in America and had lots of unintended negative results. Indeed, the successes have proven to be the exception, not the rule.

Be as sarcastic as you want to be, but true unity within a society is an evolutionary process that takes many generations, and if rushed too much, can actually result in more prejudice and division, not less.
 
2012-12-06 09:42:43 AM

natazha: And why is Santa always dressed as a Republican?


In Liverpool (red) some Everton (blue) fans refuse to dress in red for the annual Santa run:

i1.wp.com
 
2012-12-06 09:43:16 AM
img15.imageshack.us 

Got all my HOs with me tonight, gonna come down your chimney baby.
 
2012-12-06 09:43:49 AM
"Aunt Jemima makes good syrup, 'bout the best that anyone can, whether regular or buttered its the best brand in the land"

Yep, don't see it.......
 
2012-12-06 09:43:56 AM
Yesterday was fun in Amsterdam and I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".

Tourists are more pissed off they can't buy weed.
 
2012-12-06 09:47:32 AM
Being dutch this tradition gives me two comedic opportunities: First of I get to snicker at the looks of utter disbelieve when I tell americans about the tradition. "Yes the white people put on blackface and play a subservient role to an old white dude. Why? You don't like that?". Secondly I never hesitate to tell my countrymen that they are all racist for not wanting to change the tradition. You won't believe the hostile looks you will get from everyone in the room, except from those who really have an open mind (instead of just thinking that they do). As if you just tried to murder the precious Sinterklaas tradition together with the tradition of believing that the dutch are tolerant. Which, just for the record, they/we are. We are tolerant, just not on Sinterklaas day :D
 
2012-12-06 09:48:00 AM

hdhale: Social engineering experiments, such as mandatory school busing and massive housing projects, were total failures in America


What about school desegregation?
 
2012-12-06 09:48:47 AM

T.M.S.: I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".


Well, except for, you know, all the Surinamese, or the other non-white people who complain. You know, those whose ancestors were subjected to brutal and horrific Dutch colonialism.
 
2012-12-06 09:49:44 AM
You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics
 
2012-12-06 09:51:44 AM

T.M.S.: Yesterday was fun in Amsterdam and I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".

Tourists are more pissed off they can't buy weed.


Right. Shall I introduce you to my Surinaamse friends? I can even introduce you to a few white Dutch who think this is inappropriate.

But go on living in your bubble.
 
2012-12-06 09:53:18 AM
Depends entirely on historical context.
 
2012-12-06 09:54:01 AM

eldezod: You've convinced me. RAAAAACCEEE WAAAAAARRRR!


Oh Lord, no! Hopefully we can avoid that.

Frazzled...
 
2012-12-06 09:55:19 AM
The elimination of this type of depiction of fictional characters will be a great step forward for human rights.
 
2012-12-06 09:55:56 AM

easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics


Yeah, no. Go read up on the history of Dutch colonialism, the retconned Surinamese roots for Zwart Piet, and the history of objection to the character from an increasingly multi-racial Dutch society.
 
2012-12-06 09:56:40 AM

easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics


Nonsense. Everywhere in the world is America, and people who don't have free speech and the jesus and a longstanding tradition of white guilt and PC paranoia ain't right.
 
2012-12-06 09:58:11 AM

easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics



Lol. Where the fark do you think the slaveowners in America came from? The Moon? Also, you didn't read the article. Pete was created because the Dutch used to believe that having a black servant was a status symbol. Personally, its not a big deal. People will always find justifications for these old racist traditions so its not worth the energy to get all worked up about it. But, lets not try to whitewash (pun intended) the history of the character for the sake of making the people who support his existence feel better about themselves. It is what it is.
 
2012-12-06 10:01:03 AM
Does Zwarte Piet hand out watermelon and fried chicken to the children?
 
2012-12-06 10:03:22 AM

Witchydiva: T.M.S.: Yesterday was fun in Amsterdam and I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".

Tourists are more pissed off they can't buy weed.

Right. Shall I introduce you to my Surinaamse friends? I can even introduce you to a few white Dutch who think this is inappropriate.


Sure. I'm happy to hear all about it. Seriously, I would love to hear what they have to say.
 
2012-12-06 10:03:49 AM

DROxINxTHExWIND:
Lol. Where the fark do you think the slaveowners in America came from? The Moon? Also, you didn't read the article. Pete was created because the Dutch used to believe that having a black servant was a status symbol. Personally, its not a big deal. People will always find justifications for these old racist traditions so its not worth the energy to get all worked up about it. But, lets not try to whitewash (pun intended) the history of the character for the sake of making the people who support his existence feel better about themselves. It is what it is.


Save your breath, man. I lived in the South for over a decade, and NEVER experienced the overt racism I have while living here this year. Nothing quite like bumping into someone having a bad day at the train station, who calls you a dirty c*nt and foreign whore and yells at you to go back home to your country - and to take the Moroccans and Turks with you. Charming, really. Nearly as charming as their habit of swearing with diseases here (because let me tell you how much fun it is to nearly get hit by a driver when I had the right of way on my bike, and be told to get cancer - just days after finding out that my father does, in fact, have cancer).

But I'm sure I'm just looking at that through myopic American eyes (y'know, because being the daughter of two immigrants from two different continents and having travelled all over the world since I was an infant means that I only see things as an American)
 
2012-12-06 10:05:20 AM
moonwolves.files.wordpress.com
"What's going on in this....oh hell naw."
 
2012-12-06 10:05:48 AM

bubo_sibiricus: "Six to Eight Black Men"

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

--
BMO


Came here for this. Leaving satisfied.
 
2012-12-06 10:05:57 AM

Rincewind53: Yes. Black Peter is an incredibly racist tradition. Sorry Dutch people, but you're perpetuating a racist tradition. Get rid of it.


Interestingly, Black Peter is actually supposed to be originally a Spaniard as the Dutch were at war with Spain at the time. Early drawings had him a bit tanned but over time his tan has become darker and darker.
 
2012-12-06 10:06:07 AM

T.M.S.: Witchydiva: T.M.S.: Yesterday was fun in Amsterdam and I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".

Tourists are more pissed off they can't buy weed.

Right. Shall I introduce you to my Surinaamse friends? I can even introduce you to a few white Dutch who think this is inappropriate.

Sure. I'm happy to hear all about it. Seriously, I would love to hear what they have to say.


EIP.

If you are on Facebook, I'd direct you to Zwarte Piet is Racisme for some connections.
 
2012-12-06 10:08:06 AM

Rincewind53:
Yeah, no. Go read up on the history of Dutch colonialism, the retconned Surinamese roots for Zwart Piet, and the history of objection to the character from an increasingly multi-racial Dutch society.


No, YOU go read up on the history of thanksgiving and put a stop to that celebration of what is basically the beginning of an atrocity, before you go pointing fingers at the culture and customs of other countries.
 
2012-12-06 10:11:28 AM

easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics


You might want to read up on that "different history" of the Dutch and Belgians, especially the part about them being the most brutal and exploitative European colonial powers. They made the English and French look like saints.
 
2012-12-06 10:12:57 AM

Public Savant: Rincewind53:
Yeah, no. Go read up on the history of Dutch colonialism, the retconned Surinamese roots for Zwart Piet, and the history of objection to the character from an increasingly multi-racial Dutch society.

No, YOU go read up on the history of thanksgiving and put a stop to that celebration of what is basically the beginning of an atrocity, before you go pointing fingers at the culture and customs of other countries.


Well, that's certainly off topic and irrelevant.

P.S. I actually do think the traditional depiction of Indians at Thanksgiving is hopelessly naive and anti-historical, as is the entire story of the Pilgrims as taught to children. Also, the modern Thanksgiving was created by Abraham Lincoln, so it's not entirely correct to call it a celebration of the beginning of an atrocity. Again, however, that is entirely off-topic and irrelevant.
 
2012-12-06 10:14:41 AM

Witchydiva: DROxINxTHExWIND:
Lol. Where the fark do you think the slaveowners in America came from? The Moon? Also, you didn't read the article. Pete was created because the Dutch used to believe that having a black servant was a status symbol. Personally, its not a big deal. People will always find justifications for these old racist traditions so its not worth the energy to get all worked up about it. But, lets not try to whitewash (pun intended) the history of the character for the sake of making the people who support his existence feel better about themselves. It is what it is.

Save your breath, man. I lived in the South for over a decade, and NEVER experienced the overt racism I have while living here this year. Nothing quite like bumping into someone having a bad day at the train station, who calls you a dirty c*nt and foreign whore and yells at you to go back home to your country - and to take the Moroccans and Turks with you. Charming, really. Nearly as charming as their habit of swearing with diseases here (because let me tell you how much fun it is to nearly get hit by a driver when I had the right of way on my bike, and be told to get cancer - just days after finding out that my father does, in fact, have cancer).

But I'm sure I'm just looking at that through myopic American eyes (y'know, because being the daughter of two immigrants from two different continents and having travelled all over the world since I was an infant means that I only see things as an American)



Damn. Thats rough.
 
2012-12-06 10:14:42 AM

Witchydiva: Save your breath, man. I lived in the South for over a decade, and NEVER experienced the overt racism I have while living here this year. Nothing quite like bumping into someone having a bad day at the train station, who calls you a dirty c*nt and foreign whore and yells at you to go back home to your country - and to take the Moroccans and Turks with you. Charming, really. Nearly as charming as their habit of swearing with diseases here (because let me tell you how much fun it is to nearly get hit by a driver when I had the right of way on my bike, and be told to get cancer - just days after finding out that my father does, in fact, have cancer).


That kind of racism is not at all indicative to the majority of the dutch, but there is a large group who does think that way. The swearing with diseases is done by most though, so you might want to grow a thicker skin (calling someone an asshole doesn't make him an anal orifice either).
 
2012-12-06 10:16:38 AM

Public Savant: Rincewind53:
Yeah, no. Go read up on the history of Dutch colonialism, the retconned Surinamese roots for Zwart Piet, and the history of objection to the character from an increasingly multi-racial Dutch society.

No, YOU go read up on the history of thanksgiving and put a stop to that celebration of what is basically the beginning of an atrocity, before you go pointing fingers at the culture and customs of other countries.


You're racist, so it's ok for us to be racist too!

Do we have a retcon-immune source for the Spaniard story? I genuinely would like to know where this outrage should sit, on a scale from "Shrill Israeli Protests Hindu Temple Symbol" to "Consumers Revolt against Chingy-Chong Brand Bucktoothed Yellow Action Figure"
 
2012-12-06 10:16:47 AM

Public Savant: No, YOU go read up on the history of thanksgiving and put a stop to that celebration of what is basically the beginning of an atrocity, before you go pointing fingers at the culture and customs of other countries.


We generally don't have brown faced imps dancing about on Thanksgiving. Generally.
 
2012-12-06 10:18:26 AM

jamspoon: bubo_sibiricus: "Six to Eight Black Men"

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

--
BMO


Thanks. As a Brit I'd never heard him before. Will be seeking out more Sedaris


His books are quite funny, but if you get the chance, he sometimes does spoken word/readings - my sis sent me tix to one for Xmas a few years ago. Laughed so much my stomach muscles were sore...
 
2012-12-06 10:19:20 AM

DROxINxTHExWIND: mekki: McManus_brothers: But, but, they're Europeans! And we know they're never racist! So it's cool!

The funny thing is, I've heard from many Europeans that they are offended by this. Not in the usual way you would think so. That is, Black Pete being a racist caricature. But that the ones who are complaining about Black Pete the most are Americans. And how dare Americans be fascist bullies and think what they find offensive should be standard to what everyone finds offensive. That in their non-American culture, they doesn't have a history of blackface or at least blackface that is found offensive by the public, so therefore they should be able to do it and NO ONE should complain.

That sounds like something you just made up.


/ijs


Yeah, it sounds too absurd to be real but...it's not. Nope. Not at all.
 
2012-12-06 10:19:25 AM

Witchydiva: T.M.S.: Witchydiva: T.M.S.: Yesterday was fun in Amsterdam and I can't think of anyone who actually lives here that gives a shiat about this "racism".

Tourists are more pissed off they can't buy weed.

Right. Shall I introduce you to my Surinaamse friends? I can even introduce you to a few white Dutch who think this is inappropriate.

Sure. I'm happy to hear all about it. Seriously, I would love to hear what they have to say.

EIP.

If you are on Facebook, I'd direct you to Zwarte Piet is Racisme for some connections.


Thank you but I don't speak Dutch. I do promise to keep an eye and ear out from this point on. But I still have never met anyone who has an issue with this. Perhaps I will now.
 
2012-12-06 10:20:11 AM

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: You might want to read up on that "different history" of the Dutch and Belgians, especially the part about them being the most brutal and exploitative European colonial powers. They made the English and French look like saints.


This is true. The british came to rule, the spanish to convert, and the dutch to epxloit.
 
2012-12-06 10:23:53 AM
Zwarte Piet is not racist, he is awesome
 
2012-12-06 10:24:52 AM

easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics


Thank you for proving my point to DROxINxTHExWIND
 
2012-12-06 10:31:25 AM

Brass_Robo: Does it really count as racism if there is no malice behind it?


The way I heard the tale told to me - by the Dutch mother of an ex-girlfriend of mine - Svarte Pete (phonetic, I know it's spelled wrong) followed behind Santa Claus, but he wasn't carrying gifts. Santa would give the good boys and girls gifts on the stoop of their houses. Any child who had not been a good boy or girl that year, Svarte Pete would kidnap them and take them away to be sold into slavery and never come home again.

As an image of revenge for the crimes of the Moors when they were in charge, having them be the servants instead of the rulers? I can understand that.
As a tool to illustrate consequences of not behaving well to young kids, especially given the fairy-tale Santa Claus context? It's harsh, but old fairy tales commonly were.
Having a black man follow a white guy around and do his dirty work for him while the white guy gets to play the hero? And doing it in blackface and an afro wig? And even if you don't buy into the "evil Pete" angle and you follow the happy helper role instead - white people in blackface acting the fool/playing the minstrel? Yeah, none of that's gonna fly.

Whether that's intended or not doesn't matter. There's too much history of racism in colonial practices and the Dutch slave trade to ignore the visuals. With that and the relatively young history of this tradition, the racist elements and imagery cannot be plausibly denied. It's time to let it go.
 
2012-12-06 10:31:56 AM
There are places in the world that don't have the historical and cultural context to foster a racist interpretation of images like these. But the Netherlands and Belgium aren't among them: this character actually originated as Santa's slave.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:12 AM

PandaPorn: Witchydiva: Save your breath, man. I lived in the South for over a decade, and NEVER experienced the overt racism I have while living here this year. Nothing quite like bumping into someone having a bad day at the train station, who calls you a dirty c*nt and foreign whore and yells at you to go back home to your country - and to take the Moroccans and Turks with you. Charming, really. Nearly as charming as their habit of swearing with diseases here (because let me tell you how much fun it is to nearly get hit by a driver when I had the right of way on my bike, and be told to get cancer - just days after finding out that my father does, in fact, have cancer).

That kind of racism is not at all indicative to the majority of the dutch, but there is a large group who does think that way. The swearing with diseases is done by most though, so you might want to grow a thicker skin (calling someone an asshole doesn't make him an anal orifice either).


Eh. The disease thing I find to be immature. That one particularly stung, simply because of the timing. I just consider it another symptom of the complete lack of consideration for others that seems to be so prevalent in general Dutch culture, and move on with my life.

Regarding the large racist minority - I get that. We have racists in the US, too. I get that, as well. What has amazed me is that every time I've found myself on the receiving end of it, not one person has ever spoken up to put the bigot in their rightful place. The guy that yelled at me - I honestly thought that he was going to hit me. He kept up his rantings right up to the train employees, and then vented to them - their reaction? To smile nervously at him, and tell me to go on home and not worry about this man anymore. He even directly threatened me in front of them, and they just told him to walk away. Amazing.

Also, nothing like walking past a group of young teenage boys (12-14 years old or so), and having one put his hands to his temple, pull his eyes back, and say "HERRO!" as I passed by, in a horrible caricature of a bad Japanese accent in English. And then having all the other boys in the group laugh and do the same. No way they knew I was American, and I'm obviously not Japanese. Yeah, kids will be kids - and don't get me started on the complete lack of manners Dutch children display in public and private. Holy crap. I'd have been beaten within an inch of my life if I pulled some of the stunts these kids do on a regular basis.

I'm lucky in that overall, my experience here has been positive. I've met some amazing people, many of whom I am sure to remain in contact with after I eventually leave this country. There just seem to be a lot of jerks here, and racism is more widely accepted than I'd expected.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:53 AM
So let me get this straight. If I, a white person, were to become incredibly famous to the point that people a thousand years later are throwing parades in my honor, it would be racist for them to depict my assistant if he happened to be black? And now is it not more racist (or at least insensitive) to not acknowledge that Peter was black? Should Peter be depicted as white? Asian? Tell me how Peter should be depicted if not as black.

Now, to have a white dude in blackface? Offensive as all fark. But still not racist, because you're attempting to accurately depict a scene of a white dude and a black dude. Much better of course simply to *find* a black dude to play Peter.
 
Biv
2012-12-06 10:34:17 AM
Anyone offended by this is a retard of epic proportions.

Grow up.
 
2012-12-06 10:35:11 AM

mekki: easypray: You guys are viewing this through the lense of American culture and history. Stop and think about why you think black face is offensive and racist to begin with ...because is America it was used ot caricature people who were being enslaved and subjugated.

So from that point of view it's racist

But...and this might surprise my America friends ...the rest of the world has different history than you. During the 13th century much of Europe was ruled by Moors, they were not slaves, they were the ruling class. This would change how a caricature is viewed. As a society they have different norms and taboos that Americans have...even about the same topics

Thank you for proving my point to DROxINxTHExWIND


Unfortunately, a second dose of anecdotal evidence really didn't sway me much. Neither of you apparently read the article. Pete was not a Moor from the ruling class. He was a black servant who elevated Santa's status.
 
2012-12-06 10:35:53 AM
also:
www.explosm.net

/oblig
 
2012-12-06 10:35:57 AM

mhd: Prank Call of Cthulhu: It's still OK to portray Krampus, though.

Who could possibly object?

[i.imgur.com image 454x700]


Is that the patron saint of the Red Light District or something? Well, as long as the kid isn't black.
 
2012-12-06 10:37:13 AM
American-Hungarian living in Amsterdam here, and yep it's racist. For the Dutch who don't believe it and claim Zwarte Piet is just dirty cause he came down the chimney, why the fark does he need curly hair, red lips, and gold hoop earrings then?

Frankly, I've yet to meet a Dutch person who had a good argument about why it wasn't racist that wasn't caught up in childhood emotions.

Another bit of food for thought, if this isn't racist then no one should have a problem with them creating an assistant called "Hanukkah Harry" who has a big nose cause he banged it coming down the chimney, right? Except I don't think anyone would think that...
 
2012-12-06 10:41:06 AM
I was in Amsterdam in December of 97 wandering around aimlessly with a nice smile on my face when I happened upon this huge parade where a large amount participants and viewers alike were wearing black face and dancing about.


I wasn't sure which reality I was in at that moment.
 
2012-12-06 10:41:19 AM

Biv: Anyone offended by this is a retard of epic proportions.

Grow up.


I bet you're the guy who went to his Halloween party in blackface and then got all pissy when people told you to leave.
 
2012-12-06 10:41:58 AM

Thallone1: So let me get this straight. If I, a white person, were to become incredibly famous to the point that people a thousand years later are throwing parades in my honor, it would be racist for them to depict my assistant if he happened to be black? And now is it not more racist (or at least insensitive) to not acknowledge that Peter was black? Should Peter be depicted as white? Asian? Tell me how Peter should be depicted if not as black.

Now, to have a white dude in blackface? Offensive as all fark. But still not racist, because you're attempting to accurately depict a scene of a white dude and a black dude. Much better of course simply to *find* a black dude to play Peter.


The tradition is 150 years old. Not thousands of years old.
 
2012-12-06 10:44:13 AM
Yes it's offensive, but this is coming from one of the last countries to ever outlaw slavery, whose genocide of an entire continent of people have been sugarcoated and made a federal holiday for gluttons to gorge themselves.

Pot, kettle, etc...
 
2012-12-06 10:45:13 AM
I'd like to know where the "Racism Equator" is located in the Atlantic Ocean. How close to America did the Dutch settlers have to get before they started hating black people?
 
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