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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 41
    More: Obvious, crowd watching, St. Nicholas, freedom of expression, toy stores, racists, Suriname  
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7187 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»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-12-06 09:49:44 AM
3 votes:
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 09:06:22 AM
3 votes:
Saint Nicholas was just ahead of his time. At a time when Africans were discriminated against in Europe, he hired a Moorish man as his executive assistant. He should be lauded as a pioneer in fighting racism.
2012-12-06 09:01:42 AM
3 votes:
Why is the costume racist again? Its "typical 17th century Moorish dress" which is presumably one of the ways a schwartzer would be found when this tradition originated. Its not like they're dressing him up like a slave or a jockey or a rap battler or some other hateful, offensive caricature, its just normal clothes from a long time ago. And why doesn't that make Santa Claus racist? See a hell of a lot of white dudes running around in red velvet robes, do we? hmmmmm?
2012-12-06 09:00:38 AM
3 votes:
Why do we insist on holding ancient practices to modern day standards?
2012-12-06 12:04:31 PM
2 votes:

Rincewind53: T.M.S.: I also don't know anyone offended by that word. But I do hang out with unusual characters.

Fair. Showbiz characters tend to be more permissive. But I guarantee if you drop some of your black acquaintances in the South and some redneck comes up and calls him the n word and tells him to get the hell out, he'd be offended.


Bigot.
2012-12-06 11:41:24 AM
2 votes:

DROxINxTHExWIND: No malice behind portraying black women as fat, uneducated, house-dress wearing, simpletons?


Do you also think that Hamlet portrays all white men as vacillating, tight-wearing, introspective vigilantes?
2012-12-06 11:32:02 AM
2 votes:

Let's
all be
victims!

\o/
|
/ \
Biv
2012-12-06 10:53:16 AM
2 votes:

Rincewind53: 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.


Nah, that's just hack.

Seriously, if someone putting on make up offends you, you might want to address your own insecurities.

The only reason something is offensive if because you CHOOSE to be offended by it. If we'd just start there we could actually focus on real issues.
Biv
2012-12-06 10:34:17 AM
2 votes:
Anyone offended by this is a retard of epic proportions.

Grow up.
2012-12-06 10:31:25 AM
2 votes:

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 09:58:11 AM
2 votes:

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 09:24:12 AM
2 votes:
Everything is racist, which means nothing is.

Seriously: at no time in history has any group gotten along with others. 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.

Let's just grow up, accept that, and move on.
2012-12-06 09:23:08 AM
2 votes:
Yes. Yes, this is racist.

I don't care how much happy memories you attach to it - just because a tradition is old and makes kids happy does NOT mean it isn't racist as all get-out. I do _not_ understand this place, or how they've sold the rest of the world the image that they are tolerant and welcoming. The fact that tolerance is not the same as acceptance is a lesson that I've learned quite well here (it is stunning to realize how differently my white friends here view the Dutch vs my asian and black friends - regardless of their nationality). I bet it has to be fun to be a fly on the wall at some of the embassies here around this time of year, when the fresh expats figure out that this is real, happening, and everywhere.

The images are EVERYWHERE. 80% of shop windows either have photos or dolls - even wrapped around oranges (which I discovered after I brought home a box of Mandarins), and parachuting into the snack area at the movie theater. I particularly love the burlap sacks they sell here, with the picture of a black person with big, fat, red lips (http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3034/3043735415_a594373cfd_z.jpg).

Want a mindfark? How about a black child in blackface (http://kaganof.com/kagablog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/0101.jpg)?

Better: a black friend of mine in Amsterdam sent her daughter to school in whiteface on this day when she was a kid, so she could be Sinterklaas instead of the clumsy, bumbling, stupid helper who hands out candy. 

Regarding the "but... it is TRADITION" bullsh*t" - so was slavery, so were women as chattel, so was Prima Nocta/ droit du seigneur, and a whole lot of other things that modern society finally saw as inappropriate relics from a bygone era.
2012-12-06 09:12:42 AM
2 votes:
To be fair to the Dutch, the historic Saint Nicholas really did have a lot of Moorish converts. Does it really count as racism if there is no malice behind it?
2012-12-06 09:12:17 AM
2 votes:

Friskya: Why do we insist on holding ancient practices to modern day standards?


This argument could also apply to human trafficking.
2012-12-06 08:57:23 AM
2 votes:
Santa's helpers are elves, ergo Black Pete is a drow.
2012-12-07 08:08:23 AM
1 votes:
Threads dead but I wanted to add I spent the day asking everyone I met about their feelings on the Santa issue. Every single individual said they don't give a shiat and whiners need to grow up. So there's that I guess.
2012-12-06 09:01:00 PM
1 votes:

mekki: Brass_Robo: To be fair to the Dutch, the historic Saint Nicholas really did have a lot of Moorish converts. Does it really count as racism if there is no malice behind it?

Yes, it is. Just like the Mammy character is racist even though there is traditionally no malice behind it.


this

farm3.static.flickr.com 

I grew up in "The Old South", where schools weren't completely integrated until the late 1970's and we had colored only drinking fountains and the like.
Pickaninny and Darkie , and to a lesser extent Blackamoor, art was born out of ignorance and not really spiteful. Nevertheless it is racist. Blackamoor art on the other hand I believe was more meant to be complimentary , though naive, depiction.
I think that these images and artifacts should be seen as just that, artifacts of a past time.
Meh, too deep for Fark, but yeah.
2012-12-06 12:58:46 PM
1 votes:

DROxINxTHExWIND: Happy Hours: DROxINxTHExWIND: mekki: Brass_Robo: To be fair to the Dutch, the historic Saint Nicholas really did have a lot of Moorish converts. Does it really count as racism if there is no malice behind it?

Yes, it is. Just like the Mammy character is racist even though there is traditionally no malice behind it.

No malice behind portraying black women as fat, uneducated, house-dress wearing, simpletons? Thats news.

[encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 208x242]

What is that, a stock photo of a nurse? Did she also mispronounce her wors and speak in boken English? Oh now I get it. There was sexism in the past, so Mammy isn't racist. *Smacks forehead* Makes sense.


Uh, no - not a nurse. Just a fat, uneducated, uniform, wearing, simpleton live-in maid.

encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com
2012-12-06 12:42:06 PM
1 votes:

Biv: Rincewind53: Biv:

You want to go after a real race problem? A real racist? Why don't you start with Al Sharpton? That ass has done more to destroy race relations in this country than thousands of KKK members ever could. If "the n word" is so offensive to you, maybe you should take a good hard look at the people who told you that you should be offended by it.

Holy shiat that is just so goddamn wrong and so incredibly ignorant of the history of race in this country that I cannot even begin to fathom where to start. So instead I will post this slightly off-topic but slightly on-topic cartoon:

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 400x529]

You really don't think Sharpton is a racist? Then you are a lost cause.


I have never meet Sharpton so it's impossible for me to know if he is a racist. But he is certainly a disgusting excuse for a human being and shameful opportunist willing to exploit sensitive racial issues for personal gain.

Actually, yeah. He is a racist. And a gigantic douchebag.
2012-12-06 12:31:34 PM
1 votes:
Everything is racist
2012-12-06 12:26:36 PM
1 votes:

Witchydiva: PandaPorn: I don't know what part of the country you live in, but I have lived all my life all over the country and have never encountered something even resembling what you describe. The disease thing I couldn't care less about as every culture has its own swear words, and I personally don't see swear words as immature. As for the children being badly raised is a matter of perception in my opinion. We tend to draw that criticism from the belgians as well, but that's usually because they are used to raise kids in a different, stricter way, not because of any fundamental differences in the end result.

And I also think it's ironic that you stereotype an entire culture (the dutch) while speaking out against discrimination. You have to admit it's a bit hypocritical.

I'm in Den Haag, work in Rotterdam. I frankly don't have time to write a post detailing every horrid experience, so I'll simply say that you are lucky to not have experienced it yourself. I hear that from a lot of people here, funny enough. Maybe I'm just having a shiatty, unique, racism-and-inconsideration-filled experience. I'm not being snarky, could be true.


The Dutch are well known assholes. This is not a racial thing. They are very fair and can be very kind, generous and loving people, but to a man, woman and child, they have shiat for manners. I look like Thor on a good hair day and they are just as rude to me as anyone else. They have an inborn irritation with migrants, because of Moroccans and Algerians, who are universally a horrible, criminal people and frankly abuse the Dutch social systems Dutch society and shiat all over the place(not metaphorically, I have seen Moroccans shiatting in public in A'dam) and engage in bad behavior, but its not just you.

Another thing to say is that racism doesn't have the same deep cultural wound it does in America, where it is our great original sin; the Europeans have been racially discrimating against each other for millenia, an African or an SEAsian is visibly more different but otherwise equally as prejudged as a German, Belgian, Spaniard, Englishman or whatever. They make chinky eyes at you- they make farting noises and sig heil at the Germans. So be of good cheer.
Biv
2012-12-06 12:11:03 PM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: Biv:

You want to go after a real race problem? A real racist? Why don't you start with Al Sharpton? That ass has done more to destroy race relations in this country than thousands of KKK members ever could. If "the n word" is so offensive to you, maybe you should take a good hard look at the people who told you that you should be offended by it.

Holy shiat that is just so goddamn wrong and so incredibly ignorant of the history of race in this country that I cannot even begin to fathom where to start. So instead I will post this slightly off-topic but slightly on-topic cartoon:

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 400x529]


You really don't think Sharpton is a racist? Then you are a lost cause.
2012-12-06 11:55:10 AM
1 votes:

orbister: DROxINxTHExWIND: No malice behind portraying black women as fat, uneducated, house-dress wearing, simpletons?

Do you also think that Hamlet portrays all white men as vacillating, tight-wearing, introspective vigilantes?


*Sigh*

When will people get over the whole, "if THAT'S offensive then THIS is offensive" stuff? Keep your eye on the ball. We're talking about Mammy. Oh, and no that is not what I think.
Biv
2012-12-06 11:39:33 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: Biv: Rincewind53: Biv: How is that even remotely the same thing?

You really enjoy being a victim, don't you?

Just making fun of your silly statement that the only reason something is offensive is because a person chooses to be offended. After all, the n word is just a word. You choose to be offended by it, right?

I was actually talking about the cross burning. As for "the n word" (farking childish), yes. It has no power over you unless you choose to be offended by it.

Aww, that's precious. Why don't you go preach that to your nearest black friend?


I have, and he agrees. What else you got?

It's a word. A combination of vowels and consonants. It has no more power than any other word. If it did, it wouldn't be flung around so casually in the black community.

The only difference between a black guy using it and a white guy using it is whether or not you choose to be offended by it when it's used.
2012-12-06 11:36:10 AM
1 votes:

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


What's racist about it? If it's not done in order to demean another group, I simply don't see the problem. Are drag artists sexist?
Biv
2012-12-06 11:24:52 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: Biv: Nah, that's just hack.

Seriously, if someone putting on make up offends you, you might want to address your own insecurities.

The only reason something is offensive if because you CHOOSE to be offended by it. If we'd just start there we could actually focus on real issues.

Oh, I get it! Like when the KKK burns crosses in a black man's lawn! It's not their fault I'm offended, it's my fault! Oh wow, now that I've addressed my inner insecurities, I can't imagine why I've ever been offended in my life! Thanks, internet stranger! Now when I see that white guy call a homeless guy a n*gger I know that truly, deep down inside, I'm okay with it!


How is that even remotely the same thing?

You really enjoy being a victim, don't you?
2012-12-06 11:01:03 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: Biv: Nah, that's just hack.

Seriously, if someone putting on make up offends you, you might want to address your own insecurities.

The only reason something is offensive if because you CHOOSE to be offended by it. If we'd just start there we could actually focus on real issues.

Oh, I get it! Like when the KKK burns crosses in a black man's lawn! It's not their fault I'm offended, it's my fault! Oh wow, now that I've addressed my inner insecurities, I can't imagine why I've ever been offended in my life! Thanks, internet stranger! Now when I see that white guy call a homeless guy a n*gger I know that truly, deep down inside, I'm okay with it!


That's not the same and you know it.
2012-12-06 10:33:53 AM
1 votes:
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.
2012-12-06 10:31:56 AM
1 votes:
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 10:11:28 AM
1 votes:

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 10:08:06 AM
1 votes:

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 09:56:40 AM
1 votes:

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 09:48:00 AM
1 votes:

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 09:43:56 AM
1 votes:
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 09:26:37 AM
1 votes:

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.


Very much this.

If you get offended by Zwarte Piet, it is because of your own country's racist history and your thin skin. People literally get violent over it! It has nothing to do with the fact that nationally celebrating a holiday by dressing up and acting as a racial stereotype is offensive.

And anyone who thinks the Dutch don't have a history of racism even longer and more brutal than America is ignorant or fooling themselves.
mhd
2012-12-06 09:15:23 AM
1 votes:

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


Who could possibly object?

i.imgur.com
2012-12-06 09:08:53 AM
1 votes:
"Six to Eight Black Men"

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

--
BMO
2012-12-06 09:07:19 AM
1 votes:

Friskya: Why do we insist on holding ancient practices to modern day standards?


Why do we insist on holding ancient practices IN modern day? Im not saying we should just forget it happened, but maybe as a society we should agree that many of the traditions we hold we are holding simply because theyre tradition and they should be done away with or updated for the times.
2012-12-06 08:59:25 AM
1 votes:
Yes. Black Peter is an incredibly racist tradition. Sorry Dutch people, but you're perpetuating a racist tradition. Get rid of it.
2012-12-06 05:41:03 AM
1 votes:
 
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