Parliament says term "allochtoon" is indispensable

26th February 2008, Comments 5 comments

Parliament has dismissed Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin's urging that the terms "allochtoon" and "autochtoon" no longer be used.

26 February 2008

THE HAGUE – Parliament has dismissed Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin's urging that the terms "allochtoon" and "autochtoon" no longer be used, the Volkskrant reports. The words refer in Dutch to people of "foreign extraction" as opposed to those of "native Dutch origin," respectively. The Christian Democrat CDA and Labour PvdA factions say the terms are too assimilated in the culture. Opposition parties Liberal VVD and Freedom Party PVV are annoyed at the "politically correct nonsense" from the CDA minister.

Hirsch Ballin thinks that the classifications of "allochtoon" and "autochtoon" create "false oppositions" between population groups. "I don't like classifications that divide our country in two parts," he said on the radio programme De Ochtenden on Monday. "If we continue to speak as if our country is divided, we only make things worse." The minister did not suggest any alternatives.

The CDA faction agrees that Dutch nationals with an immigrant background should not be stigmatised. "But if there are problems with minorities you mustn't be afraid to name them. I find this a theoretical discussion," said MP Van Toorenburg.

Dijsselbloem (PvdA) talks of a "sympathetic plea" that runs aground on obstinate reality. "We proposed this in 2005 already. The government at the time dismissed it. It would be nice to stop talking about 'allochtonen' and 'autochtonen,' but those terms are so assimilated in society. You cannot change that with language police or a new law."

VVD MP Kamp thinks that Hirsch Ballin "is whining" about word choice while he should be solving the problems that many "allochtonen" face, like crime and the drop out rate in education.

PVV MPs Wilders and Fritsma said that the allochtoon-autochtoon distinction is relevant because "many problems, no matter which way you turn or twist them, are largely related to immigration and integration."

[Copyright Expatica News 2008]

5 Comments To This Article

  • Tanja Schuurman Robinson posted:

    on 28th February 2008, 10:58:25 - Reply

    By definition, the term 'allochtoon' means that one or both parents are not a Dutch native. If you use this strictly, then the Queen herself, and all of the royal house would be allochtoon. When the term is used these days, it seems to only reference non-caucasians, which isn't fair. Either the term is used correctly, or it should be revisited for its use at all.
  • DP posted:

    on 27th February 2008, 22:58:42 - Reply

    It has always made me shiver to think that thousands of my countrymen came over here to rid this country of Nazis who divided the nation into them and us. Get a reality check Nederlands !!
  • Troy posted:

    on 27th February 2008, 08:38:49 - Reply

    So, when do we have to drop the 'allochtoon' and start using 'autochtoon' - please let me know so I can book my flight out the day before. Just becase I live here and am about to marry 'one' doesn't mean I want to 'be' one!
  • M.elfilali posted:

    on 26th February 2008, 17:40:38 - Reply

    Very good point Miro,some people have to create some sorte of unrest amongst us then they can relax and rest while the fight is on and on........
  • Miro posted:

    on 26th February 2008, 11:42:19 - Reply

    So, racism is too assimilated in the culture to be tackled? This guy is absolutely right. Why is it the right wing in all countries works on the basis of creating us vs them paradigms instead of building on our common interests. Could it be that it is in their interest to keep us all fighting among ourselves while they rob us blind?