Vancouver bans racist Black Peter

26th November 2011, Comments 5 comments

Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa, will not be allowed to bring along any of his servants known as Black Peter to the Canadian city of Vancouver this year due to complaints of racism.

Members of Vancouver’s Afro-Canadian community filed a complaint arguing that the Black Peter figure is an outdated and offensive racist stereotype. As a result, the organisers have decided that Sinterklaas will make his entry next Saturday without his usual band of black servants.

The yearly event in Vancouver draws between 400 and 600 Canadians of Dutch descent.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

5 Comments To This Article

  • david samuel posted:

    on 16th December 2011, 17:52:22 - Reply

    Boo's post attacking afro-Canadians as little babies precisely exemplififes the disrespect that really is a problem with the attitude of some Dutch towards people of color. The rationale that these peters with their frizzey hair and red lips (you get them by coming down a chimney?) are anything but caricatures of black people is the infantile response. IF there were no racial problems in Holland and no people like Gert Wilders then the peters might be ok, but given as Ana says, the Dutch climate, no way. Let us be more precise then, it makes many Canadians more than uncomfortable, angry at the thick-skinned nature of some the peter advocates and embarrased for the Dutch.
  • HonestInjun posted:

    on 29th November 2011, 15:34:44 - Reply

    Whether or not its intended as racist, the negroid hair (wig) and lipstick combined with the blackface give the impression of an african person.
    Remember: The only real issue of any importance is that it's offensive to some.
    My suggestion, in the name of progress, is to make the soot look more like soot, by dabbing it on, and drop the black-face aspect.
    Try to imagine it from the perspective of a person of african descent whose ancestors lived through 400 years of colonization and slavery, which were partially engineered by the Dutch.
  • Boooo posted:

    on 29th November 2011, 02:44:04 - Reply

    Ridiculous!!!!! If Afro-Canadians, would only understand the real story before complaining like little babies! First off they are not servants. They are helpers just like elves are. So will Santa now not have elves because they are santa's "servants"?????
    Second, the reason they are Painted black (not really black skinned) is because of the soot from the chimneys, since they are the ones delivering the presents. Just common sense people
  • Joe posted:

    on 27th November 2011, 13:24:44 - Reply

    Well.....we certainly don't want to make the Canadians uncomfortable.......
  • Ana posted:

    on 27th November 2011, 11:20:01 - Reply

    I am not Canadian - but I agree zwarte piet makes me uncomfortable on a few different levels. In the dutch climate of increasing racial intolerance - maybe this needs a rethink.