It always surprises me when people call others sensitive, when those who are being called sensitive are only expressing their feelings. I hear it more often now than ever. Frustrated people claiming that ‘you can’t say anything anymore’. No sir, you just cannot say racist and sexist things and get away with it anymore.
Remember what Kanye said about slavery? I actually had a conversation with someone who was trying to convince me that Kanye meant to say that the 400 of slavery he was talking about is the ‘victim role’ black people have taken on, years after slavery. First of all; what victim role? What does that even mean? I am guessing Kanye is an extrovert, a talker, he expresses himself by talking and rapping about everything on his mind, it seems. So you want to tell me that this ‘articulate’ man, is not saying exactly what he wants to say. But you have figured out what it is that he meant to say… interesting.
Now let us discuss this ‘victim role’ people claim black people have taken on. So you mean to tell me that black people not getting shot by the police in their backs? Not getting strangled to death while screaming that they cannot breathe? Getting shot while trying to get their registration papers from their glove department? So not getting killed without resisting arrest what so ever? While these certain police officers are claiming they shot these victims out of fear for their own life. In my very sarcastic voice let me say: that definitely sounds like people taking on a victim role.
To a certain degree I can understand that you might think that in the Netherlands, which is where we live, it’s not ‘that bad’ for black people. But Kanye is in the United States of America. So that’s the place where black people actually need to fear the police. There is a new video almost every day showcasing police brutality. Yet you want to tell me that these people are overreacting?
OK now let’s talk about the Netherlands. The country I was born, raised and am currently living in. I do not fear the police. I do not deal with the same things, that I would probably have to deal with if I was living in the US. Yet there is quite a large amount of hatred, discrimination and racism in this country as well. Sadly, as there is everywhere in the world especially against black people. One main racist thing in this country, is this very ‘important’ holiday here called Sinterklaas. A holiday I loved as a child. The story of the holiday resembles Santa Clause’s story. It’s an old white man that brings your gifts, on the night of the 4th of December. On his magical horse he hops from rooftop to rooftop to bring the good kids gifts. Yet instead of elves, this white man’s helper are called black Pete. They are white people with black face, black curly wigs, red lips and gold hoops, from Spain….. Again in my most sarcastic voice I say: ‘Yup that somehow makes sense’…. As a young child I did not think of it too much of it. Until one day I got called black Pete, by a kid in class. My aunt had bought me small (real) gold hoops and my hair was cut short. When my classmate called me this I felt my heart drop. I told myself I would never wear those earrings ever again. But even after this moment I did not think black Pete was racist, I just hated the way they looked. They would always make me feel uncomfortable.
Ironically, a couple of years ago it was actually a group of white girls that really opened my eyes on how racist black Pete is. I was doing some charity work with some students. And we were talking about that holiday (honestly they were talking and as the true introvert I am I was actively observing). So they were reciting some of the lyrics of the holiday songs. And it was the line ‘AL ben ik zwart als roet, ik meer het TOCH goed’ was the line that everyone agreed on was the worst. In English this translates to ‘EVEN THOUGH I am as black as soot, I still mean well’. Because obviously someone would never mean well when they are black…(for the not so smart people that was sacarcastic). I felt that in my core. Everything clicked and made sense. So now when I meet someone who is not convinced that it is racist, I recite that line and let them decide for themselves.
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