Happy Monday Folks!
We have some great news to share to start the week with:
This year, the InterNational Anti-Racism Group [INARG] contacted JAMIN, a Dutch candy company who have in the past used Zwarte Piet/Black Pete (the racist Dutch blackface character) in and on their products. INARG reached out to the sweets company earlier this year, to speak with them about getting rid of Zwarte Piet.
In conversation with a representative of JAMIN (who was open to engaging in discussion) the company informed INARG that Zwarte Piet will “no longer appear in JAMIN products” as of this year!!!
This is truly a landmark moment in the Dutch campaign against this character and its associated imagery. The news comes only a few weeks after it was announced that all primary schools in two major Dutch cities (Den Haag and Rotterdam) will phase out Zwarte Piet in their Sinterklaas celebrations, in the coming three years.
Furthermore, recent reports have suggested the increased use of “sooty Pieten” will be introduced from this year in Amsterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Maastrict (as well as official Intocht host city Meppel) in place of black-faced Pieten. This decision – which is by no means a perfect solution, but is a start towards something better we hope – is said to be based on the collaborative efforts of the Sinterklaas committees of the aforementioned cities, along with Nederland wordt beter (The Netherlands will be better) and Overlegorgaan Caribisch Nederland.