Zakaria Zouhir and Kitimbwa Sabuni, The Afro-Swedish National Association in Stockholm.

”Reconsider this year’s Sinterklaas-party!”

2014-11-18 | Zakaria Zouhir , Kitimbwa Sabuni padlock

OPINION

On November 30th, the Netherlands Embassy in Stockholm will be hosting a Sinterklaas party. Sinterklaas will be arriving at Skeppsbron with his slave-servant ”Zwarte Piet”, dressed like a renaissance minstrel with ”blackface”, painted red lips and an afro wig, writes The Afro-Swedish National Association.

”Should you go ahead with parading Zwarte Piet characters in Stockholm this year we will of course make our sentiments heard”, Zakaria Zouhir and Kitimbwa Sabuni from the association write in an open letter addressed to the Dutch ambassador in Stockholm.

Zakaria Zouhir

Chair Person, The Afro-Swedish National Association in Stockholm

Kitimbwa Sabuni

Secretary general, The Afro-Swedish National Association


RELATERADE ARTIKLAR:

#bildskolan 12: Zwarte Piet

2014-11-24 Swarte Piet slopas i parad

Dear Mr Ambassador

It has come to our attention that the Netherlands Embassy in Stockholm will be hosting a Sinterklaas party on 30 November. Sinterklaas will be arriving at Skeppsbron with his slave-servant ”Zwarte Piet” who is dressed like a renaissance minstrel with ”blackface”, painted red lips and an afro wig. From what we have learned the character typically speak Dutch with a stupid accent, and acts childlike and mischievous when performing making him more akin to a child than an adult. This of course is part of European racist generalizations applied to black people that used to be widespread but can no longer be made explicitly.

You don’t have to have a degree in psychology or sociology to work out that the figure of Zwarte Piet ensure the continued internalisation of ideas of superiority of white people, and of inferiority and marginalisation of black people. Nor do you need it to understand the associate power of symbols like Zwarte Piet.

But instead of debating the racist nature of Zwarte Piet we would rather remind you of your former foreign minister, Frans Timmerman’s, words when interviewed by Swedish radio 28 November 2013. He stated that the Netherlands Embassies only parade Zwarte Piet characters in select countries of the world because of public opinion. For this reason you do not have Zwarte Piet characters in New York to name one example. This leads us to believe that you have misjudged Swedish public sentiment. Sweden has a large and vocal Afro-Swedish community and we are every bit as sensitive to racist affronts as African-Americans. Should you go ahead with parading Zwarte Piet characters in Stockholm this year we will of course make our sentiments heard.

We trust, Your Excellency, that we can attribute this to a misjudgement about Sweden on your part and we urge you to reconsider this year’s Sinterklaas-party in Stockholm so as not to offend the Afroswedish community and other Swedish people who take issues of racism seriously.

Yours sincerely

Zakaria Zouhir

Chair Person, The Afro-Swedish National Association in Stockholm

Kitimbwa Sabuni

Secretary general, The Afro-Swedish National Association

Verktyg


Skriv ut

Kommentarer

Du måste vara inloggad för att kunna lämna en kommentar.

annons: