The UN Wants to Ban Santa!

Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan files a report on the latest controversy over Black Pete to engulf The Netherlands, this one instigated by the United Nations.

The UN wants to ban Santa!
by H. Numan

Yes, the United Nations really wants to ban Santa. Not the American one living on the North Pole, mind you. But the original Santa from Holland. You may not know that the Dutch celebrate a very different Santa: Saint Nicolas, or in Dutch Sinterklaas.

In a nutshell, below is the Dutch version. Somewhere in the 18-19th century, the festival crossed the North Sea to England, where it became Santa Claus, and later on to America as the Santa you know so well.

This festival predates the US Santa by many centuries. The Dutch celebrated Sinterklaas from medieval times onwards. Not on 25 December, but on the evening of 5 December, which precedes the saint’s birthday on 6 December. The Dutch festival is primarily a children’s festival, celebrated within the family. Often Saint Nicolas pays the family a visit praising the good children and admonishing the bad ones.

The arrival of Saint Nicolas is broadcasted on national television, with huge crowds greeting him. The Dutch Santa is a smart guy: he doesn’t live at the North pole, but in a palace in Spain. He is centuries old, and doesn’t have a sleigh with reindeer. He rides on a white horse over the rooftops, with his faithful servant Black Pete walking next to him carrying a big bag with goodies to be dropped down the chimney.

Children place their shoe in front of the fireplace (nowadays the central heating system), with a carrot for the horse and a bowl of water. The next day they often find small gifts or candy in it, with the carrot and water gone.

Traditionally Santa arrives on a steamboat from Spain on the second Saturday of November. How he gets back nobody knows… His arrival is greeted with cheers of joy, but nobody has ever seen him leave.

Right after the war, the authorities asked for support from Allied troops in Holland to make the festival possible once more. Remember: the occupied parts of the Netherlands had suffered tremendously under German occupation, including mass starvation. The Allied troops of course helped, but they found one Black Pete not enough. They wanted lots of Black Petes. This was a great success, and from 1945 onwards Santa has lots and lots of Black Petes helping him out and clowning around.

Before the war, Black Pete (only one) carried a bundle of twigs to beat naughty children, and carried the really bad ones in his bag — now empty of gifts — back to Spain. Where they were to toil in the marzipan groves for a year as punishment. Nowadays Black Pete is an amiable person, no longer a bogeyman. He still carries that bundle of twigs, though.

And now comes the racist problem: the Dutch Santa doesn’t have elves to do the work. He has Moorish servants to do that, named Black Pete (Zwarte Piet). Before World War Two the Saint only had one servant. It never was a slave, always a servant or companion or just a friend helping the old man out.

You already guessed it: this is not politically correct. Black Pete is a white person with a blackened face and bright red lips, like a black minstrel. Left-wing activist have been busy the last couple of years trying to enforce their political views on society, often by bullying and other means. Most Dutch get really tired of this, especially for this beloved festival. A few years back left-wing activists tried to disturb the arrival of Saint Nicolas, and had to be protected by the police against the furious crowd.

Very often some (not a lot) people from Suriname also join the protests. They want compensation for slavery, which was abolished only recently, in 1863. That’s a mere 150 years ago. Good reason to claim compensation. No they don’t want money, they want … well, it’s just a matter of principle really, …. Not money, but … no idea, to be honest. Just pay; cough up some dough. And make that a lot of dough, thank you very much.

This year the politically correct went one step further. They went to the United Nations and accused The Netherlands of being racist. The UN responded as you might expect: they immediately set up a commission to investigate this virulent abuse of humanity. They sent a certain Ms. or Comrade Verene Shepherd (from Jamaica) to chair this commission. Comrade Shepherd immediately made a statement dressed like a parodial black women on Mardi Grass that she will unbiased investigate this sordid affair. However, she had already concluded that this serious racial abuse must be banished immediately. The silly idea of having two Santas! One is enough! She urged the Dutch government to banish it immediately.

(Note: the Dutch only very recently started to celebrate Santa on Christmas. This was promoted by commerce and has not really caught on as yet. Dutch children certainly do not believe in Santa on Christmas.)

As politically correctness is the order of the day, nobody finds this statement rather questionable. It’s like the president of the US dressing up as Uncle Tom with a banjo on his back saying: “Y’all listen up: Trayvon Martin could have been mah boy. But don’t worry, honkies. I’ll investigate this fair and square.”

Dutch language news sources:

A few years ago politically correct sentiment tried multicolored Petes. Green, yellow, orange, red — any color but black. The cover story was that the steamboat had sailed through the rainbow, thus coloring all Black Petes. This was widely rejected nationwide. There was so much outcry over it that the Black Petes were recolored black the very next day.

The sentiment that Santa is racist really only lives in a tiny minority, found mostly in Amsterdam. (Usually on the dole of state benefits in squatted apartments.) I really feel sad that people go so far in indoctrinating a nation in political correctness.

You might be interested to hear that a similar Black Minstrel has been placed on the UN cultural heritage list. This is an Iranian Black Pete. Nope, this has nothing to do with double standards or ‘we white people really hate white people’.

25 thoughts on “The UN Wants to Ban Santa!

  1. I have been told my Mass is “racist” because my services do not include non Christians. I was “informed” if I wanted any form of funding, I had to open up my services to other “communities” to be “inclusive”. I had to offer the Sacraments of the Eucharist to all in sundry so that they would benefit Moslems, pagans, and other denominations. I told the Kommissars that I could not give others “communion” without baptism or conversion.

    “This will offend minorities!” I was chastised.

    So what was the point of being Catholic then? Christainity is open to all but they must accept Christ first…..I said….

    “that is elitist and racist!”

    Liberals are nuts! Section 3 “nutjobs”……

    You can’t win with these loonies…

    • Human beings should be allowed to belong to organizations that they create, be it religious, social, athletic, political, whatever. Each organization is entitled to abide by their own set of rules and regulations in order to be members. To call these organizations biased,bigoted or prejudiced is uninformed and unbelievably naive. As long as these organizations do not preach or practice hate and violence they should be allowed to exist in our all- encompassing world.

    • I wonder why the politically correct insist on confusing race with religion? There are Christians in every race, just like there are Muslims or Buddhists. And it is really a natural right of every religious confession to decide whom they allow to participate in their sacred rituals. Mormons and Zoroastrians, for example, do not allow people of other faith even to enter their temples. If the PC crowd is so intent on inclusiveness, let them first try it on Mormons. Or Muslims, for that matter.

  2. “You might be interested to hear that a similar Black Minstrel has been placed on the UN cultural heritage list. This is an Iranian Black Pete. Nope, this has nothing to do with double standards or ‘we white people really hate white people’.”

    Yes, Hajji Firouz.

  3. Many years ago I was on a city guided tour in Copenhagen, Denmark. The guide pointed out to us that the nearest church to the harbour was St Nicholas. He said we would find this all over Europe. The focus on imports and exports meant St Nicholas came to be the saint associated with gifts. Whatever the legends, on my travels since, I would say the Danish guide was right about the nearest church to a port.

  4. I always considered the fact that, in popular belief, Santa Claus is accompanied by a negro, is an example of inclusion rather than discrimination, comparable to the Magus Bathasar who, in medieval and Renaissance paintings of the “Adoration of the magi” is often shown as a black man. I wonder how Long it will take until the UN sees there a case of discrimination too.

    • Should any black faces be included in any adverts for Christmas in any way?

      This way Black Peter is cut out utterly from Christmas.

      • I would actually say that cutting out black pete would be racist.
        To exclude someone only because he’s black/painted black would be racist.. Political correctness.. I feel like puking. Seriously, why is it that some white people really hate other white people?? No matter what we do, we’re racist pigs. The whole “white guilt” thing is starting to piss me off!

  5. How do the Dutch spell Black Peter?

    My Dutch is rusty.

    It’s not Negger Piet is it? Other traditions of speech also jumped the Channel. Luis Suarez of Liverpool FC fame said the something like this to a Manchester United player something like “Negrito” and he was banned.

    • “The Cannibal of Ajax” was indeed banned. He also refused to shake the hand of Patrice Evra of MUFC at a subsequent match between the two clubs, thereby exacerbating the situation & making himself and his employer, Liverpool FC, look even worse. Liverpool’s star forward is also a serial biter, having tried to take a chunk out of both Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) and Otman Bakkal (PSV Eindhoven).

    • The right name is “Zwarte Piet” , which means “Black Pete” (Piet sounds exactly the same as the English Pete; and guess what: it is the abbreviation of Peter – in English: Peter). This goes back to centuries ago – 5, 6 or more? In those days it was hardly known that black coloured people existed and the colour comes from the fact the boy had to go down the chimneys to deliver the presents.

      This may cause philosphical problems: when I was a child, we lived in an flat (without chimneys) so how were the presents actually delivered? Because on the 6th in the morning the presents were there! I do not remember the explanation my father gave, but I am sure it was satisfactory: it is a gift God has given to all fathers with small children (note: women are not up to that task, not even my daughter).

      It is a tradition that goes very deep and wll not be destroyed by “Poco” ‘s (like in poco loco).


  6. In her letter to the Dutch prime minister, Verene Shepherd asked this question:

    “3. Please indicate to which extent your Government has involved the Dutch
    society, including African people and people of African descent, in the discussions
    regarding the choice of “Santa Claus and Black Pete” as expression of cultural
    significance in the country.”

    The question should’ve been the other way around: “including Causasian people”, because there’s never been much of a discussion in the years prior to this, except for a group of whiners that’s been protesting against Sinterklaas for several years.

  7. Why do I get a feeling that in 100 years the Dutch will be celebrating a Dutch And Moors day of their very own?

    Lovely swirling Dutch maidens celebrating the end of the occupation, Dutch men dressed in national costume enjoying the freedom and assertion of their. Independence.

  8. The UN once again demonstrates that it has been taken over by irrelevants. It has way outlived its usefulness and what it once stood for. It is dominated by countries with hidden agenda’s, and bizarre ideologies, who now want to foist their sickness on the rest of the world. It is high time the western world stopped financing this cesspit.

  9. Did the Spanish, in the days of the Hapsburg Empire, kidnap Dutch children and use Moorish troops to facilitate the kidnapping? This tradition is quite clearly a folk memory of some traumas. Any history buffs know how the Spanish kept the Dutch suppressed?

  10. The whole “zwarte piet” discussion now goes abroad! We got some looney lefties in Amsterdam who hate everything that is white. They found a great target in this so called racist and colonial tradition.

    And we all know. When a lefty says it is racist? It must be racist. 🙂 So they could not win this ongoing “discussion” in the Netherlands and now they seek help from their friends at the UN.

    In reality. The Dutch people have this great tradition of Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten. Sinterklaas being an old wise man who comes on a boat from Spain. His ship is loaded with gifts. The Zwarte Pieten are his helpers. They distribute the presents through the chimney’s. All the kids in the Netherland love this national event. As a kid? I never saw Zwarte Piet as a slave or whatever negative stereotype of another human being. I think most kids look at it that way.

    On december 5th all the kids- black and white- get their present(s).
    I have to say. Sinterklaas is a nasty capitalist! The presents for the kids are
    not all equal 🙂

    To end it all. Here is Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas coming to Surinam. A former Dutch colony:

  11. Pingback: Love is Unislamic! — Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami

  12. I for one had never heard of Sinterklaas or Zwarte Piet until I met a now good friend from the Netherlands, I am in Australia and I can tell you I am shocked by the way these so called people have treated a great tradition, if these people don’t like it the move to another country were they can be happy and leave others in peace, all so when the UN can step in and stop (1) wars, (2 ) dictators and those who suppress the freedoms of their people then maybe just maybe they can talk about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet until such times they can just butt out .

    As far as Zwarte Piet is concerned he is his helper and friend and it teaches the young ones that no mater what the color of some ones skin it is what is inside that counts.
    It reminds me of one of the Robbin Hood movies were Robbin is helped to escape a prison by a Black Moor and he asks to go with him to England in which he dose, while there in Robbin’s camp a child asks what happened to him as he was different to all the white Anglo Saxons his reply was that Allah in his great wisdom had painted different people of the world different colors so that the world would not be a dull place just like all the animals and plants. Time for these rejects to wake up and realise the fact that no one makes fun of Zwarte Piet in any nasty way but them, they are the ones who are racist in their attitude and should have a good long look at them selves.

  13. I first became aware of Sinter Klaas and Black Piet while researching a book I was writing on Papiamentu, the creole language of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. If they ban this, it will be akin to when Brer Rabbit and the Uncle Remus stories were deemed racist in the US during the 60s. Those trickster stories had roots back to Africa with the tales of Ananzi, the trickster spider. Without even knowing the origin of the stories, we removed an important part of black American folklore that was related to slaves tricking their white slave owners.

    It seems to me certain aspects like blackface actors can be eliminated without suppressing the entire story.

  14. There was an old German book in my late father’s library entitled “Der Struwwelpeter” about horrible things that happen to bad children. In one, a group of bad boys make fun of a “Mohrenkind”, whereupon St. Nicholas comes along and dunks the three German boys in a giant inkwell–let’s see who’s blacker than whom! If there ever was a dig against racism, that was it.

    As for St. Nick, a guy who missed being turned into living lion chow thanks to Constantine’s victory and then went on to beat up Arius at the Council of Nicaea can’t be all bad.

  15. Pingback: A Black Day for Black Pete? | Gates of Vienna

  16. Thanks for all your comments on this nice article so well written! I contacted UN and Shepherd, explaining how to make a context analysis and making a neutral and objective analysis of this cultural phenomenon on different sides: historic, literature, songs and stories, the educational side of it (Piet was introduced by a schoolmaster, member of a society to elevate the people by education, it was also the time of the discovery of the child (not just a small grown up but its own development) so he wrote books especially for children (never mentioned in research up to now), and also the cultural side (outsiders look at this phenomenon in a different way, do not discover the underlying values, charity, good for children etc but translated it in: slavery, discrimination. So you might guess what will happen in a society, it is just trhowing a Paris apple to raise conflict instead of peace, is this the new role of United Nations to send a person Shepherd with a new sort of Paris apple, to raise conflict? At any rate: Shepherd has to make excuses in public, and also UN have to do so, responsible for their volunteers. Also: the Dutch have their own responsibility how to act and react and who to involve in the ‘discussion'(see UN statement on the website). So an extra excuse has to be made by UN also for this statement. We also are doing the research ourselves because we do not have the idea that Shepherd can do it neutral, with enough scientific knowledge to do so, see her remarks in public on Dutch television, arguing that Dutch are still slave drivers and discriminating black people. While it is so clear that Dutch are always ready to support many people in need abroad (of all colours, with millions of Euros, she also did not discover that. Because we learned from sinterklaas do do good and to avoid evil. That is why we do not like Shepherd in the Netherlands because of her black soul though we are fond of people with black skins, because we are used of the good person of Zwarte Piet or Black Pete who has a white soul.

Comments are closed.