Black Pete or Blackface?

Every year the fuss over Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”) gets worse in The Netherlands, and every year they come closer to complete abolition. Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan sends this report on the latest in the struggle against WAYCIST Christmas customs in The Netherlands.

Black Pete or Blackface?

by H. Numan

It’s that time of the year, and regrettably it has become necessary to explain it every year all over again. Because multicultural ‘the whities have done it!’ has also hit The Netherlands. Hard. Very hard. We’re talking about Sinterklaas. The Dutch version of Santa Claus. More correct: the original, on which your Santa is based.

Let’s look at the history first. From ancient times until today midwinter has been celebrated everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Long before Christianity appeared on the scene. The winter solstice was a time for celebrations. The Roman celebrated it as the Saturnalia. The Germanic tribes as Yule. Christianity merged those festivals into Christmas, but the wild celebrations remained. Raucous, and focused on eating, drinking and fun. Not much on praying. So the church changed it a bit, and in what much later became The Netherlands the giving of little presents was moved forward to the 5th of December, to celebrate a catholic saint, Nicolas, bishop of Myra. During the Reformation the Calvinists tried to eradicate it, but no luck. The Dutch love Sinterklaas too much. Sinterklaas remained and slowly evolved into what it has become today.

Somewhere along the road Saint Nicholas got a helper, Black Pete. Not a slave; Black Pete never was a slave. More likely, possibly, a Moorish slave freed by Saint Nicholas. Many stories exist about Saint Nicholas liberating mistreated children and slaves. Moors — Mohammedans — absolutely love slaves. Even today. Black Pete must relate to the Reconquista, because the only place in Europe with lots of black slaves and Moors was the Iberian peninsular.

Saint Nicholas was a bit of a stern figure, a proper Roman Catholic bishop, in full episcopal regalia, and always with a crook. A figure of authority, tall and rather slim (definitely no fat belly) and as dignified as one expects of a bishop. Black Pete changed a lot over the centuries. At first he was a black servant, more or less Santa’s strong man. The good kids got goodies, the bad kids got coal or a whipping. For that purpose Black Pete carries a bundle of twigs. And the really bad kids were taken away to Spain in the now empty bag of presents. Where they would toil for punishment in the marzipan groves or were forced to make toys for next year’s present. (That’s where your elves probably come from…)

Spain??? You ask. What’s that got to do with Santa? In Holland, a lot. Your Santa lives at the North Pole. Silly him. Ours lives in a palace in Spain. That probably dates back to the Dutch war of independence. Every year the saint travels to The Netherlands, and traditionally he arrives in the second week of November on a steamer. Steamboats are, of course, a later addition to the story. He is always greeted by large crowds, and ceremonially welcomed by the mayor of the city. Saint Nicholas makes his entry into town on a gray horse by the name of Amerigo. Why Amerigo? No idea. Santa doesn’t come alone; he is accompanied by lots of Black Petes on the boat and they come into town with him. They perform acrobatic tricks, clown around and hand out candy.

All the kids are really getting excited now. They can put out their shoe! In the American tradition children hang their stocking on the chimney, but only on Christmas Eve. In the Dutch tradition the children can place their shoe in front of the fireplace every evening, and hopefully they find a small present or some candy the next morning. They usually place a carrot for Amerigo inside it, or some water for him to drink. No cookies or milk. Every evening until the 5th of December Saint Nicholas mounts Amerigo and together with his Black Petes (on foot, carrying the bags with goodies) they ride over the roofs, dropping presents down chimneys.

On the 5th of December in the evening we celebrate Saint Nicholas’ birthday (which actually is on the 6th). The children are wildly excited, and eagerly await a loud knock on the door. Most often a neighbor will do that, and drop a large bag (provided by the parents) on the doormat with presents. Parents are suitably surprised: ‘Who can that be, so late in the evening?’ Daddy opens the door, and calls out, ‘Oh, look, kids, Sinterklaas was here! I see Black Pete waving. Sorry, you just missed him.’ Or Sinterklaas is invited into the house, school, company, office, and there warmly welcomed, and the children must make their appearance one by one. Sinterklaas has a big book ‘het grote boek’ with the deeds of all children in it. Naughty and nice. He talks with them for a bit, and has Black Pete give them presents.

As a funny side note, a friend of mine was once asked to play Sinterklaas. He dressed up, and got ‘het Grote Boek van Sinterklaas’, a beautifully wrapped book. In it, he was told, was the list with the names of the kids. Sinterklaas makes his entry, and asks the first child to come to Sinterklaas. Well, little Johnny, let’s see what Black Pete wrote down about you… He opens the book and nearly burst out in laughter. It wasn’t really a book. It was a picture album. With saucy naked women in highly erotic postures! He kept, with difficulty, his composure, and was very grateful for the long beard he had to wear.

When the children grow older, the festival changes. They no longer believe in Sinterklaas but the fun remains. Everybody makes presents for each other, wraps them up as originally as they can. It’s very popular to wrap it up in pork roast made with cotton wool, soaked in treacle and lots of string. Terribly messy and difficult to open! The present is presented with a poem that has to be read aloud. The poem is part of the rhetorician tradition of The Netherlands. That tradition dates back to medieval times. It must rhyme, usually at the end. Sometimes at the beginning.

Sinterklaas is a family festival. You celebrate it with all members of the family; age is not an issue. Rarely with friends; it’s really a family festival.

Now to Black Pete. The origins are unknown. He is always dressed in an early Renaissance outfit, which dates back to around 1572, the time of the 80 Years’ War. Until WW2 he was much more a bogeyman, and not so much a nice guy. Though he did carry the goodies and handed out some, so he wasn’t all that bad.

During WW2 we got another attack on Sinterklaas. The Germans didn’t like it. Sinterklaas, no problem. But Black Pete. They didn’t like blacks. So, can you Dutch forget about this Black Pete? No, we cannot. Sorry. The Dutch simply ignored the ban. And got away with it. Mass arrests or shootings because of a children’s festival: that was beyond even what the Germans could stomach. Not so for present-day left wing activists. More about that in a minute.

Until the end of WW2 Sinterklaas only had one Black Pete. What most of you don’t know is the mass starvation that happened during the winter of ’44-45’. After the war, the mayor of Amsterdam asked the Canadian and American commanders if they could celebrate Sinterklaas as usual. Perhaps the allies could help out with some candy supplies, as there wasn’t anything to celebrate with. The Americans loved it. Of course they would help. Candy, food, small gifts? How much do you need?

The allies were also pleasantly surprised to discover their Santa Claus originated in The Netherlands. But they had two objections. Or suggestions, if you like. Black Pete was not a fun guy. That had to change. And one was definitely not enough. Why not lots of Black Petes doing tricks, making the children happy, and handing out candy. That’s where the many Black Petes come from. A very recent addition to the tradition. All those Petes have specific tasks: there is a gift Pete, a mail Pete, a marzipan Pete, lots of little Petes and the Hoofdpiet, or Head Pete in charge of all the others, and the one standing next to Santa.

As you can see, this is the happiest season of them all, with good reason. To finish this short course in history: somewhere in the 19th century the Dutch Saint Nicholas together with his German and British colleagues, crossed the ocean, and the three traditions combined into what is now Santa Claus.

And now the bad part. The part where left-wing agitators prove to be MUCH worse than the Nazis. For a couple of years now they have pretended Black Pete is a blackface, and that is racism. At first they were laughed away. But they didn’t go away. They got more and more vocal and violent as well.

From peaceful protests in November alone, they now protest year round. Peaceful protesting didn’t get what they wanted, so they have become very aggressive. Last year policemen had to dress up as Black Petes and protect Sinterklaas as bodyguards, to give you an example. For left-wing extremists the end justifies anything. Creating a riot during a festival for children 2-7 years old? Why on earth not?

This year the police had to call out the riot squad, and were massively present at the official entry of Sinterklaas, with riot police in full gear. The mayor had to declare a state of emergency, and visitors — meaning parents with their children — had to pass a barrier and were searched for weapons and explosives. The protesters simply created riots in Rotterdam instead. A lot were arrested, but as you can expect, the politically correct (Moroccan) mayor send them away the same evening. No charges filed. Why file charges against the people who do your dirty work, which the politically correct elite is too cowardly to do themselves?

Yes, if you think this is far lower than the Nazis ever went, you’re absolutely correct. Churchill once said: The fascists of tomorrow are the anti-fascists of today. And right he is. The only reason why there aren’t mass executions, torture and gulags is that the left is too small to do that now. Otherwise they would. I’m absolutely certain about that.

The current leader of the anti-Black Pete group is a Suriname failure by the name of Sylvana Simons. Failure, for she left high school after three years without a diploma. She went to a community college to become a hairdresser, which was beyond her. She left without a certificate. Ran away from home when she was 15. Came out of a family of 16. Her father bred most of them, but not all. And polluted the gene pool by procreating with many different women as well. The she started a dancing career that never got off the ground. And became a somewhat popular presenter on TMF TV. Had a boyfriend and a baby. Her boyfriend committed suicide. I wonder why.

Last year she went into politics as house nigger for DENK, a branch of the Turkish AK party in The Netherlands. She is very outspoken, exceptionally racist and a singularly unpleasant person. She is leading a crusade against slavery, finds slavery and racism anywhere — when done by whities — and vowed to destroy and eradicate Black Pete.

Is Black Pete racist? Not at all, and he never ever was. His colleague in Iran Hadji Firoez, is now on the World Heritage List of Unesco. Why? Perhaps Iran are the good guys, and The Dutch are white, therefore the bad guys? The Dutch government tried to keep out of the debate at first, and now, spineless as they are, they cave in. The minister of Justice said the government perhaps should take steps to make into a fun festival without racism. And without Black Pete.

Any attempt — and this is MASSIVE — is so far resisted. You can see a big divide here. More than 90% of the population wants to keep Black Pete as he is. The less than 10% are the media, left wing extremists, some Turks (DENK) and the elites, want to destroy it, and they simply continue doing that. Many big supermarkets no longer show Black Petes on gift paper or anywhere in their store. “Het Heerlijk Avondje” (the cosy evening, this always refers to Sinterklaas evening) was changed into “de vrolijke avond” by Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket. Nitpicking, perhaps. But significant. It has the same significance as Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas on your side of the big pond. The national TV organization NPO, widely seen now as the Netherlands Propaganda Organization, tried first to change Black Petes into many differently colored Petes, and when that was rejected, into White Petes with some soot on their faces. This year they broadcasted the arrival of Sinterklaas live on TV, +1 million viewers. After the arrival they removed Black Pete altogether. Result: less than 450,000 viewers, and declining. The population simply can’t stomach it.

But … I don’t mind it one little bit. Let them do their very worst. Go on, create riots. Please! On the 15th of March 2017 we vote. I’m pretty optimistic that the PVV will score well above 40 seats now. Wilders doesn’t have to campaign at all. His — and our — enemies are doing all that for him.

— H. Numan

19 thoughts on “Black Pete or Blackface?

  1. Thank you for the history lesson. I think it’s just time for the pendulum to swing once again. We didn’t used to identify ourselves first as Republicans or Democrats, Greens, or by color, ethnicity or sexual orientation – just boringly as working stiffs, if we thought about it at all.

    It seems that many people are brittle and so quick to take offense with each other, when what we should really be worrying about is job off shoring, flat wages, the high cost of medical care, and the grim future for our children. Once everyone can comfortably pay the mortgage and have money in the bank we can squabble.

    The Left got spanked and rightly so, because they forgot that they were voice of the working people. Our voices were finally heard.

    • For next Halloween grab your republican black friend and apply blackface on him… Let’s see how the liberals will screaming bloody murder then wash the paint down… It will be priceless!

  2. The Netherlands is putting itself into the garbage-can. And the Left keeps thinking doing rightly so. Top of madness, to destroy an innocent children’s feast.

  3. Some readers might appreciate a website devoted to Saint Nicholas. It has a great amount and variety of information in several categories for all ages. For instance, you can see which countries have the most Churches and chapels dedicated in honour of the Saint.

    The Saint Nicholas Center

  4. so many clues, so many still clueless.

    it’s not simple PC nonsense. why would you deliberately degrade another group? if black Pete had been an obvious slave, in manacles or whipped by his master, would it be okay to replicate that? it’s no less inappropriate for its more humane portrayal of a modern blackamoor.

    just stop. worry about something actually important. you remember those things, right?

    • Funny how you think the issue is unworthy of debate, so your simple solution is to give you your way and just move on.

      In case your post reflects real naivety, the reply is this. There are extremely corrosive elements trying to wipe out cultures, peoples, and civilizations. They attack on multiple issues. To save our cultures, we must take a stand. A popular issue like Black Pete is a very good place to make a stand. It doesn’t hurt anyone at all, but is an excellent cultural symbol to stand behind.

    • He wasn’t a slave. What is degrading about being St Nikolas’s employee and companion? Should only a white person have been his employee?

  5. No, today’s people decidedly do not want to remember anything. They don’t like history, they don’t learn from history and so we are condemned to endlessly repeat history.

    This fracas over Black Pete is ridiculous and another sign of the dumbing down of the population — not just here in USA but all over Europe as well. also the loss of tradition and some of the fun parts of Christmas (which we are shortly going to rename as the Winter Holiday) — God forbid the name Christ in Christmas! Oops, sorry — I mentioned God, too.

    Horrible, just horrible. For a palate cleanser I will now go visit that St. Nicholas site mentioned above.

  6. He MUST go!
    NO Black Pete! NOnonoNO!!
    He must, he must, he MUST!!! — GO!
    We–the politically correct–say it, as we say it, so IT MUST BE!
    OR ELSE!

    (After all, if ‘WE’ are not obeyed; if our dictats are not longer observed, all is for naught–our power GONE!)
    (Whatever will become OF US??)

  7. When did this start?
    “only on Christmas Eve. In the Dutch tradition the children can place their shoe in front of the fireplace every evening, and hopefully they find a small present or some candy the next morning.”
    This suggests a Jewish influence as on Channakah one gets a gift for each of the eight days suggesting a Jewish influence.

    • No, it does not. Chanukah was nothing to do with it. It only suggests that both Chanukah and Sinterklaas give little presents. Using this argument, you can also relate Chanukah to lots of mohammedan or even Shinto festivals 😉

  8. I believe that there have been black Africans in the Netherlands for at least 500 years. The painting by Heronimous Bosch “The Garden of Earthly Delights” has a section devoted to Heaven, and in this section there are several black African people shown.

    Also in “The Garden of Eden” section of the same painting (done in the 1490s), there is a very clear and detailed painting of an elephant.

    Now how is a monk living in a small town in central Holland in the 1490s ever going to see an elephant? It’s not like he could just go down to the zoo with a sketchpad. How would he know how to make African facial features and hair type on figures in an allegorical painting if he had not met people like this in real life?

    There were big, powerful, and centralized kingdoms in mid-Sahara at this time. This was before the Sahara was turned into barren desert. I suspect that the Spanish and the Moors who ruled Holland at the time sent the black African ambassadors from these African kingdoms on “goodwill, meet-and-greet” tours to their outer provinces, like central Holland. These ambassadors would have brought drawings and detailed pictures of African animals to places like central Holland.

    This is the only explanation of how images of elephants and African people show up in Dutch allegorical paintings done in the late 1490s.

    This is also probably how the Black Piet character got started. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Hello Simonetta

      No this is not how Black Pete came into play. Or. This is what i have been told about this subject.

      Saint Nicolas lived around 270-300 AD in what we now call Turkey.
      Nicolas was a bishop who ” deserved” to be promoted to a saint. We celebrate (not only in the Netherlands) his life and good actions on the day Nicolas died( december 5th.) So this part of Dutch culture is very old.

      The character called black Pete is not that old. Most historians agree black Pete was ” invented /added” to the St.Nicolas story by a guy called J.Schenkman somewhere around 1851.

      The left is doing a whole number about Black Pete and us being waycists. I dont care if anyone thinks Black Pete stands for slavery. I dont care what the left ” thinks” or “demands” from the sane persons.

      The character Black Pete [angers] the left and that is good enough for me! I might dress up as Black Pete for the first time in my life this year!

  9. Here in Australia a child was pilloried for turning up to a fancy dress event dressed as his football hero–who is a gentleman with some non-European ancestry–with his face made up to look darker than usual. The reasonable ones among us tried to shout ‘This is not “blackface”,’ but were howled down. It’s a wonder videos of Olivier in Othello haven’t been banned.

    • Magic Flute performances are often changed, including the libretto, so that the evil Monostatos is no longer a blackamoor. But then why not change every aria that insults women – oh whoops, that’s just about everything in this opera and most others. Never perform them again, then.

      I always thought that making Monostatos a gorgeous hunk who sarcastically sings about not receiving love ‘because a Black is ugly’ would be a better idea – make the point about 18th century racism, make the audience laugh and don’t destroy the libretto.

  10. Very good artical Black pete has nothing to do with race or racisme. I dont think that the very low educated Sylvana Simons is the leader of the Anti- Black Pete movement, but that is the high educated Verene Shepherd. She was very clear in that she want to destroy the hole Sinterklaasevent. Forbidden of Black Pete is just the first step in killing of ‘Sinterklaas’.

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