Sorry, Pete: The Dutch Just Made Christmas a Little Less Racist
A court in Amsterdam has ruled that the Santa Claus sidekick “Black Pete” is racist and needs to be reworked if it is to remain a part of the city’s official celebration.
Black Pete, or Zwarte Piet, is a component of the Sinterklaas folklore; in the Dutch tradition, Santa arrives by boat in November, with several other boats carrying a small army of Black Petes. Most are white people wearing blackface, red lipstick and curly Afro-esque wigs, along with Renaissance attire. The Black Petes hand out cookies or candy to children.
I saw this old newsreel about Santa Claus and Black Pete on the History channel one morning and was like “WTF”! I actually kind of torn about this. I’m not happy about the “blackface” but I also don’t want the idea of Black pete to be written out of history.