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An activist was beaten and arrested at a Dutch Christmas celebration after attempting to call attention to the racist depiction of Zwarte Piet, a beloved Santa’s-helper folk character in the Netherlands.

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For the last few years, activists have worked to reform or change Zwarte Piet. In 2007, Piet’s face was depicted as multicolored instead of black.

“I am afraid to say — and I know this will not go down well with many Dutch white people — that Black Pete is tainted beyond redemption,” Flavia Dzodan, a South American-born, Amsterdam-based activist said. “There is no redeemable quality in this character in its current incarnation. There is no going around the racist nature of a character that acts as a de facto slave for a white saint, who is portrayed as clumsy and mischievous, who is used as an instrument to instill fear in children who misbehave.”

Read more at the Root.

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