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.
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.”