On 17 June, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. wrote a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to end the dehumanizing Dutch tradition of Zwarte Piet/Black Pete. The letter is of great significance.
Zwarte Piet/Black Pete is a symptom of institutional racism in a country with 3 times the disproportionate arrest by race of the United States (Boon, 2018). And yet Dutch racism hides itself behind racism in the US. While the Netherlands demands justice for George Floyd in important protests throughout the country, the name Tomy Holten does not receive the same attention. Tomy Holten died after a police knee on his neck in Zwolle, Netherlands three months ago.
Dutch and Flemish Studies would like to thank Reverend Jackson for confronting the Netherlands with its racist history and traditions, and for saying that Black Lives Matter everywhere.