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Dutch Santa

Dark Side of

Christmas Traditions

12/10/2012 4:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Santa Claus don't need no elves ... not in the Netherlands, where they believe his helper is a guy named "Black Pete," and people dress up like him by wearing black face. Merry racism, everyone!

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"...In the 19th century the black devil returns, this time re-invented as a servant of Moorish descent. He wears the costume of the child-slaves that work in Europe at that time, the pages. Carrying a large bag and his rod he threatens to take children that behaved bad. In an era of slavery and colonialism the racial ideas of that time were translated onto this figure..."

The whole article in context:

It sound like the character is making fun of Moors who were black, so yeah, it is racist. If American Satan can go on a diet, then Dutch Saint Nicholas can emancipate his servant or at least ditch the blackface.

647 days ago


Who gives a damn. I'm black and I bet Black Pete can make some killer fried chicken. Santa looks like a, "Soul Food" type of guy to me.

647 days ago


I'm from the Netherlands, and I know the tradition. If you don't know the story behind Black Pete, don't complain. It's not his skin that's black, it's from the soot of the fireplaces he has to enter to give children presents. Ignorant people, you are.

647 days ago


Did anyone see the recent episode of The Office, you saw it there as well with Dwights Penn. Dutch background. yes it is racist but it will never be changed if thats there xmas tradition.

647 days ago


Santa in dutch is kerstman, sinterklaas is some one else even if santa is inspired by the story of sinterklaas but i guess having little people helping santa isn't rasism in the states ;)
black pete became black cause of the chimney and the most friendly person for kids ever but i guess tmz just loves to spread hate towards holland and it's traditions while your whole country is build cause of slaves and without the slaves you would be just some lazy rednecks

647 days ago


Oh get over it! Just because the guy has a black face doesn't mean he's in Blackface! there is a difference. If he looked like he was from a minstrel show then you could call it racist. This clearly has nothing to do with that. Quit the politically correct crap TMZ - it's making you look naive and stupid.

647 days ago


see, **** like this is sooooo racist, but what Jamie Foxx pulled on SNL last weekend, well to most of the same commenters, "white ppl need to learn how to take a joke..." smh next!

647 days ago


I'm surprised the libtards at TMZ, while getting the story about Sinter Klaas and Black Pete, didn't try to tie it to Romney somehow, seeing as how every other day, they're still attacking him. Harvey, do us all a favor and go blow enough guys that you finally drown in their seed.

647 days ago


This is why people hate Americans, because you're ignorant and arrogant!
Get informed idiot!

647 days ago


Racism??? Black Pete is black...from the soot.

Do some research before putting such pretentious articles online to influence other ignorant people. You make us Americans REALLY look bad. Again...

647 days ago

Elke Palmaers    

You might want to check your facts before starting a whole controversy about such sensitive social issues as racisim dear TMZ!!! ....
The tradition you are talking about is absolutely not christmas but called Sinterklaas and celebrated in Belgium and The Netherlands on the 5/6th of December (FIRST FACT) - Black Pete is black because he brings presents to the children coming through the chimney and therefore becomes black of the soot (SECOND FACT) - Tmz is a gossip network that basically earns their living by judging how others live their life instead of getting an own education on cultural differences and maybe read a book ones in a while instead of some glossy magazine (THIRD FACT)

Any by the way, Russel Baker was so right when he said: “An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.” My compliments TMZ for sending out this completely ignorant and false fact in the world! You must feel very proud!

647 days ago


Actually if u read the history black pete was a moor and moors are black in some folk tales it was said tht saint nick accompanied the by the devil capturing him and puting him in shackles making him his servent in the 1920s bkack pete was accompanied by saint nick to listen to through the chimney to find which children were naughty or nice never did it mention him sliding down the chimney sinve at tht time the holes were too small. Racist or not its history and everyone had servents even whites were servents thwy were called indentured servants its was just norm practice.

647 days ago


Sinterklaas is a tradition celebrated each year for children. They are NOT racist so THEY believe black Pete's skin is black because of the chimney! No matter what the real story is! Only adults can teach them what racism is!! Santa Claus (Sinterklaas, see the resemblense?) is a coca cola rip of. Sinterklaas has nothing to do with xmas. What if little people whould find santa's elves racist? Would you go and tell your kids this? Would you tell your kids Santa had to get rid off his elves because of this? Allthough the dates are not the same (5/6 Dec / 25 Dec) Sinterklaas and Santa Claus share the exact same "magic" for our children. Why don't we adults grow up a little more for our kids and say good bye to racism?!? The US has a big racism problem, still, while black/white racism is almost non existant here in Holland. Black Pete is black because of the chimney, no matter what the legend says. That's what we tell our children, problem solved!! And Santa's elves are not little people, they are "elves"!

647 days ago


Oh BTW, the fact that TMZ even mentoins this only tells is how big the problem (racism, not black Pete) is in the US!! Someone commented: bring black Pete to the US and see how black people here will respond. I say: bring an African American to Amsterdam and see how he responds to NOT experiencing racism! There's the real problem for you TMZ!

647 days ago


The "clownesque" voice over is an idiot. He and his mouth are the personification of what the world hate about the US. That condeacending tone towards other countries and cultures. I know than to judge the US only based upon a few morons, but it seems more and more of them are popping up! If you are from the US and have mote than 2 brain cells, stand up to idiots like that! They make you all look stupid and arrogant!

647 days ago
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