Nothing wrong with racist white people parading around proudly in blackface, right? What possibly could go wrong with that, couldn’t possibly offend anyone, right?
When we in the United States think of the Netherlands, we typically think of very liberal people, quite polite and intellectually-inclined. We hear about their superior schools (which really isn’t that hard to achieve if we’re honest), excellent health care system, free college education, and how happy everyone is supposedly. Sounds quite nice, actually.
Until we hear about “Black Pete” (which apparently seems to be) Santa Clause’s charcoal black racist side-kick.
Obviously we’re not from the Netherlands and admittedly hardly know much at all about Black Pete, Netherlands culture or racism in that neck of the woods, but it seems nonetheless to be quite present.as this story from the BBC illustrates.
Here’s the link: Dutch Race Hate Row Engulfs Presenter Sylvana Simons
Based on the article it seems that Sylvana’s critique of the obviously racist character of Black Pete (just look at the photos of Black Pete parades in the Hague, as white people parade around in typical black face) has sent the Dutch into spinning racist hissing fits, spewing forth racist commercials, racist/misogynistic/sexist jingles, and everyone else apparently going bonkers over her fairly tame (from what I can see) assessment that the character should be re-thought or updated or removed.
New York New York (Photo credit: aftab.)
According to the Loving Day website, LovingDay.org, there is a flagship celebration coming up.
Here are the details for those in the Big Apple and ready to embrace the annual celebration of interracial love, and the trials and tribulations the Lovings overcame simply so they could be together.
Date and Time:
- 06/14/2014 – 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Address Line 1:
- East River Waterfront at East 23rd St
State (if you are in the U.S.A):
Seal of New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nearly Fifty per-cent of Black Men are arrested by the age of 23 for traffic-related crimes…
The good news about this sad statistic is that some state governors are beginning to take such studies as an indication that laws and practices regarding arrest and detention need to be revisited.
arrested (Photo credit: My Photo Journeys)
In my own state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s recent “State of the State” address included encouraging references to the “madness of an incarceration society,” and a call for better services for re-entering men and women.
But there are still plenty of states in our union where this is the landscape, and little will change anytime soon.
But, since this is a blog about interracial families, I’d like to take a moment to consider the implications of this statistic from a woman’s perspective:
This statistic means that, if your son is black; if your husband is black, you are more likely to:
- See him arrested or threatened with arrest;
- Need money to bail him out of jail; pay a fine; or require retainer for his attorney;
- Need more money for his college tuition if his arrest record makes him ineligible for college tuition assistance;
- Need even more money to assist him financially, perhaps well into adulthood, if his arrest record makes it harder for him to find sustainable employment;
- Worry, whenever he is late–even a little bit late–for an appointment; or in calling you; or, maybe just in returning from a trip down the street to pick up a quart of milk…that his freedom..or maybe his life…might be in danger….
We should leave aside, for the moment, the question of why the man we love might be arrested; the most interesting element in this statistic, to my mind, is the disparity between the arrests of black and white men for traffic violations… if there are, heaven help us, young and foolish drivers on every road of this great nation, are we really to believe that the characteristic of reckless youth is not evenly distributed across our male population?
But I also wonder, as the mom in an interracial family, how much of this asymmetric pattern of arrest in our society might leave a yawning gap between women who do not know what it is like to live with this sword of Damocles dangling over the men they love–and women who do.