Although she in The Netherlands for just over a month, she is able write an interesting story on how she is experiencing the multicultural and sometimes racial environment of The Netherlands. Check out her posting “When Things Aren’t So Black and White: Reacting to Race and Racism in the Netherlands”
Some snippets of her post and then her facebook comment on how she experienced the film.
Post: “When Things Aren’t So Black and White: Reacting to Race and Racism in the Netherlands”
|Theater artist and arrested Black Pete protester Quinsy Gario in a magazine with horns growing out of his head and a white girl dangling out of his mouth|
It may be hard to conceive for some, particularly for people outside of the U.S. but until now, I have lived most of my life, and definitely my adult life, in an all-Black environment.
But don’t get it a twisted – multicultural does not mean totally progressive. As blissful as my new experiences have been, there have also been moments where I’ve sat with my mouth agape in reaction to some blatant gesture of racism.
These incidents range from witnessing a Dutch academic refer to Latin Americans as barbarians during a university symposium on multiculturalism (which was actually the least of his offenses) to a maintenance man telling me early one morning that I didn’t need to drink coffee because I was already Black enough. Huh?
Read the whole story (and the story behind the picture) at http://shantology.wordpress.com
Comment on the film “Alleen maar nette mensen” (she saw the film)
Dear Black Dutch Friends, especially the women I call sisters here: I just left the press preview of Alleen Maar Nette Mensen. This is all I have to say for now (because trust me, I will have more to say later), I dare you to go and see the film and not be offended. Actually, I double dare you. Alleen Maar Nette Mensen is a violent assault on Black women, Dutch Caribbean Culture and the Biljmer at-large.
(Preface: Venting) Dear all other friends from every other part of the Diaspora: I have NEVER, EVER, IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, sat through such a racially charged, full frontal visual assault against Black women. During various times of the film I felt the desire to throw up. At others, I was so appalled, offended and angry that I wanted to leave. But I sat through the entire film just so that I could speak intelligently about it later. In all honesty, it made me want to cry. I feel sorry for the community that is being betrayed/portrayed in this film and every single Black women and girl of Surinamese/Antillean descent who has ever lived in the Biljmer or in the Netherlands, for the atrocious imagery that is being propagated by director Lodewijk Crijns and author Robert Vuijsje.
Opens in Theaters October 11th in the Netherlands...and there will be no protests because apparently people here don't care.
I'm extremely hurt. I wish I could get that 90 minutes of my life back but I can't. Instead, I have to settle for being hurt, disturbed and angry until this moment passes. See facebook page.
I agreed (of course) when she said: “I am not in the position to judge. I recognize the need for Afro-Europeans and in this instance, Black Dutch, to formulate their own resistance identity – one that is grounded in the nuanced experiences of their own realities and not one birthed from the revolutionary movements and ideologies of Afro-America.”
I wasn’t so happy that she added: “Upon this formulation, it is then our responsibility to validate their perspective and provide a broader platform from which they can be heard and supported, across the Diaspora.” But "our" responsibility?
But as a black Dutch blogger of Surinamese descent, I love her perspective. I can fully understand why she feels that “we” [in The Netherlands] are a little bit underdeveloped when it comes to protesting against racism, especially compared to the US. So from her perspective I can understand why she feels that we in The Netherlands are in deep need of assistance and guidance. But as always, things aren’t always as clear as they seem. But I will write a comment about that another time.