Jesse Jackson talks about ethnic segregation in Dutch schools

On February 4th American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson gave the Martin Luther King Jr. lecture in The Netherlands. Jackson is touring Europe at the moment.

In the lecture he stated that The Netherlands should do whatever it takes to desegregate its primary school, this should be Dutch national policy.

One result of segregation, according to Reverend Jackson, is that ethnic communities feel stigmatised, and become isolated.

"If you let people live in isolation, and make them feel left out, you are organising your own ticking time bomb."

That is precisely what has concerned many here, since the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a young Dutchman of Moroccan background. But Mr Jackson's message when it comes to integration is "Keep hope alive." He is impressed by young people he has met in The Hague and Amsterdam and the efforts they have taken to learn to live together.

Black schools in the Netherlands are schools where the majority of pupils have a “foreign” background. A more accurate term for these schools would be minority schools.

From Jackson’s point of view he is right of course, there is no place for segregation in a modern society. But linking black schools to terrorism is little bit overdone. Read the whole story and see a video here


  1. The Italian government is trying to do the same in Italy: they want to segregate the children in primary schools. At the moment the excuse they are using is that some 'foreign' children come to Italy without knowing the language and this is a set back on the 'native' Italians. But I wonder "do they classify 'native' Italians the children born in Italy from another ethnicity?" Thus this might become race segregation in schools. I really hope there is a chance to undone this new laws.

  2. In the Netherlands they are not trying to segregate, but to de-segregate schools. The "problem" is that white parent move their children to "white" schools. There is freedom of choice. Most middle class black parents are doing the same thing by the way. So the result is a inner-city “black” school.

    But the crackdown today is on Muslin schools. The problem with this interview is that they are talking about black schools in general, but are referring to Muslim schools in particular.

    And Italy. Yes, that’s real segregation. In the Netherlands they are trying to solve the language problem with extra funding, based on the educational background of the parents.

    The tragic part is that so-called black schools are therefore funded heavily, but sometimes perform poorly in terms of educational results.

    It is interesting to note that one of the low performance schools in the Netherlands is a ‘white” school.

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