How the US antiracism movement is challenging the meaning of tolerance in the Netherlands

Think of the Netherlands and you probably conjure up images of tulips, windmills, and bicycles, the exciting Red Light District and countless sex shops and haze-filled “coffeeshops” — all symbols of a what’s universally considered a progressive, open-minded, and tolerant culture.

Some lesser-known imagery, though, is that of “Zwarte Piet,” or Black Pete. He’s the popular holiday character represented each year by thousands of white folks in blackface, with dark afro-style wigs and exaggerated red-painted lips. …

Brin Andrews

Freelance writer, Amsterdam expat. Twitter: @brinandrews

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