LAS VEGAS (Nov. 15, 2014) — It is time for the negative, offensive, racist and discriminatory caricature of Black Pete (Zwarte Piet) to vanish from the traditional festivities of Netherlands, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed stressed in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Saturday.
Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism based in Las Vegas, stated that the country of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, which has a long history of social tolerance and which hosted the International Court of Justice, should not be in the business of negative stereotyping. It is absolutely baffling that racist stereotypes like “Dutch Black Pete”, which should have been extinct many decades ago, continue to exist in 21st century world.
Was not Netherlands famous for promoting equality?
Zed encourages His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands to urgently intervene to put an end to the character of “Dutch Black Pete.” It might be a popular Dutch tradition but it is clear that it appears to be a racist throwback to the slavery era.
Zed suggested His Holiness Pope Francis and other religious leaders to also come out with a strong statement against “Dutch Black Pete” tradition as religions were supposed to speak against racism.