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Dutch Tolerance and the Uitzwaai Dag for Sylvana Simons

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The Uitzwaai Dag for Sylvana Simons

For my expat readers that are learning Dutch, here are some phrases from the Dutch language that you won’t normally learn in Dutch courses.

jankneger, aandachtshoer,  Zeurpiet, Klaagpiet, Kutpiet, landverrader, kutwijf, sloerie, vieze teringhoer, zwarte doos, negermongool en aap.”

All of these phrases, and more were used by some allegedly ‘tolerant’ Dutch people to insult a black woman, who has dared to criticise Zwarte Piet. More proof that Dutch tolerance is as dead as the funky chicken dance.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post, Dutch tolerance and the Uitzwaai dag for Sylvana Simons.

Sylvana who?

There used to be a song whose chorus went something like, Alice, Alice, who the f**k is Alice? You, dear expat reader, are probably thinking the same about Sylvana Simons. Who the hell is she? Well, to cut a long story short, she’s a former singer, and a TV presenter. She recently became politically active, and for the record happens to be black.

The Shallow Man doesn’t personally agree with most of her political views. In fact she’s joined an extremely conservative political party called DENK. I saw her on DWDD using weasel words to try and justify the recent arrest of a Dutch/Turkish journalist who dared to criticise the president of Turkey on Twitter.

She’s guilty of…

Being black, while having an opinion not popular with the majority of Dutch natives. In her new political party, she intends to campaign against racism, and Zwarte Piet. As a result of this, she’s been bombarded with a deluge of racist insults and even death threats.

Interestingly, in spite of a lot of Dutch people claiming that Zwarte Piet, has nothing to do with race, it seems that as soon as a black person comments unfavourably about ZP, they are inundated with racist insults such as the examples I provided above. I’ll also add, that an actor who played the head Piet on the Sinterklaasjournaal for many years, has quit the role due to the producers of the programme ignoring his requests to alter the appearance of Zwarte Piet to make him accessible and inoffensive to all. Predictably, his requests were ignored, so along with another colleague has quit the show.

zwarte piet
How anyone can connect this with people of color is beyond me


Uitzwaai Dag event for Sylvana Simons

A lekker ‘tolerant’ Dutch lady,  has organised a Facebook event on December 6th, at Schiphol Airport, to wave goodbye (Uitzwaaien) to Sylvana Simons. The implication being that as she’s black, she’ll be leaving with Sinterklaas and the Piets.  This is incredibly confusing, as Zwarte Piet supporters always claim that ZP isn’t black, so why would she be leaving on December 6th?

Now not being Dutch, I could be wrong, but I thought that Sinterklaas and his employees leave the Netherlands on steamboats, not Easyjet. Having said that I’m only a foreigner, so what do I know about it?

In no time at all, over seventeen thousand people have added themselves as going to the event, which to remind you, is all about sending someone, who possesses the Dutch nationality, out of the country, and waving them goodbye, because they dared to have an opinion not shared by the majority.

Alles wat door Nederlanders is gemaakt, of wat een traditie is, dat haat Mevrouw Simons, dus bij deze wij hebben jou niet meer nodig in Nederland, ondankbaar persoon. wij zeggen Zwarte Piet is wel WELKOM, en wij zwaaien mevrouw Simons graag uit op 6 December.’

Everything that was made by the Dutch, or is a tradition, is hated by Miss Simons, so we don’t need you in the Netherlands any more, you ungrateful person.  We say that Zwarte Piet is WELCOME, and we’ll happily wave Miss Simons out of the country on December 6th.’

Uitzwaaien event

“All the people that are trying to say that we’re racist, are also against the Royal Family, and against Zwarte Piet. They were also the ones that used violence during the Sinterklaas event in Gouda. They are against everything that the Netherlands is, then the question is, what are they doing here? You think that you can do anything you like, but don’t forget that you makeup just a small minority of the people here.”


Minorities need to learn their place

It appears that the organisers of this event, were offended by the fact that a “nieuwe Nederlander” or “allochtoon/foreigner” didn’t know her place, and dared to use one of the democratic rights guaranteed to all in article seven of the Dutch constitution, freedom of speech. Take note, that if you’re a minority, and would like a free trip out of the country, simply criticise Zwarte Piet and you too could have your very own uitzwaai dag. A trip home, gratis!

The good old days when black women would keep their opinions to themselves

Alternative names for the event

Say it loud, we’re Dutch, racist and proud, kick out a neger day.

17,000 tolerant people wave goodbye to a black woman that doesn’t know her place.


Nipples are far more dangerous than racism

Many, moderate, rational Dutch people, condemned the racist comments that were made on the Facebook event, but were largely shouted down by the angry ‘ik ben geen racist, maar….’ majority. Complaints were made to Facebook about the page, and the ugly racist comments on it, yet it took quite some time for Facebook to close it down.

If you post a picture of a topless woman, Facebook will take the photo down quicker than a Dutch person denying that racism exists in their society. Yet when it comes to hate speech, and downright disgusting racist comments, Facebook takes a long time to react. It’s seems that nipples pose a far greater threat to society than inciting racial hatred.

To Summarize

There are two possible explanations to the Sylvana Simons uitzwaai dag event:

1. The minorities bring it on themselves

The Netherlands is perfect, and there’s no racism here at all. In fact, anyone that claims to have suffered racial discrimination, obviously has an inferiority complex, or is looking to get compensation from the hardworking Dutch. What might appear to be racist insults to you or I, are in fact just an expression of Dutch humor, and if you don’t like it, then the locals will arrange an Uitzwaai dag for you to wave you out of the country.

2. There might actually be some Internet only racists

The Shallow Man is as black as a dark night in Mombasa, and yet, I’ve personally never encountered any racism in the Netherlands at all. Ok, I was in a posh restaurant in Maastricht once, and overhead an elderly couple sitting nearby say “I remember the first time I met a black person…” 😀 That comment actually made me laugh, and didn’t offend me at all.

My point is that, I’ve travelled this denim covered land, and have rarely encountered any racism, therefore, I can only assume that there are a lot of latent racists, who only feel brave enough to express their true feelings, sitting safely behind a computer screen.

Dutch social media, like that of many other countries actually, is full of racist comments, and lots of requests for people of color to rot op naar hun eigen land, etc. There’s a climate here, where racist statements, are liked, and shared. There’s also a habit of outright denial, and anger, whenever any media reports are published that show that racism certainly does exist in the Netherlands.

It’s sad that in the year 2016, in a country that likes to think of itself as one of the most tolerant in the world, that a black woman can be victimised in this way, but sadly, as Frank Sinatra once sang, ‘that’s life.’


Till next time, if you don’t like it here, rot toch lekker op naar je eigen monkey land!









About Simon Woolcot

Infamous blogger, annoyance and self confessed Shallow Man . Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam for over 11 years, and due to Brexit may soon be applying for asylum. As well as writing this blog, Simon also has a YouTube channel of the same name, writes and directs videos, and hosts seminars about life in the Netherlands

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  • Spot on!

  • It’s this woman that’s intolerant & whiney, not this country.

    • I don’t agree with her politics, but, did you read the comments on the event before it was deleted by Facebook?

    • If expressing you want to ban someone outside the country for expressing her opinion isn’t intolerant, then what is?

    • Tolerance goes well until you disagree with me! haha

    • Yeah sure, dream on…

    • Maren Kilian you seem to dislike it so much here, you seem so discontent and outraged. Are you sure this is the place for you? Don’t worry, from the amount of racism crying babies I’ve seen here I’m sure we can find you a safe zone where the words of all the intolerant and racist Dutch can’t hurt you.

    • Lars Kievit you forgot to add “rot op naar je eigen land” if you want to live in a country where everyone agrees with each other, I suggest that you move to North Korea 😉

    • Lars Kievit, apart from people like you I like it a lot here. Luckily the majority of Dutch people does not have your nasty attitude.

    • And yes, I do find racism outrageous.

    • So do I, but I guess your definition is not quite the same as the dictionary’s. Are you done now with the personal attacks? A discussion with you feels similar like a discussion with a child throwing a tantrum. People like you, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you’re generalizing – oh snap.

  • Now in the page, they are saying that they close the event due to threats to Sylvana’s life…

    • Yes they’ve discussed providing her with security in Parliament

    • Tolerance, one thing we don’t see on Facebook! Im actually writing my thesis on it. Facebook can be a sad place!

    • Patricia Alves Facebook is great as it allows people to feel brave enough to say things online that they’d never dare in person

    • Yes, but it also takes off the human interaction. So you dont feel that you are hurting anyone, you dont have to look anyone in their eyes while spreading your views. Another thing, you only see what you want to see, because you connect with people who share the same interests… So you don’t have really an open dialogue, mostly reinforcement of your views… And that is where it all can get ugly. And in the end if someone says things you dont like, simply block them, no need for excuses or goodbyes…

  • Uhm, there’s a good reason why people are treating Sylvana this way and has nothing to do with racism. For someone so intelligent and bespoke, it is a mystery to many why she would join a gang of idiots who are only seeking to divide people even more.

    • There is never a good reason for the language used towards her, ever!

    • The same language is used against ALL kinds of Politicians from Asscher, to Wilders, to Rutte…just go check their FB accounts and you’ll see. The same and worse is being thrown at Ebru Umar who is btw in hiding, in fear of her life, just for having an opinion. And btw Sylvana had no problems with that and blamed Umar for it, as she made that quite clear on Dutch national TV, during the Pauw talk show.

    • It has all to do with racism …..throwing insults has nothing to do with giving an opinion about her decision since that opinion can also be given without using racial slurs

    • If people are making comments on her skin color, then yes..there will always be stupid people who cannot criticise others with actual facts- and we have them in every culture..rotten apples.

    • If you want to be a politician, then better step up your game and grow some balls, cause you’re going to get a hundred times more pain and pressure than this. And if you want to concentrate on all the small intellects and burst out online about every poor intellect in this country, than you should quit right now- cause your career is quite short lived. Which is why stupid political entities like DENK make politics such a joke..put simply, not everyone is made for politics and when Sylvana decided to join that party, she kind of lost respect of many. Lost in the cause she joined a party that is preaching exactly what she is against. She’s just blind to see it right now. Which is quite sad.

    • Leora Sameni I referenced her weasel words about the journalist, and don’t agree with her politics. I on the other hand wouldn’t then go online and start calling her an aap, and using other racist insults.

    • I haven’t read the comments, but as I said..there will always be rotten apples who lack the decent intellect to criticise someone based on facts. But saying that this is about Dutch tolerance is nonsense, cause many many Dutch would dislike and NOT approve of such foul speak. I find your header image on this article misleading..and if this is the one they used, I absolutely disagree that it’s wrong. But the intend is a protest and I feel that we must be a bit more savvy to this kind of ugliness. Above all..the Netherlands has 19 Million people and of that amount only 17.000 have joined this ludicrous manifestation. Do the math…that is nothing.

    • Leora Sameni It’s not really about the numbers, it’s about a climate on social media that thinks it’s acceptable to abuse people based on their race. That page was predominantly full of racist comments. I use the term Dutch tolerance, as there’s a growing trend on social media to hurl racist abuse, it’s becoming normal. I’m not the only one commenting about this. Read the front page of yesterday’s Het Parool, they reach a similar conclusion

    • Simon, this is not exclusive to Sylvana. This is happening in much extreme manners towards an array of people. Take Wilders, whether you like him or not, the man should not be living under 24/7 security. Take Annabel Nanninga- she’s constantly getting abhorrent hate mails for her opinion and is consequently being shamed on her weight…take Ebru Umar, not only has she received death threats and her house was vandalised and robbed, she is constantly being called ‘Whore’ and worse publicly online. I think it’s only fair that if you speak of this behaviour, you mention everything and not just one side of the deal of landscape.

    • And let me say that in all occasions, this is Not Okay. At all.

    • PvdA Politician Lodewijk Asscher just recently posted about it on his FB page, about the hate mails he receives and the antisemitic notions that are made about his grandparents and his ancestry. Did anyone make a post about the racism and vulgarity against his address? No..so why is Sylvana any different from all of the above? It isn’t. This is happening in a very broad spectrum. Sad reality.

    • Did anyone post a “get out of the country zwarte piet ” against those people liked by 17000 people? No……..and why not you can figure out yourself i think…Trying to bring Ebru and Annabel into the discusion as if they are victims is a weak comparison since they are the one’s who like to incite people to use degrading words and slurs ….

  • There is 16 million Dutch people so if 17.000 support this what’s the problem? There is plenty of people in the UK that are racist and completely nuts. I’ve been called “Dutch cunt” been blamed for stealing English people’s jobs and called way worse stuff which i won’t repeat on facebook when i lived in the UK. You make it sound like the Dutch are the only people in the world that are intollerant. Well… As long as it’s just 17.000 people on 16 million give them their right to free speech and let it be instead of making “them” feel important.

    • I’m writing about a specific issue, the deluge of racist abuse hurled at Sylvana Simons. 17,000 said they were attending the event, but this is just another in a long line of incidents, where social media is used to harass and threaten people that disagree with ZP. Anouk has the same nonsense, as do many others. As for the UK, of course there’s racism in the UK, but then again, we don’t run around claiming to be tolerant. My post is really about the climate in this country at the moment when it comes to racial matters. There’s a strong denial that racism is even an issue here, which posts such as the Sylvana Simons uitzwaai event show. I did also mention that lots of rational, normal Dutch people, did criticise the racists on that page. We should discuss this over a cocktail 🙂

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man
      You do realise that with your headline of the post you are being judgemental (racist edited to judgemental) yourself?

    • Hayo Timmerman Please explain….as I’m not sure how the title of the post is racist…

    • The majority of the Dutch are tolerant.
      It is a minority who are intolerant.

      It would be the same as saying all muslims are IS supporters….which is obviously not true.

    • Hmm maybe not racist…but judgemental…also wrong btw

      Edited the 1st post to correct that.

      Specificly the Dutch Tolerance RIP part is what makes it read asif you are being judgemental about the Dutch as a people in the tolerance department.

    • I can only speak from experience but in general people in the UK people are more tolerant and open than the Dutch. But there are of course racists people everywhere.

    • Hayo Timmerman I won’t disagree with you, it’s the intolerant folks that shout the loudest on social media

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man
      Or the blind (I could name a certain 3rd wave something group that continues to sprout a lot of nonsense without any supporting facts 😉 or debunked statements 😉 )

    • I’m pretty sure that if the other 17 million people knew about that event, 16 million of them would sign up, lol.

    • Maybe English people don’t run around saying they’re tollerant… But they sure as hell run around saying they’re the best damn nation in the world and acting like they are still the British empire. At least that’s my experience 🙂 If i can swap that cocktail for a cold beer… Sure!

    • Kasper Knaack, this is about the Zwarte Piet. I have been called unbelievable shit for moderately criticising this ‘tradition’. Your country is famous for its tolerance. This is just a fairy tale, obviously.

    • Kasper Knaack, well this is also a matter of perception. Of all Europeans I perceive the Dutch as doing exactly what you assign to British people…

  • I’m still waiting for the plot twist where we will be waving goodbye to 17000 idiots.

    • Goed plan. Gaan Didi, Mark en Lodewijk ook mee?

    • Lars Kievit, why don’t you join. What is a racist like you doing on an expat site?

    • Isn’t it racism to exclude Lars Kievit from an expat-site just because he isn’t an expat?

    • Maren I would love to know what factual basis you have to call me a racist. Don’t forget your dictionary 👍

  • Instead of focussing excessively on political correctness or hurt feelings, maybe it is a better idea to look at the underlying reasons of why people make such comments. My guess is that they are angry, and perhaps rightfully so. It seems more and more of the “average Joe’s” in this country are growing tired, frustrated and angry of liberal agenda wanting to push their version of multiculturalism down people’s throats. More and more people are starting to feel threatened about losing or having to accomodate the symbols, traditions and costumes that make The Dutch, Dutch, to please other minorities living in their own country. Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet happen to be pretty much the main icons of “Dutch traditions. A growing number of people dont want to have to change their traditions because of the social justice warriors/political correctness agenda that is being pushed by Western governments during the last few years, where apparently its more important not to hurt other people’s feelings than tackling the real problems of countries

    • There’s nothing wrong with protests in a democracy. I’m not even going into the multiculturalism discussion. It’s as simple as this, countries such as the UK and the Netherlands colonised lots of places inhabited by….brown and black people. These very folks were then often invited back to the motherland to provide cheap labor. Many then had children, and I apologise for this but yes, this lead to multicultural areas. How terrible is that? There’s nothing wrong in supporting blackface, if that’s your culture, but there’s plenty wrong in inciting racial hatred, and calling a woman an ape because she happens to be black.

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man You see, your last sentence, this is where I think I see the issue on a diffferent level than you, I don’t agree with your claim that people are calling her an ape because she happens to be black, I think they are calling her an ape because she seems to have chosen the abolition of Zwarte Piet as the focus of her political views and as we all know, taking away one of the “sacrest” things from Dutch culture, which is Zwarte Piet, shes obviously going to have to deal with a lot of hatred and opposition, insults and yes…comments alluding to her skin colour, unfortunately that seems to be the only way the average Joe will get noticed in this country

    • totally agree with you,Vladimir

    • Unfortunately, too many people focus on political correctness instead of real problems.

    • Ana Emilia Griego Please define political correctness. To me PC means that people who 30 years ago would have called a black person a n*gg*r can’t anymore, and are angry so complain about how bad political correctness is. “In the good old days you could buy a negerkuss cookie, now it’s not allowed” oh boohoo, how tough is life for some people?

    • Vladimir Malaver Ramírez Really, so would they have called a white woman an ape? Come on Vladimir, you’re smarter than that.

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man Does that really matter in the big picture of things? Before the social media era…people from all over the world have been insulting each other for ages using diseases, skin colour, big whoopedie boo..it just seems a greater deal now because every fart we let into the world becomes public, thanks to social media. I think its time we focus on what’s really important to be honest, lets grow back that thicker skin we had before the arrival of social media 😉

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man There are too many people focusing on words as well as stupid traditions rather than real desperation and problems within the minority communities. Racism and discrimination will always be around, even if you censor words.

    • Vladimir Malaver Ramírez Vladimir, it’s not about having a thin skin. In many countries, such language is actually illegal. Making similar statements in the UK or Germany online could have the posters facing prosecution for inciting racial hatred. Hate speech has to be taken seriously. I don’t agree with Miss Simons or DENK her party, but the racist abuse and threats she received was just evil

    • no,no your PC example just shows that people have evolved and are not the uneducated monkeys they used to be in the past. And by the way, i have not met anyone in my entire life that was complaining about not being able to call black ppl the N word.. really.

    • Ana Emilia Griego Yes I agree with you that racism will always be around, but words are important, hence the saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ although I’d still choose to be stabbed with a pen rather than a sword 😉

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man Language policing is the absolute most pointless endeavour a government could focus on, whatever is said on social media is nothing different from what is said in family or friends’ gatherings where everyone will just laugh at the comments instead of taking them seriously, yes, even racist ones, everyone makes those directly or indirectly

    • Ana-Maria Nitoiu So do you think that the word “negermongool” isn’t racist?

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man i don’t know what that means and google is too PC and doesn’t what to translate it to me, it seems. But let me ask you something: do you think that Blake Lively was being a racist when she said that she has an “Oakland booty”? Or better yet, who is to say when political correctness has gone too far?

    • The point is, Sylvanna Simmons is hurting the average Joe’s feelings with her focus on abolishing Zwarte Piet which is extremely dear to them and she knows it, so what kind of reaction are you gonna expect from the average Joe? Of course they will want to hurt her feelings back! That sounds very human to me. Whats your first instinctual reaction when someone punches you in the face? You will want to punch that person back, that’s just human nature…and this one comes before all this PC bullshit talk and considerations we can make afterwards, so why are we so outraged here?? Lets not focus on the words, lets focus on the WHY’s of those words

    • You people obviously didn’t see the comments and pictures those people posted.
      It was very, very racist. Pictures of “proud to be 100% white” were the friendliest. And the horrible racist remarks. Ape, Auswitsch, low intelligence, murder, everything was mentioned. Not in discussions, just stupid and ignorant screaming. In capitals and the worst spelling I ever saw.
      Sure, there are problems. But you don’t solve them by wanting to send people that don’t look like you or don’t share your opinions to gas chambers.
      And my opinion is that saying these things became much more accepted here in the Netherlands after some politicians threw out the political correctness.

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man, this was almost the post that I entirely agreed with. But that bit about the UK and Germany: do you really think that the reason there are practically no prosecutions for inciting racial hatred on social media in either of those countries is because people there maintain a better level of decorum than here?
      Come on, or come out from under that rock!

    • Mathilde Tjepkema You dont get the real issue here it seems, the real issue is not what people say, the real issue is THE ANGER that drives people to make those comments, the words are just symbols of that anger. Isnt it better to focus on finding out WHY these people are angry and try to listen to them instead of pointless language policing that does not get us anywhere?

    • Vladimir Malaver Ramírez people often want to enforce political correctness so they don’t have to deal with the real problem. This attitude of out of sight out of mind, only makes things worse.

    • I do get the issue.
      And as I live and breathe in this country I actually do know some of these angry people.
      I can tell you it’s mostly ignorance.
      Even here in the oh so quiet and very white North of the country there seem to be a lot of people who have these angry thoughts.
      While living in almost completely white towns and villages. The last years I’m in absolute shock about the how racist my fellow countrymen are. I guess a lot of people have somewhat always felt like that but it was not done to express these feelings after WW2.
      In the current political climate however a lot of people are proud of these feelings.
      I don’t deny that people feel threatened, though I think they get these feeling from the changed way journalism works nowadays.
      People skip the 8 o’clock news but instead watch “Hart van Nederland” as their trusted news source.
      I would love to go back to more political correctness instead of these awful and horrific things people feel the need to type or scream. Angry, scared or whatever they may feel.

    • Oh, and its not just the horrible racist remarks they write down on Facebook, open for anyone to see.
      They do this on every subject they don’t agree with.
      Take a look at the satirical news sites on Facebook like Nieuwspaal. The language they use is unacceptable, they threaten people over the stupidest things, especially when you know it’s satirical. But they just don’t seem to recognize sites like that. Everything you read on the internet is true, they seem to think.
      Wether they make the news you’re only allowed to smoke in Flevoland, that caravans are no longer allowed on European roads from next year on or that deepfrying is prohibited by EU laws in 6 months. Oh, or that cats are no longer allowed to roam tge streets on their own but have to walk on a leash. They believe everything, and swear, scream and threaten everybody who disagrees. Especially the “news” that refugee women are not interested in Dutch men because they are known to have a small penis gave a very nice insight in these scared people way of thinking.

    • Her job is feeling discriminated against and yelling about it. Now she joined a party that sais the Armenian genocide did not happen and integration is not necessary because there is no dutch culture. She is a vulture. If your job is getting offended and whining about it, people really stop caring about you, as they should. Especially when you are basically against free speech if it doesn’t fit your views. Regressive left, destroying the modern world one whine at a time.

    • This whole thing reminds me of what’s happening in the US with Donald Trump. There is this whole liberal/left campaign trying to discredit him by calling him woman hater, Mexican hater, minority hater, etc, for not being diplomatic about the way he says things, who cares about diplomacy? I want a a candidate to speak the truth of what is happening regardless of whose feelings are hurt in the process, and guess what? the media won’t tell you this, but the latest polls show that women, mexicans and blacks support Trump more than they have ever supported any other Republican candidate in the past.. Who would you rather have? Someone who tells you lies and political riddles in a nice way? Or someone who speaks truth in a language that the average Joe can understand?

    • Vladimir Malaver Ramírez The Dutch sociale zaken minister Asscher has also condemned the racist comments made on that page. I find your lack of empathy in this matter pretty sad actually. You’ve attempted to make excuses for racial hatred. Very sad.

    • Stijn Blokhin Yes Stijn, in the minds of people like you, abusing black women, by focusing on their race, is ok, and if they complain, then they’re crybabies. FYI Facebook deleted the page as it broke their guidelines on hate speech.

    • I saw a lot of the remarks, and yes a lot of them were racist. ( the things like ape im not counting as racist because it;s an insult i;ve heard many times thrown to people who were white,black, asian etc.) However I do understand the Anger i feel the same. What a lot of western countries are doing for these past few years is creating a politically correct society. They are listening to the small minorities who have no intention of living to see through it and go back into victim complexes where they do nothing but tell people how sad and weak they are so things have to be changed. A lot of these people who *protested* and are against this deliberatly tried to ruin several marches where sinterklaas entered the country. They also incited hate speech where if you did not agree with them and you were black one would be a traitor to his own people. Furthermore after seeing more things like this happen in the USA and Sweden, where it;s getting worse every year. i can understand that people are getting mad when the government simply ignores the opinions of these people. They push it aside and only push their own agenda to try and fit in as the *friendly country* the netherlands has been kissing other countries asses for far too long. So even if i condemn the actual racists remarks that were made. saying tolerance is gone and the dutch have become racist is far fetched 17.000 people on a facebook group do not show the qualities of a population. And for last. Tolerance isn;t gone. But the fact that in my opinion and a lot of fellow dutchmen the tolerance is being taken too far. So anger is a natural response. Even if the way it was done is terrible.

    • and with politcally correct we do not mean not being able to say nigger anymore. That word doesn;t really have any meaning to me so i don;t care. Politically correct is the fact that many countries including the netherlands are trying to censor and *protect* people from any kind of controversy creating a population that is unable to handle any kind of problem because their feelings will get hurt.

    • and that is what most of us do not want to see happening.

    • Ana Emilia Griego It’s not about enforcing PC. In actual fact Dutch law forbids discrimination, which is why the public prosecutor (OM) have announced that they are reviewing the hate speech made on that page and may very well be prosecuting many of the posters. Discrimination, and incitement to racial hatred is actually illegal here. This is why Geert Wilders is currently on trial for calling for ‘minder marokkanen’

    • Arn Jagerszky “Most of us” hmmm. In my experience, the people that whine about political correctness, are those that wish to be able to call minorities and women unpleasant names, but are no longer allowed to do so. PC is another word for respecting others, and not just saying anything that pops into your head. It’s about considering the impact of your communication on others and holding back instead of offending people. If that bothers you, then I suggest you move to Alabama, where PC isn’t really accepted. 🙂

    • The Amsterdam confessions of a shallow man May I ask if you yourself are a minority? Because I am. And I can tell even in countries that protect against this type of “hate speech ” racism and discrimination still exists. You referenced UK and Germany as two countries that protect against hate speech and I can tell you without a doubt I know more people and I have experienced more discrimination in those countries than I ever have in Netherlands.

    • Ana Emilia Griego Am I a minority? Here’s a hint from the post “The Shallow Man is as black as a dark night in Mombasa” Sorry to hear that you experienced discrimination in my home country (UK) and Germany. There are racists everywhere, as Frank Sinatra said ‘that’s life’

    • Oh so now all of a sudden racism is “just life” for you. What happened to your false sense of disgust and outrage over the racist remarks to Sylvanna Simmons you were making yesterday? Wasn’t that racism”just life” as well? Hmmm. It is precisely this selective sense of outrage and morality of yours that became obvious as well when you posted about the minister of sociale zaken vowing to prosecute the people behind the remarks, AS IF the Dutch government can be taken seriously when it comes to condemning lack of political correctness. Isn’t this the same Dutch government that has not only stayed silent, but has also refused to condemn Obama’s drone wars where hundreds (if not thousands) of innocent people, including children, in Jemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan are being killed? Why don’t we see YOU shallow man write an article in disgust and outrage at these issues of REAL lack of political correctness? Maybe it’s just not a sexy enough subject to write about? Maybe it’s TOO serious to dig any deeper…after all that would ruin your reputation as “shallow”, right?

    • Vladimir Malaver Ramírez If you going to quote me, please do so properly. I said “that’s life” which is both a Frank Sinatra song and a pretty accurate statement. Racism is a fact of life, but if people are dumb enough to break Dutch law by inciting racial hatred on social media, then they can’t complain when the Police come after them. You spent a lot of time trying to make excuses for the vile racist comments made against Silvia Simons. Racism obviously isn’t important to you. I write about life in the Netherlands, or anything I feel like writing about. If I ever feel like writing a piece about drones, then I will, that’s the joy of having a blog like this, I choose what I write about. I suggest that you think up some more excuses to justify racism.

    • That being said, I agree with Vlad.

    • Leora Sameni well you’re entitled to your opinion, no matter how insensitive it might be. You see I’m able to separate her politics from her race, which sadly lots of the uitzwaai racists were unable to do.

    • Leora Sameni no idea why you posted this. Does this piece make all the hate speech directed at Sylvana Simons ok then? What was the point of posting this?

    • Apparantly you actually are rather shallow as you are implying things i never said and even what PC means nowadays has been changed by you. Then you continue with an indirect insult to shut me up. You are talking about hatespeech and yet you cannot even stay respectful to someone on the internet >.>

    • Funny how my initial comment is actually the one with the most number of likes of all the conversations going on in this entire post/article. Perhaps a majority of your readers are closet-racists? 😉 God Forbid! Quick! call the racism Police, the minister of Sociale Zaken, this is outrageous! How is it possible you attract so many of “those”? 😉

    • Frank Teunissen Actually Frank, in the UK, we take hate speech seriously. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/02/social_media_arrests_up_37pc_london_section_127_communications_act/

    • Too seriously to be honest.

  • Sometines I am so ashamed of the Dutch!

    • oh, I feel you! I tired to count how many times I was ashamed of my country..

    • You shouldn’t feel ashamed of your country because a bunch of knuckle draggers can’t control themselves on social media. 🙂

    • In my country seems like government consists of these “knuckle draggers” 😉 And they were elected 😞

  • Wouter Wierenga

  • You have obviously missed the point of the Sylvana story, the anger is because she’s now aligning herself with a political party that has ties to an increasingly repressive and autocratic regime. Sylvana has also changed her opinion on the topic of discrimination, racism and Zwarte Piet on several occasions.

    Example: First she says she never felt discriminated in her life (several interviews) or whatever and now that she’s out of work (and out of income after getting ditched by her billionaire BF) she turns to shady politicians (and the €100k per year paycheck for a member of parliament). Riiiiight.

    Being back doesn’t define me as a person – Sylvana Simons (no but you are a gold digging attention *****)

    As for Zwarte Piet, how about everyone stops criticizing it. It’s tiresome. No one is making you celebrate it, it’s like the tv you don’t like it – you change the channel. Instead you want to come into everyone’s house and permanently remove a channel from their tv because you don’t like it. Oh. And in return we’ll stop getting angry at your attempts to force your moral superiority on us.

    How about it seems like a very fair deal 👍

    • (y)

    • Interesting, so all of this justifies the vast amounts of racial abuse and death threats she’s received does it? As for ZP, annoying as it might be to live in a democracy, I’m afraid that one of the downsides is that people do have a right to criticise things they don’t support. It should actually be possible to have a debate without resorting to racist abuse and death threats don’t you think?

    • Death threats do suck. Nowhere do I approve that. However the vast majority were normal reactions. Not all football fans are hooligans, yet the hooligans receive 90% of the attention.

      In itself the ‘uitzwaaidag’ was a civilized and somewhat ironic way of expressing discontent with ms. Simons ever changing sets of beliefs and values.

      The only one she has stuck by is make sure the money keeps coming. Even if it means associating yourself with the cronies of mr. Erdogan.

      As far as I’m concerned there’s more dignity in selling your body to pay the bills then being as morally flexible as this lady.


    • Lars Kievit Winston Churchill was once a member of the liberal party, he later served as Prime Minister and head of the conservative party. Politicians are all opportunists, it goes with the nature of the work. I read that page, and it was full of hate speech. Lots of people stood up to the racists but were in the minority.

    • Simon Woolcot, as they say in English: if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. You want to incite division and start controversy, you might end up in the crosshairs of satire (and the occasional Neanderthal that had a problem using words).

    • Lars, my very intimate thoughts on tradition as exposed by an acquaintance of mine, her son and her mother in law:

      “Reading history books does wonders for ignorance. Continuing to ignore a colonialist past is what makes people not understand why others might look at these “soot-covered” helpers (with nappy hair and fat red lips) with distrust.

      My son is studying the VOC era at school… You’d think the Dutch were the great saviors.. And saints of the sword. We need to know about the past to understand how they’ve changed and how certain stereotypes have filtered themselves into the present day without questioning.

      My mother in law (77 years old) says they are black because they came down the chimney.. To which I ask if they get their curly hair, red lips and gold earrings in the chimney too. 0 challenging the status quo. Nadenken vermogen… NUL.”

      You know, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it’s definitely an elephant by some Dutch standards.

    • Lars Kievit, you are the living proof and the personification of Dutch intolerance and racism.

    • And, Lars Kievit, people like you will make me criticise ZP even louder. I have been living here for 16 years and an intolerant racist like you won’t shut me up.

    • It is funny to see Dutch people like Lars Kievit on this page who clearly do not respect non-Dutch citizens. For business perhaps? Our money is always welcome in this country, our opinion clearly not.

    • Respect? Read your posts again, name calling much? Racism? Sure, well if any of this is actually racist file charges with police as opposed to charges for rape and burglary they actually tend to follow those up pretty well in this country.

      But seriously? Did I offend you? Good, that means I made you think. Before you judge me or speak on my behalf, my girlfriend is an expat I just call it the way I see it. And taking your money? If you came here as an expat it usually means you pay a special tax rate so technically we’re not taking your money but you’re taking ours, you know since you’re subsidized . So if you want to start that discussion with me, go ahead.

    • My advice to you, go see Louis. And please keep your moral superiority to yourself. You’re welcome to watch something different than the Sinterklaas journal. But please keep your hands away from my remote, I happen to like it. But suddenly I realize that’s not really what this discussion was about, somehow we managed to end up at Zwarte Piet – again.

      On that bombshell I am going to enjoy my evening, I hope you do to. Kind regards from the intolerant xenophobic racist.

    • Lars Kievit, you are too dumb for words. Hopeless case. And even proud to be a little asshole. Makes me wonder what went wrong with your upbringing…. Nothing to make a mother proud, sadly.

    • I love how you make assumption after assumption and top it all off the best you can bring are personal attacks and no facts whatsoever. Validating what I said above even more!

    • Maren, your assault on Lars confirms what sort of person you are yourself (e.g., your words, an asshole). You can agree to disagree with someone, but hurling insults makes you not one inch better than the people in the article Simon posted.

    • “My girlfriend is an expat” is the modern “some of my best friends are black” 😉

    • Satvinder, as they say in Dutch. Je hebt de klok horen luiden maar je weet niet waar de klepel hangt. Doe nog maar eens eventjes lezen jongen.

  • Honestly I never thought anything of Zwarte Piet until one time I was minding my own business at the market and the seller suddenly went on a monologue telling ‘us Muslims’ to stay away from their precious Zwarte Piet. I was just there standing, flabbergasted.

    • I never thought about zwarte piet being a bad thing, untill i saw an army of people dressed at black panthers picking fights at a childrens festivity. Blew my mind.

  • Another reason why Gert Wilders is actually a “leader” and has a position in the Dutch government.
    Let’s remember that being tolerant doesn’t mean they accept everything, they just look to the other side as with the marihuana and many other situations.
    Yet, with all the down sides, is great to live in Holland !! (preemptive statement to avoid insults from nationalists ;))

  • People were just looking for a reason to critize this woman, as if the is first one to speak out about ‘zwarte Piet’. If we live in a country with freedom of speech (offending), certainly she can speak her mind and rightfully so.

  • oh god shallow man has gone full PC
    It was fun while it lasted

  • It’s funny to see how people can find so much reasons and diversions from the isseu at hand .Its not oke but…. its not oke but ….. its not oke but they do it also ….a childish way of reasoning. There is no but to make these racial slurs sound beter.It all has to do with how you can express yourself in a decent way ,so it comes back to you as a person…..Still you can critisize everything you want but with using racial slurs and comments you only weaken your position and doesnt make it sound more credible…..

  • I love how you portray this so simple 👍 good job

  • I didn’t mind Ms. Simons. Wasn’t particularly an admirer, but then there are lots of perfectly innocuous people that I don’t particularly admire.
    With her latest move, joining DENK, however, I feel she has made herself part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
    And anyway, showbiz people in politics: Ronald Reagan, Charlton Huston, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, … It is not a happy combination.

    • Is that a justification for abuse, death threats etc? The whole ZP discussion and the abuse I have been getting for moderately criticising it will make me certainly keep doing this. And stay in this country where my money seems to be welcome but not my opinion…

    • Maren Kilian, did I say that abuse and death threats were justified?

  • She is guilty of being black? Hmmmmmmm…

  • Monique Geerlings Lekker tolerant 😂

  • Good post! But I’m not sure about the ‘tolerant’ premise. I don’t think The Netherlands views itself as an exceptionally tolerant country anymore, unfortunately. Do you really think that’s still the case?

    • Not all of them, but there still is this tendency coming up on certain subjects. And the ZP is a good example. I have never been particularly busy with it until I got nasty abuse for simply disliking this tradition. There are a lot of nice traditions to celebrate in this country. ZP is not one of them anymore these days. And I will not ‘rot op naar mijn land’ because of this…

    • I chose the ‘tolerance’ tag as it often comes up as one of the things that the Dutch think about the Netherlands, that it’s a tolerant country. I hear this a lot on talk shows. It’s really about the contrast between self-image and the social media reality.

  • Ok
    Erdogan is ben shitted on like crazy
    Freedom of speach

    Moslims are told that their religion is retarded
    Freedom if speach

    Maroccans are told to fuck off to their own country
    Freedom of speach

    En nou she gets a LITTLE bit of the same and it is going too far ??????????

    Double standards ????????

    Bloody hell yes !

  • did not have the chance to read it yet but I just came across this essay last week which has been released last month. just thought id share it as it seems to evoke the paradox you are referring to

    ‘In White Innocence Gloria Wekker explores a central paradox of Dutch culture: the passionate denial of racial discrimination and colonial violence coexisting alongside aggressive racism and xenophobia. Accessing a cultural archive built over 400 years of Dutch colonial rule, Wekker fundamentally challenges Dutch racial exceptionalism by undermining the dominant narrative of the Netherlands as a “gentle” and “ethical” nation. Wekker analyzes the Dutch media’s portrayal of black women and men, the failure to grasp race in the Dutch academy, contemporary conservative politics (including gay politicians espousing anti-immigrant rhetoric), and the controversy surrounding the folkloric character Black Pete, showing how the denial of racism and the expression of innocence safeguards white privilege. Wekker uncovers the postcolonial legacy of race and its role in shaping the white Dutch self, presenting the contested, persistent legacy of racism in the country.’

  • Oh wat zijn mensen zielig.. Met zn allen 1 persoon wegsturen. Hahahaha

  • Update: The Minister for sociale zaken and Vice-Premier Lodewijk Asscher intends to prosecute people that made racist comments on the Sylvana Simons uitzwaai dag event. Meanwhile, on this page, some people are still defending the hate speech made against Ms. Simons….

    • Fortunately people are not so away protected from reality as they think!

    • So do we need to prosecute racists? I don’t like what they say but prosecute them makes us as intolerant as they are..

    • Then basically all racism, everywhere and by everyone, should then be prosecuted. No?

    • If they broke the law they should be procecuted just like getting a fine when you run a red light. End of the day that’s not up to politicians but up to the OM to decide. The OM should be independant and not be influenced by public opinion or the minister.

    • Christopher Brendan Well there are obviously laws that were broken here, this is what’s being investigated. There was some pretty sick stuff on there.

    • This Minister Asscher is one of the reasons DENK was formed ……Smooth talker …..but in the meantime …..

    • Abraham Ocón Caballero Well it’s about investigating if existing laws were broken

    • That should be done indeed (y)

    • Oh god, sometimes I wonder why they call Europe first world! Racism is crime!!!!

    • Does Dutch law define racism btw?

    • Christopher Brendan The Dutch constitution, article 1 protects people from religious or racial discrimination. There is obviously an anti-incitement to racial hatred law, which is why Wilders is on trial for his meer of minder moroccans speech

    • But it does not define racism, right? Which is actually very interesting… as Dutch law pretty much defines everything.

    • Christopher Brendan Article 1 of the Dutch constitution (English translation of the section on discrimination) Equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination (Article 1). This article forbids any discrimination on any grounds but allows affirmative action. This right can only be limited by law, if there is an objective, reasonable justification for restricting it. In that case, the court will decide if the law is suitable, necessary and in proportion to reach the purpose of the law.

    • Thats a long way to avoid saying no. Do you feel that racism should be defined under Dutch law? Or is the word duscrimination enough you feel?

    • Christopher Brendan I think that discrimination more than covers it. There could of course be more laws based on article 1, not being a lawyer, I have no idea.

    • Ok, I agree that it should more than cover it. However, in real life people make up their own definitions and then apply (abuse) it to real-life circustances. It would make life so much easier if there was an actual legal definition. In regards to Ms Simmons, based on Dutch law, could you actually bring up article 1 when Ms Simmons clearly is inciting hatred, and actually is provoking people? I honestly think what (certain) people are doing online is disgusting, but the woman is clearly race-baiting. All a lawyer needs to do is analyse the things Simmons is saying, and use this as evidence. Otherwise…. there is a neverending list of people that can and should be arrested in regards to comments / suggestions made about Geert Wilders.

    • Ministers van Sociale Zaken don’t prosecute anybody, thank God, or we’d be living in Turkey or someplace similar. That is what het Openbaar Ministerie is for and they have already started to investigate, but apparently they need Ms. Simons to file a complaint in order to be able to prosecute, which she hasn’t done so far and, as far as I understand, doesn’t intend to. Furthermore, you can only prosecute people on the basis of het Wetboek van Strafrecht en het Wetboek van Strafvordering, not the Constitution. In spite of what people may think, this is not a banana republic and prosecutions have to specify chapter and verse on whatever it is claimed that you have done wrong, quoting articles, sub-articles, sub-sub-articles, ad infinitum, We might have to look at the Wetboek van Strafvordering to see whether we want hate speech to remain prosecutable only on the basis of a complaint filed by an injured party. You could argue that it is an incitement to break the law and as such injuring the rechtsorde.

  • I don’t usually find myself in agreement with Mark Rutte, but in this case…http://nos.nl/artikel/2107629-rutte-bedenker-uitzwaaidag-sylvana-simons-idioot.html

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  • adam

    You can blame America… we didn’t realize the Dutch were basically Nazi-lite… we should have figured it out and let Germany keep them after the war. As a result the Dutch haven’t received their bad behavior spanking yet and continue their racist behavior (actually just realized the Dutch are basically Donald Trumps.. rude, racist, bigoted, says whatever is on their mind without filter, bullying, no taste in interior design, bad food, tacky clothing, cheap, greedy, will never admit being wrong or at fault, will blame everyone else and point fingers… yikes, we have a Dutchman as president)