Home / Dutch Tolerance / Ik ben geen racist maar….. Sylvana Simons and the Death of Dutch Tolerance

Ik ben geen racist maar….. Sylvana Simons and the Death of Dutch Tolerance

Banner Lassus

Ik ben geen racist maar….

Dutch tolerance is dead! It died a lonely, painful, and some would say shameful death.

As the coffin was taken to the cemetery, people lined the streets and could be heard saying to each other,  “ik ben geen racist maar….Sylvana Simons”. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post, the death of Dutch tolerance.

Dutch tolerance
Dutch tolerance

Ik ben geen racist maar…negerzoenen

Some say that the slow and painful death of Dutch tolerance began when a left-wing multinational corporation, dared to stop calling one of its products negerzoenen. This literally translates to “nigger or negro kisses”.

According to some Dutch people, there’s nothing offensive at all about the term ‘neger’. So changing the name of the product as not to offend actual negers was just political correctness gone mad! Hence the common (and false) claims on Dutch social media of “Ik blijf negerzoenen gewoon negerzoenen noemen”. “I still call negerzoenen, negerzoenen“. What they actually forgot to add was, “when no black people are around”.


banner dl

ik ben geen racist maar
Nostalgia for early Dutch interracial pornograpy


Ik ben geen racist maar…Sylvana Simons

In the Netherlands, it’s absolutely acceptable to use racist language and hate speech on social media, when discussing the black political activist, “Sylvana Simons”.

If you want to see how Dutch tolerance was murdered,  just go and check out the Facebook pages of mainstream Dutch news sites. You’ll see some incredibly racist comments, but it’s ok if you start or end sentences with the disclaimer of, “ik ben geen racist maar”,  (fill in racist comment), or simply mention Sylvana Simons.


Close the borders and send Sylvana back to the trees. Close the borders and everyone that doesn’t belong here keep them out



Ik ben geen racist maar Sylvana Simons deserves what she gets..

According to the majority of comments on many Dutch social media pages, it’s completely reasonable to respond to criticism of Zwarte Piet and racism in Dutch society by making a video in which the head of Sylvana Simons is photoshopped on to photographs of the corpses of black people lynched by the Klu Klux Klan.

It’s also fine to add her image to the body of a starving African child. It’s just a joke, a form of protest against a woman that dares to claim that racism exists in Dutch society. Which is of course not true, the Dutch are tolerant, even if they do respond to criticism by minorities with racist language. In fact many commentators say, “the video is disgusting but……….she started it by accusing the Dutch of racism. Domme aap”. (Dumb ape).

ik ben geen racist maar it's ok to have pictures of a lynching to criticise someone
It’s ok it’s Sylvana Simons


Ik ben geen racist maar… taxpayers money to protect a neger???

Due to the video, and an increasing number of death threats, the Police are now protecting Sylvana Simons. Considering the fact that she’s probably the most hated person in the Netherlands, this didn’t come as a surprise to many. However, within minutes of this being announced, Dutch social media was flooded with angry Dutch people complaining that taxpayers money was being wasted protecting someone who had brought the hatred on herself.

With a stunning lack of irony, Geert Wilders, a man that’s had police protection for years, suggested that if she were to shut down her political party, then the problem would be solved. Excellent suggestion. I hope that Geert Wilders follows his own advice and leaves politics.

The ultimate hypocrite Geert Wilders
The ultimate hypocrite “onze” Geert

Don’t discuss racial hatred against Sylvana Simons on the BBC

Even the BBC has picked up on the story. Leading to people that would usually spend their time hurling racial abuse on Facebook pages such as Nederland Mijn Vaderland, joining the discussion to deny that there’s any racism involved. In fact it’s her own fault for criticising Zwarte Piet. The death of Dutch tolerance has become global news.

Sylvana Simons featured on the BBC News website due to Dutch race row
Embarrassing, Sylvana Simons race row featured on the BBC

ik ben geen racist maar blackface zwarte piets are ok

Dutch tolerance is dead long live hate speech

The body might still be warm, but Dutch tolerance is dead.

There are people that will say, “Shallow Man you can’t claim that the Dutch are no longer tolerant just because a few people make racist comments on social media”. To which my response is quite simply to look at the following:

  • Geert Wilders a man who hates Muslims and has called for less Moroccans in the Netherlands, is currently ahead in the opinion polls and his party will probably win the most votes at the next election
  • The number of people who deny that racism exists in the Netherlands by responding with racist comments
  • The trouble that breaks out every time the Government tries to house Asylum Seekers anywhere in the country “Ik ben geen racist maar…why here???”

Hate speech on social media in the Netherlands is now gewoon (normal).  The Zwarte Piet debate, the hysterical and disproportionate hatred of Sylvana Simons,  along with the increase in popularity of Geert Wilders and his political party, shows that there is a huge number of hardcore bigots in Dutch society.

Ik ben geen racist maar… the Dutch approach to racism

Expat: Who is Sylvana Simons and why do so many Dutch people hate her?

Dutch person: Don’t ask about her, she’s just an ungrateful ape that hates the Dutch

Expat: She’s black isn’t she? You shouldn’t call her an ape, that’s racist

Dutch person: She’s the racist one, I’m Dutch, we can’t be racist

Expat: But you called her an ape

Dutch person: Did I say ape? I meant to say monkey

Expat: That’s disgraceful and still racist

Dutch person: I told you already, I’m Dutch, so can’t be racist. Are you a liberal left winger?

Expat: No, I just don’t like racism

Dutch person: Well it’s a good thing you live in Holland then, we’re tolerant

Expat: But you just called a black woman an ape

Dutch person: We’re tolerant as long as minorities agree with us, if they don’t then it’s justified to use hate speech, doe maar lekker racistisch! Gezellig! Anyway if you don’t like it here…

Expat: Let me guess, I should rot op naar mijn eigen land?

Dutch person: Precies!

racism in the Netherlands
No problem here look away

To be fair, it’s not just a Dutch problem, one only has to look at Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to see that everyday fascism is on the march, and with Geert Wilders ahead in the polls, the Netherlands will soon be the next country to have a racist in a position of power.

ik ben geen racist maar
From the NOS Facebook page discussion about Sylvana Simons “send the neger to the gas chamber”

Dutch tolerance is as dead as Andre Hazes, the Dutch cap and the singing career of Lady Gaga.

The Dutch cap traditional Dutch headwear
The Dutch cap

No PVV supporters were hurt during the writing of this post

Till next time, if you say things on social media that you wouldn’t repeat in the presence of minorities, then congratulations, you’ve integrated well into Dutch society, applause!


About Simon Woolcot

Infamous blogger, annoyance and self-confessed Shallow Man. Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. 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. He also works as a content marketing and SEO specialist.

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  • Zéfiro Agnar

    spot on, shallow man! “tolerance” is a wicked charade only exposed by those who dare to be honest!

  • belaroo

    Surely announcing that all Dutch are racists is racist. Racism is surprisingly not racist. I’ve met plenty of racists in my time and they weren’t all white.
    Possibly the stupidest reaction to racism is to announce that it the entire race is afflicted. This is what got wilders into trouble toch?
    Youre blog is racist and sexist, all Dutch women dress in the dark right?
    You are an English bloke, as an English woman, I’m sure I must be able to tell you in fine detail all your cultural short comings. I’m not going to insult yoy by being racist though, or sexist for that matter. If you asked politely enough, pretended to be Hugh Grant, or possibly Colin Firth, I might be persuaded. I’m still trying to narrow down my personal British cliché Miranda Hart?Mel and Sue from the great British bake off? I wish.
    I don’t think you are helping the situation here, is my point. The media wrote about Fromage and the Orange Fart and none of it helped. Can you maybe write horrible stuff about Jesse from Groen Links? Critise his taste in jumpers?

    • Here we go again. Where in my post do I say that ALL Dutch people are racist? I’m afraid that you’re projecting your own views onto my post. As for sexist, as I said to you in the past, I make no apologies for your lack of humor. Simple really. Listening to your whining is tiresome. If you don’t like my blog, why do you continue to read it?

  • Rubuti Nadael

    Jesus f…ing Christ. Another SJW taking to the internet to spread their propaganda piece. Everybody is racist because they don’t agree with my identity politics. The ideology of the left is disgusting. Blaming Brexit and Trump on racism? Really? You have learned nothing.
    And if you don’t understand why Wilders should be protected from Islamic extremists while Sylvana shouldn’t be given the fact that there isn’t any group out there killing people of color, than you are too dumb for this world.

    • Listen carefully, you rabid muppet. I didn’t say that EVERYBODY is racist, that’s in your head. In the UK the national police have recorded a 41% spike in hate crime since the Brexit vote. I would assume that they have more information about this than you do, and it’s a matter of public record. Look it up. I didn’t state that Wilders shouldn’t be protected. I merely pointed out that he’s a hypocrite as he’s happy to have Police protection due to death threats, but would deny Sylvana Simons the same protection. As for there are no hate groups out there killing people of color, how ignorant are you if you believe this?

      • Rubuti Nadael

        What is a hate crime? Who recorded the hate crime? It leave a lot of room for bias. If you define it as “being offended” than that is just stupid. People might imagine hate crimes all the time because a hate crime is not objective. It comes down to how the one claiming that a crime has been committed against them views reality.
        There are different types of death threats. If you cannot tell the difference from Islamic extremist death threats, you know like the ones that killed the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo and the ones put out by trolls on the internet than you are deluded. The veracity of a death threat has to be called into question. Not all death threats are the same.
        Please send me a link to these groups of racists killing people of color. I won’t hold my breath though.

    • Edoardo Causarano

      Hmm, usual “chiagne e fotte” technique, and accusing your victims of engaging in your very same behavior… trite

    • christopher pugmire

      @Rubuti Nadael, death threats and lynching videos .. I’d say those are hate crimes. But you seem to be a full-time fascist troll, so all arguments are wasted on you.

      • Rubuti Nadael

        And your mother is a whore. That is how I will respond now from people who call me a fascist. Seems the appropriate response. You are willing to insult me, than expect an insult back.

        • christopher pugmire

          Your comments are there for all to see. What a class act you are.

          • Rubuti Nadael

            Your comments are for all to see as well. I do not know in what world you live in where you can honestly believe that calling somebody a fascist without knowing basically anything about them would constitute something to be applauded. I am not a fascist, Christopher. Quite the contrary. I am as anti-ideology as it comes. Researching the subject extensively. Would debate with anyone who wished to debate, because when communication does not occur between people who have different view points, that is when violence will happen. That has always been the case. If you just label opponents as this or that without trying to start a debate about ideas, than all it is left is fists. Look at history.
            That is why I hate the term “hate crime”. It is not universally applied. Who decides which “hate” is to be considered illegal.
            For example, when I look at the US and the hate, like vitriolic hate that Trump gets, where are the people calling against that hate? Nowhere of course. They don’t really care about hate. They just want to feel morally superior.
            Take a long good look at who the true fascists are in our world today. Hate crime is a very good instrument to shut people up so they don’t say something that might force you to engage in real debate.

          • christopher pugmire

            It wasn’t meant as an insult, more as a general description. You seem to spend much of your time trolling posts like these with the apparent aim of delegitimising incidents of racism and silencing those that speak out. Yet when someone calls you out, you whine like a baby and cry about free speech. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with being a whore. It’s the fascists we need to worry about.

  • What is a hate crime? Have you ever heard of a search engine? Look it up. The definition of hate crime under UK law is clearly defined. You see in democracies, they have things called laws, one of those laws is to protect minorities from people willing to take views like yours a step further and commit violent crime. The Netherlands and the UK have anti-discrimination laws, again look them up.

    As for different types of death threats. Well I assume that you’re the expert in that, as you strike me as the type of frustrated, weak individual that would make death threats.

    Are you trying to tell the Dutch police how to do their job? They have no doubt assessed the death threats and then made the decision to protect her based on that. However, if you feel that you know more than the Dutch police, by all means get in touch with them.

    As for racist groups killing people of color, there was a mass shooting in a black church in the USA only last year. Unless of course you’re referring to the Netherlands, where I’m not aware of any groups killing black people. However in the case of Sylvana Simons, should the Police wait until she’s been attacked, then offer her protection? I think not. However, again, if you’re not happy with the security protocols of the Dutch police and their execution, by all means contact them.

    Have a nice blinkered day.

    • Rubuti Nadael

      I want you to tell me with your own words what is a hate crime. We already have laws against violence. Again…what is a hate crime? How does calling minorities names become a crime that the state has to take care of? There are jack asses everywhere. Who protects us from the minorities?

      “as you strike me as the type of frustrated, weak individual that would make death threats.” – nice projecting and personal attacks. What could have I asked more from a SJW?

      They made the decision to protect her according to the PC police way of doing things. I am not telling the Dutch cops how to do their job, I am just pointing out the hypocrisy of everything that is going on at the moment.

      “there was a mass shooting in a black church in the USA only last year”- okay. Which group committed the attack? What is the name of that group? It was one guy, you dishonest piece of shit. You take one case and make it seem that it is some kind of trend. It’s not.

      Sylvana Simons can go fuck herself. Nobody likes her anyway. And it has nothing to do with her skin color. Everything to do with her character. If she would have been white nobody would be defending her. Since she has the right kind of color for the PC crowd, she finds dumb asses like you to defend her stupid ways.

  • What’s a fascist doing reading a blog about life in the Netherlands? Shouldn’t you be busy ironing white sheets? That’s a good point actually, do you folks iron white sheets before putting them on or don’t you bother? As for defining hate crime, I don’t need to, the law does that.

    Your question “who protects us from the minorities?” All citizens are equal in the eyes of the law. If you’re afraid of minorities, there’s not much the law can do about it unless one actually commits a crime against you.

    Anyway, it’s been a dubious pleasure chatting with a borderline nazi. Have a good bake out with your Klan buddies.

    • Joey Haas

      I’m not saying the other guy is doing well either, but calling him a nazi for disagreeing with him is quite extreme. This way of thinking is what got Trump elected, not racism.

  • christopher pugmire

    Read his comment history. He’s a proper Alt-Right fanboy.

  • Cees Geel

    When you accuse an entire country of racism you can’t expect it to all go over smoothly for yourself. One video is enough to get the NOS to cover it, and now alledgedly 16,999,999 other Dutch hate Sylvana Simons and want to see here dangling from a noose. I can confirm that I have read maybe a few thousand hateful comments in zwartepieten discussions, but there is no way that justifies this incredibly sarcastic post. I couldn’t give two shits about this whole debacle, but because I’m a white male that used to love every thing zwarte piet when I was young, I’m suddenly a racist and I must apologize and foremost change this deeply rooted racism in me.

    I don’t even care about Sylvana. Give the lady her podium and let her speak. But if Geert Wilders gets backlash for saying that maroccan youth is disproportionally represented in nuisance and crime, even though that is true and half the country votes for him, Sylvana Simons can’t just ban zwarte piet just because she got people to disturb the intocht three times.

    I understand that zwarte piet is a figure that contains an obvious reference to the slave past of the netherlands, but do you really think that calling people bigots and racists is going to help them see that. The activists are only aggrevating everyone who have seen no harm in the tradition for all this time. And the criticism keeps on coming. In the past it was the lack of black people on TV, yesterday it was the negerzoen, today it’s zwarte piet, what “racist” thing I have personally got nothing to do with will I be accused of tomorrow?

    Your rhetoric needs a lot of nuance. You do nothing to help facilitate a healthy discussion with your badly written irony.

    Epic memes by the way. Real professional journalism.

    • Hey criticise my writing but don’t knock the memes 😀

      You seem to be very touchy about this for some reason. I’ve yet to find any evidence that Sylvana Simons accused ALL Dutch people of being racist. But surely you can see the irony in a bunch of people denying that they’re racist but then respond with racist abuse. 😀 My piece wasn’t meant to start a discussion, it’s a polemic. It’s aimed at all the people who claim to be tolerant but then go on Facebook and hurl racist abuse at Sylvana Simons. If you’re not the type of chap that behaves in this way, why does my piece annoy you?

      What’s clear is that the PVV are ahead in the polls and will be the largest party after the next election. There’s a significant number of people in this country that are intolerant and despise people based on their religion, afkomst or color. These are facts. My irony might be badly written, but certainly hit home with you didn’t it?

      Fijne dag verder!

      • Cees Geel

        Never mind Simon, I am not responding to your response. I have read (some of) the rest of your blog, and many of your responses to good willing people who just try to tell you the flipside of the coin, but it seems like you are so stuck up with your pretensive morals that you just put your fingers in your ears and write LALALA to any discussion you receive. Heck, you didn’t even reply to any points of my post, just repeating your own rhetoric again. You use anything I and other people say as a “SEE, you’re racist because you are complying to rule (#) of my ‘Reasons the Dutch are intolerant people’ list”, while the argument I and other people present to you are perfectly valid.

        Calling me touchy while you are the one writing countless blog posts on this discussion you don’t want to have, struck me as to what a little child you are. If you could not respond sensibly why not just not respond at all?

        Moest wel lachen om Fijne Dag Verder hoor, typische facebookruzie-cliché haha.

        • Cees, I’ve no idea why you imply that I called you a racist, which I most certainly did not. Just because I didn’t respond in a way that you like doesn’t mean that I didn’t respond sensibly.

          Anyway, have a nice day.

  • Rubuti Nadael

    A little late but have to reply. “delegitimising incidents of racism and silencing those that speak out.” – racism is way over-reported in today’s world and pointing out fake cases of racism is not delegitimizing racism in general. It is actually trying to legitimize it back as it has lost its meaning so much. Silencing? I have no such power. Just calling out people who say stupid things. If that for you translates into silencing, not my problem.
    Whine like a baby? Is that how you choose to represent my stance as to shy away from actually engaging in conversation? Good for you.
    Your worrying about the fascists will take your attention away from all the communists on the liberal side. From what I see there are not so many fascists in positions of power even though their existence seems like the leftist dream. They want fascists just to be able to justify their violence. But apparently you can just make fascists of anybody who doesn’t think like you…and so, you justify violence against differing opinions thus becoming fascists themselves. It would be funny if it wouldn’t be real.

  • valaraj

    So I’m an American of mixed raced (outwardly I appear vaguely brown and racially ambiguous) and I recently went to Amsterdam with my white BF. Walking around we were holding hands and generally not filtering our PDA and we received a number of hateful looks from older white (Dutch?) people. We’ve been trying to figure out if it’s because of the PDA, the interracial couple-ness, or the fact that we looked a bit like dirty hippies since we came off a red eye flight and only had 24 hours in Amsterdam until we took another red eye flight back to the states. Any clarity on this? THANKS!

    • Death Sto Helit

      old post but still responding.
      It might be that their bitterballs didnt taste like they wanted.
      In Amsterdam they look angry at anything for no reason other then because they can! Also spot on article. Thanks shallow man

    • It’s only acceptable to have public displays of affection when high as a kite at festivals, or at two in the morning at a club when everyone is too high or drunk to care. It was probably due to the PDA.