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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”.


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.


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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.