The Dutch are incredibly proud of their alleged directness. To quote a common saying, the Dutch are never rude, just direct. Now, being British, I might disagree with that statement and say that the Dutch are often rude rather than direct. But ok. You say ‘scone’ and I say ‘scone’. But one area where Dutch directness runs away faster than a man after a Tinder one-night stand is when the subject of racism is brought up.
Johan bloody Derksen
Not being a football fan, I’ve never had any reason to watch the sports discussion show Veronica Inside. One of the presenters of this show, Johan Derksen has made racist comments on national TV for years. For example:
- Compared black Dutch politician Sylvana Simons to an Ape
- Claimed that Moroccans would ruin Dutch amateur football
- Asked if a Zwarte Piet wasn’t actually black rapper Akwasi
Johan Derksen has gotten away with making racist comments on national TV for years. Mainly because the comments were in fact just ‘jokes’. It appears that cutting edge humour in the Netherlands involves comparing black people to apes and Zwarte Piet. But finally, he told a ‘joke’ too many. Advertisers have deserted the Veronica Inside show. For the first time in its history, the show was broadcasted without a single advert. In addition to this, the Dutch national football teams (male and female) announced that they would no longer appear on the show. Many other leading sportspeople are also boycotting Veronica Inside.
According to many people on Dutch social media, Derksen has done nothing wrong! In fact, they’re not angry about him making racist comments. Nee! What angers a lot of people is that he is being called out for making racist comments!
The hashtag #teamderksen has been trending, with lots of angry people claiming that it’s a disgrace that you’re not even allowed to be racist anymore. Ok, that’s not exactly what they’re saying but most of the comments seem to boil down to the fact that a native Dutch person should be allowed to make ‘jokes’ about the ‘guests’ in this country and get away with it. The Netherlands is tolerant. Dutch people can’t be racist, therefore Johan Derksen couldn’t have made racist comments.
Give me a ‘H’ give me a ‘Y’ and a ‘P’ and an ‘O’ give me a ‘C’ give me an ‘R’ and an ‘I’ and an ‘S’ and a ‘Y’ what do you get? Hypocrisy!
The man Johan Derksen made a ‘joke’ about being Zwarte Piet gave a speech at a black lives matter protest in Dam Square where he said that if he saw a Zwarte Piet, he’d hit him in the face. There was an absolute uproar about such a statement. Dutch social media was full of comments telling the rapper (naturally) to go back to his own country. Geert Wilders wrote to the public prosecution service to ask why Akwasi isn’t facing arrest. Yes, folks, there was lots of righteous anger about threats to a fictional character. But making jokes about actual black people is just ‘humour’.
As expected, Johan Derksen has refused to apologise for his comments as he was only ‘joking’.
Ironically many of Derksen’s supporters are flooding social media with lots of racist comments denying that he’s ever said anything racist. 😀 Freedom of speech is ok if you’re ‘joking’ about black people, but god forbid you dare say something negative about Zwarte Piet.
The ability of some Dutch people to claim to be tolerant on one hand, while making racist comments and then attempting to justify the comments as ‘freedom of speech’ is the eighth wonder of the world. It would make things much simpler if #teamderksen supporters would just come out and admit that many of them are racist with a capital ‘R’. Stop with the “ik ben geen racist maarrrrrr”. Enough! Embrace your bigotry and stand by it.
According to Team Derksen people and organisations who object to racism on national TV are ‘left-wing’. But then as good right-wingers they should surely appreciate capitalism at work as corporations choose to spend their advertising budgets elsewhere. Ain’t the free market a bitch?
No utter hypocrites were hurt during the writing of this post.