A leftist-generated move to get the Zwarte Piet character removed from traditional Dutch Christmastime celebrations appears to be falling on barren ground, according to a new survey by television station Nos.
According to the survey, only six out of 211 local councils asked about their Sinterklaas (“Santa Claus”) parade plans this year say they will make changes to the appearance of Zwarte Piet.
The Zwarte Piet character, Sinterklaas’s helper, played by people in blackface, has of late been the subject of attacks from the far left on the laughable grounds that a white person who even dares to dress up like a black person is somehow “racist.”
The character first appeared in its current form in an 1850 book by Jan Schenkman and is commonly depicted as a blackamoor. Actors portraying Zwarte Piet typically put on blackface and wear colorful Renaissance attire, in addition to curly wigs, red lipstick and earrings.
The Nos survey found that in a few places, certain parts of the costume—in particular the big red lips and the gold earrings—have been dropped, but the blackface makeup remains largely unchanged.
Only in Amsterdam—which has a large nonwhite invader population, and is therefore more “left,” will the traditional parade include “white” Piets with sooty smudges on their faces instead, supposedly to reflect Piet’s trips down chimneys to bring presents to children.
Most councils in the country however told Nos they are not making changes because there is no debate about the nature of Zwarte Piet in their areas. Others said they were waiting for the November 12 decision of a court case or the storyline in the Sinterklaasjournal, the annual television series for young children ahead of the December 5 festivities.
* In the midst of the made-up hullabaloo, the police department in the Dutch city of Gouda have announced that they will have a large contingent of undercover officers in this year’s Sinterklaas parade—disguised as Zwarte Piets.
The undercover officers will be fully armed, and have allegedly been deployed ahead of a predicted attack upon the parade by far-leftists who are part of the “Kick out Zwarte Piet” campaign.
The decision by the police department to deploy undercover officers dressed up in blackface has driven the communists into a frenzy, but the police have dismissed their objections by saying that their primary concern is to be unobtrusive in the expected crowd of 50,000 people, which will as a matter of course include a large number of children.