|"Elves," he said. "They're just so silly. I now have 6-8 black men as helpers."|
You don't seem to realise how stupid you come off to me when you point to the "blackface" aspect of the Zwarte Piet tradition in my posts: especially when there is a link to SOMEBODY READING THE STORY, where he says.
In France and Germany gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in the Netherlands the children open their presents on December 5, in celebration of St. Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station...
Then, of course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.Not to mention I say things like:
OK, this is a tradition that needs to be experienced in person, but this comes pretty close to what it is like. It usually comes as a surprise for the non-Dutch/Flemish when they first encounter it (I know it did me).and
As Sinterklaas is coming to town this weekend: here is a description of a tradition that I experienced live and in person when I lived in Belgium. I was walking down the street in Antwerp to run into two men in blackface (and this was after Vlaams Bloc won the election). I decided to keep my wisearse comments to myself.Now, would the neo-nazi Vlaams Bloc be upset if my comments were approving? Seriously, How stupid are you people?
and I have a label to the post: 6 to 8 Black men
Anyway, had you bothered to LISTEN to the story, you would have heard:
Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was a polite and interesting guy very good company, but when he offered to wait until my train arrived I begged off, claiming I had some calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast, vibrant terminal, surrounded by thousands of polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn’t help but feel second rate. Yes, the Netherlands was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter. I was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off alone into the Michigan forest. He may bag a deer, or he may happily shoot a camper in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your back door. We don’t know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.Consider yourselves willfully ignorant if not seriously DUMB for having missed a lot of what was going on.
Take another bow for making fools of yourselves! You deserve it.