Kick Out Black Pete has ‘hope’ for a firmer approach to racism Cabinet Rutte

The action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet has received the hope that Prime Minister Rutte will condemn racism in the Netherlands more strongly. In a conversation in the Catshuis, the organisation asked the Prime Minister to express himself more “firmly” about discrimination and racism in the country.

“I am pleased with his progressive insight. There is hope,” said Elvin Rigters, foreman of the action group, after the interview.

Representatives of Kick Out Zwarte Piet and Black Lives Matter Netherlands were invited this afternoon to talk with Rutte and Minister Koolmees about how racism can be tackled in various areas of society.

Protests

The two organisations had not been invited to an earlier meeting on this subject in June and there was also criticism that these “protagonists” were missing. The talks were prompted by the major protests in the spring in response to police violence against black Americans and racism in the Netherlands.

Practical solutions

Kick Out Zwarte Piet thinks that the cabinet is pushing the problem too much on society. “Politics should take responsibility”, Rigters thinks. He is therefore satisfied that Rutte wants various ministries, in consultation with anti-racism organisations, to look for practical solutions in the fields of public health, education and the labour market.

“Discrimination is the worst thing that can happen to you,” said the Prime Minister after the “more than good talk”. “It’s still too common. We shouldn’t accept that.”

At the end of September, a new meeting is scheduled to discuss these practical solutions and more ministers, including from Education, Home Affairs, Justice and Public Health, will join in. Other anti-racism organisations will also receive an invitation.