By: V4 Agency
It’s not just the Christmas holiday that provides good examples for efforts aimed at abolishing or rewriting traditions. Santa has also fallen victim to the idea of change and diversity.
Even the winter holidays have proved less than immune to the creative ideas of the BLM and LGBT communities, who aim to rethink traditions they view as objectionable.
Progressives in Europe have taken issue with the popular Black Pete character. Santa’s helper stirred quite a debate last year in the Netherlands for embodying the “blackface” phenomenon, when white people cover their faces with black paint. Many thought the practice was offensive and outright racist and made efforts to ban it in several cities. This year, in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement, their antipathy has only intensified.
An interesting phenomenon is rising in the Netherlands: the figure of Black Pete, having several centuries of tradition,…
According to the head of Kick Out Black Pete, a Dutch anti-racist organisation, things have changed this year, to their benefit. Jerry Afriyie said although thy used to be branded as terrorists, they are now the mainstream. A recent remark by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said there would be no Black Pete character in a few years because of the the BLM movement, goes a long way to illustrate the gravity of the situation.
In the Netherlands, many believe that racism is the root cause of a number of serious problems that were merely amplified by the Black Pete character. More and more politicians share this view and turn their back on the tradition “to be on the right side of history.” Surveys also show a continued drop in nationwide support for Santa’s helper.
The Dutch have already found their alternative Black Pete. His planned replacement – who is somwhat of a compromise – is none other than Chimney Pete. He isn’t a black-faced figure but his face is covered in smudges of dark soot because, according to the new narrrative, Santa’s helper comes down the chimney.
However, the chimney alternative is not to everyone’s liking. A few days ago the building of the Black Archives in Amsterdam was vandalised. The murals were covered in white paint and stickers carrying the text “Chimney Pete is genocide.”
Besides St. Nicholas, Santa Clause – who became the target of various ideas put forth by the LGBT lobby – can also expect to undergo serious changes.
In the book called Santa’s Husband the big, bearded Santa Claus is portrayed as a black man, who has a husband instead of a wife. The LMBTQ book describes the story as a “fresh new twist” on the traditional story of Santa Clause.
While many welcomed the book for its diversity, others are outraged. Many complained about Santa’s portrayal as a gay man, believing that it does not necessarily have a good influence on children’s perceptions.
In the name of diversity, new emoticons – to reflect various aspects of gender equality – were also announced in January. The result is a new, a gender-neutral Santa who runs by the name Mx Claus, where the Mx signals that his character is neither male, (Mr), nor female (Mrs).