Decolonial Power Grips: Documenting Dutch Rich White Racism

Under a glass of expensive wine behind protective high walls in their white privileged paradise in front of the cameras Dutch rich pensioners the protaganists of the ‘Hollandse Maatjes’ documentary unleash the following racist flammatory statements: 1. Curaçaoan men all they do is sit all day under a tree, play domino and fuck. 2. Slavery? Come on, listen they came here where else should they have gone to? They would’ve been in Africa with a penis shaft and a straw skirt on. My dad in the early 1900s (in the Netherlands) had it rougher than them down here. The old Curaçaoans are very friendly, they speak perfect Dutch too, its the younger generation hooked on brand name clothes and if they can’t have it they steal it. For 400 florins they’ll shoot you! 3. You can do anything down here: ride horses, play hockey, ballet its just like Holland with good weather. 4. You don’t have to speak Papiamentu here, anyone with a bit of intelligence speaks Dutch or English. 5. Oh sure we owe a lot to Dutch investors. 6. That slavery story has got to stop, grow up man that’s 300 years ago.
Go find out why your island is failing. 7. You should thank God on your bare knees that our forefathers started bringing ‘slaves’ down here in the 17th century. You have a better life now, if it wasn’t for them you would still be living in uhm Ivory Coast with bones through your nose and straw skirts on. See it as something positive.”

Dutch white racism on widespread levels does not exist, its taboo to say so it does in Curaçao. The media in general (few exceptions aside) usually does not discuss it with vigor and fearlesness, failing to analyze all the levels of impact it has from profound socio-economic angles. You just don’t want to open up the masses eyes that didn’t see, read about this controversial documentary in the papers or have access to internet to catch it behind a laptop. Can’t shake up the Dutch economic elite. Can’t scrutinize, measure their power on a corporate, educational, health, judicial, financial level. Politicians, pressure groups, scholars, academics, intellectuals, media and opinion makers will not sacrifice their comfort nest. Nobody ever done research on the Dutch conclave, Dutch professors come down to investigate, dig through our National Archives write stuff about slavery and how benevolent it was compared to other colonizing nations but do absolutely nothing that contributes to structurally fortify our emancipation process.

The light weight outrage of the Dutch expats against this documentary and its false framing of their reality is questionable. Their claims are that only a small percentage on the island are racist. Letters to the editor of Amigoe and Versgeperst comments are not enough to hold racist community members accountable. The majority of the Dutch is not explicitely racist as can be seen in the documentary Onderelkaar ‘Hollandse Maatjes’ but a majority does support and maintains the subtle finetuned Dutch white racist power system. There’s no need to speak foul words but the average Dutch will cosign silently almost everything that has been said in the documentary consciously or subconsciously. The absence of organized action to overthrow or even slightly readjust that system says enough. A silent systematic refusal echoes through-out the island to desmantle that Dutch racist framework galvanized in economic, financial power. So in the end denial is cute but hypocritical.
The Dutch white racism spirit belongs to a large collective, looking out for their own people, their own class and they are absolutely not interested into decolonizing that system or striving to unshackle theirselves and the Curaçaoans from unresolved slavery and colonialism scarifications on the mental and spiritual level.

This group rarely will finance social-cultural projects, those that increase the understanding of Blackness in Curaçao and boost Afro-Curaçaoan cultural and economic power. Along with the Black elite clique awareness on many levels that could bring progress in many communites stays underdeveloped. Of course the Dutch and Curaçao colonized elite will sponsor a film like Tula The Revolt out of financial motives but certainly not with the intention to uplift Black cultural power which automatically, eventually leads to Black economic power. As long as it blesses our economy with €uros and boosts up our GDP Dutch white racism is seen as God’s gift.

And we won’t stop riding on that false perception wave until we fully overstand the soul sister message Joceline Clemencia wrote in her 1999 UNESCO paper ‘Papiamentu is more than a language’: “In our ignorant innocence or innocent ignorance we overlooked the fact that they were, and historically are, the rulers and we the ruled ones, and that power never renders itself; it has to be conquered, if not by sword then by the mind. And we neglected the mind. We have not studied our rulers well enough, otherwise we would have known that we were programmed to think that we are not programmed; that if we looked the other way long enough and denied the existence of colonialism it would automatically
disappear. We forgot that we were trained not to see colonialism as colonialism.”

The colonial blindfolds are powerful, their financial threads are tight woven into our society and are not that easy to rip apart especially as Joceline Clemencia further states that: “The country forgot to found the faculties of Humanities to teach us history and herstory, geography, anthropology, sociology, languages, and our own language. The discussion about
starting a language faculty has been going on for more than a decade now with no results. While denying colonialism we did not only get scars, but it penetrated deeply into our genes and, in a very civilized way, cultivated in our schools, academies, and university we pass on to our
children a very low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, an inferiority complex, distrust, fear of responsibility, absence of creativity and initiative, and non-scientific thinking.”

Trudi Martinus-Guda the wife of acclaimed author and Papiamentu emancipator Frank Martinus Arion after a week of cheap Amigoe readers smoke screen commentary drops one of the realest knowledge jewels critique ever in local Dutch newspaper history in true Creole ‘Pal’i muhe’ fashion: “Traditional hypocrisy acting as if the rest of the population is not being discriminated. The unwillingness to recognize this originates from think patterns expressed by these naieve Dutch folks: the total rejection and abomination of Africa and the Black habitants of Africa, as excuse and justification for slavery, colonization and discrimination. Meaning as well rejection of African religions, cultures and physical characteristics assuming prejudice regarding their human abilities, and also those of their descendants, in general. And that a couple of centuries long, even longer than 200 years Kingdom! And that not only by Dutch people, but also by other immigrants and Curaçaoans. That is the main issue. The extreme statements are just side-issues.”

A critical collective must value the responsability to make audio-visual documentaries about power, race, class, gender and the effects of slavery, colonialism and the true meaning of 150 years after abolition under a Dutch flag and soon to be king. We can’t let outsiders keep creating our public debates and putting their emancipatory pacifiers in our mouths.

1] Kees Tukker
2] Coby Jansen
3] Marja Tukker
4] Kees Tukker
5] Joost Pronk
6] Kees Tukker
7] Joost Pronk

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— The only politician that condemned the racism exposed in the documentary was Helmin Wiels, also the only person to call upon boycotting Joost Pronk’s Audi and Seat car dealership at Skerpene.

— Peace to the Dutch working class lady selling herrings, she kept it real and pointed out that many Dutch folks do think that they are superior than others.

12 thoughts on “Decolonial Power Grips: Documenting Dutch Rich White Racism

  1. Cajosh says:

    I am a Curaçao born Citizen and went to school there, and was beaten daily by a dutch teacher. For 3 Long years,that it has change my entire life completely. I can confirm the dutch dominance, and racisme that exist on the Island and there superior behavior, and the jokes they are cracking about us. It starts already in the Supermarkets, their refusal to speak the Papiamentu language and the beaches that they see as their property and it reaches truly all the way in the Islands economics, which I think is still within theirs influence. I have never seen a society that lives still so close to slavery as the Curaçao society and do not realise it, and the Dutch would like to keep it right there. We will mis a Helmin Wiels forever, he knew it. The Dutch some how have not yet reaches this human level in live, because it is a Process in live that every society goes through, and learn. If it was the second World War, or slavery, you see there are no more wars in Europe…they have learned. Or how long did it took until the European realised that slavery was wrong. The Dutch is unable to see and except his daily racist behavior he imposes un the Curaçao society. He have not yet reached that quality and want to maintain in those good old days. He would still call us a NEGER, to show us that he is able, and get away with it. He will do everything to maintain this system, and never change it, because as you reply, they think it is Gods given. Where ever a Dutch go they will install their beloved apartheid system, unable to live with people under the same umbrella under same cercomestances. But then they would hypocritically go to church and learn you that everybody is equal for God, and especially learn to forgive (Forgive them for there deeds), because they know they do wrong. And even when you forgive them, like Mandela did, they will have the lack of respect to portrait him as a Zwarte Piet caricature in the media after his dead. The dutch think they are good, while they live in Curaçao for 30 and 40 years and still refuse to speak the language, says much about their Supreme attitude.
    They will open up a Hotel, Restaurant, a dive school, or rent apartments, easily without speaking a word of the language, and rent it only to dutch people. This is unthinkable in Holland they will force you to speak the language, and they will tell you, “If you come to the Netherlands, you should adapt to the Dutch system and if you don`t like you can go back where you came from” MOST DUTCH PEOPLE IN CURAÇAO AND IN THE NETHERLANDS ARE RACIST. Cajosh

  2. Cynthia says:

    This is true.

    As a foreigner living in Curacao I find the local Dutch people here very narrow-minded and racist yet they think they are superior and highly knowledgeable. They very clearly still have a slave master mentality. They don’t even hide it.

    I have travelled the world a lot and I have never met as many crude Dutch people as I have here on this island. It is terrible.

    Most of them have no exposure to the outside world and you can tell by their behaviour.

    They are full of jealousy and hatred for anyone that comes from abroad and does better than them or seems to be more educated/successful than they are or were at that age.

    I feel sorry for the black people living on this island.

    This island culturally and socially is decades behind most of the other Caribbean islands.

    I find most of the local white Dutch people to be very crude and lacking in manners. They are worse than Dutch people in Europe.

    Yes I have to say, Dutch people are very racist.
    They claim to have an advanced , open society but it is all lies. If you think Dutch people in Europe are rude. Here it is 10 times worse.

    They are the most narrow-minded racist people I have ever met in my life and this whole Zwarte Piet thing that they refuse to let go of proves it. The whole world is laughing at their stupidity and racist nonsense.
    Zwarte Piet is a slave. Why do they deny this?
    It is a caricature of black people as slaves but yet they deny it.
    If he is black from the chimney then why does he clearly always have to have African features and wears the clothing that black people wore as slaves?

    Do you think if they brought Zwarte Piet to any part of the English speaking world, it would be tolerated ??
    They just have no shame.

    I showed my father a picture of Zwarte Piet, immediately he said they should get rid of it without my even telling him anything about it. IT is so offensive.

    They also like to claim they are direct but they are downright rude. They have no manners. There is a huge difference between being direct and being honest. They cross the line constantly.

    Sorry but most Dutch white people just have no class. They are extremely crude, narrow-minded people.

    The Dutch politician shouting “More or less Morroccans” on national tv are a perfect example of the kind of people they are. They have no shame in openly belittling and degrading outsiders. It is too late now. You already allowed these people into your country so you have to just learn how to deal with them. Why are you trying to instill hatred towards them?

    A lot of Dutch women are also so masculine and aggressive. They don’t know what it is like to be treated like a lady because of their weird culture so they become bitchy to overcompensate for the lack of real love in their relationships. Yes Dutch men are the most selfish men on earth. As a result Dutch women are so deprived and miserable they don’t even realise it.

    Their concept of being open-minded is that you must conform to them but they don’t have to conform to you. So sad.

    Curacao is a very beautiful island but culturally it is decades behind many of the other islands and is depressing.

    The latest trend is a lot of these Dutch white local men marrying Venezeuelan and Colombian women. This is because these women are submissive and willing to do anything to better their lives. There is nothing a dutch person likes more than someone who is subservient to them. Unfortunately the local women do not put up with it anymore and it pisses them off. Who knows what these marriages are really like behind closed doors. I really do not want to know. These women are stupid. I hope they know what they are signing up for.

    I want to get out of here.

    • Jermain Ostiana says:

      Thanks for commenting. You shouldn’t leave the island just because of ignorant Dutch folks. Continue to share your insights of the racial frictions, injustices with other people that might not be aware of what’s really going on down here. Maybe you could consider to write down your real life experiences. That would be a great contribution to the cause.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Personal example:

    I was staying at a holiday resort here on the island as a tourist. A white Dutch person came up to me at the hotel and asked me if she could have some coffee. (By the way I am black. ) When I explained to her I don’t work here she didn’t even apologise. She just walked off and said she will get it her self.

    This is a perfect example of the rudeness of Dutch people. They will do you wrong and they will never apologise because to Dutch people being nice is a sign of weakness. They also assume that everyone black is either a servant, or uneducated person.

    They believe that they are superior in culture to everyone in this world. When it is actually the opposite. They have no class.

  4. Cynthia says:

    2nd example.

    In order to become a dutch citizen on this island you have to sit 9 exams in Papiamentu and Dutch.

    However if so called white Dutch people from Holland want to come here to live they are not forced to sit any test in Papiamentu . As a matter of fact they as you said above make no attempt to learn Papiamentu.

    I find it very insulting on this island they way if a local speaks to a Dutch person in Papiamentu the Dutch person answers in Dutch.

    That is so disrespectful and it is tolerated. Why ? because Dutch people are the slave masters ??

    I could remember even seeing one dutch woman replying “Wat zeg u ??? ” (What did you say? ) to a local man with a scrunched up face as though the man was speaking some kind of alien language.

    So disrespectful.

    Also why the double standards when it comes to the rules for foreigners coming to live here to be citizens.

    Why are Dutch people who want to come live here from Europe not forced to sit a test in Papiamentu before they are allowed to come here.

    Dutch people like to talk about integration but they don’t practice it themselves.

    Again, their concept of being open-minded is that you must conform to them but they don’t have to conform to you.

    So narrow-minded and racist.

    Why is it Dutch people don’t have to learn Papiamentu but Papiamentu speakers and foreigners MUST learn dutch in order to get ahead in society.

    This is the only island in the Caribbean where the language of the local people is not respected and this type of language segregation takes place.

    • Jermain Ostiana says:

      Its because they lack the cultural understanding that if you want to really get to know Curacao you need to speak the language that the people express their wisdoms and truths. That’s why they continue isolating themselves. The Dutch that speak Papiamentu feel more and act more down to earth, at ease, they blend in more natural.

  5. juanita says:

    Okay so how do Curacaoans perceive local dutch white people ( i.e those living here for decades that speak Papiamentu etc.. especially the rich ones ) versus Dutch white people from Holland that only recently arrived.

    I am curious. Do you view them in the same manner ?

    I feel like on this island there is a battle between:

    1. The descendants of slaves vs everyone else
    2. The latinos vs the black locals.
    3. Local white dutch people vs .expats / recent arrrivals from Holland.

    I would love to hear an honest opinion from a local on these relationships.
    Personally I cannot tell the difference often between the local whites and whites from Europe, except that they may be more tanned. However I definitely feel that there is some degree of envy between the local whites and the expat whites.

    • Jermain Ostiana says:

      The creole white Curacaoan like you said speaks the language, grooves to Carnaval tunes, understands and to a certain distanced limit participates in the black culture. It couldn’t be no other way either they grew up here but they were socialized whith white comfortabilities. Middle to upper-class status, financial and economic power positions. The Dutch whites lack the cultural connection, they disdain Papiamentu, they see themselves as a neo-colonial savior to civilize the black population and at the same time exploit them via their social and business projects. Both of them carry this colonial arrogance that stems from slavery and the days of Dutch colonialism. Their perception is that the Afro-Curacaoan is not capable to run his own country on all levels. Or you could say their inherited nature is to maintain white dominance for their survival.

      There are battles, call them identity wars, culture wars. But its a logical consequence when you enslaved an colonized a black nation for centuries and than think ‘freedom’ on paper will result in ‘free people’ with ‘free minds’ in reality. If black people had real economic, financial power they would never feel threatened by Latinos or Dutch whites or other foreigners.

      You should check this book out it will clarify all the identies, because even within white Curacaoans there are degreees, hierarchies: THE NATURE OF ETHNIC IDENTITY AMONG THE PEOPLE
      OF CURAÇAO by Natasha van der Dijs. Its online pdf version, check it out.

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