That I should not complain like that. Because the Netherlands is color blind. This is a brief summary of the storm of reactions to my very first article on racism in the Netherlands. It was 2006 in the magazine of Erasmus University Rotterdam. In the years that followed, I wrote many paragraphs, held debates, participated in demonstrations and when I myself became a teacher, I gave lectures on institutional racism.
It was not without resistance. Strangely, it did not come from the right. Since the right Netherlands invites you to speak nonsense, but it will be discussed with you. It can sometimes go fast, but the great thing is that ideas are always exchanged. I was very proud when Thomas van Elst, founder of the right-wing nationalist Facebook page ̵
Especially the progressive Netherlands provided the greatest resistance. Even tough resistance. If at all you wanted to apply the term institutional racism to the Netherlands, you were “too radical”. Let’s say Zwarte Piet would be racist: it was a reason for the progressive Netherlands to declare himself in disarray.
The tide has turned 2020. Now that you’ve fallen for a few years in progressive Netherlands, you can say we can take the next step. What is the next step? Convincing the large group of white Dutch outside Randstad. It requires patience, a lot of work and perhaps most importantly, empathy. Also for grandmother in Etten-Leur who thinks the discussion is scary. Also for the system administrator in Nieuwegein, who is afraid of losing his country.
But no, there is no next step. As a progressive Netherlands increasingly loses itself in toxic, anti-white sectarianism – through an unholy alliance of subsidized color cries. Not focused on progress but focused on moral blackmail. The goal: a culture of fear, maintained by a new thought police that chases your job and reputation.
They do not even reject character assassinations. If you have a tan and dare to say that you should continue talking to white people who think differently, you are an “Uncle Tom”. If you are white you have to keep your mouth shut anyway and buy and read “white homework”. To be silenced afterwards, otherwise “center your whiteness”.
In this way, “anti-racism” becomes a whip to suppress dissent, especially the white subclass. It’s no coincidence that this whip is taken up most by white privileged progressives. Universities, the media and the cultural sector seem to increasingly include the new tank police. I’m worried about this scary trend.
Because after they have cleared Johan Derksen they smell of blood. The next target is Jort Kelder. Since he is a white man, he should not present a debate on racism on Sunday, according to an extortion to NPO chief Shula Rijxman. “Racism is not an opinion,” the letter said. Oh. There is no more infantile fallacy. Finance is also not an opinion. Nothing is an opinion in itself. But the letter becomes even more scary:
“We can only conclude that your (Rijxman) motives are not pure and therefore it is about getting grades. But if this is not the case, we would like to get a convincing motivation from you that shows that your motives are pure.”
I urge the NPO, and also the rest of the Netherlands, to draw a line now. Until here and no longer. For a free, open society. And also of interest in the real fight against racism. Dare to say no to moral blackmail. No one should have to apologize, let alone rush to lose his job because of his complexion.
Not you, not me, but also Jort Kelder.
Mind Your Mind is a historian.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on July 11, 2020
A version of this article also appeared in no. Next of July 11, 2020