Black Actors

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This subject has been floating around my atmosphere for the past week or so: racism and hate. So if you’re michael powell and seeing a woman’s ankle offends you, skip this post and consider resigning like your father, and stop HURTING the world.

The first part of this concerns the comical and potentially offensive “black petes” who do all of Dutch Santa Claus’s dirty work.(and they have weblogs!) All the newbies in Amsterdam are always shocked by this, but I am not, and that’s not what I’m here to discuss today. What interests me is how Americans react and what this reaction means:

Pardon the generalization friends, but it is most commonly Americans who have trouble seeing white people dress in black face, red lipstick, jerry-curl hair, and big gold hoop earings, in order to give candy to children who are screaming “PETE PETE PETE PETE” in adoration. Dutch people think nothing of it, they grew up with it, they’ll defend Piet’s painted black-ass to the end. Americans see it as offensive-imitating another race, and that this character is effectively a slave for old-white Sinter Klas. Of course the inevitable Piet revolution is already being televised.

But wait, there’s a part two:

During a friendly-match in Spain, against England last night, fans started chanting racist slogans towards black players like Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips. Much like the Lazio fans in Rome are infamous for harassing the shit out of non-white players. And then FIFA comes out with all these statements about how it is unacceptable, and shocking, “in this day and age.”

Each of these stories keep resurfacing in different ways. And all I keep thinking is, does it matter? I mean, are Americans less racist because they’re so much more concerned with not doing anything overtly racist? Would Spanish or Italian fans be less racist if they showed up to matches and behaved themselves? Underneath it all, aren’t all these cultures seemingly hiding the fact that they are no further evolved then they were 50 or 100 years ago?

I suppose if I had to choose between the two, I’d rather live in a world that was only secretly racist, rather then publicly proud of its racism. But the truth is, both scenarios suck anyway. Was in not dostoevsky who said “The level of evolution of a society can be seen by the conditions at its football matches.”

One more thing that kind of sucks, but in a nice way, Jamie of the Known Universe is set to return to the people’s republic to brooklyn tomorrow. I will miss his Amsterdam blogging and his presence in the city.

Today’s Sounds: Bill Frisell – The Willies