WorldViews: Why the Dutch tradition of blackface ahead of Christmas won’t go away

By Ishaan Tharoor, November 13, 2014

On the face of it, it's obvious why many outsiders find the Dutch Christmas-time figure of "Zwarte Piet" -- or Black Pete -- to be shockingly racist. Here's a tradition, after all, in which white people don minstrel-like clothes, wear frizzy wigs, paint their mouths a garish red and blacken their faces. It echoes all the worst iconography of America's troubled racial past.

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