On Wednesday 2 September 2020, Kick Out Black Pete (KOBP), represented by experts from the Afro-Dutch community, including Humanity in Action The Netherlands’ Program Manager Raissa Biekman, spoke with prime minister Mark Rutte and minister Wouter Koolmees of Social Affairs and Employment.
KOBP is currently working on a manifest against institutional racism. The manifest suggests practical solutions regarding education and police violence. According to KOBP, the manifest includes advice and demands from the black community to tackle racism effectively within several domains.
In the Nederlands Dagblad, KOBP spokesperson Elvin Rigters was cautiously positive on the conversation: “It was a good conversation, because there was a lot of listening. There are progressive insights, but there is definitely still work to do”. In a press release on the Facebook page ‘Black Pete is Racism’, KOBP added: “The statements of Rutte sound good, but we expect action and policy, also after the upcoming elections in 2021”. Nonetheless, they look back on a constructive conversation: “The actions that we have taken with thousands of people over the last nine years to tackle institutional racism have finally reached into the Hague. The recognition of the prime minister that racism deserves an approach from politics is an important step to fight the problem”.
“The statements of Rutte sound good, but we expect action and policy, also after the upcoming elections in 2021”.
The emphasis of the conversation lay on the role that politics should take in the approach against racism. Rigters: “Politics expect that the society resolves this problem. But racism is a crime and no other crime is expected to be solved by society itself”.
Prime minister Rutte also called it a constructive conversation on Facebook: “We have to keep the conversation about racism in the society going in order to tackle it. We can only fight racism together. In education, in healthcare, on the labour market. We will carry on the conversation soon and will continue together”.
“The recognition of the prime minister that racism deserves an approach from politics is an important step to fight the problem”.
At the end of September, Kick Out Black Pete, other organisations who are committed to end institutional racism, will continue their conversations with the prime minister and other ministries. In October a manifest shall be presented, including a 10-point-approach.
Pictures: © ANP