Spain and the Netherlands look to phase out blackface Christmas traditions
- Madrid authorities announced that they will cast an actual black person in the role of Balthazar this year rather than continue the tradition of blackening the face of a white person.
- In The Hague, education officials announced that elementary schools will no longer engage in the “Black Pete” tradition, which paints Santa’s helpers in blackface.
- While cities across Spain are increasingly abolishing holiday blackface, the Netherlands has seen staunch resistance, with a majority of its citizens rejecting the idea that Black Pete is a racist practice.
“This change is much more than just anecdotal. … Given the increasingly large community of colour in our city, it seems absurd that this role continues to be represented by a person with their face blackened.”
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(Image Credit: Peter Dejong/AP, via The Guardian)