Is Black Peter the Most Racist Tradition Ever? [POLL]
Christmas may be celebrated all across the globe, but everybody has their own Christmas traditions. Mexico beats piñatas, Russia celebrates on January 7, and China makes our Christmas decorations. But possibly the craziest, and most offensive, of all traditions is the Dutch's Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter.
Now Black Peter has been a part of the Dutch Christmas tradition since about the 1850s and is usually portrayed as Sinterklaas' (the original Santa Clause) assistant. Black Peter is an important part of the holiday season for the Dutch because without him, Sinterklaas wouldn't get anything done.
While Sinterklaas is riding high on his white horse and soaking up the attention, another Dutch tradition, Black Peter is in charge judging the children's behavior and delivering presents down the chimney. At one point in time Black Peter was even portrayed as the one who punishes the bad kids while Sinterklaas give them presents.
The duo arrives in the country on December 5, usually by boat from Spain, where Sinterklaas lives. Once they arrive they are greeted by a huge crowd of mostly children eager to receive their gifts.
It may seem like a harmless tradition but some people still argue that Black Peter is a racist symbol and here's why.
Anybody can be Black Peter, all you have to do is go blackface, one of the most racist and funniest things a white person can do. If you don't know, going blackface is exactly what it sounds like, you simply paint your face black.
Some people argue that Black Peter was originally a slave or servant to Sinterklaas, which is possible since slavery was still in existence when he first appeared, and is therefore a racist symbol.
Others argue that Black Peter is black because he was a chimney sweep from Spain or Italy who is permanently stained by all the soot he must climb through.
So what do you think Buzzhead? Is this a harmless Christmas tradition or a highly offensive one? You can check out a couple videos about Black Peter below to help you decide.