I think it’s great that we re-evaluate certain traditions from time to time. Sometimes, certain things just become a bit old-fashioned. Having a playful black little helper could certainly classify as such. However, I can’t help but feel that discrimination and injustice have become things that only people of colour can make an appeal to. If for one second, we could just step out of our Zwarte Piet tunnel vision, we’d see that the world of festivity related characters is filled with injustice and oppression.
Take Sinterklaas. Now I know there’s no real clarity about his exact age, but rumor has it that he’s been around since the year 300. 300! That means this chap has been working for over 1700 years. Here we are complaining about retirement ages that keep getting higher. Meanwhile, we don’t only accept this lawful injustice, but we’re even applauding it. “Ohhh thank you Sinterklaas, please come back next year!” What?! For the love of God, just leave that poor man alone! I bet he cries himself asleep every night, wondering what has become of his life.
And he’s not the only one, really. Think about those poor reindeer! They go through jingle hell, slaving away by carrying around a morbidly obese man until the whole damn planet has received their Christmas gift. Or that miserable Easter Bunny, trying so hard every year to hide its eggs, only to have greedy little children hunt for them and eat every last one of them. Do you think any of them ever had anyone fight for their rights? They’ve been oppressed for ages and not once has anyone stopped to say “Hey, shouldn’t you be retired by now?” or “Maybe don’t take away eggs that aren’t yours.”
I think it’s time we take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves what gives us the right to continuously abuse others for our own good. And above all, start buying our own damn eggs.
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