A little known black history fact for us Americans is the story of “Black Peter.” We tend to stick with the Night Before Christmas story and Santa’s magic reindeer (including Rudolph) and the whole North Pole toy factory and elves thing. But the Netherlands has another story about an elf that may have made a funny Christmas gag in our community. But it would’ve surely gone awry and become a point of contention once the white community started dressing up like Black Peter during the Macy’s parade.
According to The Root, the African-Canadian community is getting pretty tired of the story themselves. The story is that Santa Claus had a helper named Black Peter that was an African slave. He would help Santa out by carrying the naughty list and a big stick. He would come and beat the naughty kids and take them away in a bag. He was also known to scatter candy, but that was probably for bait.
But the character has been outlawed in Canada’s New Westminster’s Dutch Sinterklaas celebrations this year. African-Canadians felt it was overtly racist, “offensive and outdated.” So for the first time since 1985, Black Peter isn’t invited to the celebration where their Sinterklaas goes to New Westminster Quay on a ferry-type boat.
The Dutch have celebrated the character in blackface and now it appears that enough is enough. They defend the notion of it being racist saying Black Peter wasn’t even black. He just came down the chimney with Santa Claus and he was covered with soot that never seems to wash off. Sorry, but I gotta say it…C’MON SON!
Read the rest of the report here.