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Dutch foreign ministry apologizes for ‘institutional racism’

The Dutch foreign ministry on Monday apologized after reports of widespread systemic racism against people of ethnic background called “monkeys” and other abusive language.

According to an independent report commissioned in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, employees of color often feel excluded and neglected by their white colleagues in the ministry.

While employees “generally aren’t directly abused,” they can experience “verbal aggression” when they hear others disrespect people because of their skin color, religion, or origin. It happened often.

“Many employees say people are called ‘monkeys’, ‘boquitos’, ‘negroes’ and ‘black peat’ because of the color of their skin,” the report said.

“One employee calls African countries ‘the land of monkeys’.”

Black Pete, or Zwarte Pete, is a blackface festive character who traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas in the Netherlands and Belgium, while Boquito was the gorilla that rampaged from the Rotterdam Zoo in 2007.

Dutch Foreign Minister Wobke Hekstra said the report was “painful and confrontational”.

“What has been experienced by many colleagues in divisions and missions around the world is unacceptable and this touches me deeply,” he tweeted.

The independent report included interviews with 33 people and focus groups, including a total of 47 ‘bicultural’ foreign ministry officials, embassy officials, and some Caucasian officials working in the Netherlands and abroad. rice field.

Many of those questioned believe they have been “ignored and overlooked” and feel left out, especially locally hired embassy staff.

The report said the findings “raised the question of whether there is systemic racism. It concludes that this is the case.”

The Netherlands has long promoted its image as a liberal and multicultural society, but in recent years it has taken into account its history as a colonial and slave-trading powerhouse.

A reported plan for the government to formally apologize for slavery in late December has been thrown into disarray, with former colonial groups not being consulted and calling for a delay.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/dutch-foreign-ministry-apologises-for-institutional-racism-448628/ Dutch foreign ministry apologizes for ‘institutional racism’

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