In November, while governor Jay Nixon declared the controversy in Ferguson to be a state of emergency, another racially charged protest was under way in the Netherlands. On November 15 the town of Gouda (famous for its cheese) held an annual festival celebrating the arrival of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and his sidekick, a Spanish Moor named Zwarte Piet or “Black Pete.”
So begins a fascinating post on Christmas, race, and the Netherlands by Joseph Laycock at Religion Dispatches. You can read the entire post here: Netherlands’ “War on Xmas” is “War on ‘Black Pete’” | Religion Dispatches.
(For a related take on this, see this NPR story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/12/01/367704573/santas-black-faced-helpers-are-under-fire-in-the-netherlands.)