I’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts regarding supporting BLM and other likeminded groups from not only the United States, but also other countries. I haven’t seen one about The Netherlands yet, so hopefully this blog post will help some fellow Dutchies out that are asking how to best help.
I’ll be honest, sometimes Dutch people (Europeans in general? I don’t really know) tend to think we’re very high and mighty compared to Americans. While some things might be better across the pond, it would be foolish to imply we don’t have the same issues regarding racism toward minority groups as the United States. Although we preach having a very multicultural society, the vast majority is white. And just like in the United States, fascists and white supremacists are feeling emboldened by their political leaders, and more and more hate is being spewed.
This blog post will include some resources that allow you, a Dutch person, to help your fellow humans in the United States that are suffering even now.
Probably the most important first step. I’ve asked some of my POC friends what someone like me can do to help. Take concerns from the POC community seriously. They’re not making shit up.
This doesn’t just mean listening to American voices. Listen to your Dutch POC as well.
2: Educate yourself
The most obvious place to start is the Black Lives Matter website. Take a look around there and read all the stories, sign their petitions, and donate if you can. You don’t need an American credit card, because they take Pay Pal.
Educate yourself on what white privilege means. A lot of times when this phrase is used, people get really defense, but there is not need for that. It doesn’t mean that you, a white person, never struggles. It means you’re not struggling because of your skin color. My good friend Justin suggested using the term “black tax,” which is the same connotation, but without the “guilt.” Either way, Teaching Tolerance goes in very deep on what white privilege is and isn’t, and I implore you to look into it before completely dismissing its existence.
Also, educate yourself on racism. Racism isn’t limited to just the United States, it exists in the Netherlands, too. Nox the Reader has a HUGE list of books about racism and how to not be a racist. I’m not going to paste every book she mentioned, because that’s stealing, so I highly recommend hopping to her blog and checking out her list.
Anti-racist groups also exist. Cross Cultural Solidarity has a long list of anti-racist groups in the United States. Check them out, and if you can, support them! The Netherlands has these groups as well, but unfortunately, they are still very limited. Here are a couple you can consider supporting:
- Anti Racisme Groep
- Anti-Racisme (this one is Belgian, but I’m including it anyway)
- European Network Against Racism
3. Sign petitions
Again, Nox the Reader has an amazing ever evolving list of petitions you can sign right now. You need a U.S. zipcode to sign, but luckily for all you Dutchies, I still live in the U.S. and you can use mine.
I will put out a few links to petitions down below, but please visit Nox the Reader’s blog for the bigger list.
- Justice for George Floyd
(I love this one, because signing sets off a chain reaction of recommended petitions you can easily one-click sign)
- Charge the Minneapolis Police Officers for Murder
- Raise the Charges Against Chauvin
These petitions are all related to George Floyd, but signing any of them will take you to other related petitions. Take a minute to read through the descriptions, and sign whatever you can to amplify the voices of those who want real justice.
4. Be a good bystander
If you see something, say something. You all know when you see something that just isn’t right. POC will not always be able to defend themselves, especially when they’re not in the room. If someone is being racist toward POC, call them out! I feel like a lot of racists feel they can get away with saying the things they say, because no one calls them out.
This doesn’t just go for “in real life” situations in public, but online as well. I know us bloggers have connections all over the world thanks to the Internet, and it is our duty to call out bad behavior, even if it occurs halfway across the world.
For in real life situations I recommend checking out this page here. It concisely explains how to be a good bystander and take good action.
If you’re Dutch and you see something in the Netherlands you’d like to report, you can do so at Discriminatie.nl
5. Know your enemy
I’m writing my masters thesis on how Trump has been affecting the rise of white supremacy in the United States. Unfortunately, this means I have to do a lot of research on white supremacists and the groups they’re a part of. It’s honestly quite depressing stuff, and I’d rather not read about how these “people” view POC (and women of any kind).
I believe it’s important to know your enemy. White supremacy is not just an American phenomenon, it exists in The Netherlands, too. Educate yourself on groups that support white power, are anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, et cetera, so you know who to call out. And please, don’t vote for racists.
Here are some of the books that I have been using/am going to use for my research, and although they’re mostly relevant to the United States, they contain important messages regarding how white supremacy seeps into society:
- Alt America: the rise of the radical right in the age of Trump – David Neiwert
- Alt Right: from 4chan to the White House – Mike Wendling
- Bring the War Home – Kathleen Belew