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This document represents the Needs Analysis of the Dutch situation regarding the discussion on Zwarte Piet and the general situation of (perceived) social exclusion in the Netherlands in general.

The text has been drafted within the framework of the European project Talking about taboos.The project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The document reflects the view only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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  1. 1. Project: Talking About Taboos (2013-1-FR1-GRU06-49587) This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Needs analysis Project: Talking about taboos: Website to help adult trainers address racism, xenophobia and other prejudices in their classrooms GRUNDTVIG Learning Partnerships. LLP 2007-2013 - N. 2013-1-FR1-GRU06-49587 BLACK PETER AS A STARTING POINT TO TALK ABOUT EVERYDAY MANIFESTATIONS OF RACIAL PREJUDICE IN THE NETHERLANDS Partner organization EZZEV FOUNDATION 1. What is the concrete problem addressed The representation of Black Pete (Zwarte Piet) in the celebration of Dutch St. Nicolas (Sinterklaas) is seen as an act of racism by some while the majority of the Dutch population sees it as an innocent tradition. The Black Pete discourse in the Netherlands is very present in Dutch media and very aggressive in tone. 2. How is this problem connected to the themes of the project (stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination)? The discussion in the Netherlands, and not only in the Netherlands, concerns a tradition – the representation of Black Pete by blackfaced individuals primarily from the indigenous population - as a potential everyday manifestation of racial prejudice. This discussion is taken as the perfect starting point to start a discussion about how to define and how to react to (perceived) everyday manifestations of racial prejudice. 3. What target groups linked to adult education are directly touched by the needs assessment?  Adult training institutions – both institutional and less formal;  Parents - one of the groups actively holding on to the traditional representation of Black Pete and identified as one of the major stakeholders in the discussion by the UN;  School representatives who have to deal with parents;
  2. 2. Project: Talking About Taboos (2013-1-FR1-GRU06-49587) This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.  Marketers as co-influencers of the general public opinion;  The general public. 4. What methods were used in the needs assessment  LITERATURE STUDY: Research on general frames available in scientific literature and research on specific frames appearing in the Black Pete discussion in the media.  FOCUS GROUPS: Representatives from the target groups met offline and online in a closed Facebook groups and were requested to provide feedback on (1) news articles; (2) questionnaire results – see below; (3) framing options for the discussion; (4) good practices.  QUESTIONNAIRE: Representatives from the general audience, and especially the most vocal advocates of the anti- and pro- Black Pete social media groups, were targeted to present their framing of the discussion and of the advocates of the anti- and pro- Black Pete stances while being asked to disclose their own stance. 5. Main conclusions of the needs assessment The main results from the Needs Analysis are:  For many the topic only recently became a topic to reflect upon.  Many have an (outspoken) opinion on the topic. There are more pro- advocates than anti- advocates.  A small minority condemns advocates of a different opinion as their own in exclusive terms such as “racist” or “foreigner/ non-Dutch”.  A big majority frames the advocates of a different opinion as their own in inclusive terms: “normal people”.  The second most inclusive framing of people with a different opinion is “traditional people” who unwillingly act racist (for pro- advocates by anti- advocates) and “oversensitive people” who do not understand the original tradition (for anti- advocates).  The majority framing is absent from the discourse in national media. Only the representative of the small minority are heard. 6. What kind of local action could address the identified problem? What kind of alternative frames could be used? What good practices you envisage to adapt and test? Local actions that could address the problem identified are:  Giving the majority a voice by making them visible.  Promoting instruments that question exclusive framing and stimulate inclusive framing. The alternative framing of the subject concerns the insight that a moderate frame is dominant among the population but not in the media discourse. The moderate frame does not rest on mutual exclusion like the media discourse but rests on inclusion within which there is a mere difference of opinion.
  3. 3. Project: Talking About Taboos (2013-1-FR1-GRU06-49587) This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. The good practices that are envisaged to adapt and test are instruments that:  Facilitate beginning an open conversation on difficult subjects;  Facilitate intense listening;  Facilitate voicing one’s stance inclusively;  Facilitate countering exclusive framing.

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