Black Dutch newspaper columnists give up job, report abuse

Black Dutch newspaper columnists give up job, report abuse

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Extreme racist abuse has caused one black Dutch newspaper columnist to give up her job and another to report the abuse to the police, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

Trouw announced the departure of Seada Nourhussen on Thursday, stating that too much ‘negative attention and energy focused on [Nourhussen] as a person instead of on the contents of her columns’.

Clarice Gargard, who works for the NRC, reported a barrage of abuse she received as she made a live broadcast of an anti Zwarte Piet demonstration in Amstelveen. ‘As a black, female columnists I’m used to extreme reactions but if it’s Zwarte Piet it’s even worse.

That’s what made me go to the police,’ Gargard told the paper. Gargard said she felt that personal racist and sexist comments should not become normalised by the media and politicians.

‘There is a measure of tolerance. The hatred I am confronted with is being underestimated and that can make you feel totally abandoned,’ the Volkskrant quotes her as saying.

Nourhussen’s departure is ‘a wake-up call’ for the Dutch media, she said. ‘It is their task to make sure their columnists are safe.’ Gargard, who said she receives racist abuse on a weekly basis, is not going to change the way she writes, she told the paper.

‘I could censure myself, but the abuse is not about what I write, but about who I am. And I am not going to limit who I am.’ (DutchNews)

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