A plan to eliminate racism unveiled last week by the Netherlands’ Denk (Think) party contains proposals such as creating a 1,000-man strong “Racism Police” and renaming of streets and museums associated with Holland’s colonial and slave-trading history.
The document, released by Think last week, claims the Netherlands is blighted by ‘institutional racism’ and outlines a radical program to combat this. Qualifying as an official political party last year, Think is the first political force established by migrants for migrants in Europe.
The paper advocates the creation of a 1,000-agent “Racism Police”, as Think believe too few people are presently being prosecuted for racism and discrimination. Penalties for these crimes would also see a massive hike under the party.
Also set out in the document are Think’s plans for a “Racism Register”, which would catalogue Dutch people deemed disrespectful to migrants. “Convicted racists” would be barred from government and public sector jobs.
Other proposals outlined include a ban on the terms “native” and “immigrant” and the creation of a national holiday which would celebrate “diversity” in the Netherlands.
Asserting that it is unreasonable to expect migrants to integrate, the paper states that fostering “mutual acceptance” between newcomers and citizens should be the state’s goal. To this end, the document advocates the government set up a “mutual acceptance monitor”.
Anti-racism and fostering positive attitudes to migration, diversity and equality must be “core goals” of citizenship classes in schools, according to Think. It stresses that it’s also vital that pupils are regularly assessed to measure their progress in these anti-racist goals.
Pointing to studies showing hostility towards migrants is linked to educational attainment, the paper proposes that citizens who are found guilty of racism be sent to re-education classes.
Inspired by mandatory courses for motorists caught speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol, Think advocates that persons convicted of racism be forced to take classes which “fight the ideas underlying everyday manifestations of discrimination.”
Think also claims that streets named after people who participated in slavery and colonialism contribute to racism in the Netherlands today. The paper asserts: “Without sufficient attention to our history of slavery, insufficient attention will be paid to the historically formed (cultural) disadvantaged position of many people in our country.”
“Think therefore want to give more consideration to the history of slavery in education, as well as the decolonization of our street and museums, because too few people know for example that the Coen tunnel is named after a racist and brutal colonial power. Today we would describe him as a war criminal.”
The party’s founders, Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk, created Think after they were expelled from the Dutch Labour Party. For a party which demands the Dutch be ashamed of their country’s history the fact the Turkish origin founders deny the Armenian genocide has attracted some comment.
The two MPs have also praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leading to commentators labeling Think an “affiliate” of the Turkish President’s nationalist AKP.
Attracting migrant voters by making “tolerance” its defining issue, the party focuses on portraying Dutch society as racist and highlighting slavery and colonialism in Holland’s history. The party broke the 1,000 member threshold this year, meaning they and their two members of parliament are now eligible for state subsidy.
With an eye on the 2017 general election, the party hopes to use this new manifesto of forcing multiculturalism on the Netherlands to galvanise support from the one million migrants who live in the country. The number is significant, considering the total population is just 17 million.