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An Amsterdam court ruled Thursday that the traditional figure known as Black Pete — the sidekick to the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus — is a negative stereotype of black people, and the city must rethink its involvement in holiday celebrations involving him. Black Pete is usually portrayed by white people in blackface makeup, with thick red lips and a frizzy Afro hairstyle. The court also cited a publication by the country’s national human rights commission this week, that found that white Dutch leaders frequently react with “irritation and dismissal” when questions of racism are raised–even though workplace discrimination is well documented in the Netherlands.

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