Something that happens every hour is causing quite some uproar in the Netherlands at the moment. Yesterday the favorite rapper of the Netherlands, Typhoon, was pulled over by the police while driving a luxury car in Zwolle because he was “young, black and thereby doesn’t fit the profile for legally driving such a luxury car”. This is not only sad because of out-in-the-open-racism, but also because the police in Zwolle apparently considers this as a luxurious ride:
? Net staande gehouden door de politie in Zwolle. Niet door een verkeersovertreding maar, omdat mijn nieuwe auto niet matcht met mijn profiel, lees; verdacht dat een man met mijn kleur in zo’n auto rijdt. De dienstdoende agent, (vriendelijke vent daar niet van) gaf toe dat hij bevoordeeld was, en er rekening mee hield dat het drugmoney kon zijn. Dit is helaas de zoveelste keer dat dit mij overkomt en dan ben ik nog ‘bekend’ en is de sfeer na herkenning minder gespannen. Velen hebben dat voorrecht niet. Voorheen kon ik er nog boos om worden, nu ga ik er al vanuit dat ik word aangehouden en word ik juist rustig als het weer blijkt dat etnische profilering het motief is. Het is triest. Ik kies ervoor dit nu te delen omdat dit niet een op zichzelf staand iets is. Het is niet alleen de politie, dit is een dikke error in de NL’se samenleving. Eerste stap naar verandering is toegeven dat racisme/discriminatie/onderscheid nog steeds onderdeel van onze cultuur is. We zijn er nog lang niet! #etnischeprofilering #awereness #nederland #racisme #gelijkheid
For a few years now Typhoon is the Netherlands go-to guy to show that they love rap as well. Being from the rap-capital of Zwolle, Typhoon (Glenn de Randamie) produces catchy, accessible and tasteful raps about love and a harmonic multicultural society (which is easier to relate to for the average Dutch white person than all those other rappers who are all about hot rides and dealing drugs). Typhoon sells out concerts and festivals, is a frequent guest of the popular Dutch talk show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ and crowned his social status by performing in front of the royal family last King’s day. Here he is producing sweet lyrics and awkward scenes:
So what’s the shock?
One must have been living under a stone for the past few decades not knowing that this kind of racial profiling stuff is happening every day every where. Sure, I guess it’s not that bad as in the good old United States but it’s been happening since there were black people driving luxurious cars. The phenomenon “Driving while Black” even has its own abbreviation (DWB) in the States. The shock now is of course that the police officer in question for once was a bit of an honest guy (Typhoon states that he was a friendly dude) and made the eternal mistake of admitting of pulling Typhoon over because he’s black and he thought that Typhoon financed the hybrid with drugs money (still bad police work, which self-respecting drug dealer drives an hybrid?).
Something which doesn’t only happens in 90’s Wayans’ America:
Racism in the Netherlands
So now police have to make statements that they don’t do it as a policy, politicians have to say that it’s an outrage and the whole racism debate is fired up once again. Politicians as usual are contradicting themselves. For instance, PvdA (labour) leader Diederik Samson was one of the first to come out and denounce the arrest, stating that he was ‘extremely angered that a famous Dutchman is stopped because of his skin color’ and that we should realize this happens to people with dark skin, but less famous, on a daily basis. Well, nice words Mr. Samsom – however you’re leading a party that also states the following:
And there is indeed a case for profiling as well I guess. But it shows that the debate gets a lot trickier when the profiling is done on the color of one’s skin or religious beliefs. And in any case it shows that its a very difficult discussion any way and not one for simple statements or populism.
The ‘Racism in the Netherlands’ debate has already flared up with all the controversy of the past days surrounding Sylvana Simons and the Zwarte Piet discussion (it’s May and I’m writing the words Zwarte Piet, shoot me). And with the Dutch national squad missing out on the EC in France the discussion is sure to continue.
Nothing good from all of this? Well, we can listen to more of Typhoon’s Lobi: