AMSTERDAM – “My partner must be black, because they understand the discussion of racism, discrimination and prejudice better than a white partner would.” Curacaloean Levi Gijsbertha (25) who lives in Almere finds that color does matter: he would rather remain single than ‘settle’ for a white partner.
Levi is not alone in his thinking. In the Netherlands facebook pages like ‘Black Love’ are growing and dating evenings exclusively for black people are becoming popular. Saying that you only want to date a black person is not a taboo for young Antilleans living in the Netherlands.
Young Dutch Antilleans speak about why they only want to date a black partner – video: Natasja Gibbs and John Samson
It isn’t a big trend for Antilleans in the Netherlands though. According to the latest figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics most Antilleans in the Netherlands would like a non-western Dutch partner, however still many are in a mixed partnership.
According to anthropologist Angela Roe this is because Dutch Antilleans as a result of colonialism were raised with the idea that blacks are less superior to whites. “Drecha bo rasa’ (improve your race) is said amongst Antilleans.” The new trend is to opt for only a black partner, according to Roe therefore a ‘deliberate opposing force of voice’.
‘Mixing is not the intention’
These group of youngsters do not believe that more mixing, so everyone is ultimately the same, will be the solution. “This just causes more damage than solving the problem,” Levi explains. “Mixed children stem from the oppressor and the oppressed.” Also Ruminaily Alberto (30) does not agree with ‘mixing’: “This is bad thing, because you are busy removing something that is seen as a negative thing to the rest of the world.”
The Curacaolean Silvano Haynes (27) who lives in Rotterdam feels it’s his responsibility to ‘keep the color of his African identity alive’. “I love my color and I want to pass this along by making children with a black partner.” Silvano said he would be disappointed if his future black children were to bring home a white partner. “With a white partner, sooner or later you will compromise your black identity.”
These young people do not find their choice to be a form of racism. “I love my own race, there is nothing wrong with that,” said Ralitsa Vliese (23). Her mother is from Curaçao and her father is from Suriname. “This is called preference and not racism.” Silvano also thinks his choice is not racism. “Persevering your own is normal. Asians also do this.”
Levi, like other young people approached on the facebook pages, believes that black people cannot be racist. “We have no power and means to undermine other ethnic groups. In addition, love for self can never be racist.”