Students and parents in the Netherlands are putting a new twist on school integration protests, demanding that more white students be sent to so-called “black schools.”
About 100 children and their parents, most of them immigrants, took to the streets of Amsterdam Friday wearing white T-shirts with the slogan, “Is this white enough for you?” according to MSN.
“[We] want more white children in the school to learn about each other’s cultures,” an 11-year-old immigrant identified only as Aminata told reporters.
“It’s important for later,” her friend, Annelies, 10, a Dutch native, added. “When we’re grown up we will have to deal with different cultures, we should already start learning to live together. At the moment there’s only one boy in our class who is 100 percent Dutch, although we live in a mixed neighborhood, it’s ridiculous.”
The marching students and parents chanted, “Don’t think black, don’t think white, don’t think black and white: think the colors of your heart,” while handing out fliers that said, “We’re looking for white pupils.”
Diane Middelkoop, a spokesperson for two of the so-called black schools, De Avonturijn and Catharinaschool, said white parents don’t want their children in the schools anymore.
“When, for different reasons, a school ‘becomes blacker’, it’s very difficult to reverse the trend,” she said, according to MSN. “White children’s parents no longer want to be part of the school. I can understand that: we all want to feel at home and that means that we want to see people who share our origins and culture.”
Some residents blame racism.
“It’s shameful that it’s come to this, that children have to take to the street to go to school with white children,” a resident identified as Joan, 80, told reporters. “It’s racism and I’m ashamed. There was always a bit of racism in this country, but today it’s serious, it has to stop.”
But others offered a more benign reason.
“More and more families are leaving, making way for students — the problem is there’s simply not many children left,” said florist Wim Barlag, who has a son at one of the schools.
According to MSN, tensions have increased as the numbers of immigrants has risen in the Netherlands.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has been an outspoken critic of Islam and who appeared with Pamela Geller at the “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest that was attacked by Islamic jihadists, has criticized immigrants for not integrating with Dutch culture enough.
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