Why 100 Dutch Immigrant Children Went Door to Door to Talk to White Families

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dutch children

White kids wanted.

The Netherlands have a reputation for tolerance, yet their schools are becoming increasingly segregated.

On the one hand the nation calls for immigrants to take part in Dutch society through work, study, language, and even an integration exam to make sure they fit into Dutch culture, but as immigration rises in Amsterdam for instance, and neighborhoods look more ethnically mixed with Arabs, Turks, Africans, and Moroccans, the presence of white Dutch families are disappearing.

“When, for different reasons, a school ‘becomes blacker’, it’s very difficult to reverse the trend.” Diane Middelkoop, spokeswoman for two Amsterdam schools considered “black schools” explains.

In an effort to address this head on, the schools created launched a controversial campaign to reach out to the white Dutch families that they want to register at their schools.

“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.” Middelkoop continued in her statement.

While she and others may understand it, but it doesn’t mean they have to embrace it. This is why 100 primary aged children and their parents unabashedly went to the streets wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with “Is this white enough for you?”

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The children may be young but they get it, as summed up by one young student, “When we’re grown up we will have to deal with different cultures, we should already start learning to live together.”

They want their white peers to help with their integration and they want them to get to know them as well.

 

Writer and curator of interesting12, Maggie is a DC based writer with a heart for nonprofits, a passion for complicated people, and lover of all things well designed and well said. This former longtime LA resident is a firm believer we should be challenging ourselves to discuss what affect us in this world and how. She’s opinionated, a teller of both sides of the story, and some say she’s clever.