Young people debating discrimination, racism

Young people in Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba have entered into a con­versation with the National Coordinator against Racism and Discrimination about rac­ism and discrimination.

The youngsters discussed their experiences and under­standings with national coor­dinator Rabin Baldewsingh, the dialogue’s initiator, on April 11. The conversations, in which the youngsters talked about their experiences and gave recommendations, were made possible by UNICEF Nederland and Foundation WeConnect.

A scene during one of the sessions.

The youngsters expressed themselves on topics such as: What do I notice or see in my own surroundings with regard to discrimination and racism? What could be done about it to prevent exclusion? What can young people do about it? Various issues surfaced dur­ing the dialogue. St. Eusta­tius’ youngsters focused on education. They would like to see practical lessons offered in school to ban discrimination. “Teach children how to iden­tify racism and how to correct their behaviour,” was one of the recommendations.

According to the Saba youngsters, Saba is dealing with “systemic racism” which allows for privileged white families to have an advantage in life and often attain higher positions.

In addition, the youngsters from both Saba and St. Eu­statius demanded attention for more “gender equality”. They pointed out that the “toxic macho culture” pre­vents development of equal­ity, women’s rights and rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LBGT) community. One of the young debaters said: “We have to teach men in our society how to talk about their feelings in a healthy manner, in order to break away from gender norms and roles.”

Bonaire’s youngsters ad­dressed linguistic issues. They pointed out that they, un­like in Aruba and Curacao, are forced to learn Dutch at school, prior to their mother tongue Papiamento. Many young people therefore do not have a fluent command of any language, which creates a lan­guage barrier. Moreover, they indicated that it is very hard to find adequate housing in the Netherlands as a student and that European Dutch students were given priority.

The Dutch bureau National Coordinator against Discrimi­nation and Racism (NCDR) was set up by the Dutch gov­ernment in 2021. Baldewsingh was the first to be appointed to this role in the fall of 2021. He is working on a national multiannual programme against racism and discrimi­nation. For this programme’s content he is talking to vari­ous people from the civil so­ciety. Additionally, more than 20 meetings will be organised in the Netherlands, so-called town hall sessions.

The conversations with young people, such as from Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius, are part of the programme. The aim is to deliver concrete re­sults to curb racism and dis­crimination. The NCDR will present its observations to the Dutch parliament mid-2022. Baldewsingh showed himself satisfied after the dialogue with the young people from Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba: “The young people were very apt in pointing out where their obstacles are with regard to inequality and dis­crimination on the islands. It is painful to see the colonial history is still present on the islands and that this is notice­able in several fields such as education, employment mar­ket and care.”

This project in the Dutch Ca­ribbean is a collaboration be­tween UNICEF Netherlands, the public entities of the vari­ous islands and the Ministry of the Home Affairs and King­dom Relations. UNICEF and the authorities want to under­line the importance of giving children and young people the opportunity to utter their opinions about subjects that concern them.

WeConnect is an educational foundation promoting con­nection between the Carib­bean and the Dutch parts of the Kingdom.

The Daily Herald.

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4 comments

  1. What a total leftist sham. I see the pseudo intellectual leftist poison created in American universities has unfortunately permeated itself into the Caribbean.

  2. Capt. Jack Sparrow

    When I saw this story, I was thinking of all my ancestors on Saba who grew up dirt poor and WORKED to improve their living conditions and made something of themselves and then their children followed in their footsteps to continue their legacy. There was no “white privilege”. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid nonsense spewed by the left that want everything given to them with no work ethic.

  3. And neither one of the above commenters are the aforementioned young people dealing with racism and gender discrimination. So, yeah, your remarks are irrelevant.

  4. Cristian Hassell Feliciano

    Obviously White People who actually have a Racist Bone within them will never admit that Racism exists : that is “everywhere.” Now, do not get me wrong, there are many White People or Caucasians like the Kennedys and Clintons and Algore’s, and many more other White people who may not be so famous, who fight against Racism and are against it and hate it because they know it is wrong. But we all must strive to emancipate ourselves from Mental Slavery, such as racism is a mental slavery. Only ourselves, each one of us personally and individually can free our minds and live with natural love and have unconditional faith in what is good and right and in God. Hence forth God the Creator, created All Men Equal. No one is better than someone else, Rich is not better than the Poor and no Race is superior than another race by color or Physical features everyone is unique and beautiful. I actually see it wrong for a human being to posses so much wealth while another human being can not even make ends meet……This is a grave wrong that exists in the human race, the inability to share and help one another. The Rich will obviously defend their cause for having so much and make excuses not to use their wealth to help the poor because they want to remain and feel superior when deep in their hearts they know that they are not superior, what they really are doing is suppressing and oppressing other people because of their wealth, institutions do this, Governments do this, Company’s do this, Nation’s do this, just look at what Russia is doing to Ukraine, is perfect example of what is going on in the Whole World of suppression and Oppression.

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