The reaction to justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin’s suggestion that the word ‘allochtoon’ be eradicated was sadly to be expected.
The word – which literally means ‘non-native’ but has come to be purely associated with non-western immigrants – was divisive and polarising and should go, Hirsch Ballin said.
Rarely has a ministerial suggestion been shot down in flames quite so quickly. The word, said some MPs, is just too well-established to be eliminated. Others did their usual rants about political correctness.
But all of them missed the point. It might be a handy word for the establishment, but most of the people to whom it is applied don’t like it.
After all, if you are not 100% white, you are branded a non-native no matter how many generations back you can trace your Dutch ancestry.
The results of today’s survey by the Intelligence Group are a further sign about how the word is influencing Holland’s ethnic minorities. Simply put, people with a north African, Suriname or Antillian background are feeling increasingly foreign and less and less Dutch. All those integration efforts have having opposite effect.
Does the word ‘allochtoon’ play a part in this? Of course it does. The logic is very simple. If you keep on telling people they don’t belong, they will soon start believing you.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation