Zwarte Piet critic is no stranger to getting death threats

quincy garioEver since poet and soon-to-be television talk show host Quincy Gario (30) denounced the Dutch figure of Black Pete as racist he has been the butt of insults and threats, the Volkskrant writes on Friday.

Although Gario is increasingly seen as the face of the Dutch anti-racism movement, he doesn’t always relish the role: ‘I sometimes wonder if it’s safe to go outside. All it takes is one person and it’s over. It preys on your mind. I get anonymous letters, people who tell me they will put a bullit in my head or cut my throat,’ he is quoted as saying.

But Gario says he won’t be a martyr. He is putting together a file of the 770 threats and insults he received in one year alone and is writing a play about his experiences.

His request for police protection was turned down and he was to turn to the police if he felt his life was in danger. But according to Gario, the police are not actively tackling racism: ‘The intention is there but in practice marginalised groups aren’t taken seriously.’

UN report

Gario hopes the upcoming UN report on racism in the Netherlands will have an effect. He feels that criticism from abroad may have a bigger impact. The Netherlands can’t afford to have its image as a trading nation tarnished, he says.

The words of prime minister Mark Rutte, who said he wants the Dutch trading nation to return to the splendour of the Golden Age, are illustrative of his lack of consideration for what Gario calls ‘the other side of the coin’: the slavery and oppression of colonialism.

But Gario himself is not a stranger to delivering the odd insult. In the wake of the MH17 air disaster he famously twittered that ‘White lives matter more than brown ones’. ‘I didn’t realise I was hurting the families, I just didn’t,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘I apologised. But I won’t apologise to people who want me dead.’

Quincy Gario’s talk show begins in September on RTL 7

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