After the successful Black Lives Matter demonstration, Eindhoven should act quickly to tackle racism with policy. That is what the organisation for Black Lives Matter demonstration believes, because the problem is increasing fast.
Last year, there were 118 reported cases of discrimination in Eindhoven, 34 more than the year before. On top of that, the police also registered 95 discrimination related incidents, as compared to 58 the year before. The figures from the Discrimination Monitor 2019, therefore show an increase in the number of reports and incidents in the city. The organisers of the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Eindhoven think, it’s time to turn the tide.
Brenda Pattipeilohy is one of the regular speakers at the demonstration. According to the people of Eindhoven, racism is in a lot of small things. “For example, during a job interview they sometimes ask: ‘But are you really from the Netherlands? Then I wonder: is that relevant in a job interview?” Perle Miangue acted as host of the event, most recently in Eindhoven and last weekend in Den Bosch.
Intimidation and force
Perle experienced her strongest racism related experience during the entry of Sinterklaas in Eindhoven, two years ago. There she was pelted with eggs and intimidated by a group of men. “They called whore of the blacks, go back to your own country. I even saw a toddler pelting us with eggs. Then I was surrounded.” The footage of the incident can still be seen on Vice. It shows a group of men threatening to stand around Perle. Only after minutes of intimidation and pushing, the police intervened and arrested six men. They’re tried.
After the entry of Sinterklaas, Perle was threatened a second time when she walked into the Kruisstraat. “An older man came up to me and started shouting at me. What I was doing and that I had to go back to my own country.” The Black Lives Matter demonstration led to a wave of positive comments that continues to this day. Pattipeilohy and Miangue hope that these ‘good vibes’ will lead to better cooperation with the community in the fight against racism.
“Of course, as a city we should have taken our responsibility a long time back, if you look at what Perle has been doing,” says Pattipeilohy. “We should have anticipated right away. I hope we continue to do so now. Because, just standing there isn’t enough for me.” Perle Miangue hopes that Mayor Jorritsma will be more open when they talk about fighting racism again. “We’ve been promised a lot lately. But very little has been done.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.