Sinter Klaas and Zwarte Piet: The origins of Santa Claus are in anti-African Dutch tradition

The following presentation was made by Chairman Omali Yeshitela in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 19, 2004 at a weekly meeting of the African People’s Socialist Party.

I want to talk a little bit about Santa Claus. How many people know of Santa Claus in here? Well, there’s a history to Santa Claus and we want to say some things about that history.

I was recently in Holland. One of the places I went to in Holland was Amsterdam. This was on November 4.

In Amsterdam, they have this parade about Santa Claus. The little cherubic, chubby, unhealthy white guy — well, now he’s even become brown and black — who you take your children to go and visit has his origin, his immediate origin, in Sinter Klaas.

Sinter Klaas is the Dutch name for Santa Claus, and he is the patron saint of shipping. There’s a Catholic in the room who knows what I’m talking about when I say “patron saintâ€

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