This is the tweet that has set the twittersphere alight with anger over the Dutch win against Mexico. What was supposedly meant as a joke has turned into a PR disaster for the Dutch national airline, KLM. It’s a lesson on how social media can instantly ruin a brand with just one click.
The tweet was deleted without apology or explanation after outraged fans began retweeting it in anger. Among the offended was Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who managed to swear twice in the space of 140 characters to criticize the airline and vow never to fly on it again.
It quickly sparked a social media storm of criticism with many saying it was racist.
“Planning your exit out of South America soon, slave traders,” said one angry Twitter user of the picture.
But it’s not funny. It’s typical Dutch arrogance masked as “humour”. Of course, many Cloggies (and yes, if they’re gonna use a sombrero, then I’m within my right to continue calling them cloggies) simply do not even recognise the racist stereotyping, as evidenced by this reply on Twitter
It’s offensive, politically incorrect and opportunistic. It only serves to highlight the ingrained, but hugely suppressed, racism that exists in a country that has regularly failed to publically acknowledge or apologise for its historical hand in the slave trading industry and whom, to this very day, preys on minorities in its own country every chance they get demanding that they “conform” to the Dutch way of life.
In fact, once a year they even revel in their slaver past. Take “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete) for example. A blackened slave helper who is the “cheeky” and “mischievous” helper of the Dutch Sinterklaas – they are the Dutch equivalent of Santa’s helpers. Of course, the Dutch think it perfectly normal to have the remnants of the slave era as perfectly acceptable form of endearment for their children.
If these are the values that the Dutch and their government insist that newcomers should integrate with, and that way of life is comfortable with openly offending other races, nationalities, religions and reverting to stereotypes, then its no wonder that immigrants to the Netherlands generally prefer to retain their own people oriented values, rather than adopting those of an arrogant fool.
KLM has clearly stepped on a landmine. Will it greatly impact the airline? Probably not, and the rebuke on Twitter will probably not do anything to reverse the insularly suppressed racism that exists in the Netherlands, but at least the cat is now out of the bag. I’ve always believed that the Dutch are closet racists. This myth of a tolerant society is exactly that, a myth. Live here long enough and you’ll discover a hotbed of hatred for anyone who does not conform or follow their rules – usually manifested in a form of “Clogic”™.
As for the football? For me personally, I’m waiting for the Argentina game to see the Dutch get their just-desserts.