Dear brothers and Sisters from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, today i heard on the media
that the Case of the President of the Giro bank has is its final face, and he his Guilty of his charges which
he had committed.
A couple of months ago i received a call from your organization related my Google Sweepsteak Winning,
in which you told me to investigate and if its true you don't need to pay for them to send your check, if they
do Charge you that its a SCAM. And after we came to same conclusion, i asked who is handling my other
TCR cases which i had reported, i was told that some one else had my Files. The lady from the U.S.
Securities and Exchange commission said i will be contacted.
So today April 23, 2014, i have received no calls from them yet. So that why i am creating this BLOG, to
express my concern that all those brothers and sisters who are filing do get their Rewards which your
organization promised to comply with.
So I am addressing this letter to the Chief of the Office of the WhistleBlower, Mr. Sean McKessy, and also to the SEC Commissioners, Chairman, and Staff who they are :
Miss Mary Jo White (Chair)
Mary Jo White Chair since 2013
Luis A. Aguilar Commissioner since 2008
Daniel M. Gallagher Commissioner since 2011
Kara M.Stein Commissioner since 2013
Michael S. Piwowar Commissioner since 2013
My concern of not keeping the promise or agreements which are given on the Websites which are posted
to the public, who are doing a good job to report all this illegal activities which has been going on for many years all over the world.
Ronald Wederfoort, his case against these groups which are not reporting to FINCEN, BSA compliance
E-filing regulations which are mandated by the US Congress. Also i have even created a business plan which i wanted to share with your organization to see how, we are trying to bring back the peace in the financial
area here in Curacao. The project is not going as i was expected but we are getting there.
My Business Plan for Curacao Caribbean & International Compliance Solution.
THE PROOF of my submitted tip to you organization.
Reference Number: TCR1357680240248 Giro Bank
Reference Number: TCR1357672985989 CENTRAL BANK
Reference Number: TCR1357518811847 MCB Bank
Reference Number: TCR1398119373439 The Light Crude Oil and Gas take by the KING of the Nederlands.
WILLEMSTAD – There is an ongoing investigation at Giro Bank for an amount of 2.8 million euros in cash which was intercepted and confiscated some time ago at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. Former Giro Bank Director, Mr. Eric Garcia, who is still employed by the bank but is no longer in charge of the daily management, confirms this and he expects that this investigation will take another three weeks.
Various sources reported last week that the RST investigation team is currently conducting an investigation on the amount, because the origin of the money was unclear. The money was on its way to Malta, where, according to Garcia, one of the shareholders of the Giro Bank has also a bank.
The euros were transmitted to Malta since no bank in Curacao or in the Netherlands would accept more than a million, not even ING Bank.
ING Belgium is one of the correspondent banks of Giro Bank for euro transactions. Garcia explains that the hefty sum of 2.8 million dollars was received at the Giro Bank over the years and now, therefore, the records are investigated, and that the MOT (Unusual Transactions Dept.) is being checked. According to Garcia, there is “no doubt” that everything is correct.
Mr ERIC GARCIA President of the Giro Bank Curacao.
Thank you all for reading my BLOG, and my concern letter to all of you, We need all the support of all
of you to be able work together, so that the public will build and have trust of this programs, which are
created to provide more Intelligence information.
Also there were also Several Banks which went threw the same process as the Giro, Banks as Orca Bank,
and also the Central Bank of St. Maarten and Curacao, which also needs to be investigated for not complying with FINCEN BSA regulations. Many Institutions which i have spoken with are not afraid,
so we need send a message to all of them, or provide more information for them, what can happen to them
if they don't comply with FinCen Bsa E-filing Solutions. I hope we can provide them with this Solution
as soon as possible here in Curacao, threw my company CCICS, which stands for Curacao Caribbean
& Compliance Solution.
So again please i would love to hear some on call me, so we can find a solution for this situation which
can be solved very easy. Thank you all and have a nice day.
Curacao Caribbean & International Compliance Solution. (CCICS) Ronald Wederfoort (President)
Fire Line Terrorist Tradecraft—Impersonation: Use of Stolen, Cloned, or Repurposed Vehicles
For Official Use Only
January 18, 2013
(U//FOUO) Stolen, cloned, or repurposed commercial or official vehicles—such as police cars, ambulances, and public utility service trucks—have been used in terrorist attacks. These vehicles could facilitate terrorist access to restricted and hardened targets as well as to emergency scenes. The use of these vehicles can provide individuals the ability to approach targets to conduct pre-operational surveillance or carry out primary attacks or secondary attacks against first responders.
— (U) In January 2013, a stolen ambulance was used as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) as part of a secondary attack on a billiards hall in Quetta, Pakistan. — (U//FOUO) Cloned vehicles are those that have been modified to resemble an authentic vehicle. In January 2010, coordinated attacks in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan included a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device van cloned as an ambulance. — (U//FOUO) Repurposed vehicles are authentic vehicles that are no longer in official service; they often can be purchased at auctions or on the Internet. In August 2012, assailants detonated a possibly repurposed taxi cab VBIED targeting a funeral procession in Damascus, Syria.
(U//FOUO) Mitigating the risk:
— (U//FOUO) Secure station or facility entrance and exit points, including apparatus bay doors. — (U//FOUO) Limit or lock unattended emergency vehicles. — (U//FOUO) Establish a policy for decommissioning vehicles. — (U//FOUO) Stay current on the “branding” of vehicles used by neighboring jurisdictions and mutual aid companies. — (U//FOUO) Consider using holograms on emergency vehicles for authentication. — (U//FOUO) Establish a stolen vehicle reporting process that includes “be on the lookout” warnings for high interest vehicles.
(U//FOUO) Possible indicators:
— (U//FOUO) Improperly marked emergency vehicles. — (U//FOUO) Driver of emergency vehicle not knowledgeable about area of responsibility or service. — (U//FOUO) Incorrect vehicle decal verbiage, colors, word font, and size. — (U//FOUO) Visible identifiers—such as phone numbers, license plates, or call numbers—that are inconsistent with the vehicle’s operating area or mission. — (U//FOUO) Heavily loaded vehicle, possibly beyond capacity.
(U) Report Suspicious Activity
(U) To report suspicious activity, law enforcement, Fire-EMS, private security personnel, and emergency managers should follow established protocols; all other personnel should call 911 or contact local law enforcement. Suspicious activity reports (SARs) will be forwarded to the appropriate fusion center and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for further action. For more information on the Nationwide SAR Initiative, visit https://nsi.ncirc.gov/resources.aspx.
As filers prepare to file the new SAR, FinCEN tells them the 17 words they can never use in the form
Those who remember George Carlin will recall his hilarious spoof of “The 7 Words You Can Never Say on Television.” The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has gone the late great comedian one better. It has told filers of forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act that 17 words can never be said on the new Suspicious Activity Report when it becomes mandatory on March 31.
The Treasury Department bureau, which enforces the BSA, the principal US financial crime and money laundering regulatory weapon, revised the SAR last October and accompanied it with 126 pages of instructions called, “Electronic Filing Requirements.” Deep inside, on page 98, FinCEN warned that certain words must never be used when covered institutions, companies and individuals file it.
For the new Suspicious Activity Report, the listing of prohibited words is preceded by the warning, “Do not use the following words or variations of these words in text fields, other than in Part V” (which is the “Narrative” part of the SAR):
b. COMPUTER GENERATED
e. NON CUSTOMER
g. NOT APPLICABLE
j. SAME AS ABOVE
k. SEE ABOVE
l. SEE NARRATIVE
m. SIGNATURE CARD
FinCEN also prohibits 15 words from being used in the new Currency Transaction Report. The words, which are listed in separate instructions at page 61 of 74 pages. They are preceded by the warning, “Do not use the following words or variations of these words in fields.” FinCEN did not include two words, “T/A” and “SEE NARRATIVE,” that the SAR prohibits.
b. COMPUTER GENERATED
f. NOT APPLICABLE
g. NON CUSTOMER
j. SAME AS ABOVE
k. SEE ABOVE
l. SIGNATURE CARD
Forms by the millions fuel US pursuit of financial criminals
The government places great value in the data the millions of SARs, CTRs and other forms contain. In 2011, about 1.5 million SARs were filed. More than 10 times that many CTRs were submitted. The BSA forms also include the Foreign Bank Account Report, or FBAR, a previously obscure form that has gained prominence since the advent of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
FATCA, as it is known, seeks to smoke out US persons who hide assets in secret accounts overseas to evade US taxes – or to hide financial crime proceeds. The IRS has issued Form 8938, a new form that elicits information on overseas assets held by US persons and complements the FBAR. Form 8938 is filed with the IRS and not FinCEN, thus making it less accessible to law enforcement agents because of the strict disclosure policies that apply to IRS information.
“O my brethren! I have told/ Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.” — Samuel Coleridge
In Affective Economies Sara Ahmed tells us that “emotions play a crucial role in the ‘surfacing’ of individual and collective bodies through the way in which emotions circulate between bodies and signs.” We are conditioned to relate to one another in specific ways, and it is through emotions and the specific ways in which we are conditioned to feel about others that societal norms and the very boundaries and surfaces of bodies take shape. We are taught to fear the stranger, and it is through our fear of the stranger, who has, as Ahmed notes in Strange Encounters, “already come too close” that the stranger emerges. Strangers, then, aren’t those whom we haven’t met, “but those who are, in their very proximity, already recognised as not belonging, as being out of place.” The circulation of emotions and our affective encounters speak of the intimate life of power. It is no wonder that sentiment and affective attachments were and are at the centre of governing projects. Dutch colonial governing projects gained their political coherence through “the management of [such] affective states, in assessing appropriate sentiments and in fashioning techniques of affective control.” (Ann Stoler, Affective States)
Dutch authorities have not lost their keen interest in the mapping out and control of affective states: see, for instance, the debates on dual nationality. These debates, which questioned whether Dutch citizens with two passports should be able to participate in parliament and government, centred on ‘loyalty’, on strong feelings of support and allegiance, and led the Council of State to rightfully state that “nationality and loyalty are not automatically the same thing.” The parliamentary debates on dual nationality clearly illustrate how feelings govern policy and political debates. Moreover, this discussion has underscored how conceptions of citizenship and allegiance are often bound up in emotions—or objects of desire, “a cluster of promises we want someone or something to make to us and make possible for us.” This keen interest in affective alignment also comes to light through initiatives like the “mentality monitor” by Motivaction, who proudly states that it has been doing research on the development of the “mentality climate” in the Netherlands since 1998. In effect, monitoring the general established set of attitudes.
Emotions play a crucial role in racialization. Sara Ahmed informs us that, “emotions do things, and they align individuals with communities—or bodily space with social space—through the very intensity of their attachments.” José Esteban Muñoz suggests in Feeling Brown, Feeling Down: Latina Affect, the Performativity of Race, and the Depressive Position that race can be understood as “a political doing, the effects that the recognition of racial belonging, coherence, and divergence present in the world.” Race can, thus, be defined as a performance “generated by an affective particularity that is coded to specific historical subjects.” The affective relationship of Afro-Dutch Caribbeans with the Dutch state, or Dutch society, is therefore always-already compounded by a “doing” of one’s race and all of the accompanying social, cultural, political, economic, and emotional aspects—which may leave Afro-Dutch Caribbeans “feeling depleted.” Black and non-Black people of colour, who are always-already recognized as strange, as not belonging, continuously register the affective particularity of Blackness/Brownness—the low, affective vibrations of an ever-present quiet racism—while navigating through spaces of White sociality. As a result, we might not always have “the energy to keep going in the face of what [we] come up against.” (Sara Ahmed, Feeling Depleted?)
The experiences and attitudes of Black and blackened people in White Autochtoon Dutch spaces have been shaped by “ugly feelings,” intimate injuries, political disregard, and neglect. The emotions—what we often think of as private feelings—that we might experience as a result are, in effect, social processes inscribed with power relations that tend to centre White Autochtoon Dutchness, which, then, acts as “the affective ruler that measures and naturalizes white [Autochtoon Dutch] feelings as the norm.” (Muñoz,Feeling Brown) The emotional responses of White Autochtoon Dutch folks to the emotionally charged subject of race are, thus, perceived as rational, appropriate, and valid. As such, Black and blackened folks navigate the material world on a different affective register: we are what Sara Ahmed calls “affect aliens,” those who are alienated by and from the normative power configuration of White Supremacy, which has shaped race, gender, sexuality, family, nation, and the normative affective expectations of society at large.
Sylvia Wynter tells us that we should be wary of normative affective expectations that structure the “proper” or “right” way we should feel about (our affective investments in) our “political ontology.” By political ontology I mean the foundational political conditions in which people live and that make “living” possible, our accounts of the historical construction of our being in the world, and the relations between power, people, and policies. Wynter notes in Novel and History: Plot and Plantation that “the ways in which each culture-specific normal subject knows and feels about its social reality . . . should in no instance be taken as any index of what the empirical reality of our social universe is.” Wynter, therefore, proposes “a deciphering practice,” that is a critical examination of all the things that promise us to make us happy.
Happiness and optimism and safety can serve, according to Lisa Duggan in Hope and Hopelessness, as “the affective reward for conformity, the privatized emotional bonus for the right kind of investments in the family, private property and the state.” This “cluster of promises” reflects an affective investment in society as it is. The story goes that these are the things we all should want because they are good. Wanting something else, something different, is read as a sign of our strangeness, our disagreeableness, and of our not wanting happiness. Let’s return to Sara Ahmed for a moment. Ahmed posits that emotions are sociable, and suggests that we might need to theorize sociability “in terms of the restriction as well as enjoyment of company. Happiness might generate the very company we like as a company of likes.” The Dutch word for society, samenleving, suggests a desire for the creation and maintenance of “the very company we like as a company of likes.” Samen shares the same etymological root as “same,” connoting “even, level, similar, identical.” Samenleving, thus, gestures toward the pleasures of repetition and sameness and the privileging of likeness that Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg discuss in Cloning, Cultures, and the Social Injustices of Homogeneities.
“To be willing to go against social order, which is protected as moral order, a happiness order is,” as Sara Ahmed observes, “to be willing to cause unhappiness, even if unhappiness is not your cause.” Those of us who go against the social order are labelledZeurpiet. The Dutch verb zeuren, that is to carp, to harp, to natter, niggle, whinge and whine, is related to zuur, that is sour. Zeuren is, according to the Etymologie Bank, probably related to the middle-Dutch word soren (zuur worden, meaning to sour); it is also related to Dutch verb sudderen, which means to simmer, to be in a state of subdued or restrained activity, development, excitement, anger. Thus, by going off, we go off. We are not only accused of being sour, and bitter, of leaving a nasty taste in one’s mouth, but our bodies become signs of our sourness, and bitterness. As such, the mere presence of Black bodies can change, or rather sour, “a happiness order.”
The accusation of bitterness surfaces in an article by Janny Groen entitled Allochtonen Still Don’t Feel Accepted, as well as the 1937 interview with Afro-Surinamese men I’ve written about. Bitterness is emblematic of a society geared toward racial division. The root of “bitter” is *bheid, meaning “to split.” Jan Jaap de Ruiter, lecturer at the Tilburg School of Humanities, accuses anti-racism activists, amongst other things, of causing division. Hewrites, “For a brief period these people rush, like a small group of zealots, toward the windmill of alleged discrimination as if they were Don Quichotes (…) The result of the Black Pete drama is that the nation has become hopelessly divided due to this idiotic [sic.] extremism.” Sue Campbell says of bitterness in her essay Being Dismissed: The Politics of Emotional Expression that it characterizes “us in ways that imply that we need no longer be taken seriously.” Campbell writes,
“The criticism of bitterness is a powerful political tool that can be used to persuade people that the importance of how they view their lives, as marked by what is recalled and recounted as significant, is of dismissable interest to others.”
Accusations of bitterness are intended to silence, and shift attention away from those who do not care to listen. Moreover, these accusations not only refuse “to grant authority to judgments of wrongdoing but also [refuse] to grant authority to what counts for others as significant memory.” Campbell notes that “once a group is dismissed as bitter, others feel under little obligation to work for their empowerment.” Diagnoses of bitterness “are used to interpret our expressions narrowly and critically as always either being on the edge of excess, or already excessive.” The management of excessive affect, “a discursive density,” which exists “around issues of sentiments and their subversive tendencies, around ‘private’ feelings, ‘public moods,’ and their political consequences” was, and is, a political project. Ann Stoler notes that, “Dutch colonial authorities were troubled by the distribution of sentiment, by both its excessive expression and the absence of it.” It is hardly surprising that so much emphasis is placed on feelings in contemporary debates.
The Sinterklaas tradition in its current configuration is an invocation of, and invitation to, racialized pleasure and I want to consider seriously the dynamic between racism and pleasure, or the concept “racism as pleasure,” embedded in the Sinterklaas tradition. Racism is reproduced over time through pleasure, through embodiment, and through, what Robin Bernstein would term, “dances with things.” People take pleasure in dressing up, and acting, as Zwarte Piet. As such, pleasure plays an important role in the psychological investment that gives Zwarte Piet its cultural currency. Moreover, one of the main arguments used in defence of Zwarte Piet is that Sinterklaas is a “fun” and joyous occasion for children and by getting rid of the figure we are denying children a source of pleasure.
Pleasure and racism, as well as the pain and (ongoing) trauma of slavery and colonialism, are all intertwined in the Sinterklaas tradition, which essentially (re)packages (the trauma of) “slavery as racially innocent fun.” The historical memory that the figure of the blackcontains gets obscured through a ritualized “obliviousness to history and to race.” Anthony Paul Farley argues in The Black Body as Fetish Object that race is “a form of pleasure in one’s body which is achieved through humiliation of the Other and, then, as the last step, through a denial of the entire process.” Zwarte Piet, it is argued, is black because of soot. He is not a slave, but an indispensable manager. The Sinterklaas tradition isn’t racist; it’s for children. Blackface imagery, as Robin Bernstein notes, “thrives under the light cover of children’s culture and its penumbra of racial innocence.” And, the pleasure of innocence is enhanced by the pleasure derived from watching “black people,” these spectres of the White imagination, make a fool of themselves. Racial domination as pleasure in the Sinterklaas tradition is produced through a ritualized denial of race and an intimate choreography between Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, in which the figure of Zwarte Piet acts as a sign for subjugation, punishment, and pleasure. Anthony Paul Farley contends that “[T]he black body is the result of [this] convergence of power, knowledge, and pleasure.”
There has been an inordinate amount of focus in the Netherlands on the pain that racism causes, however, there’s very little attention paid to the possibility that enacting racism might be experienced as pleasure. George Lipsitz argues that racism doesn’t manifest itself “exclusively through hostility and exclusion.” Pleasure, joy and triumphant emotions, as well as hate and hostility, drive the processes of societal racism. “Personal feelings of antipathy and prejudice are not,” as Steve Martinot contends, “the core of racism; they arise in defense of an identity and a sociality of dominance.” Moreover, a sociality of violence or power is not, as Tim Cresswellstates, “simply about control and regulation through denial, but about the production of pleasure itself,” which allows people to accept violence as sociality.
However, pleasures may be anticipated, experienced, and remembered in starkly different ways. It is by finding pleasure in and through rehearsed rituals and established objects that we become part of the community. Sara Ahmed tells us that when objects, like Zwarte Piet, give us pleasure, “we are aligned; we are facing the right way. We become alienated—out of line with an affective community—when we do not experience pleasure from proximity to objects that are attributed as being good.” Whiteness is (re)produced from within society through choices of association and identity—not through individual moral errors. Having said that, these choices do say something about the dominant public morality.
Despite the various appeals to pleasure, and childhood sentiment, the affective, psychological, and material investments of White Autochtoon Dutch bodies in the status-quo are hardly examined. White folks have, as George Lipsitz states, an “investment in images that whites themselves have created about people of color.”
Contrary to the dominant understanding, Zwarte Piet is presented in Dutch folklore as being a black man. In the story Moriaantje Zwart Als Roet (Little Moor Black as Soot) Zwarte Piet falls and breaks his leg. Sinterklaas becomes desperate, because he can’t do without his servant, who knows his way over the rooftops. Then Zwarte Piet provides a solution. He writes a letter to his cousin (or nephew) Moriaantje black as soot, who lives far away in Africa and asks him to take his place.
The Zwarte Pieten who accompanied Sinterklaas during the 1934 Amsterdam “Sinterklaasintocht” were Surinamese sailors whose ship happened to be lying in the port.
For Susan Willis, “blackface is a metaphor for the commodity,” a metaphor for enslaved Africans who were treated as though they were commodities or “products” for consumption. Blackness and black bodies are relegated (if not confined) to the realm of representation and performance. Through “the technology of blackface,” the black body ismade subject to control, and turned into a source of pleasure and profit and it is through the means of an economy of desire, or pleasure that blackness gains currency. Saidiya Hartmanremarks, that “the formal features of this economy of pleasure and the politics of enjoyment” should be “considered in regard to the literal and figurative occupation and possession of the body.” In the economy of desire, the black body, then, is never divorced from possession, profit, and pleasure. Thus, the value of the black body, as Penelope Ingram states, “resides not in [his] self-consciousness, [his] subjecthood, but precisely in [his] labor and the price exacted from such labor, [his] objecthood.”
The economy of desire is an apparatus of knowledge that fixes certain groups of people into a certain place, and attributes differential value to different bodies. In Alleen Maar Nette Mensen the main character says about Black people “Hoe zwarter, hoe dichter bij de natuur”—the blacker, the closer to nature. In the economy of desire “dark skinned” represents, for instance, an “animalistic” nature. The black body’s sexual, bestial excess is continuously being re-inscribed in popular culture and it is through this process of constant re-inscription that “dehumanization achieves ideological normality.” Advertising and marketing, as “unintentional” structures of anti-blackness, (re)produce racist ideology and affect in society, and offer tiny but unrestricted windows into the non-Black imaginary.
In our visual culture White people are seduced to enjoy moor heads, Negro’s/nigger’s kisses (or negress’ tits), and indulge in Chocodreams (see also South Park’s Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls). This process of gendered and racialized dehumanization breaks down the black body and turns her bodily fragments into objects of value/consumption for White desire. Negro’s/nigger’s kisses, negress’ tits, moor heads conjure up “the dismemberment of the black body for souvenirs,” which often followed the lynching event.Neger has always been only part of the problem with negerzoen or negerinnentet.Negerzoen stresses the edibility of the black body and puts forward that we don’t even own our expressions of affection—even our bodily gestures of intimacy can be commodified, sold, and consumed.
Only our Negro’s/nigger’s kisses are real.
Moreover, edibility of Negress’ tit “gestures toward the beliefs that motivated its theft,” and “anchors itself in its ability to bring the sensation of the other—an other person or another place—into one’s own body or conception of self.” The White desire to consume the black body suggests not only a desire to obliterate it, but also a desire to diagnose the black body only in terms of her capacity to regenerate Whiteness.
Both Negress’ tit and Negerzoen are rooted in the structures of White authority associated with racial intimacy during slavery. During slavery White men and women exercised control over and could, thus, (re)define and (re)structure the most intimate relations and activities of enslaved Africans. The implementation of slave laws meant, for instance, that “white men and women could exercise intimate power through punishment, torture and control of all a slave’s physical needs.” The captive and colonized body was effectively severed from “its motive will, its active desire.”
Intimacy and sex in the colonial project were, as Ann L. Stoler confirms, “always about racial power” and both sex and desire “were contingent upon a particular representation of non-white women’s bodies.” Crispin Sartwell intimates that, “the dirtiest secret of white racism is its eroticization of dominance.” What mattered then, and arguably still matters now, is accessibility to black bodies.
Annemarie Oster, a White Dutch actor, wrote in one of her columns, in which she bemoans her aging body and reminisces about the days she used to have gangbangs with 20 “negers,”
“Inmiddels zijn er vele jaren verstreken en zien zelfs negers mij niet meer staan.”
[Many years have now since passed, and not even Negroes/niggers notice me anymore.]
In the end, all that matters is the (re)generative pleasure that the black body gives. The black body continues to signify “property plus.” White desire of the black body is centred on the needs of White folks; it is a relationship between a human and a thing. I desire thisthing because of how it stimulates me. Essentially, that kind of psychical relationship is nothing like the psychical relationship that White men have with other White men. Sinterklaas exercises control over unruly blackness; Zwarte Piet is positioned as the bringer of gifts or punishment. The black body is positioned, at once, as dangerous and domesticated, both in the sense of an object converted to domestic uses as well as accustomed to household life and affairs, so as to induce a sense of comfort and titillating pleasure. Jan Nederveen Pieterse argued that Zwarte Piet is an erotic figure; Pieterse notes that “sweeping the chimney,” a task supposedly performed by Zwarte Piet, is a sexual metaphor. In UN/SUB Sherman Fleming teases out the latent erotics of Sinterklaas.
‘La crise du personnel’ Tekst; ‘De ware dienstbode. Batoualette, zeer praktische asbak tijdens de borrel.’ Fantasio, 1-11-1929 Collectienr. 2109
Racism, as Anthony Paul Farley notes, “is a pleasure which is satisfied through the production, circulation, and consumption of images of the not-white.”
The grammar of these “images of the not-white,” of darkie iconography, reproduces the black body both visually and textually and these discourses script the black body as socially deviant, infantile, hypersexual, violent, buffoonish, selfish, servile and out of control. And it is this mix of danger and pleasure that makes the promise that the black body holds so alluring; this “violence-induced fungibility of Blackness” underscores thethingness and sensuality of the black(ened) body, and allows for the appropriation of Blackness “by White psyches as ‘property of enjoyment.’” The reduction of the black body to a thing of pleasure perpetuates the brutal violation of African bodies by White male supremacy from the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade.
Hortense Spillers details in her essay Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book the deep and diasporic implications of the thingification, i.e. the capture and commodification, of Africans, and their delivery to the West. Spillers suggests that the sexualities of enslaved Africans provided, as a result of the thingification of enslaved Africans, “a physical and biological expression of ‘otherness,’” and “as a category of ‘otherness,’ the captive body translates into a potential for pornotroping.” Pornotroping violently reduces the captive body to flesh—to a sensuous thing embodying sheer powerlessness—and then displays this flesh to incorporate the viewing subject/body. Hortense Spillers illustrates the difference between the “captive” and “liberated” body by making a distinction between body and flesh, whereby the latter is without gender, and, thus, denotes an utter lack of “social conceptualization” in addition to a particular vulnerability to symbolic inscriptions. The visual language of darkie, or “slave iconography,” as Michael Chaney argues, “equates black people to a state of fleshliness,” and flesh is without gender.
Zwarte Piet, I hear you, but I don’t see you. Cartoon by Flo.
“If we as critics are going to work with the legacy of slavery, then we must engage in the ‘‘retrieval of mutilated female bodies’’. The grossness (as quality and quantity) of the flesh—‘‘matter’’ torn away from the body by mutilation and the society’s ‘‘cultural vestibulary’’—is a zone where the marking of culture appears on the flesh and the making of culture happens because of this constant abuse. Disallowed access to all culture but representative of it, black bodies become the literal containers of the power of state ideology and simultaneously live in a constant state of existential torment.”
Lewis Gordon, too, highlights in Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism the undecidability of black bodies as “literal containers of the power of state ideology.” Reading Spillers, Holland, and Gordon alongside each other gives suggestive insights about the gendered experiences of the black subject. Gordon draws attention to the fragility of black manhood, which inhabits a feminized position in relationship to legitimate heteropatriarchal White masculinity. He notes that “a black man in the presence of whiteness stands as a hole to be filled.” Gordon states that in an anti-black world “Blackness is regarded as a hole. Black men are hence penises that are holes; and black women are vaginas that are holes—holes that are holes. If blackness is a hole, and women are holes, what are white women, and what are black men in an antiblack world?”
Man: Wat is daar de naam van eigenlijk als je een vrouwelijke Zwarte Piet bent? Het is gewoon unisex toch? [What’s actually the name of a female Zwarte Piet? It's just unisex right?]
The black male body, which “embodies femininity even more than the white woman,” proves a complex site for White desire. “The ‘essence’ of blackness,” Gordon contends, “from the standpoint of the antiblack racist is, if you will, the hole, and the hole is the institutional bad-faith mode of the feminine. Antiblack racism is therefore connected to misogyny.”
The conflation of the female and the male in the figure of Zwarte Piet, by way of thingification, underscores Lewis Gordon’s argument and highlights another crucial point Hortense Spillers makes—she contends that “black is vestibular to culture,” that is “the black person mirrored for the society around her what a human being was not.” [her italics] The gendered black subject is an impossible subject.
Zwarte Piet is the not. As a representation of blackness, Zwarte Piet is a gender amalgamation, at once hypermasculine and vacillating between feminine and infantile, and, as such, “a vicarious, disfiguring, joyful, pleasure, passionately enabling as well as substitutively dead.” The threatening dimensions of black male sexuality are effectively neutralized by the feminization and infantilization of Zwarte Piet. The discourse of infantilization, which was central to the beliefs that legitimized slavery as an institution of benevolent paternalism (as embodied by Sinterklaas), shape Zwarte Piet. Even though Zwarte Piet is infantilized she/he remains by way of the fiction of black sexual excess the subject of erotic fascination. The White men in the porn video engage Zwarte Piet, the gender ambiguous black body, “a hole in being,” within the domains of sexual pleasure and desire, and this has profound implications for “race,” sexuality, and interracial sex.
Perhaps, we could remain friends.
In De Buitenvrouw (The Mistress), a book by Joost Zwagerman, which details the extramarital affair between Theo Altena, a White Autochtoon Dutch teacher, who teaches Dutch language, and Iris Pompier, a Black Surinamese teacher, who, not unimportantly, teaches physical education, Zwagerman writes about the main character Theo,
“Sometimes he would first push by way of ritual exploration with his dick against the thick dot of pubic hair—which fanned out to her groin; his foreskin softly chafing against the frizzy hair—before disappearing, always with an incomprehensible and almost frightening ease, in one seamless movement into her, straight into her amorphous warmth, his dick the concentrate of a congealed life, and her cunt everything but a refrigerator, instead a crematorium in full operation…”
In addition, Theo fantasizes,
“That we play act I’m dead and you desperately try to bring me back to life again. That you’re a black coffin made of living rock in which I will come to lie, I, the cold white corpse in a glowing sarcophagus.”
Zwagerman’s imageries do not deviate, at all, from the myths enveloping the black female body, which narrate black female sexuality as pathology. Black female sexuality is presented as amorphous, dangerous, primitive, sadistic, consuming, and death-threatening. Iris’ pussy isn’t simply hot (to reference bell hooks’ essay); it is scorching—ready to reduce, by fire, Theo’s “dead” body to ashes. The black female body does not only bring death, the black female body also acts as a receptacle of the dead—she is a “black coffin.” Iris is simply a black hole, that is a hole, to contain Theo’s withered White body.
To be white, in De Buitenvrouw, is to be an object of terror to oneself and blackness is the only thing that can neutralize the terror of Whiteness. Zwagerman plays with this perception throughout his book. Tom DiPiero posits that “the representation of both whiteness and masculinity [are] not so much identities as ‘hysterical responses to a perceived lack of identity’” and De Buitenvrouw, as well as Zwarte Piet, “‘endorse the position that white men are justified in asking others to determine their identity’.” The White male subject derives his dominance not from what he is but from what he isn’t. He relies on people of colour to show him what his powers really are. Sara Ahmed draws attention to this dynamic in Queer Phenomenology when she writes,
“In some fantasies of interracial intimacy, the white body becomes all the more white in its very orientation toward racial others as objects of desire. In her work, bell hooks (1992) examines how the white body’s desire for racial others is a technology for the reproduction of whiteness, which she describes as “eating the other.” If the white body “eats” such others, or takes them in, then it does not lose itself: the white body acquires color through such acts of incorporation; it gets reproduced by becoming other than itself. To become black through proximity to others is not to be black; it is to be “not black” by the very extension of the body toward blackness.”
There’s an entrenched belief in the Netherlands that anti-black racism is a thing of the past, or at least not a serious case of concern, due to an incorporation of black subjects. However, anti-black racism doesn’t merely linger on the surface skin of society, it is embedded in social policies, in our visual culture, and the various processes through which White people connect race, pleasure and service.
Much of anti-racism work in the Netherlands is made contingent on the “suffering body of colour.” Without any “complaints” there is no racism. We are invited to recount our stories of racial pain, to perform our hurting for the White gaze. If a suffering body of colour is necessary for an action to be recognized as racist then the difference between “beingracist” and “being not-racist” is only made possible through the presence of a person of colour who bears bodily witness to racism (who feels its effects). This dynamic not only erases the fact that racism was constitutive of Dutch society, but it also fixes us in the subject position of victim and enables very limiting and disempowering ways of fighting against institutional racism.
In a recent article Asha ten Broeke writes that Black pain is worth less than White pleasure. However, as I’ve argued in this piece: Black pain is White pleasure, or ratherBlack pain serves as a passageway to White pleasure. There is a close relation between sexual pleasure and racial anxiety and Hazel Carbysuggests that racialized anxiety leads “repeatedly to the debasement of the black and brown body in symbolic spectacle.” These scenes of subjection, from Zwarte Piet as a happy buffoon to Zwarte Piet porn, reinforce the idea of Black people being fundamentally “vehicles for white enjoyment.”
The issue at the heart of the Zwarte Piet debate is the brutal dilemma that Anthony Paul Farley poses when he writes, “What’s to be done when your subalternation, your pain, is the source of a pleasure which supports a political order which, in turn, ensures your subalternation?” What is, indeed, to be done when white pleasure is centred on black pain? That is the hard reality we all have to face.
[The title of this post I took from this poem, which deserves a post of its own.]