Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2019

Hypocrisy at its highest level

Hilbert HaarBy Hilbert Haar

MP Franklin Meyers is quite outspoken – to put it mildly – when it comes to standing up for St. Maarten and its people. Wednesday’s Central Committee meeting about the conditions at the detention facilities in Pointe Blanche and at the police station was an exquisite opportunity for Meyers to describe the Dutch as the bad guys in vivid detail.

Hypocrisy at its highest level. That’s how the good MP headlined a monologue in which he pointed out sixteen contradictions in the behavior of the Dutch: they say one thing but they do exactly the opposite.

And fair enough: on a number of issues his observations were on the mark, for instance when he said “I want to be like the Dutch; I want to arrest people for using marijuana on the one hand and tolerate it with the next. Also a nice one: “I want to say that the prison is St. Maarten’s responsibility but I threaten with an instruction when I want to be on the United Nations Human Rights Council.” And this one: “I want to allow prostitution in my own country but condemn it anywhere else in the world.”

But Meyer’s statements also included a couple of remarkable bloopers. The first, rather painful one reads: “I want to condemn the death penalty and tolerate it in my own country with euthanasia.”

Woah! Did MP Meyers really compare euthanasia – a well-regulated practice for ending the life of people suffering from incurable diseases without a perspective of recovery – with the death penalty? That’s not even a stretch; it is more like a gross misunderstanding of what euthanasia is about. Maybe he ought to do some more research on this particular subject and enlighten himself before making such outrageous claims again.

After driving his sixteen points home, Meyers claimed that the Netherlands considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist, while he was fighting for the freedom of his people. True or false?

Because I was not sure about this, I did some research of my own. and yeah, I found a white supremacist web site called stormfront.org that considers Mandela a terrorist for leading the armed struggle of the African National Congress against apartheid. It is true that South Africa locked Mandela up as a terrorist back in 1963.

Nowhere did I find that the Netherlands – as in: the government of the Netherlands – considered Mandela to be a terrorist. Erik van den Bergh, director of the Christian organization Kairos in the eighties of last century, told the daily newspaper Trouw in September 2008: “In the eighties many people considered Mandela as a communist, a terrorist. He was no good. You heard that kind of opinions also in the decent circles of the CDA.”

Just a few months earlier, the United States had removed Mandela from its lists of terrorists. In other words, for years Uncle Sam had a clear opinion about Mandela, but the Netherlands never went that far.

Truth be told, the Dutch government put economic interests in South Africa at the time before support of Mandela’s freedoms struggle. But that is far from labeling the icon of South African emancipation a terrorist.

That nuance obviously did not tally with the point MP Meyers wanted to make. He referred to a more recent example of a black and white issue: the annual discussion about Blackface. “When people pointed out that this was racist, they said: no, that is part of our culture. But they want to tell us that our culture is of a corrupt nature.”

Since I am Dutch, you may wonder what I think about the Blackface debate. To be honest, the tone of the debate disgusts me. It has brought out the worst in the pro-Blackface Dutch who claim this comical assistant of Sinterklaas as part of their culture. If you have the nerve to stand up to Blackface, the supporters of this character throw a truckload of racist remarks at you.

For a country that used to take pride in tolerance and freedom of expression that is a huge disgrace.

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