The violence enacted on US Black folk is not only used as a springboard to raise concerns about the general failure to listen to ‘ethnic minorities’ in the Netherlands (and its possible consequences), but it is also used to narrate anti-Black violence in the Netherlands as “less severe”. From whose perspective is anti-black violence in the Netherlands “less severe” than in the USA? What — or to be more precise — whose level of anti-black violence (Dutch or US American?) should serve as a baseline? How does one quantify racial violence? To me, White evaluations of the severity of anti-black violence in a world that is anti-black sound an awful lot like “on our plantation we treat the Blacks better than on that plantation yonder”. Overly general assessments such as “less severe” do not do a single thing for Black folks here nor in the USA. Such general statements do, however, ease the souls of White Dutch folk: these statements make the Netherlands look good. Moreover, such ‘measured’ and ‘mapped’ levels of intensity, determined by the number of sensational and egregious violent ‘incidents’, make the Netherlands appear as though it is far more reasonable and balanced than the USA. In light of the above-mentioned rhetorical shortcuts, it is important to note the authors have chosen the extrajudicial murder of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests across the USA to serve as an entry point for analysis and not the extrajudicial murder of the 17 year-old Dutch citizen Rishi Chandrikasing.
Egbert Alejandro Martina in The Netherlands and Its Discontents, or: How White Dutch Folks Started Worrying and Urged ‘Us’ to Take Rioters Seriously (Processed lives)