To the supporters of the petition We are not viruses
Amsterdam, 26 November
Dear petition signer,
Thank you for your support and signing the petition We are not viruses, at the beginning of this year. In less than a week we had collected almost 60,000 signatures. And, of course, your voice matters.
We are pleased to share some wonderful news and give you an update on our activities since the petition, as we have been quite busy.
Regarding media framing – how to solve this?
Covid19 has highlighted that Asian Dutch people are not considered equal here, but rather seen as ‘alien’.
Asian-Dutch are hardly represented in the media, and if they are it’s most often in stereotypical and stigmatising fashion, like the recent article in Algemeen Dagblad “jerk-off Chinese spreading over town like fleas with baboons” (12 November 2020) or statements like that of Geert Wilders ““What if a Chinese throws another bat in the wok” (4 November 2020).
What we are missing is complex, multi-dimensional, authentic representation told from an Asian-Dutch perspective. Therefore we proudly announce our initiative: Omroep PAC!
We founded an Asian-Dutch broadcoaster, a community! It allows us to tell stories with more nuance and complexity, and offer a stage for Asian talent. Together we can make Omroep PAC a reality! We need 50.000 members (only €10) by 31 December 2020.
How are we going to make ourselves more visible in the public debate and in politics?
To make Dutch-Asians more visible in the public and political debate we are engaging in contact with politicians, municipalities, and other communities.
- We have presented our petition to the Minister of Education, Culture & Science, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, but none of their spokespeople accepted the petition. Next we intend to submit the petition in December, when the Public Prosecution Office will announce their verdict to our request to initiate Article 12 procedure.
- The petition achieved broad media coverage: NRC, Telegraaf, NOS.nl, RTL nieuws, Hart van Nederland, regionale newspapers, and tv with EenVandaag and DWDD.
- More than 3,000 people filed official complaints with, hundreds with politie.nl, and 5 people filed an official police report.
- Parool op-ed “A virus makes no distinction who whe are, why do we?” was published on 17 March 2020.
- On 4 June 2020, the Public Prosecutor’s Office unilaterally stated that the corona song is not discriminatory. The Public Prosecutor hears the suspect but ‘forgets’ the almost 60,000 petition signatories or the more than 3,000 reports of discrimination in its decision.
- Volkskrant-oped “Once again Asians get the feeling that they are not being heard” was published on 8 June 2020. A version of this was also published on NieuwWij.nl.
- Collaboration with Cross-cultural Human Rights Centre, the various anti-discrimination hotlines and some Asian interest groups to launch an article 12 procedure
- The request for an Article 12 procedure is also receiving a lot of media attention from most national newspapers, the radio 1 newsreel and the BNR.
- End of August an awareness–campaign ‘it’s just a joke’ is launched. Every day for two weeks a new cartoon is published about a typical racist joke, with background information how these jokes affect the victims. #iklachniet (#iamnotlaughing) attracts many online visitors.
- #iklachniet attracts the attention of regional newspapers and broadcasters, most social media platforms, Brandpunt+, Libelle, South-China Morning Post and at FunX.
- Parool op-ed “It’s just a joke? Young children are still learning that everyone is not equal”, published on 28 September 2020.
- Pop-up exhibition at Framer Framed (1 – 11 October 2020): It’s just a joke?
- PAC x De Zwijger programme Together against Racism: No Asians! an in-depth conversation about the lack of media representation and stereotyping of Asians in The Netherlands.
- In December we hope to hear from the Public Prosecution Service whether our Article 12 procedure will be accepted.
We have done great things this year, yet the stigmatisation and fear of Asia and China in particular continues. The more reason for us to become visible with proper media representation. With our own broadcaster we can write our own stories, so become a member! Together with everyone who signed the petition we can make a strong statement by showing that Omroep PAC is needed.
In December we hope to hear the outcome of our Article 12 procedure – until then:
- If you are discriminated against or see someone discriminated against, report this to a discrimination hotline – www.discriminatie.nl. Only with figures can we show how big the problem is.
- Find a place to talk about discrimination. Go to the facebook group of Asian Raisins (in Dutch) or Asian Voices Europe (in English) and share your experience. Or read through the post of comments. You are not alone.
- Do you want fair and authentic representation in the Dutch media, then join Omroep PAC.
& many more