April 17, 2019

More rights for LGBT+ means more money

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:10 pm

According to a new study published by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Rutgers University in New Jersey and Leiden Law School, nations who give more rights to the LGBT+ community have a much higher per capita Gross domestic product (GDP) than those who foster social exclusion. Published online in the World Development journal, the study is entitled “The Relationship between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: Macro-Level Evidence.”

Researchers used legal and economic data from 132 countries in the periods 1966-2011, including the eight-point Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation (GILRHO), which helps assess how limiting LGBT rights harms the economy. Created by Dutch law professor Kees Waaldijk, the study used the GILRHO for the first time, which includes categories such as lost labour time, lost productivity, underinvestment in human capital, and the inefficient allocation of human resources, and how they relate to the macroeconomy.

Adding just one additional point on the GILRHO scale is associated with an increase in real GDP per capita of just over USD $2000, and that estimates of the cost of exclusion suggest that 6-22 percent of this amount “could plausibly reflect the GDP costs of excluding LGBT individuals from a full range of legal rights.”

“Many people, including policymakers, may turn a blind eye to the moral argument against discrimination against LGBT individuals. But if the economy is brought up, they are more likely to use money rather than morals to justify reforming policies to protect LGBT rights,” says co-author Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. “Policymakers want to see the numbers, so here are the numbers that show the economic effect. Here’s evidence they can use to support change.”

(Link: phys.org, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

February 19, 2019

Gym refuses man with service dog: he’s not blind

Filed under: Animals,General,Health by Orangemaster @ 2:15 pm

A gym in Wormeveer, North Holland has refused entry to a client with PTSD and his service dog simply because the man is not blind. The gym client is a former local neighbourhood agent that suffers from PTSD as a result of having dealt with many life-threatening situations, including trying and sadly failing to save children from a burning house.

His PTSD meant the end of his career, but going to the gym should not be a stressful situation. The dog is welcome everywhere else he goes, and yes, he has filed a complaint of discrimination. Before it went that far, the man and the gym owner discussed the situation, but the owner wouldn’t budge.

Service dogs are sometimes denied entry to businesses by mistake, simply because business owners don’t know the law. However, if someone has a service dog, it’s usually for a damn good reason, and they don’t have to be blind to get one. The dog is trained much in the same way and it taught to stay calm, so the only issue is the owner’s reluctance.

And this, folks, is how you lose clients.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,

August 24, 2018

‘Trading black brothers in for white ones’

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 6:45 pm

Since popular rap group Broederliefde (in Dutch, ‘brotherly love’) from Rotterdam, with backgrounds from Curaçao, Dominican Republic and Cape Verde, attracted too many people at Gorinchem’s summer festival in 2017, the mayor has now banned the music style this year altogether ‘for security reasons’. The ban is being understood very differently by the Dutch media, accusing the Caucasian mayor of different shades of racism. Sure, safety is important, but this doesn’t seem like the best way to go about it. Why not get smaller, lesser known urban acts instead of punishing an entire segment of the Dutch population?

Not only is the ‘no urban’ thing doing the rounds in the media, it’s even a selling point on the festival’s website: “no urban, but still a party”, with acts that are the polar (ha, pun) opposite of urban, that is, carnivalesque après-ski music from the whitest of Caucasian Dutch men, amusingly enough called De Gebroeders Ko, which means the ‘Ko brothers’ who are also brothers just like Broederliefde.

Last year fights broke out when Broederliefde was performing, and that has made the mayor weary of anything urban, leading to an all out ban in the name of security. Problem is, there’s tons of urban-like music being played at festivals throughout the Netherlands and elsewhere, but the mayor is turning it into a ‘we don’t want black music [who is ‘we’ many people ask] because it attracts a bad element’ without flat out saying something overtly racist.

To drive the point home, one of the people in charge of programming (I bet he’s white) even said ‘we don’t want any acts like Ronnie Flex or Lil Kleine because they attract too many people. It’s scary to know that being popular is a reason to ban an entire genre of music that is mainly represented around the world by non Caucasians.

UPDATE: Hip hop and R&B festival Encore in Amsterdam is letting thefirst 300 visitors from Gorinchem in for free.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,

August 16, 2018

International students flatly turned down for housing

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 5:18 pm

According to RTVUtrecht, tons of advertisements for student housing (usually rooms in a house that has been subdivided for that purpose; they don’t live on campus), are flatly and illegally turning down internationals. It’s also not news that this group, maybe more than the Dutch, are also falling prey to dodgy landlords.

In this Dutch video, the chairman of a student rights association explains that international students should not be turned away, but quickly adds that he understands why this is done since it is so difficult for the Dutch to find housing, and that ‘there is a language barrier and many obstacles to be able to live with an international student’.

The thing is, major universities have been encouraging foreign students to enrol at their establishments to make money, but have no plans to deal with the strain that this causes on society, which in turn is then becomes the government’s problem. And since there’s a constant state of housing shortage that has existed at least in the big Dutch cities such as Utrecht for decades, it seems to be nobody’s responsibility, leading to this kind of self-protecting behaviour.

The chairman in the video blames the government and the universities and not the international students for the problem. A quick Internet search has students living on camping sites, caravans, hostels, refugee centers and even their cars for a bit until some of them get lucky, find a couch, or actually give up their studies. People are still willing to pay just more than regular people renting an entire flat to get a room because they don’t have many options.

This article is from last year, but paints a picture of what internationals go through here to try and find a room to live in.

And we wrote about students living in containers in Amsterdam a few years back.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Multi-storey container housing by Rory Hyde, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

July 10, 2018

Children’s book on Suriname sold discrimination as facts

Filed under: Literature by Orangemaster @ 6:38 pm

Dutch publishers and distributors can’t seem things to get right sometimes. Last year, a drugstore was selling a colouring book featuring Hitler, and now a mother was shocked to pick up a copy of ‘Suriname, here we come’ at the library containing some discriminating comments about the former Dutch colony.

The book tells children that cheating on one’s spouse is common and that men often have multiple women as partners. There’s all kinds of ways of discussing something like this seriously with children, but here the goal is to imply that it’s morally wrong, which is the wrong way to go about it. Why children need to know this if they visit Suriname is beyond me.

The rest depicts the Surinamese as bad people. “The Surinamese deliberately hit dogs with their cars, and used to sell themselves as slaves. Did you know that phone calls between Surinamese can often take a long time? A Surinamese needs an endless introduction and is unable to end a conversation”, all of which is presented as ‘facts’. I bet money the author is Caucasian and I can’t be bothered to check.

In light of pictures of the book’s content floating around Twitter, the publisher has decided to pull the book, basically admitting it was a bad decision to publish it in the first place. However, the publisher was obviously fine with it until they got called out for peddling such nastiness, which makes them tone-deaf and not suitable for children. Educate not hate, right?

And in true Dutch form, the ‘excuse’ contains “we never intended to hurt anyone”, but in fact they thought this was appropriate content to teach children until they were called out on social media.

(Link: nltimes.nl)

Tags: , , ,

January 12, 2018

Dutch chain uses ‘ethnic profiling’ for training

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 7:52 pm

Using a series of illustrations, Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn teaches its new employees, many of which, according to my shopping experience, are not white, that ‘Premium’ clients are represented by ‘white men with glasses’ (‘the good clients’) and that ‘Budget’ clients are represented by ‘black women with children’ (‘the poorer clients’). Albert Heijn is considered the pricier shop by the general Dutch public. The goal of pointing out which clients are which is to make sure their shops stock food suited to the neighbourhood.

After a complaint from an anonymous employee saying this was discriminating, Albert Heijn pulled it offline right away and ‘didn’t mean anything by it [didn’t realise it internally themselves], but because employees have been offended, they will have a good look at it’. Their system has been in use for two years, but it took an employee’s anonymous tip to the press to wake up the management who teach their young impressionable employees that white folks are desirable clients and others, not so much.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

May 1, 2017

Labour tax credit is discriminatory, says professor Teunissen

Filed under: General,Religion by Branko Collin @ 12:03 am

coins-branko-collinLast January an appeals court in Den Bosch heard a couple from Landgraaf, Limburg who claims that couples of which only one partner works still have a right to the full labour tax credit for both partners.

Currently only people who work, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur, enjoy this arbeidskorting (employment credit). The maximum credit you can receive this year is 3,223 euro per person.

According to law professor Jos Teunissen, who represented the couple in court, this is discriminatory and a violation of human rights (the article doesn’t say which human rights are violated specifically — one assumes he is talking about Aticle 12 of the ECHR which guarantees the right of partners to found a family the way they see fit).

In an article for Reformatorisch Dagblad, Teunissen argues that families in which one partner works can pay as much as 5 times as much income tax as families in which both partners work.

Teunissen finds support from former junior minister for Finance Martin van Rooijen who thinks the labour tax credit is discriminatory towards pensioners. In a opinion piece for Trouw in 2015, Van Rooijen argues that discriminating against pensioners is discrimination on the basis of age, which is also plumb illegal.

The labour tax credit was introduced in 2001, when it helped to replace a generic credit. According to Teunissen in a recent article in Trouw, its goal is to stimulate labour force participation of women. It is probably not a huge surprise then that it is mostly opposed by religious parties.

Tags: , , , , , ,

June 23, 2016

Amsterdam abolishes discriminatory youth minimum wage

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:23 pm

Amsterdam is the first Dutch city to finally put an end to the discriminatory practice of paying employees between the ages of 18 and 23 only 45% of the adult minimum wage.

The Netherlands is one of the few European countries where this practice was commonplace, something that is illegal in many Western countries. The city will start by adjusting the salaries of younger people who work for the city. Although the city of Zwolle, Overijssel started doing this before Amsterdam, Amsterdam is making more serious adjustments according to the youth workers’ union who has been pushing hard for change.

In April of this year the Dutch government decided to lower the youth minimum wage from 23 to 21, but yeah, that’s still discrimination. I have yet to hear a good argument besides exploiting young people for this wage discrepancy.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of the VOC HQ (East India Company) by Josh, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Tags: , , , ,

March 7, 2016

Regional accent research confirms language discrimination

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:57 pm


I’ve been working with French Europeans lately and not 15 minutes goes by before someone points out my ‘charming’ French Canadian accent. The same group of people also work with North Africans and Dutch people who speak French but don’t point out their accents for fear of sounding either like racists toward non-Caucasians or insulting the white Dutch managers. It’s OK for a card-carrying French person to tell me as a white person from an ex colony that I have an accent, but they wouldn’t dare tell a black person from Senegal the same thing.

I explained this later down the pub to a French-speaking Dutch person who claims she doesn’t judge people by their accent right after telling me I had one. I asked her if she tells Dutch people who obviously have an ethnic background that they have an accent in Dutch and she says she wouldn’t do that, but didn’t tell me why. Someone then tried to explain that it’s because a ‘decent’ Dutch accent makes you accepted by the white Dutch majority, and recent research shows that a heavy ‘ethnic’ accent puts you at the bottom rung of the ladder where you’ll find the Dutch-Moroccans and their accent.

The Moroccan accent is said to have no prestige whatsoever and is seen as negative on all fronts by the predominantly white students interviewed in a recent survey, even though other ethnic groups and the native Dutch use words and pronunciations from this ethnolect. Researcher Stefan Grondelaers, who has a Flemish accent, says that Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and comedian Najib Amhali, both Dutch-Moroccans, have had to “limit their Moroccan accent to a minimum to get ahead”.

Researcher at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and linked to scientific research into Dutch regional accents, Grondelaers explains that we use stereotypes to avoid collecting information about others that we don’t intend to use, and this is part of our evolutionary process. He goes on to explain that when people judge each other’s accents based solely on what they hear, they make snap judgements.

A Dutch television program (kicks in at 25:10, in Dutch) that discusses the discrimination Dutch people with regional accents face would have been handy in the pub yesterday. A part of the video has two women in booths that cannot see each other. A younger woman with an accent from Drenthe reads the news to an older woman from the Randstad area, the ‘prestige accent of the country’. The older woman, knowingly enjoying her ‘standard’ accent, says the younger woman sounds like a farmer with a bad perm, big glasses, bad clothing, and whole bunch of other stereotypes that she couldn’t possibly know. Grondelaers explains that the woman with the Randstad accent can look down on others because all other accents are less prestigious than hers.

Another part of the video shows a Dutch-Morrocan man trying to get a test drive for a car who is treated very differently on the phone than a white Dutch speaker. It’s so bad that the person on the other end does nothing to keep the conversation going. The Dutchman gets everything he wants and actual conversation. Grondelaers basically states that people are simply “racist beasts that walk upright.”

(Link: www.kennislink.nl, Photo of Djellabas by Roel Wijnants, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , ,

January 25, 2016

Fishing for a Dutch Captain Iglo

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:24 pm


Headquartered in Utrecht, Dutch frozen fish company Iglo is looking for a new Kapitein Iglo (Captain Iglo). It’s a real job with requirements and everything. From 1967 to 1998 well-known British actor John Hewer was the face of Captain Birdseye, as it’s either Birdseye or Iglo depending on where you buy the products in Europe. German taxi driver Gerd Deutschmann played the captain from 2008 until his death in 2012.

There’s never been a Dutch captain and since there’s no time like the present, Iglo wants someone to hand out fish sticks, sail around a bit and show up at sea-related festivals. However, it doesn’t say they want a man because that would be illlegal as women are technically allowed to apply as well, if they feel like wasting their time that is.

The job vacancy cleverly uses the Dutch word ‘gastheer’ (‘male host’), which automatically excludes women the same way ‘gastvrouw’ (hostess) always excludes men. On a darker note, wouldn’t a Dutch captain be expected to be Caucasian? One could argue that the captain should look the same as he (not she) always has, so then you’d get an older white man with a full white beard. The vacancy says “candidates of all ages may apply”, which is odd because technically you can’t exclude anyone based on age unless the salary is such that it fits the complicated ageist EU rules of paying younger people less and older people more in certain roles. In other words, they’ve overtly omitted specifying a man or a skin colour, which means women and non-Caucasian can apply and waste their time, but they have no problem telling us they’d be willing to pick a younger man by highlighting something that’s already a legal given. It smells a bit fishy.

If you’re casting a Dutch film and you need a Russian gangster type, you can then specify you want a man who looks Russian, is bad ass and 30 without any bad feelings. In this case, why don’t they just come out and say that Caucasian and male would be preferable? My money says the winner is going to be a man as white as the inside of a fish stick.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Volendam by quantz, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,