Disturbia singer Rihanna has certainly been disturbed by a Dutch magazine's racist comments.
In December, fashion publication Jackie posted an editorial on the artist. It read,
"She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate n—b-tch and she displays that gladly, and for her that means: What's on can come off. If that means she'll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren't like Jamaican ones..."
Readers poured out in defense of Rihanna, stating that the editorial was not only racist for its verbal usage, but extremely misinformed. After all, the singer is from Barbados, not Jamaica.
"There are 1000's of Dutch girls who would love to be recognized for their contributions to your country, you could have given them an article. Instead, u paid to print one degrading an entire race! That's your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past! You put two words together, with the intent of abasement, that made no sense…"N—A B-TCH"?!….Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you…F— YOU!!!"
Meanwhile, the magazine has apologized for its actions via Facebook. Hoeke wrote the note in Dutch stating,
"First: thanks for all your responses. We are of course very fed up over this and especially very shocked. However I'm glad that we're engaging in a dialogue on this page — not everybody does that. Thanks for this. Other than that I can be brief about this: this should have never happened. Period," she said.
"While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief's, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has been addressed on it, and now I can only ensure that these terms will no longer end up in the magazine."
"I hope that you all believe there was absolutely no racist motive behind the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think that this was an acceptable form of slang–you hear it all the time on tv and radio, then your idea of what is normal apparently shifts–but it was especially misguided: there was no malice behind it."
Malice or not, the magazine was blatantly ignorant, and the incident furthermore reminded me of a story I had read last week on Slate headlined, "In Holland, Santa Doesn't Have Elves. He Has Slaves." The piece discussed the Zwarte Piet, a racist Christmas tradition in the Netherlands, that the Dutch have started to question and reject.
As for Rihanna, I hope she unwinds from this entire debacle this holiday season, surrounded by those who respect and love her. Perhaps she'll celebrate at home in Barbados.