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Thursday 23 October  
Geert Wilders
Perro de Jong's picture
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The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Geert Wilders is one of us, say Indies immigrants

Published on : 4 September 2009 - 2:25pm | By Perro de Jong
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Geert Wilders is surprisingly popular with immigrants who came to the Netherlands from the former Dutch East Indies. The key, believes anthropologist Lizzy van Leeuwen, lies in the populist politician's own convoluted family history.

If you consider the evidence, says Lizzy van Leeuwen, Geert Wilders is himself a second generation immigrant. His mother was born in Sukabumi, in what is now Indonesia. His grandfather, Johan Ording, was a civil servant in the colonial administration and his grandmother, Johanna, belonged to a mixed blood family.

Could that have played a role in the development of Mr Wilders' preoccupation with territorial issues? "It's possible," says Ms Van Leeuwen. She knows of dozens of immigrants from the East Indies who have roughly similar ideas. But actual evidence? She admits there is none.

More significant is that people from the Dutch East Indies will immediately recognize Mr Wilders as one of their own. Despite the bleached hair. "I interviewed more than a hundred elderly immigrants. They see him as what they call an 'Indies boy'. As someone who tells the truth."

Superdutch
When the politician's grandfather came to the Netherlands on furlough in 1935, he found himself sacked from his job. He and his wife, who was used to having servants and living the life of an aristocrat, suddenly had to adjust to a new environment. Poverty and bitterness were their lot.

The Ording family's experiences closely mirror those of the 300,000 men and women from the East Indies - including many of mixed blood - who came to the Netherlands after the Second World War, when the colony became independent.

Upon their arrival, their education and language skills were held up to much closer scrutiny than those of people born on Dutch soil. It wasn't exactly a warm welcome, stresses Ms Van Leeuwen.

"But because they tried to do their best and assimilate, they have been quiet about their problems and their frustrations, they saw themselves as perfect Dutch speakers and lovers of the queen. They were superdutch."

Silent generation
Things changed in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Dutch government began introducing 'guest workers' from Turkey and Morocco. The 'native' Dutch failed to see the difference between these new, mostly Islamic immigrants and the mixed blood families from the Dutch Indies.

Suddenly, the 'superdutch' were treated as foreigners. According to Lizzy van Leeuwen, their feelings of exclusion and betrayal at the hands of the Dutch authorities were never properly addressed.

 

To this silent generation Geert Wilders is nothing less than "a hero", she says. Because he offers a definition of Dutch identity that draws a firm line in the sand, excluding the Turks and Moroccans but including the East Indies community. Thanks to his outspokenness, they can finally break their own silence.

Latent racism
But within the East Indies community itself, not everyone agrees. Herman Bussemaker, chairman of the Dutch Indies Platform, says he doesn't know anyone who believes Mr Wilders is a hero. On the contrary, many immigrants from the former colony are alarmed by the politician's meteoric rise.

 

"They are afraid because the latent racism that is present in Dutch culture is only being reinforced by the actions of Mr Wilders. And most of them aren't white. So they are afraid that his actions will lead to more discrimination towards them as well."

That there is a trauma still waiting to be addressed after all this time - a trauma forgotten or ignored by most Dutch people - Dr Bussemaker doesn't deny. But that hasn't resulted in any strong right-wing leanings, he says. Rather, the political expressions of those frustrations "are spread from left to right".

Local elections
The Dutch city with the largest number of people from an East Indies background - The Hague - happens to be one of only two places where Mr Wilders' PVV party is planning to contest the local elections next year.

For the 'Indies boy', it may prove to be a valuable test of his standing with one of the Netherlands' most misunderstood communities.

 

Related content

Discussion

Indonesia Minority 19 July 2010 - 7:30am

Keep up your good work Geert, dont let this 'Neo Nazism' religion becomes majority in your country. As a minority in the 'Neo Nazism' country I know very well the sufferance of my brothers here. Neo Nazism once cause havoc it will destroy everything around it, both the minorities and it's own followers, what a self destruct religion it is.

maxilo 13 July 2010 - 3:16am / luxemburg

Either these convoluted fantasy theories, or... they just think the man speaks the truth and is truly defending the fundamental values and liberties of the West. Dang, never thought of that one eh, fool ?

Anonymous 3 June 2010 - 10:50am / the netherlands

Hello geert I will vote for you and only you.You are not against any race,you are against criminals and Holland is to easy,to take all that bullshit.Me and many more of my friends and family will vote for you.Holland is not holland anymore.Its just taken over.Good luck with many votes and I hope you will win.regards Lindsey

Anonymous 3 June 2010 - 10:50am / the netherlands

Hello geert I will vote for you and only you.You are not against any race,you are against criminals and Holland is to easy,to take all that bullshit.Me and many more of my friends and family will vote for you.Holland is not holland anymore.Its just taken over.Good luck with many votes and I hope you will win.regards Lindsey

Wiersma 19 October 2009 - 1:09am
Mr. de Jong's article about Geert Wilders is, either, and example of poor journalism and writing skills, or, a purposed intent to breed, and express contempt against Wilders, and his cause. Taking pot-shots (from behind Miss Lizzy's skirts) at his background to affect that contempt. De Jong sounds like a clanging cymbal. One who comes in, and goes out, with a lot of noice. Leaving behind tidbits of truth mingled with his innuendos and nuances which point only, clearly, to his own 'troubled' and slanted opinions. Opinions? Everyone has them. They become problematic when they fly around like Mr. de Jong's without any foundation to rest on. Whether one agrees, in part or totality, with Mr. Wilders or not: if he is being picked apart, then we need to, first, look at who is doing the picking. Whether one agrees with Mr. Wilders, or not..... the fact that there were people who were victims of a most horrible and horrific genocide, through no fault of their own, is once again being minimized and invalidated by the 'Dutch'. Or, is Mr. de Jong standing alone? From history, long and short, it is doubtful. Is it, perhaps, Mr. de Jong's own prejudicial and "bitter" upbringing which causes him to slyly switch the word "territorial" for "terrorism"? Or, did his parents not tell him that their generation used to call us "Pinda, pinda Poep-Chinees"? Translated into "Peanut, peanut, Shit-Chinese".
Luke Sharpe 5 April 2010 - 1:06am / C*N*D*

Here is the problem: Mr. Wilders is aiming for "purity".

He wants "purity" of purpose ( shoot them in the kneecaps ) ; "purity" of religion ( export non-Christians) ; "purity" of opinion ( what is next ? oh export all Protestants ); ; "purity" of race ( what now ? oh export all Indos??? ); ...

But those who live in glas houses really should not throw stones....

I can well imagine ancestors to the current "pure" Dutch generations wondering what all those "blauwe" people were doing coming back from the Dutch Indies... People whose ancestors where not 100% blond and Frisian for countless generations, but - GOD ( the Christian God ) forbid who had "mixed IT up"

Wilders, whether he wants to know it or not, is a product of just such a "mix-up". So it is rather quaint that he - of all people - wishes to be a "super-Dutchman"... Kinda reminds one of the Uebermensch problem.

Allah/God;Yahweh ( in alpha order ) forbid that the hypocritical Wilders should ever get closer to the levers of power!

From Roaming Catholic "zaggte gee" Liemburggggse Venlo to the Residentie Stad, eh! Such emancipation for an Indo.

Maz 13 October 2009 - 10:39pm
DE GOD ZEGENT GEERT VILDERS!
Maz 13 October 2009 - 10:38pm
"He is the VOICE of the Indische mensen and also reflects the thoughts of the Indische mensen in the former Dutch East Indies.." Deze verklaring is 100% verbetert!!
Maz 13 October 2009 - 10:36pm
As the offspring of Jewish-Dutch-German-Dutch/Javanese-English parentage (my Aunt and Uncle were from Surabaya), I can say Geert Wilders is a GODSEND to The Netherlands. He is standing up for Judaeo-Christian principles and is the one of the finest Europeans in recent memory. I would give anything to have this man come to the US, obtain US Citizenship, run for President of the United States and replace the useless windbag Obama. God bless Geert Wilders for all he is doing for preserving Western civilization. May he live to a 100 years (and may he antagonize as many Muslims as possible in the interim).
Indonesia Minority 19 July 2010 - 7:46am

@Maz.. Amin...

I used to think I could avoid Islam by migrate to western countries, but now this religion also infested Europe and USA and Australia, and the people there do nothing to stop the contamination of this evil ideology, I really worry about my family. Maybe better for me to migrate to China, back to my own root, at least communism does not let itself being eaten alive by the so called religion.

Indisch4ever 11 October 2009 - 2:55pm
About the posting of 10 october.... Mr Wilders is certainly not the voice of the Indische Nederlanders (Dutch Indies People) He is the voice of discriminating intolerant Dutch people . The titel of this article is very wrong. Lizzy van Leeuwen never wrote that Dutch Indies people says 'he is one of us' .. and this is not the general opinion of Dutch Indies People. On the contrary !!
adoeh seg 28 May 2010 - 12:02am / usa

Waarom hou jij toch niet op man, jij bent geen Indo, ik denk een Marokkaan of zo.
Voor mij is Geert Wlders beter dan iedere persoon die nu aan het bewind zijn , zelfs beter dan de windbag die we nu in Amerika hebben.MAPjL

Anonymous 10 October 2009 - 2:17pm
He is the VOICE of the Indische mensen and also reflects the thoughts of the Indische mensen in the former Dutch East Indies
George K. 10 September 2009 - 8:50pm
"pure","mixed" or "contaminated" dust we will turn in, in the long run!
George K. 10 September 2009 - 6:33pm
In the long run we will all turn into "pure" or"contaminated" dust, that's for sure!
Sue 10 September 2009 - 6:01pm
It strikes me as a weird attempt to control Wilders and get him to stop talking about the subject of Islam - by reminding him of his race - which in itself is racist. Wilders has clearly said - those who wish to be apart of Dutch society - have nothing to worry about - but those calling for Islamic or Shari'a law - will be opposed. You wonder how it is that the Dutch are so 'tolerant' - it is clear they simply attack those who speak out - Hirsi Ali suffered the same. The Dutch problem is that the anti-Islamization movement spans most of the Western world. For a westerner to highlight the Islamic conversation - which is racist (better intolerant) against all non-Muslims - in a video - is racist - to speak about it - is hateful. And Wilders has done - just that. And so he is a hero to a large number of people - even many of those who will not admit to it. The people who support Wilders are saying - we don't elect politicians to trade our freedoms and rights - with respect to Islam's requirements - for votes. This article is an embarrassing denial of reality - look at the Copts of Egypt, the converts form Islam in Iran, the Hindus and Christians in Pakistan - look at life for non-Muslims under Islamic law - and then we can make an honest assessment of Wilders's attempts to keep Europe/The Netherlands free of the same.
Anonymous 10 September 2009 - 1:30pm
I don't like the term "mixed blood"! This shows latent prejudice and discrimination. Are the Dutch themselves not "mixed blood" or are they "pure blood" "race horses"? Look at their history and the influx of people from other parts of the world and you will see that it is ridiculous , stupid and insensible to use that term.
Anonymous 7 September 2009 - 7:11am
So much is kept hidden about the Colonial life of the 'Powers' from the world. With the Internet and availability of Genealogy and Official Archives the cover s are coming off. 'Two' and 'Three' Famalies are surfacing around the world. Hypocrisies are surfacing. So what? We are all Human Beings, after all.
Anonymous 5 September 2009 - 5:40pm
It is good to be against extreme Islamists who foment terrorism in the world and bomb and kill innocent people. To hell with them.They have sown the wind, and shall reap the whirlwind.
Cole 5 September 2009 - 5:11pm
Wilders is against Islam !! And Muslim's attempts to turn the Netherlands into an Islamic state. What does this have to do with his heritage? There are likely some in Indonesia who object to the Islamization of their own country - would they be considered racists?? Whole regions of Indonesia are now under Shariah law. +++This seems to be a method of control - a whipping out of the old stereo-types to somehow gain control over Wilders. The trouble is likely it will not work. Wilders repeatedly says he is not a racist - and that is why he has so much support. Now that might be even more so. +++ There are a lot of people of colour who support Wilders - as well as of different ethnicities - the reason why Wilders has gained so much support - was not on 'racial purity' - but on stopping the advance of radical Islam. +++ This is an attempt to use race against - Wilders - who is not a racist ! Its bound to fail. I suppose it is easier to say Wilders is a racist - than to admit - openly - that Shariah law in the Netherlands would means serious problems.
David Berridge 5 September 2009 - 2:22am
This article does much to explain Geert's pyschological outlook and how his views of the Netherlands are formed. However, in these current times, Geert has to realize that such a cycle of discrimination has to be broken in labelling and stereotyping one million fellow Dutch citizens and residents. The Netherlands will not be able to withstand such tensions and disruptions over a sustained period of time as a viable society.
Anonymous 4 September 2009 - 4:36pm
The Indos(Dutch Indonesians) were not welcome in the Netherlands after the second World War. They were discriminated, ill-treated and despised by the majority of the Dutch. Only the money of the Indos was welcome in Holland at that time. The Dutch can better keep their mouth shut about discrimination in other societies and countries, because they have nothing good to teach about that to other nations.Many Indos emigrated to the United States, Canada and Australia were they were more welcome and appreciated.

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