Moral Low Ground


Dutch Magazine ‘Jackie’ Calls Rihanna “Niggabitch” with “Ghetto Ass”

A Dutch fashion magazine has landed in hot water after publishing an article about R&B superstar Rihanna loaded with racist language.

According to Jezebel and Parlour, the magazine, Jackie, had this to say about Rihanna:

Oh no they didn't… (Photo: Parlour)

She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and 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, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.

For the record, Rihanna is from Barbados, not Jamaica.

Jezebel reports that Jackie editor-in-chief Eva Hoeke has offered up the following apology:

“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…

Furthermore 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.”

Hmph… seems to me that Ms. Hoeke needs a lesson in what “acceptable forms of slang” are. Her “apology” leaves much to be desired. The Dutch people, especially those under a certain age, have impeccable command of the English language, including slang. Hoeke ought to have known better, and her lame excuse doesn’t help matters one bit.

Rihanna responded to Jackie’s shocking article with this Tweet, as reported by MTV:

“I hope u can read english, because your magazine is a poor representation of the evolution of human rights! I find you disrespectful and rather desperate!! You ran out of legit, civilized information to print!”

The four-time Grammy winner also had this to say:

 “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 Bitch’?!….Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you … F— YOU!!!”


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  1. RubenDecember 21, 2011 at 4:53 amReply

    She is a whiner, there was absolutely no malicious intent. I am glad we live in a liberal society with people that are progressive so they can transcend the whole racial topic and be able to express themselves like that without people taking offense. And then having to feel the need to speak on behalf of her entire race? Bitch please, if that’s really the point then don’t ever, ever use terms such as nigga in your lyrics again.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 9:44 amReplyAuthor

      Please see my reply to Anita’s comment.

  2. anitaDecember 21, 2011 at 5:05 amReply

    These words have a different meaning in dutch, and if it was meant to be offensive, they would have used other words. Something like syphillis whore. And i dont get why those ignorant americans disturb us with their own racist problems

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 9:43 amReplyAuthor

      You’ll never understand, just like we don’t understand your seemingly racist “tradition” of Zwarte Piet, which would shock and disgust on this side of the Atlantic, unless you’re in the KKK or something. You just cannot use the word “nigger,” or even one of it’s less innocuous incarnations such as “nigga.” Period. If you think that’s dumb, imagine how we feel that you cannot start a Nazi political party (although some of your sickeningly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim politicians come close) or deny the Holocaust in many European countries. Don’t get me wrong; Nazis and the Holocaust sucked. But before you point fingers and accuse Americans of ignorance, you would do well to study some history, specifically the 400 years of slavery and racism against blacks in America, and learn the deeply painful meaning of racist words to black people.

      • LJDecember 21, 2011 at 1:39 pmReply

        Omygod, stop being such a pussy, what you talkin bout history.. in that time ‘the niggabitch’ wasn’t even alive.. some black girls take it as a compliment.. in holland. stop complaining you bitches.

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 1:51 pmReplyAuthor

          Reading these comments, it’s no wonder that racist politicians have been so successful in the Netherlands.

          • MikeMarch 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

            Brett it’s cultural ignorance from both sides. Just to let you know historians agree that it was the extreme politeness of both South Afrika and South US that were instrumental in maintaining the Apartheid in both places. We were wrong for misusing English-language slang and stupidly directing our misunderstanding of the finer points of american culture at an American singer. Yet I am of opinion that the US makes commotion about language (not just this instance) to hide the true problem of racism. People of different colours just do not seem to feel at ease with each other ever in the US. So much so that they are not even allowed to use each other’s language, permanently segregating themselves. All said and done the publication was tasteless.

      • N*ggahB*tchDecember 21, 2011 at 1:58 pmReply

        Hahahahaha so stupid to call Zwarte Piet a racist tradition. They’re brown because they have to go through chimneys you stupid!!! And maybe I’m wrong, but look at your own country, America is a racist country if you look at places like Mississipi. Haven’t you read books like ‘The Help’? Maybe you should! And how many American rappers are using words like nigger, bitch and so on in their lyrics? I just don’t get your problem. But calling our Saint Nicholas tradition a racist tradition is extremely stupid and outdatet!! Loser!

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 2:13 pmReplyAuthor

          Perhaps you need to study English a bit more. I did not call Zwarte Piet a racist tradition; I said it is a SEEMINGLY racist tradition, because whenever white people paint their faces black in this country, it is supremely unacceptable behavior. Yeah, that’s our problem, based on centuries of racism (learned, of course, from the finest old cultures of Europe). Yeah, we’re a racist country, and not just in Mississippi. But so are you. We would never hate on legal immigrants the way the Dutch do. We would never elect politicians like Geert Wilders or Arend Jan Boekestijn. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones.

          • BladadigeDecember 22, 2011 at 2:14 am

            why are you commenting about our politicians and behaviour towards certain groups of immigrants if you don’t know anything about living in between them. If you would have one idea how (groups of) these legal immigrants behave towards Dutch citizens you would totally understand. It’s too much to explain, but you cannot form your opinion about the way some cultures collide in a country across the other side of the ocean!

          • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 9:19 amAuthor

            I get it. I’ve been there. I have lots of friends there. I hear their concerns. They’re the same as some of the anti-immigrant bunch here, but the difference is the Netherlands is much smaller and so things have gotten a bit “crowded”, to be polite. Still, I am one who does not like national boundaries and believes the earth belongs to EVERYONE to come and go between nations as they please. Not such a radical idea here in San Francisco. And the Dutch think they’re the most open-minded people?

          • HenkiedoodleDecember 22, 2011 at 6:18 am

            Remember the freedom riders, about 40 or 50 years ago. People burned a bus full of black people. And then they call us racist? We don’t know kkk or arian brotherhood thats all you!! People in holland speak 4 languages. We got churches for every rase nation and religion and now america is calling us racists. Next time 1 American does something wrong we are gonna blame all of America okay…

          • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 9:28 amAuthor

            There is plenty to blame us for. We are a terrorist, imperialist, hyper-corporatist and yes, racist nation. But European countries are racist too. Most countries are, in their own way. Just admit it!

          • RikDecember 22, 2011 at 6:49 am

            “Seemingly racist tradition”, why do you put the word tradition in quotes? And before you compare Wilders’ party to Nazis and go about blabbing and pretend to be the know-it-all the way you do, you would do well to dive into what it stands for first. It does not promote hate against legal immigrants. Of course you wouldn’t elect a politician like him, because all you’re able to elect is a bunch of conservative capitalists.

          • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 9:27 amAuthor

            Conservatives always say that being against other people isn’t hate. I see this crap every day here with the anti-immigrant crowd. There is no difference between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants. The world belongs to everyone equally and there is no such thing as an illegal human being, or as they say around here, ¡Ningún Ser Humano es Ilegal! One day, in the distant future, humans will understand this and there will be no more national borders.

          • RikDecember 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

            Whether or not there will be borders in the future, I do not care one toss about it. It boils down to the following: Rihanna has been called a niggabitch. Whether she likes it or not, agrees with it or not or accepts it or not. The fact of the matter is, she has been called this. Everyone knows that this term defines her exactly. Did you also know that in the Netherlands, the word “neger” is far more civil than the word “zwart”? That is, “neger” or negro (=nigga) defines a race, while “zwart” is black, defines a colour. “Zwart” is much more insulting here. But Zwart is not insulting when used in concatenation with Piet. You, Brett, who seems to have infinite knowledge about us (the Dutch) should know this! Of course, you do not. You’ve already demonstrated that in calling our politicians racist. To get back on the political debate, if American immigrants behaved the way immigrants behave here, you would have given them the electric chair! Now let us talk about conservatism: gay marriage and the death penalty. Still not a yes and a no, respectively, in all states is it? And as for our tradition of Zwarte Piet, do you think we care what you think of it? The fact that you do not understand it, along with niggabitchin’ and attention-whorin’ about some statement which was merely used for FASHION, proves you have 500 years of catching up to do. Don’t call our political parties Nazis, when some of your ancient states still execute the death penalty.

      • BumblebeeJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:27 pmReply

        Rihanna: ‘Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you…FUCK YOU!!!’
        Since when are black people from a different race? I can understand why she would feel insulted, but when I read her comment I couldn’t think but ‘Damn’.
        The point is we should embrace the fact there are no different races. You have ONE race, the human race. Color doesn’t matter in anyway whatsoever. But people like rihanna keep that problem alive. When she becan talking about her ‘race’ I new we still have along road to go untill we all finally find out it doesn’t matter if your black, white, yellow, red or blue. We are all humans living on the same earth coming from the same ancestors.

  3. JonDecember 21, 2011 at 1:58 pmReply

    The reaction by Rihanna shows racism is well alive in the USA. The reason the editor used NiggaBitch is because both the words nigga and bitch have no racist connotatation in the Netherlands. Nigga is not a racist word there, because there is no deep racism against nigga´s in the Netherlands. P.S. I´m Dutch so I know. It´s probably the least racist country in the world, that´s why a niggabitch is not a racist word, only in the very racist country USA where KKK originated it is a racist word. In Holland when we hear Rihanna gets angry for being called a niggabitch we say she´s fighting a fight against nobody. Nobody cares here.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 2:09 pmReplyAuthor

      Least racist country in the world? I would say that the Netherlands is one of the most Islamophobic countries on earth. Even in racist America we would never elect a Geert Wilders or an Arend Jan Boekestijn. And from talking to immigrants, especially North African ones, who have lived in the Netherlands, they tell me quite a different story. As in America, you have a very hostile attitude toward immigrants. But in America, it’s only illegal immigrants that many people are against (although Muslims aren’t exactly the most popular people around here these days). Of course, we’re not perfect– as a half black, half Mexican American, I can assure you that racism is alive and well in America today. But Europeans need to get off their high horses and admit that they’ve got a serious problem with racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.

      • jonDecember 21, 2011 at 6:03 pmReply

        you can’t be serious. racism is even institutionalized in America. did you read that study where blacks are way more profiled by the police to carry marihuana even when they statistically speaking use less than whites. the police is in on it. Whereas in the netherlands, the police is expressly forbidden from chasing black criminals, because that is racism.

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 21, 2011 at 6:30 pmReplyAuthor

          You’re talking about “stop and frisk.” It’s shameful in this day in age, in New York City, that such things still happen. The sad thing is, marijuana was decriminalized for use in private in the 1970s but the cops tell those who they stop to empty their pockets. These people, who are 90% black or hispanic, often don’t know that they don’t have to empty their pockets and so they comply. But when they do so, the marijuana is “in public” and the officer can then arrest them. Shockingly, some 600,000 people were stopped last year, and like I said, 90% of them were black or hispanic.

          And yes, there is much institutionalized racism in America. But we elected a (half) black President with a Muslim-sounding name. He’s done zero for minorities in America, but that’s another story. My point is that we seem to be moving forward, albeit slowly. From what I observe from the Netherlands, it seems things are moving in the other direction, at least in the last few years.

          • BladadigeDecember 22, 2011 at 2:19 am

            please shut up! You don’t know shit. you should not believe everything the media or the couple of people you know who live here say(s). Don’t act like you know better than Dutch people themselves how we feel and how racist we are or are not. We are a really tolerant country towards almost everyone and everything. So stop bitchin…you don’t know shit!

          • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 9:19 amAuthor

            Come to San Francisco and we’ll show you tolerance. Except, shamefully, gays cannot marry like they can in the Netherlands. But that’s only because of the conservative haters in the other, less enlightened parts of California.

          • MichielDecember 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

            Brett, I apologize for the terrible language of my fellow Dutchmen. They seem to be very eager to add insult to injury. Or insult to insult, to be precise. They are right about Jackie though. At least, that’s what I believe.

            You’re correct about Wilders. He’s the shame of our country. You should know though that Wilder is driving a wedge in our society. There are probably not many counrties where the differences are so big when it comes to racism. We used to be one of the most tollerant countries in the world. But then Wilders came along. Some 25% of our population is in favour of his ideas (I know, that’s a LOT), and almost everybody else is strongly opposed. It’s a well known fact here, that the vast majority of those 25% belong to least educated group of people of our country. The rest of us… well, while we keep fighting this Wilders and his sick ideas, we still need to get used to the idea that the perception of the world about us has changed. Dramatically.

  4. WakakoDecember 21, 2011 at 4:15 pmReply

    Are people serious?
    If a black person is offended, then it was offensive to a black person.

  5. HenkiedoodleDecember 22, 2011 at 6:09 amReply

    They can call themself niggaz and bitches but if a whitegirl does it it’s racism?? WELL THAT’S RACISM. I rather call her a junkiebitch. She was smoking it up in Amsterdam. Miss Rainman illuminatie. Good luck with your new world order.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 9:30 amReplyAuthor

      Well good thing foreigners can’t smoke in the Netherlands anymore. You seem to be a bit ignorant about cannabis, though. Joint smoking does not a junkie make; for millions of people, it is legal medicine, in case you haven’t heard.

      • MyrtheDecember 22, 2011 at 10:04 amReply

        could you just die with your patriotic crying in which you think you are better than Dutch people? We are no racists. The way you feel about us is racial, so on my own behalf: die.

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 10:29 amReplyAuthor

          You really have no understanding about what this website stands for. If you think this is a “pro-America” site, you really need to read some of the articles on here. This is a social justice site, which deplores nationalism, militarism, imperialism, colonialism, corporatism, and racism. And the Dutch, like most Europeans and Americans, need to admit that they have a problem with racism. Period.

      • HenkiedoodleDecember 23, 2011 at 6:52 amReply

        Thats wrong information dude. I’m from Holland and foreigners can smoke here. No problem thats mostly the reason why they come here. Some coffeeshops have a custumer pass, thats right. But they can still get it everywere else. I just don’t understand why Rihanna felt the need to ruin someones life and job. That was unnecessary. Makes me wanna ban her from Amsterdam for good. If she doesnt understand that we say things in another context, well thats just dumb. Holland used to be bad, i know. But some people are bringin up slavery and stuff. Thats just stupid! If now someone in Holland is being racist they get a ticket. It’s not tolerated, and we are trying to become better.

  6. NicoDecember 22, 2011 at 8:19 amReply

    As far as I know Rihanna is a winner acting like a loser.
    She should go to Dr. Phil, he can help her.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 10:36 amReplyAuthor

      LOL… Dr. Phil is a homophobic, conservative douchebag.

  7. MyrtheDecember 22, 2011 at 9:39 amReply

    Personally, I am Dutch, and I feel this whole thing is terribly overrated. Mrs. Hoeke never meant to hurt anybody. It was not offensively meant, and all of you are make a huge deal out of this. I’m fond of Rihanna’s music, and she is a role model. If she wants to be adolescent and responsible, she should’nt care. She should not low herself to call Eva names, and even feel offended. She should be able to see that Eva respects her, that is was a typical Dutch compliment. Because of a culture difference, one women lost her job and the other got hurt. Very unnecessarily. You all, bitching about Eva and equal treatment, you should think this through. The way you are talking about eva, is that fair? Looking at the facts, Jackie being a single fashion magazine, Rihanna actually wearing also very pretty but very showing clothes, the fact she apologized already and the fact she is DUTCH, it doesn’t seem necessary to completely ruin that woman’s life. Rihanna happens to be a role model in more ways than for the ignorant eye to be seen, and its definitely childish they way everybody is dealing with this.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 10:35 amReplyAuthor

      “Nigga bitch?” “Ghetto ass?” If Jackie didn’t want to spark controversy, they should have stuck to writing racist insults in Dutch. Man, I wish you people were Germans. It would be MUCH easier to explain how offensive this is.

      • MichielDecember 22, 2011 at 2:14 pmReply

        What we have here is probably a language / culture barrier. I’ll repeat what I said about this issue on another website, in the hope of some mutual understanding.

        “I’m Dutch too. I think the whole point is that, probably due to the many American movies, tv-series, shows and popmusic here, the word nigga is much more associated with the way Black Americans use it themselves, than it is with a racist expression. I’m convinced that Jackie meant to use it in that way too.”

        “I do admit that from some of the American movies, tv-series and shows that we see here, we can ALSO learn that it is indeed a fire powered word (didn’t know that expression, but I get the meaning), so I’ll have to agree that it was not very professional behaviour by Jackie.”

        “However, I do believe that in a time when even some American white folks still make the mistake to think that they can use this word in the “cool” way, it should be considered a very unfortunate, but understandable mistake if the same thing happens some 5000 miles away from the American borderlines. After all we don’t have this phenomenon, that certain words are way off limits for one group and are perfectly okay for the other at the same time. Here either a word is off limits or it’s not.”

        “Remember, we try to understand, but we’re looking at your country from a distance, so sometimes we fail.”

        I’ll just add this next bit to try to explain the behaviour of other Dutch people in this thread:
        Do you know, or can you imagine the feeling, when you accidently bump into somebody, say in a bar or so, and he immidiately takes a swing at you and hits you right in the face? You WOULD have appologized, but not anymore. Now you’re just angry.

        Well, this is how many of us feel about the reaction of the USA, to the article in Jackie. “It was a bump, not a deliberate push, how dare you take a swing at us.”

        Personally though, I recognize that your anger is genuine, no matter how much we, from our point of view, believe that it’s uncalled for. And personally I believe in talking and in mutual respect and understanding, not in name-calling.

        Thanks for your time.

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 2:37 pmReplyAuthor

          Thanks, although I am not angry. I just wish people over there would understand, like the commenter Wakako wrote, that if black people (or any other group) find something offensive, it is, and whoever said it should apologize, not defend their action. The editor of Jackie did the right thing by resigning.

          I was once in a Dutch diner, one of those places with no tables where you sit at a counter and drink tiny beers while eating grilled sausage and stamppot, and I said the words “god verdomme” in Dutch. I didn’t see what the big deal was, but the woman serving the food behind the counter was very offended and so I offered my sincere apologies and never said those words in the Netherlands again, as silly as it seemed to me.

          • MichielDecember 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

            That was a plural “you” as in “the general reaction of American people” 🙂

            The big difference with your story about the cursing in Dutch, is that this woman probably didn’t start shouting and screaming that you were one of those faul mouthed heretics and you would end up in hell and that your appology meant nothing because you didn’t mean it anyway (remember, Jackie DID appologize immediately), etc etc. These are the general reactions that I read on the internet.

            In other words, think of the guy in the bar. If he reacts annoyed to the push, you’ll appologize. If he’s all over you right away, it gets a lot harder.

          • MichielDecember 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

            How did you like the stamppot btw? 😉

          • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 5:05 pmAuthor


          • MichielDecember 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

            Oh, and one more thing. Eventhough can sometimes be hard to distinguish which is which, there’s a hugh difference in trying to explain your behavior and trying to defend it.

  8. MyrtheDecember 22, 2011 at 9:54 amReply

    Oh and Brett Wilkins, stop trashtalking about my country. gay people are allowed to marry here, we have people in the gouvernment who are gay and we know it. a political group gets no longer money from the government because they wanted to ban women out of the politics. We don’t have a klu klux clan, or a black power movement. We are a acknowledged (hope I spell it right) multi cultural county. Geert wilders has the publicity of a racist, but in his campaign are A LOT of other things witch indicate only safety. america is finally coming out of a very long, expensive, pointless war. How is that safety? That’s fighting terrorism in one’s other country over some stupid tower.

    So my conclusion:
    hou je kankerbek dicht over Nederland.
    Jullie zijn zelf fockingracisten.

    *never say stuff about someone else when you know its really you doing.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 10:32 amReplyAuthor

      I am not trash-talking about your country. The Netherlands is at the leading edge in many social justice issues and is, generally, an example for the world to follow. You live longer, healthier, safer and generally happier lives than do Americans. If I had to make a “top 10” list of countries to live in, yours would probably be on that list. That being said, Europeans and Americans need to face the fact that their societies are racist. Most societies are. Try being a Korean in Japan or a Turk in Greece.

  9. BumblebeeJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:14 pmReply

    Rihanna: ‘Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you…FUCK YOU!!!’
    Since when are black people from a different race? I can understand why she would feel insulted, but when I read her comment I couldn’t think but ‘Damn’.
    The point is we should embrace the fact there are no different races. You have ONE race, the human race. Color doesn’t matter in anyway whatsoever. But people like rihanna keep that problem alive. When she becan talking about her ‘race’ I new we still have along road to go untill we all finally find out it doesn’t matter if your black, white, yellow, red or blue. We are all humans living on the same earth coming from the same ancestors.

    • Brett WilkinsJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:21 pmReplyAuthor

      Um, good luck finding any doctors, biologists, anthropologists, demographers, sociologists, geographers, etc. to agree with your theory that there aren’t different races. As much as I agree in spirit with your “human race” sentiment, the cold truth is that there are different races, just as there are different nationalities and species of animals. We shouldn’t use the fact that there are different races to divide people, as is sadly so often the case. But denying our differences doesn’t make any sense in an increasingly multi-cultural world.

      • Finnish guyApril 3, 2012 at 6:07 amReply

        People in US are so damn ignorant and dont understand other people or their cultures. There was no intent to insult anyone with this story – just a funny story. If some one makes a fush about this, they are total idiots. This American/British political correctness cant bring anything good to this world, only bad things. Dont fix it if it aint broken. You see racism and race everywhere.

        It is a fact that races dont exist – at least not in a way that for example Americans see them. You idiots even talk about Latinos as a race. How stupid can you be. If we look at the genetics, there are severals races in Africa, but Asians and “Caucasians” are part of the same racial group. The scientific definitions of race have nothing to do with “white people” -style idiocracies.

        Dutch are cool. People in US are ignorant idiots – on average.

        • Brett WilkinsApril 3, 2012 at 7:43 amReplyAuthor

          And you, sir, are ignorant of what it means to be a racial minority in the United States! But you’re very correct that we are, on average, quite ignorant. But I’ve found that in my travels to 40-plus different countries, most people “on average” are pretty ignorant in every land.

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