Hospital names sick baby “Zwarte Piet”

POSTED: 12/3/14 8:03 PM

DEN BOSCH—Hamza from Den Bosch was furious when he went to visit his 10 day old nephew in the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in Den Bosch and found the name Zwarte Piet on the name board at the child’s room.

“This really is a mistake that should never be made!” Hamza writes on his Facebook page. “Meanwhile my 10 day old nephew has a dangerous virus and is dying of pain! His life is in danger and the staff is making a Zwarte Piet joke.” Hamza’s Facebook post led to a storm of reactions. More than 1,700 comments have been made on the post. It has received more than 1,800 likes and has been shared more than 900 times.

The hospital is very unhappy with the error. They deny that it was meant as a joke and state that it had nothing to do with the baby’s skin color. The name boards were being tested in two empty rooms. The one said Sinterklaas, the other said Zwarte Piet. When the baby was urgently admitted, the staff put him in the first available room and gave him the necessary assistance. They only later realized that the room said Zwarte Piet.

Hamza emphasizes that his anger has nothing to do with the Zwarte Piet discussion or the fact that this happened to a dark skinned baby. “I am a strong supporter of Zwarte Piet and I have nothing to do with that whole discussion”, he says. “But this is a bad joke at a very wrong time.” He understands that the joke was not aimed at his nephew and has nothing to do with his skin color. “But this should not happen, whether it is a mistake or not. You must assume that you can’t make a joke with a family in such an unpleasant time. Not in a hospital.”

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