Dutch Golden Carriage Racist Symbol.Peter Dejong AP 2013

The king of the Netherlands is apparently miffed that he doesn’t get to ride his Golden Carriage through The Hague for the state opening of Parliament anymore, with a painting on one side extolling the glories of Dutch slavery. The scene depicts Black and Asian slaves bringing tribute to a White woman seated on a throne. The carriage was recently restored, at public expense, and sits on display in a museum in Amsterdam, but the king is so miffed he won’t ride it in for a few years. “There is no point in condemning and disqualifying what has happened through the lens of our time,” the king said. “Simply banning historical objects and symbols is certainly not a solution either. Instead, a concerted effort is needed that goes deeper and takes longer. An effort that unites us instead of divides us.” But it’s the carriage and the painting and the king who are dividing the country; a well-known Black activist welcomed the postponement but “the bare minimum” could do given the extent of public disapproval. (Peter Dejong/AP)

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