On Monday, we broke news of a protest happening in the Netherlands against the country’s long-standing Christmas tradition honoring Sinterklass, the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Critics took issue with the clown-like helpers called “Zwarte Pieten” or “Black Petes.”

Today, the natives of the Netherlands are using social media to strike back with an online petition to preserve the tradition.

From The Washington Post:

The mushrooming popularity of the “Pete-ition” page reflects the depth of emotional attachment most Dutch people — 90 percent of whom have European ancestry — feel to a figure that helped launch the tradition of Santa Claus. t also reflects their anger at critics who call it racist. Those critics include foreigners who they feel don’t understand the tradition. They also include many of the country’s most prominent blacks.

Read more at The Washington Post

The Black Petes are draped in blackface, Afro wigs and big red lips.

Critics say that they do not want to eliminate the tradition, but simple want the appearance of the Black Petes to change and reflect cultural sensitivity for the country’s black population.

Thoughts about the Dutch defending their tradition?

Is this a case of blacks associating a character not meant to offend with the Minstrel characters?

Sound off below!