Gerri Eickhof deliberately avoided the racism demonstrations as a reporter, he said in an interview with Saturday de Volkskrant. The NOS reporter finds it difficult to guarantee its objectivity during these kinds of items. He also talks about his aversion to polarization and extremes in the racism debate.
Eickhof himself was not present at the Dam protest, as he did not know whether that was possible from his position. “And so I cowardly hid for myself behind a private date that I could have shifted.”
When the NOS coordinator asked Eickhof if he wanted to report on the Dam protest, he said that he was afraid of losing his objectivity. “If you can find someone else, it might be better,” he said.
The fact that Eickhof himself has a dark skin color means that he prefers to avoid these kinds of subjects. “I normally know exactly where the line is,” the reporter explains. “Because I sometimes look for that limit in my work. I try to say the maximum without losing my objectivity. On this subject I was afraid that I would no longer see the limit.”
“Try to keep me aside as a journalist on such issues”
“My sympathy always lies in colored and black in conflict situations around ethnicity,” explains Eickhof. “Because racism affects me personally, and I cannot and do not want to get over it. That is why I try to stay aside as a journalist on such issues.”
In his youth, Eickhof himself also had a lot to do with racism, he says in the interview. “Every day, on the way home from school, a group of five to twenty children walked across the street with me. They called ‘brown bean’, ‘nigger’, ‘black’, except in November and December, then they shouted “Zwarte Piet”. They pelted me with pebbles and clods. ”
Yet Eickhof himself does not like to talk about his experiences with racism. “Not with blacks, because they already know the lists. Not with whites, because they often judge it as nagging, victimization, hypersensitivity.”
Although Eickhof is happy with the attention to racism, he does not like the extremes in the debate and does not like polarization. For example, he says he has little to do with “screaming chatterboxes”, citing Akwasi as an example.
Eickhof has worked as a reporter at the NOS News.