This is what the minister says in Abel Herzberg’s annual lecture, in which he also looks back on his own insecurities at the beginning of the corona crisis. And he runs ahead of CDA history in next year’s elections, in which he speaks out strongly against liberalism.
De Jonge refers to the work of the lecture’s namesake, Abel Herzberg, who wrote several stories about the persecution of Jews during World War II and his own time in various concentration camps. “It would be great if we could tell ourselves today that anti-Semitism and racism are a part of a dark past. That we eradicated it root and branch after 1945. But nothing is less true. “
The minister referred to the protests against Black Lives Matter after George Floyd’s death, “a valid call for recognition”. According to him, racism is still present in the Netherlands, despite the good intentions of the people. “To be honest, I don’t think there are large groups of Dutch people who consciously express themselves in a racist way or who approve of racism. But that’s no reason to believe that it isn’t that bad. It is not easy. “
According to him, the problem is greatest when people no longer understand each other and want to compete against each other. This is racism. And we have to keep pulling it out of the ground like weeds. Because racism does people injustice. “
De Jonge also looks back on the beginning of the corona crisis and the uncertainties surrounding his work as “Corona Minister”. “We all had these insecurities – I felt them too. I want to be in control, to be in control of my work. Be ahead of things, anticipate things, make a decision when to monitor their effects. But that was not possible in the first months of the corona. “
De Jonge did not completely ignore the criticism of his work. At the beginning of his lecture he reads some of the hate speech that he has received (“mass murderer”, “Hugo Hitler”, “Vaccinazi”). But he doesn’t want to write off these people, he wants to reach them. Because: “Most of the hatred is the projection of a feeling of denial, injustice, fear.”
The idea of registering corresponds to the direction in which De Jonge wants to send his party as the new CDA party leader. He wants to send his party, which is characterized by a right and left flank, to the “center”. According to him, the solution to the problem lies in “a strong society”.
In his lecture, De Jonge turns away from liberalism, for which the current coalition partner VVD is known. Belief in the market is “not everything”, according to De Jonge. But shifting all responsibility to the government is “just a recipe for more dissatisfaction”.