Yeah, me niether.
Apparently, to this day the Dutch employ a white guy (or lady) to dress in blackface, don an afro wig, gold jewelry, red lipstick and a broken accent and pal around with St. Nick wherever he goes.
Here's a little history, thanks to Wikipedia:
According to myths dating to the beginning of the 19th century, Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) operated by himself or in the companionship of a devil. Having triumphed over evil, it was said that on Saint Nicholas Eve, the devil was shackled and made his slave...According to the more modern Saint Nicholas legend, Zwarte Piet is a servant who accompanies Saint Nicholas on his holiday travels. In some versions, it is alleged that Saint Nicholas once liberated a young slave named Peter, who decided to serve Nicholas (as a free servant) rather than enjoy liberty alone.Yeah, right.
And if you're going to create blackface caricatures, the next logical step is baked goods versions:
Watch out, little white kids. If you're bad Zwarte Piet will kidnap you, through you in a dufflebag and take you away to Spain, where apparently he and Santa chill on the off-season.
Unless, of course, you're disguised...