Zwarte Piet is the Dutch name of a black man [black Peter] who is traditionally a part of the annual feast of Saint Nicholas. This character appears only in the weeks before the feast of Saint Nicholas. As the servant of Sint Nicholas, Zwarte Piet is supposed to amuse children and give them gifts, or to punish "bad" children.
This is a traditional festivity in the Netherlands which is celebrated every winter all over the country. Dolls of Zwarte Piet decorate shops and exclusive boutiques, grocery stores and kindergartens as well and even appear on TV.
The figure was created by a Dutch man around 1800. Around that time, some Dutch participated in the slave trade of the Atlantic system in which Africans were enslaved to work in the Dutch colonies. This trade started around 1500 and lasted until approximately 1800. The trade is over but certainly not this Dutch tradition. A tradition which keeps a stereotype from those days of slavery that the white man is superior than any other human community.
A few titles appear annually on the Dutch papers and the social network regarding this topic. Some protest it, while others are fine with the unaltered continuation of this tradition.
Yes, it is the same racism from those days where the Dutch had a major place in the transatlantic slave trade. Little Holland can do big things if the issue at hand is an important issue. In this case however, it does not seem an issue for which the Dutch intend to take a big decision to change things and stop the black festivity of Piet.