Rapper Darryl Danchelo Osenga will no longer become the official poet of Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands, after his past comments dismissing the severity of the Holocaust caused a firestorm.
City officials said they had discussed some of Osenga’s past statements with him before appointing him city poet and he had distanced himself from them, according to Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper. But after he was appointed, advocacy groups raised concerns about a 2012 song that called the Holocaust a “cover up for dumb sheep” and a “joke” compared to slavery.
Two days after announcing Osenga’s appointment, Haarlem withdrew it. “After the appointment was announced, new quotes from Darryl Danchelo Osenga emerged that are at odds with values that the municipality of Haarlem stands for,” the city said in a statement, according to the newspaper.
Osenga, who performs as Insayno, posted a statement on Facebook lamenting his loss of the honour and reporting that he was receiving death threats because of the criticism. “Every person makes jokes they thought were funny but in the end they weren’t,” he wrote.
“The difference between me and all the people who comment on me, threaten me with death, call me names, hate, spam my pages with the most disgusting messages is that I can recognize my mistakes and take responsibility for the things I have said or done in the past,” he said.