The Germans have a long history of, well, "dabbling" in every sort of racism or prejudice imaginable. Much like every other country! But they have a special, recurring knack for representing Barack Obama in ways that they think are innocent, but are actually casually racist. It's sweet, in a way. (Maybe not.)
The latest example comes from a German satirist turned fake politician, who's made a wacky campaign billboard depicting himself in blackface to make some sort of point. He doesn't get it, or does, and is pretending not to, or... well, let's just say he doesn't get it, since he actually went through with an idea to make a blackface billboard of himself. From English-language German news site The Local:
In an interview with The Local on Thursday, Sonneborn, staying in character as the leader of Die Partei, said his billboard wasn't racist.
He said he was "Germany's Obama" and added he was mocking the "hype" surrounding the US president. Sonneborn, formerly editor-in-chief of the German satire magazine Titanic, said he wasn't aware of the history of blackface and didn't care if anyone was upset.
"No, I didn't know that," he told The Local. "If Americans associate it with that, then I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take it down."
Here are two other delightful incidents of Germans not really understanding when they're being mildly offensive to the first black president of the United States!
German daily die Tageszeitung honored then-candidate Obama during the 2008 election by referring to the White House "Uncle Barack's Cabin." They compared him to Uncle Tom, the famous American literary character! All black people in America love being called Uncle Toms.
Never change, Germany.