In the German town of Bad Schandau, a group of carnival dancers paraded through the streets on Saturday, wearing African-inspired dresses and exaggerated makeup. However, their performance was met with outrage as it was seen as racist. The group included four people, all of whom had their faces and hands painted black, curly hair wigs, and bright red lips. One member held a sign that read “The long snake from the savannah,” an apparent reference to refugees from Africa.
Despite the group’s claims that they were simply trying to be creative with their costumes, many saw their actions as offensive and discriminatory. This was not the first time that Bad Schandau’s carnival had caused controversy; in 2019, they featured a Rainbow Man on a torture post while Winnetou danced on an “asylum ranch.” In 2020, the carnival float displayed a severed papier-mâché head of Greta Thunberg. This year, they decided to engage in Blackfacing, where white people put black paint on their faces.
According to the Foundation Against Racism, Blackfacing is considered racist because it treats the identities and experiences of black people as a costume. The carnival participants also wore traditional African dresses, gold jewelry, Afro wigs, and depicted black cartoon people on posters and in their costumes. Additionally, they left room for interpretation with their portrayal of German politician Annalena Baerbock as rats next to her message that said “Annalena dreams of a green life but only rats stick to her glue pot.”
The latest actions by this group have sparked outrage and condemnation from many who see them as continuing to engage in racially insensitive displays. The Foundation Against Racism has urged other communities to speak out against such behavior and work towards creating more inclusive events that celebrate diversity rather than perpetuate discrimination.