In the small town of Bad Schandau, Saxony, four carnival dancers paraded with their faces and hands painted black, curly hair wigs, and bright red, oversized lips, wearing African-looking dresses. A man in the group held a sign that read “The long snake from the savannah,” an obvious reference to refugees from Africa. However, this display was not meant to be funny; it was seen as pure racism.
The group of four was part of the around 400 carnival participants in Saxony who paraded through Bad Schandau on Saturday, drawing attention for their scandalous behavior. This year’s carnival featured a pattern of controversial and offensive behavior that has sparked outrage and condemnation as they continue to engage in racially insensitive displays.
Last year, the carnival 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’s actions were amusing to some but considered racist by many 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dresses, gold jewelry, Afro wigs, and depicted black cartoon people on posters and in their costumes, including an outdated print of a chocolate kiss packaging when they were still called “Negro kisses.”
According to the Foundation Against Racism, Blackfacing is considered racist because it trivializes the experiences of black people and reduces them to props for entertainment purposes. The group left room for interpretation with their portrayal of German politician Annalena Baerbock by disguising rats next to her with a message that said “Annalena dreams of a green life but only rats stick to her glue pot.” The pattern continues with controversial behavior that has attracted negative attention from many people worldwide.
In conclusion, Bad Schandau’s annual carnival has become infamous for its offensive behavior towards different groups of people. This year’s actions have sparked outrage and condemnation from many as they continue to engage in racially insensitive displays that are not meant to be taken lightly.