In Bad Schandau, Saxony, four carnival dancers paraded through the town on Saturday with their faces and hands painted black, curly hair wigs, and bright red lips. They wore African-looking dresses and carried 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 drew attention for their scandalous behavior. This year’s carnival featured a pattern of controversial and offensive behavior, including portraying German politician Annalena Baerbock as a disguised rat next to a message that said “Annalena dreams of a green life, but only the rats stick to her glue pot.” The carnival float also displayed a severed papier-mâché head of Greta Thunberg in 2020. Last year, they featured a Rainbow Man on a torture post while Winnetou danced on an “asylum ranch.”
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. This latest action has sparked outrage and condemnation as they continue to engage in racially insensitive displays.
Despite being aware of the negative consequences of such actions, these carnival participants chose to flout societal norms by using makeup and costumes to mock certain groups of people. Their actions are unacceptable and serve as a reminder that we must work towards creating an inclusive society where everyone is treated with respect and dignity regardless of their race or ethnicity.