The small town of Bad Schandau in Saxony was once again under the spotlight as a result of the controversial carnival parade that took place on Saturday. The parade featured four carnival dancers who were dressed up in African-looking dresses, wigs, and makeup that made their faces and hands appear black. One of the dancers held a sign that read “The long snake from the savannah,” which was an obvious reference to refugees from Africa. However, this display was not meant to be amusing; instead, it was seen as an act of racism by many.
The group of four was part of around 400 carnival participants who paraded through Bad Schandau. Despite their scandalous behavior, they drew attention for their unique costumes and props. This year’s parade featured a pattern of controversial and offensive behavior that has sparked outrage and condemnation from many people.
In recent years, the small town’s carnival has attracted negative attention for its racially insensitive displays. Last year, 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 found it amusing to engage in Blackfacing, where white people put black paint on their faces to depict African identities as costumes.
According to the Foundation Against Racism, Blackfacing is considered racist because it treats the experiences and identities of black people as nothing more than a costume to wear for fun. The carnival participants also wore traditional African dresses, gold jewelry, Afro wigs, and depicted black cartoon people in their costumes and posters. They even used outdated prints of chocolate kiss packaging when they were still called “Negro kisses” in their displays.
The group’s portrayal of German politician Annalena Baerbock left room for interpretation with their depiction of her wearing rat masks next to her name said “Annalena dreams of a green life but only rats stick to her glue pot.” It seems that this pattern of controversial behavior continues despite criticism from various organizations such as the Foundation Against Racism that Blackfacing is considered racist because it trivializes the experiences and identities of black people.
Overall, the latest actions by these carnival participants have sparked outrage and condemnation from many people who believe that racial insensitivity should not be tolerated or celebrated during cultural events like carnivals or festivals.