In Bad Schandau, Saxony, a group of four carnival dancers paraded through the town on Saturday, drawing attention for their controversial behavior. The group, part of the around 400 carnival participants in Saxony, wore African-looking dresses and depicted black cartoon people on posters and in their costumes. However, the display was not meant to be funny; it was seen as pure racism by many.
This year’s carnival was not the first time that the small town had attracted negative attention. 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’s theme was amusing to some but offensive to others.
The Foundation Against Racism has condemned Blackfacing as racist because it treats the identities and experiences of black people as a costume. The group also wore traditional African dresses, gold jewelry, Afro wigs, and depicted black cartoon people on posters and in their costumes. They left little room for interpretation with their portrayal of German politician Annalena Baerbock by disguising her as rats next to her with a message that said “Annalena dreams of a green life but only rats stick to her glue pot.”
The group’s pattern of controversial and offensive behavior has sparked outrage and condemnation from many who feel that they continue to engage in racially insensitive displays. Their actions have caused controversy for several years now, and this year’s carnival was no exception.