German Leader's Obama Blackface Billboard

It's the latest from the country that called the White House "Uncle Barack's Cabin."


In anticipation of this week's state elections in Berlin, German party leader Martin Sonneborn has erected a billboard featuring himself dressed in blackface with the slogan, "I am an Obama."

From Mediaite:

While his decision is making waves here in the U.S. -- a country that includes minstrel shows in its recent history, and a place where blackface continues to have racist and uncomfortable implications -- and among anti-racism groups in Germany, Sonneborn says he was merely trying to poke fun at the global hype surrounding Obama. It's worth noting that he holds a rather unique place in German politics, having edited a satirical magazine and having founded a satirical political party called, easily enough, "Die PARTEI." The party's claim to fame? Its goal of someday rebuilding the Berlin Wall. (Laugh track.)

In the country where a monkeylike primate in a zoo was named Obama in an attempt to honor the president, and a newspaper once referred to the White House as "Uncle Barack's Cabin," it seems that another touchy racial issue may have been lost in translation. But don't expect this to be a teachable moment.

Asked about the billboard's connection to blackface in American history, Sonneborn told the Local, "No, I didn't know that. If Americans associate it with that, then I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take it down."

Read more at HyperVocal and Mediaite.

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