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Blackface Obama billboard sparks outrage
Photo: DPA

Blackface Obama billboard sparks outrage

Published: 15 Sep 2011 17:49 GMT+02:00

Ick bin ein Obama (I am an Obama),” reads the poster at Berlin’s central Ernst Reuter Platz square, in an apparent play on John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. On the poster, a "black" Sonneborn smiles as he raises his arm in the air.

The billboard is the latest in Sonneborn’s campaign for his satirical political party Die Partei ahead of state elections in Berlin this Sunday. It’s meant to make fun of the entire German political establishment and go up to the edge of propriety – another poster is entitled “MILFS against Merkel” and the campaign has also mocked the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party.

But the latest one is upsetting to some because of the racial connotations of blackface theatre, which was widespread in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on ugly stereotypes, blackface consisted of white performers painting themselves black for degrading minstrel shows. It it quickly died out in the United States after the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

In an interview with The Local on Thursday, Sonneborn, staying in character as the leader of Die Partei, said his billboard wasn’t racist.

He said he was “Germany’s Obama” and added he was mocking the “hype” surrounding the US president. Sonneborn, formerly editor-in-chief of the German satire magazine Titanic, said he wasn’t aware of the history of blackface and didn’t care if anyone was upset.

“No, I didn’t know that,” he told The Local. “If Americans associate it with that, then I’m sorry, but I’m not going to take it down.”

But Tahir Della a spokesman for the Initiative for Black Germans (ISD), which tries to represent the interests of the black community in Germany, called the billboard "unbelievably hurtful."

"This is 2011 and not 1950," he said. "I find it racist through and through."

Quaide Williams, the vice chair of the German chapter of Democrats Abroad, also said the poster was insensitive, although he emphasized that he was speaking for himself and not the organization.

“Do I think that racism is a problem in Germany? Yes I do. I think this shows how insensitive people are to this topic,” Williams told The Local. “It’s kind of interesting to look at how little they recognize racism in their own politics.”

There have been several incidents in recent years involving Obama that have led to charges of racial insensitivity by Germans.

In 2009, a frozen food company released Obama chicken fingers but later said it wasn’t aware some might see overtones of stereotyping blacks with the product’s name. That same year, Dresden’s Zoo renamed a mandrill – a monkey-like primate – it had called Obama after an unfortunate attempt to "honour" the US leader.

The gaffes have not been confined to one side of the Atlantic, however. After Obama’s election as president, the New York Post got in trouble for a political cartoon showing police officers shooting a chimpanzee while saying: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

But the blackface billboard incident comes on the heels of an open letter by the US Ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, lamenting racism in the country after one of his black staffers had to endure abuse following a football game in Berlin.

The US Embassy said it had no immediate comment on the Obama billboard.

Moises Mendoza

moises.mendoza@thelocal.de

twitter.com/moisesdmendoza

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:05 September 15, 2011 by derExDeutsche
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world.

Let them come to Berlin.

There are some who say -- There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future.

Let them come to Berlin.

And there are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists.

Let them come to Berlin.

And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress.

Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen.

Let them come to Berlin.

-John F. Kennedy June '63

How things change ... sounds just like a Republican. What does that make today's Democrats?
19:47 September 15, 2011 by enfanterrible
I¦#39;ve seen a lot of people who would sell their soul for 15 minutes of fame, but this is just ridiculous and beyond bad taste … pathetic attempt of a D-list comedian (and I use that term loosely) to get noticed!
20:49 September 15, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
Surely the most telling aspect of this story is how *not* funny the billboard is. I appreciate "edgy" comedy, but this is neither... not that Berlin is known for that sort of thing. I mean: why "Obama"? Why "black face"? Is "black face" inherently funny to anyone but kaffir-floggers?

Repeat after me, class: Funny + Transgressive = Comedy Gold. Not Funny + Socially Retrograde = NPD Lite.
22:33 September 15, 2011 by ChrisRea
I fail to see the racism here. The billboard (and the campaign) makes fun of politicians. In this case, the ones that try to copy Obama (as a recent success story in elections) and Kennedy (who stated that he feels the same way as the ones he was addressing at that time - the Berliners). He suggested the link to Kennedy through the tagline (using also Berliner dialect) and the link to Obama through physical appearance (colour and pose). The ad is directed to Berliners and one cannot really find a message against blacks. Just because others used the "blackening" of their face to mockingly portrait allegedly negative behaviour of black people it does not mean that the artistic method itself is outrageous.
22:37 September 15, 2011 by maxbrando
What is wrong with a man satirising the man who famously said (English translation), "I am a doughnut!"

And, Obama IS a caricature of himself. So, get over it.
22:37 September 15, 2011 by Major B
The color he pasted on himself isn't the same "complexion" as Pres Obama's. I don't quite recall any human complexion, out of the 6 or so major racial groups with that complexion and shininess.

But if Herr Sonneborn wants to be a clown, act like a clown and dress up and look like a clown then let him be. The joke is on him.
22:39 September 15, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
Satire - it may be more funny or less funny - is free to do anything (or should be). In this case the mockery surely is aimed at all those Germans who still think Obama will bring the world peace and cure AIDS. It maybe tasteless, but who cares? I thought german political cabaret is famous for vitriolic sharpness.
23:09 September 15, 2011 by baddaboom
boooo hiiisss shame on him
23:24 September 15, 2011 by charlenej
Note to Germany: Blackface is never funny. Not knowing that it is considered racist to Black people is not an excuse. Once the people actually being depicted tell you it's offensive, then it is offensive. The other racist people around you don't get to define that because they have no effin' clue.

And note to Holland with all that Schwarze Piet Blackface Christmas wha-not: see above.
02:32 September 16, 2011 by anaverageguy
Oh yes Charlene, because YOU find it offensive then EVERYONE must find it offensive. If you've been following the news, you may have noticed that not everything you find to be offensive is verboten.

Note to Charlene. Don't get your panties in a wad. Sit back and have a nice cold Ficken. That should lift your spirits some.
02:41 September 16, 2011 by n230099
Skin is getting thinner everywhere. We can do and say as we please.
02:56 September 16, 2011 by hanskarl
One would be wise to look up and read the meaning of this from Wikipedia as it is very enlightening.
03:28 September 16, 2011 by Aelfgifu1
It's not just Charlene. It's well known that blackface is offensive and cannot be used in this day and age in a non-racist way. The use of blackface has one purpose = to emphasize the racism in a situation.

And just because this racist comedian said that he didn't know it was so deeply ingrained in a long, racist history doesn't exempt him from being a racist bigot. You can tell his true feelings by his response. Any, decent non-racist person who wasn't aware of its racist background would have immediately apologized for not being aware of its context. He didn't. And he deserves our condemnation for that.
05:02 September 16, 2011 by Kristen Suzanne
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
05:03 September 16, 2011 by Major B
wait a minute. He put blackface on the underside of hands. Even with darker skinned people of different races(caucasian, negroid, australoid((melanesian, papua new guinean, native australian)), ) the hands are much much lighter on the underside. What a stupid ass. And yes, there are millions of people in the caucasoid racial group with dark skin. In fact, the sanskrit mother tongue of the Indo-European languages come from these peoples, but the racists don't know that either.

Note to Charlene - as you already know, the racists will use ANY excuse to get in their snide, ignorant and perverse comments. You still have to ignore them. Just know it is worldwide phenomenom, especially in the U.S., certain groups are purposely degrading sensitivity to pursue their agendas.

Aelgifu1 is right too, but why condemn the racists.

They condemn themselves with their ignorance and insensitivity.

Do they know they have a much lower birth rate than the people of color of all races?
05:42 September 16, 2011 by DOZ
Obama has a sense of humour. He has to, being the 1st Black President.
07:56 September 16, 2011 by Englishted
@Kristen Suzanne

Just two points : The first "unelected czars" were appointed by Ronald Reagan .

Healthcare"is the cause of economic failure today" so why has the U.S.A. the biggest budget deficit and no universal healthcare.

But returning to the poster : it is wrong and should be removed and the idiot should not be given free advertising.
09:34 September 16, 2011 by freechoice
a more shocking photo is one Obama with an unbutton shirt and a cigarette in his mouth. that is one bad ass look!
09:57 September 16, 2011 by vjtheking
Folks on both sides of the colour divide: LIGHTEN UP (and I mean your mood, not your colour :-) )... The colour of your skin can bother you only if you let it bother you.. I'm Brown and I am proud of it... You just have to look at the profusion of Sun Centres / Browning Centres to know what you've got going for you... I have a permanently tanned look for free!!

And as my 5-year old in a moment of profound enlightenment said "It doesn't matter if your skin is White or Black or Brown. What's important is that we HAVE skin" :D
10:20 September 16, 2011 by ffmmarco
Ridiculous! Unbelievable how any american spokesperson can complain about such SATIRE in Germany. In this German country we don't have such race wars as you have in the US. Please, guys, if you really want to have your "Political Correctness Award", first mind your own US business!
10:35 September 16, 2011 by fourwheeler77
@ DOZ

If you want to get technical, he is actually the first Half-Black president. While I support the media's mindset here, I really wish they would get off the fact that we finally have a black president. It was bound to happen one day, just like a woman is bound to be a president one day.
10:38 September 16, 2011 by marimay
I certainly hope that was sarcasm, ffmmarco. If not.. well..
10:39 September 16, 2011 by freechoice
i am waiting for that Asian Minister to become Deutschland First Asian Prime Minister. do you think it will happen cause his party is not getting popular nowadays..
11:10 September 16, 2011 by storymann
I think the bill board is in poor taste. I am not offended by it nor am I going to start a jihad over it.
11:25 September 16, 2011 by gorongoza
Typische Deutcher !

Always misdirect his vendetta. Given a hard boot in the ass by somebody - he is finished. He can not retaliate but find it easy and appropriate to vent his vernom on somebody who has nothing to do with their bone of contesion.

Never mind we know who to hire: BERLUSKON.
11:30 September 16, 2011 by dcallahan
Stupid people will always do stupid things. He's only embarrassing himself. Though if he plans to visit the South Side of Chicago anytime soon, he might want to rethink the whole, "I'm a f******* idiot and I don't care if I offend people" stance.
11:49 September 16, 2011 by Zexufang
Tasteless? Maybe.

Racist? Maybe.

Politicial Satire? Yes.

Another thing - is it not true that President Obama is HALF-white?

And to all you racial bean counters out there - how come THAT fact is always overlooked?
12:27 September 16, 2011 by hardly
I do not want to come to defense of black face nor this comedian.

I am unaware of this comedian in general, but it is clear his concern is to satire German politicians.

Above it was mentioned that 'The use of blackface has one purpose = to emphasize the racism in a situation'. I do not know the intentions of the comedian, but can I make a wild guess: that the comedian might intentionally want to point at racism of German politicians through this satire. he seems to stay in character to feign ignorance. This doesn't make it good comedy nor interesting politics, but I just wanted to point out a few things. It is common for satire to come off as tasteless, remember Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal".

By the way, the Eddie Murphy skit on Saturday Night Live in which he wears 'white face' is very humorous.
15:44 September 16, 2011 by catjones
It's interesting to read the comments from the staunch satire supporters. Where were you when The Producers tried to come to Berlin? Hand salutes and swastikas are verboten symbols, but racist caricatures are free game.
16:07 September 16, 2011 by so-cal
Who says the Germans arn't FUNNY
16:22 September 16, 2011 by Roger O. Thornhill
Eric Holder's people consider appearing black an insult.
16:28 September 16, 2011 by germansarefun
I am an American. All my life I have heard people say the 'Gloomy Germans', after seeing that billboard I laughed so hard I could have cried, never again will I be told Germans are gloomy, some of us Americans appreicate you guys, you are hardworking people bailing out the rest of lazy Europe, plus you have time to do a BlackFace routine of our president and make us laugh at ourselves, Rock On Germany your humor here has won over an American fan!!!
16:31 September 16, 2011 by JohnWest
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:44 September 16, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
I don't think that Martin Sonneborn would have any problem to use swastikas or hand salutes in his satires. And I ­ speaking for myself ­ would have no problem with him doing so, either. In fact, Sonneborns "PARTEI"-party mocks the GDR's socialist SED as well as the NSDAP, for both parties were ­ in their time - mostly called throughout Germany as "die Partei". As you may know or not, Sonneborn is closely connected to the satirical TITANIC-magazine, and the TITANIC is well known for respecting nothing and no one, and they don¦#39;t care for of political correctness. I remember for example a TITANIC-cover some time ago when Germany had to elect a new president, and the cover pictured Roberto Blanco (a famous black entertainer in Germany) with the line: "Federal President? Why not a negro this time?" playing thus with bigotry, political correctness and racism in Germany on many levels…
16:45 September 16, 2011 by ThomCat
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:48 September 16, 2011 by Aelfgifu1
John West appears to be posting from bizarro-world. ;)
16:55 September 16, 2011 by bugger
Ridiculous. Don't buy into the narrative that specific to some nebulous, abstract and ancient notion that adorning one's face with make-up is inexcusably racist. It is not. Black comedians love whiteface. And no person alive today saw an minstrel show in the 1850s. It is manufactured now as a perpetual grievance. Astonishing, so many conditioned and brain-cleansed drones are obedient to demands that these feeble protests be served. "Racism" is a top-shelf pejorative. It means nothing. The invective is hurled to bully people and to compel a desired redress of some sort. And the US Embassy was contacted for comment? Ridiculous. They will distract you with this non-issue while devaluing your currencies and lifting your savings. But, most are cowed and dumb.
17:10 September 16, 2011 by Tex Expatriate
There are some interesting observations to make about Mr. Sonneborn's antic and the commentary it has stimulated. One, with respect to the blackface, I'd have thought it funny if Sonneborn had left one half of his face white. After all, Obama the Maximum Marxist-Leninist, is a half-breed. Another, the Sonnenborn-generated politically correct howls among readers (see above). And this one, too: Sonnenborn calling attention to racism, a characteristic endemic to human beings that will never be erased by political correctness, education, or re-education. Finally, proof that Germans aren't entirely stiff-necked wannabe aryans.
18:16 September 16, 2011 by VWDriver
So many have nothing better to do than sit around and wait to speak out about something that "offends" them. Well now, haven't they cornered the pity market.

Perhaps everyone has to experience something that offends their precious sense of rightousness once in a while. (Borat comes to mind) However it is not against the law to be offensive and we shouldn't get bent over differences in cultural or moral decay amoungst ourselves. I have never seen "black face" performances, only pictures in books, but I guarantee if Dave Chapell were doing it, it would be declared Comedy Genius. I took one look at the billboard and everything is evident: making fun of Obama, making fun of Kennedy, and the the German politicians as well. LMAO
18:24 September 16, 2011 by remccain
> Aelfgifu1 - The use of blackface has one purpose = to emphasize the racism in a situation.

So when the Wayans brothers made "White Chicks", that was to emphasize racism by pointing out that all white blonde women are nothing more than a stupid, ugly, caricature?
18:37 September 16, 2011 by charlenej
anaverageguy - You can believe what you want. If you don't think it's racist, fine. I'm Black and I was offended. I would venture to say definitely most Black people in America would be highly offended by this, and I'm also willing to bet that many Black people outside of the U.S. would at least find it ignorant. My family is from the South and my great-grandfather was killed by the KKK so maybe I'm a little sensitive to racial stereotypes, no? I also minored in African-American history so I know a lot about the subject. It's a complicated issue and I really don't feel like going into all of it at the moment, but you're wrong if you think I'm the only person who would be offended. Far from. Ask your Black friends what they think. I'd be interested to know the result.

But yes, I do think the people actually being depicted in any sort of stereotypical joke should have some right to say whether something is offensive, particularly when it's a group that historically has much less power than the other. You don't have to listen or care, but then don't act like you don't know when you get called out.

And while I understand Germany doesn't have the same racial history as the U.S., I think it's a good idea to let them know how this kind of thing plays out on the world stage.

And anaverageguy, don't worry about my panties being in a twist, dude. I'm good. But thanks for looking out.
18:44 September 16, 2011 by Buzzard
Why can;t blacks accept their own color like any other race that accepts theirs. There is so much political correctness everywhere you go because the left propagates them. I am brown and my brownness in color does not offend me. Maybe the blacks are not comforted that Obama is mulatto and he is neither black or white. Get it over with.
18:54 September 16, 2011 by jabusse
I can't imagine any black offended by Obama being portrayed as black. Whould you rather have him portrayed as yellow or white? Is it wishful thinking on your part? Being black is certainly nothing to be proud or embarrassed about, it simply is what is. It is too bad many of the us citizens are worried about such trivia.
18:57 September 16, 2011 by Arnold Ziffle
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:57 September 16, 2011 by Aurelio
Obama is wearing whiteface every time he reads the polls!
19:04 September 16, 2011 by southsiderefugee
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:05 September 16, 2011 by Saul.Goode
Dave Chapelle is a black comedian in the United States who dresses up in "whiteface" to make fun of white people all the time. He gets on the bus and everything is free because he's white. People open doors for him because he's white. Etc. etc. etc. White people laugh because it's hilarious. Black people need to get over it and quit clinging to a double standard that benefits them. And white people need to stop enabling them to do that.
19:09 September 16, 2011 by Arnold Ziffle
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:10 September 16, 2011 by maltboy1
I am outraged when black comedians like Dave Chappelle dress in "white face" and mock my race.

Nobody cares about that. And until somebody does, I do not care about a white comedian who dresses in black-face!
19:12 September 16, 2011 by J Bigglesworth
Obama, by far, is a bigger joke than this billboard could every hope to be.
19:18 September 16, 2011 by rscott1293
Silly me I thought that America was the only country in the world that had become crazy stupid about political correctness. Get a life all those that are offended, you still have jobs, air to breathe, food to eat and your lives. Obama in black face will harm no one.
19:26 September 16, 2011 by ChrisRea
OK, charlenej, how exactly were you offended? What was the racist message that you allegedly perceived? That there are people that want to be like Obama? That black people can become Presidents?

If you say that the ad was directed against blacks, why would not someone say that it is directed against Americans (as it make direct reference to two American Presidents)? Or against Presidents in general? However nobody complains about this.
19:58 September 16, 2011 by Hopsaregood
This does not upset me, would ignore it if not for the furor. I do not like BHO. I do not think that he is a good president or a good American. That said, the billboard is quite tacky and very classless. But get over it, W was abused all the time and accepted it as part of the price of admission.
20:04 September 16, 2011 by charlenej
I don't care about this enough to get into the history of Blackface. Here's a wikipedia link. Wiki isn't my favorite source but it's the easiest. Read it if you are interested in why the concept of a white person dressing up as a Black person a) offends people and b) doesn't mean the same thing when the roles are reversed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface

Believe what you want, think what you want. There is a long racist history to the act of Blackface at least to Americans, and that is not a belief, that long racist history is a fact. It seems to be common knowledge among white people in America, at least. Maybe some of you just don't know.

I'm tired of this whole conversation. Talk amongst yourselves.
20:07 September 16, 2011 by Lisaqmoon
Who cares. He is such a nightmare that I don't care how much you make fun of him. Hey make fun of his white side too. He is a race baiter so who cares. I am living this nightmare in my wonderful country with this incompetent boob trying to run it into the ground. Just like everyone else loves & is proud of their homeland so am I. I am sick of the freakish American media & the lies. They & the lefty democrat party are directly responsible for this guy being elected. The democrat party can be traced back to most of the problems the worlds economies ore suffering. Don't fall for that hopey changey garbage. Nothing has changed for the better.
20:20 September 16, 2011 by canexplain
I think it would be funny to see Mary and Jesus (like he ever lived) and Joey doing it. That shouldn¦#39;t offend anyone if I think it is funny. Yea just get over it if you see that billboard……..
20:23 September 16, 2011 by So36
Reading comments like the one from Lisaqmoon are just utterly depressing.
20:48 September 16, 2011 by Babsjc
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:09 September 16, 2011 by mjrodriquez
Problem with Communist, "no sense of humor" and no charm at all. Ever watch the movie "Doctor Zhivago"?

Problem with Nazi's, 'No sense of humor" and no charm at all. Ever watch the movie "Swing Kids"?

Without a sense of humor all you have is "Zombie's" goosestepping to their own folly leading themselves into the death pit of history.
21:22 September 16, 2011 by Triaxis
Reading comments like the one from Lisaqmoon are truly heartening. It's nice to see that not everyone has fallen victim to Hopey McChanges trance.
21:52 September 16, 2011 by southsiderefugee
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:53 September 16, 2011 by mrunpc
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:58 September 16, 2011 by southsiderefugee
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:01 September 16, 2011 by Sysconfig
This is so..inspiring! That some of these outraged Germans care about a Black face on Obama, when they don't care about the African genocide in Libya by the rebels, highly supressed in the news here in the states.., the ignoring sinking Black emigrants , all due to and aided by their friends Sarkozi and that chalk faced Putz Cameron..

What is amazing more my brothers..is that neither does Obama! Driving this war, and because he says he is driving from behind. its ok and innocent.

Maybe these same outraged bigots can can redo Obama as Pontius Pilate , washing his hands of guilt...Paint all these murderers Red, to symbolize a rebirth Blood..
23:19 September 16, 2011 by EssenSieMich
"unbelievably hurtful." - I love how in the entertainment industry they always try to 'represent' blacks as being tough alpha male types, but every time you hear about them in the news they are crying, group hugging, and whimpering for greater sensitivity.
23:30 September 16, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
Predictably, the racists with room-temp IQs came out in force for this one, wielding their childish arguments (eg, "why aren't you offended by 'white face' if 'black face' bothers you so much?" or the mouth-breathing anthem from southsiderefugee, two comments above this, lamenting the plight of the endangered white species!) and eager to give their clammy high-fives to the no-talent "comedian". Hard to believe they're any less repulsive in person than they are in their (solecism-riddled) comments...

Before reading this thread, I wondered how this "comedian" could *possibly* have an audience (he's obviously too bourgeois for the skinheads). Mystery solved!
23:41 September 16, 2011 by jakeFlagg
Hey, where's all the support for the 'artist at work?' Oh, only if you support fascist artists like obuma, right? If MJ could work whiteface, as well as all those vampire movie actors, this dude can work however he likes. When people don't buy tickets for his show, show's over. Leave it at that.
23:45 September 16, 2011 by endrsgm
germany doesnt have the history of slavery that america has. it has other issues in its past that are "sensitive" and the people know them and generally tread lightly around those issues.

america doesnt tread lighty around other peoples "sensitivities". americans usually expect other people to understand that their sensitivities are not necessarily the sensativities of someone else from another place.

but amazing is how quickly americans round on anyone that has offended their precious little sensitivities. Aelfgifu1claims that hes surely a racist, because he didnt kow tow and instantly apologize. evidently anything that offends charlene should instantly be stopped as soon as she announces that it is hurtful. her great grandfather was killed by the kkk, which is terrible. but it still doesnt excuse her intolerance of other cultures, traditions, and historical differences.

i guess neither read a modest proposal by jonathan swift in which his proposal for starving ireland was to eat their own kids. it didnt offend the irish, they got the humor. it offended the british aristocratcy that also got the humor and realized they were at the receiving end of it.

reality is that the current generation of germans are saying they didnt cause world war 2 or 1. most werent even born then. therefore, they have no collective guilt. charlene seems to be saying that because a relative that she has never met who came THREE generations before her was murdered, then every white person in the world should bear collective guilt.

if we all used that rational the entire world would be at war and hating each other. every bad action one wanted to do would be permitted because at some point in all of our pasts our ancestors did things that werent so nice to someone. no matter who our ancestors were or were they came from.

so to charlene, i say NO. im not racist. ive never discriminated against anyone. ive never owned slaves, nor has anyone in my family. the fact that charlene still has some racial hang-ups is HER PROBLEM. not mine nor anyone elses.
23:56 September 16, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
QED.

Anyway. Thought experiment: a really funny American dresses up in full SS regalia and goes goose-stepping down Friedrichstrasse, pulling a skinny fellow in striped pajamas by a chain... etc.

Get the "joke"?
00:00 September 17, 2011 by peteto1
The saddest thing is that this comedian would probably be a MUCH BETTER President than the lazy, inexperienced (never had a real, full-time job in his LIFE), Marxist that currently occupies the White House. We now KNOW that he couldn't do any worse than the con man-in-chief........
00:00 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"so to charlene, i say NO. im not racist. ive never discriminated against anyone. ive never owned slaves, nor has anyone in my family. the fact that charlene still has some racial hang-ups is HER PROBLEM. not mine nor anyone elses."

Near-perfect specimen of a childish argument. "Hey, I'm not a rapist, nobody in my family has ever raped anyone... what's the problem if I tell a rape joke in the queue at Starbucks?"
00:03 September 17, 2011 by Buffers
Hey Everyone, OBAMA claims to be a BLACK MAN! So what is the problem here? He doesn't claim to be white, JUST BLACK. It is not a bad thing, his whole family is black. No big deal.
00:04 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
The "saddest" thing, peteto1, is that you're clearly too racist to recognize that Obama's run in the WH has merely been an extension of Bush2's policies and practices... something you would otherwise be *celebrating* , by all indications.
00:18 September 17, 2011 by endrsgm
no, nor the comparison.

is the billboard in america? was the america in germany on friedrichstrasse?

see where it crumbles?

if the poster had been done on pennsylvania avenue then i would expect it to comply with america sensibilities. being that it is in germany, why is it necessary to comply with american sensibilities. people, albeit mostly crazy and racist ones wander around in america wearing nazi regalia. in germany they would be locked up.

different sensibilities.

ill give you an A for effort in thinking of that comparison so quickly, but id have to give you a failing grade on coming up with a valid comparison.
00:26 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"is the billboard in america? was the america in germany on friedrichstrasse?"

Did the Nazis enjoy "black face" humor, as well? They certainly did. In other words, this sort of bigotry is not quite so "local" in its implications (or absence thereof) as you'd like to think (or pretend to think).
00:31 September 17, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
Mention "Obama" in ANY context nowadays, and immediately there are hordes of US-Americans bickering and discussing him and his politics without end. It's like showing a red sheet to a bull. This shows all non-Americans clearly how divided the USA must be at present. Instead of tending more to the middle of the spectrum to solve this sad political stand-off somehow, each political side desperately tries to outperform the other in extremity until no compromises are possible any more. And then this ridiculous Tea-Party! Always funny to hear of them in the news. Such people stand in Europe in the public parks on wooden boxes where they drivel some grotesque political theories while nobody takes them serious, let alone allowing them to get near a public microphone.
00:31 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1364687/Hitlers-mistress-Eva-Brauns-rare-pictures-party-mode-dressed-Al-Jolson.html

Here's your "F" for History.
00:58 September 17, 2011 by nolibs
...
01:03 September 17, 2011 by ikezen
Hi there, let us keep some important facts in this context:

- It is difficult to understand for Americans, but I think that most of the Germans really didn't know something about 'blackface'. I'm studying cultural anthropology and thought that I'm a little bit educated, but I didn't know that.

- Since many years, Martin Sonneborn and the satiric TITANIC magazine are fighting against racism and Nazis in Germany.

- If we change the position, there are maybe a lot of Nazi jokes in the U.S. that are historical sensitive for the Germans. I think we all try to laugh about things without hurting people. Not an easy road.

- Martin Sonneborn tries to be well-known like Obama. The focus is not set on the skincolour, but on the person. The uses celebrated public characters to gain his publicity.

- Satire in Germany is blatant. It's not always easy to cope with. But it is also a symbol for a solid democracy.

- Let's be friends! Kind regards from the north of Germany
01:14 September 17, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ endrsgm and nolibs

Don't mind charlene - she is too confused (on one hand she is very offended, on the other hand she declares that actually does not care much about the issue - a typical reaction for someone without arguments). She does not even understand that Blackface is more than painting the face in black (it is actually about the performers creating a stereotyped caricature of a black person - far from the case discussed).

@ ikezen

Thank you for an informed and balanced opinion. I wish there were more like you on this forum.
01:18 September 17, 2011 by MAKEMYDAY
I love it!!!
01:18 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"It is difficult to understand for Americans, but I think that most of the Germans really didn't know something about 'blackface'. I'm studying cultural anthropology and thought that I'm a little bit educated, but I didn't know that."

This is, therefore, an excellent opportunity to learn... and to avoid this ugly faux pas in the future. After all, the "we just didn't know" defense can only work for so many decades before it wears thin. I'm sure Eva Braun's "black face" routine was harmless fun, that in no way reflected a sense of racial superiority on her part, and, if she'd known then what we now, she'd apologize profusely...

Btw, I happened to see a Titanic cover years ago, where the magazine was on sale, at U-Bhf Wittenbergplatz, during the WM. The cover was totally black, except two slits across the middle... and the words (in German), near the bottom of the cover, "How Asians see the WM".

Good way to "fight" racism!
01:40 September 17, 2011 by smcdaniel
Very funny to see people offended that US President Obama is pictured with his skin shown darker than it actually is. Why do they think dark skin is such an insult? Why do they hate dark skinned people? Why don't they look in the mirror before they cry RAAACIST. BTW here in the states the race card has been put into the dustbin of history. Some guy does some comedy and you all get (falsely) indignant. Meanwhile when a REAL racist speaks I don't hear word one from you born again NAZIS http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gird-your-loins-this-is-war-against-capitalist-bloodsucker-american-new-black-panther-president-shabazz-tells-harlem-audience-to-fight-war-here-at-home/
01:46 September 17, 2011 by ABO
That can't be a picture of our Messiah, there's no HALO!!!!!!!!!!
01:58 September 17, 2011 by ikezen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire
02:32 September 17, 2011 by southsiderefugee
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
02:44 September 17, 2011 by flnative52
Get over it......not a big deal
02:49 September 17, 2011 by Slitzee Cavanaugh
There are actually a few comments here that make decent points. Most, however, are of the "it's racist, it's hurtful, you dumbards haven't read the Wiki article about black- face and my fav....I'M OFFENDED!"

I really loved at the beginning of this article, the dope from the American Democrats group. You are a visitor in another country.... and you really are quite annoying.

The race baitors in the U.S. have squeezed every nickle out of every possible situation that has ANYTHING to do with race. Americans are, frankly, sick of it....It's played out. Nobody cares if your great granny was the slave of some Cherokee Indian 150 years ago. My relatives were not even IN THIS COUNTRY. So take your demand for some form of restitution out of my face and your slimely little paw out of my tax $$$.

On the other hand....While racism surely exists in America as it does elsewhere, it has been stamped out so successfully and caries such a stigma that I doubt ANY cries of racism anymore. The boy that called Wolf. Nobody believes ANY cries of racism any more. That you are "outraged" by the racism of me noting that Mrs. Obama has a gigantic arse...Gosh, I could give a flying fig.

On the other hand, Obama would have NEVER been elected to the Presidency if he had NOT BEEN A 1/2 BLACK GUY. Pls, all the outraged victims of racism in the U.S. writing on this blog...explain to me how a crappy student from Occidental (a pretty low level college) gets entre into Columbia? That is the question and I'd surely like an answer. But that will never be answered...because we know he has been pushed and pulled towards every school, degree, job, book deal, political office, etc., because he was "historic". Pls excuse me while I gag.

He's not the smartest guy in the world. He's a snake oil salesman...and he charmed a lot of people in the U.S. Now that most are waking up to this nightmare we are in...he won't be re-elected. I can hardly wait to hear the perpetually offended victim class squeal about this being because of the evil racists! Explain how the dopey Independents that had a crush on him and voted for him...who now will NOT vote for him....HAVE THEY BECOME RACISTS?

The bill board is not the best satire I've seen, but it's pretty amusing. DON'T TAKE IT DOWN.

Lots of Christians (I am not one) are offended DAILY in the U.S. by the state: Remember Christ in Urine...ah, that was a fine artwork, no? The artist was fed by the state. It would be funny if it were not true. I'm sure the dope from the Democrats living in Germany group didn't think there was any problem with that.

Lots of us in the U.S. are sick of you whining, infantilized, perpetual victims. The $$$ has dried up here and you will be cut off sooner than you realize. Time to pull up your pants and take care of yourself. Oh, and call me racist. Doesn't sting a bit. You idiots have ruined a powerful word.
03:34 September 17, 2011 by jkim
Just a second...you mean the Sophisticated Europeans that we Barbaric Americans are always urged to emulate are RACISTSSSSS????!!!!! Say it ain't so!
03:43 September 17, 2011 by seohiowilly
Why be offended? President Obama is half caucasian and half african, what if the billboard would have had B.H.O. in white face, that would be something for you guilt ridden lib's something to whine about. Maybe in February 2013 he'll move to your neighborhood.
03:45 September 17, 2011 by obamasucks
Why are euros so enchanted by Obama? If you guys like him so much come over and get him. Too bad the Secret Service would stop you. But seriously, not many here in the USA like him much and many that did are not caring for the disgusting mess he turned America into. You can have him and shove him up your a** too!
04:13 September 17, 2011 by jackmatt
How can it be "black-face" Pres Obama is a black man. By definition it would have to be a white in black greasepaint. This issue is just a straw man to cover up a bad and unqualified president that is failing at leadership and has no vision or plan on how to fix the overspending of America's credit card.
04:34 September 17, 2011 by Julie351
Wow. I thought the Germans had made some progress away from being a bunch of racist, insensitive swine, but I now see I was mistaken. You have learned nothing.
05:33 September 17, 2011 by Golfendude
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.
05:40 September 17, 2011 by Oremus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
06:18 September 17, 2011 by Randy_Devil
So he is in blackface. Who gives a fat rat's butt? Life is to short. We need to laugh at ourselves and stop being such psychotic narcissists.
07:10 September 17, 2011 by axioma
Clarification! The claim that Germany does not have a history of racism (endrsgm #69) is not factual! Have you ever heard of Otto von Otto von Bismarck? Do you KNOW what he did to the continent of Africa? Clearly, you are not familiar with the actual history of Germany as regards blacks? FACT: Within 20 years of the USA being formed, they ended the importation of blacks from Africa! FACT: The USA ended slavery within 77 years! FACT: The USA fought a bloody civil war that almost destroyed the country to end slavery! That record cannot be matched by any other nation! Germany wasn¦#39;t even a country until 1871! So, endrsgm, before throwing stones, get your facts straight! You simply cannot make ¦quot;Germany is superior to the USA¦quot; statements when the facts do not support your claims! The USA has absorbed citizens from ALL nations(including a large percentage of Germans) and that is that is why we cannot be ¦quot;disparaged¦quot; by ANY nation!
07:50 September 17, 2011 by derExDeutsche
gotta love DRUDGE REPORT, crashing thelocal.de servers today ... This is not a nation divided, this is a nation united. 2012 is just around the corner.
08:05 September 17, 2011 by Sambino
As an American, I thought it was cute. It actually made him look like a real bruthah.

But if Germans are upset, we'll gladly send him to you after the 2012 elections. He'll go back to stapling protest notices on telephone poles.
09:36 September 17, 2011 by MILFsagainstMerkel
YESSSSSSS, please MILFs against MERKEL! Here we are. Any questions, sweet strugglin' guys???
09:42 September 17, 2011 by endrsgm
@ axioma - i never made a claim germany was superior.

i made a claim that germany has a different cultural and historical background. one in which slavery did not play such a large role, resulting in a civil war, discrimination and jim crow laws, a civil rights movement, and so on.

im an american and have lived in germany almost a decade.

to assume that your cultural sensitivities trump everyone elses is the height of ignorance. to assume that others must respect your countries cultural sensitivities in their own country is the height of arrogance.
11:39 September 17, 2011 by MILFsagainstMerkel
it's always right to be left! It's never right to be wrong!

Yours sincerely,

DIE PARTEI
11:48 September 17, 2011 by circle8
It just shows how the world sees obama and now the USA as a big joke. My relatives in Holland thinks the USA is nuts for electing this idiot. They are right I am sorry to say.
12:47 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"im an american and have lived in germany almost a decade.

to assume that your cultural sensitivities trump everyone elses is the height of ignorance. to assume that others must respect your countries cultural sensitivities in their own country is the height of arrogance."

If you think the ability to detect retrograde social attitudes towards "the other" is a strictly American ability, you're more of an arrogant American than you know. Further, it's absurd to press the circular argument that you can only judge an individual's actions, or attitudes, towards "the other" by her/his own cultural sensitivities; that would mean that *no one* could ever be called a racist. Oh, yes: the Klan has different "cultural sensitivities", you see...

The billboard in question is less of an outrage than an embarrassment for Berlin, which doesn't want or need to be seen as a provincial backwater. But any culture/state is only as "sensitive" as the voices of its various "minorities" are prominent and in a position to enforce decorum. Ie: I'd like to see the "comedian" in question try to get away with a billboard featuring a caricatured Jew on it. I somehow doubt he'd want to risk the consequences of such "satire".
13:17 September 17, 2011 by Sebastian Daze
It's so typically German and this is the tame stuff. Unfunny and crude where's the actual joke? Where's the punchline or the "satire". I know a few "edgy" and "controversial" jokes that at least have good punchlines that make them funny (Question. What's the hardest part of a vegetable to eat? Answer: The wheelchair".

Anybody can shout "nigg*r, nigg*r, nigg*r or "blacks look like monkeys" (like that zoo was implying) but that does not make the statements funny. (Although I'd give a brave comedian points for "edginess" if they made such statements in an auditorium full of African-American nobel-prize winners and senior academics.

Likewise, all this political candidate is saying here is "look, I'm wearing blackface, that means I'm funny; because having a black face is inherently funny". The punchline of his "joke" is not the "Ick bin ein Obama line" (he could have said that without the blackface or could have just put on some big ears or dressed up like Kennedy). The "joke" is the fact that he is wearing blackface and, sorry, in my experience only racist, racially insensitive or rather primitive and provincial Germans and country music lovers that find this sort of thing even remotely funny. Incidentally, for those of you who didn't get it, the "country music lovers" bit was a joke...
14:03 September 17, 2011 by hyper_ion
Initiative for Black Germans (ISD)

I always love how its a racist organization thats always upset by a perceived racist action. Where is the organizations for the advancement for white people on this issue? There are those that are always going to hate black or whites or asians etc. so we need to get rid of racist groups that divide people (isd). Your are already represented in government by those you elected. What? those elected might not be yoiur skin color? You have a problem with that? That could be considered racist you know.
14:10 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"Where is the organizations for the advancement for white people on this issue?" (sic)

Why not ask them? I'm sure the NPD would be more than happy to answer your question.
14:15 September 17, 2011 by endrsgm
@ dick, shawnsdiction

again, another pointless analogy. the klu klux klan is a purely american byproduct of the civil war. it was originally founded in response to southern men who had fought in the civil war being disinfranchised of their votes. many of its early members were black. not longer after foming it veered into the hard racism and violent tactics that we associate with it today. the key is that the KKK is an american group. it doesnt have worldwide chapter offices spread around. its an american institution, albeit a sick and twisted one. so yes, by american standards we can call them racists and despairingly hope that they one day grow up and wise up.

however, the KKK goes beyond just cultural sensitivities. they have used outright violence, threats of violence, and terrorism to attempt to achieve their goals. this makes them anathema to any civilized standards and sensitivities. since the use of violence as a political tool should be abhored by all.

so, on one hand we have a terrorist organization that uses violence. on the other hand we have a comedian making a rather stupid billboard to attract attention utilizing blackface.

thats your comparison.really? really? really?

again, you surely sat around a few minutes and came up with an analogy that is completely irrelevant and has absolutely no bearing on the situation on hand AND somehow manages to reduce an intelligent discussion of an issue to mindless drivel. bravo on effort, but again you fail.

the billboard isnt an embarrassment for berlin, its an embarressment for the united states. its much like when berlusconi made his remark that obama had a great tan. italy also does not have the same race issues as the united states (they have different ones, no less serious - but different ones). berlusconi made what he thought was a minor joke that wasnt meant badly. in his country (where i have also lived) people, including africans would laugh at the joke - and did. in america people were offended. so, who should be embarrassed? the people who utilize humor that in their culture would not offend anyone or the people who still have so many racial hang-ups that they cant get that others do not have the same hang-ups.

how can berlin be seen as irrelevant when it is the capital of the economic engine that drives the EU?

due to german sensibilities regarding jews, id say that it would be wise for the commedian to skip the caricatured jew. but keep in mind that to spew hatred towards jews in germany is a crime. mel gibson would now be sitting in jail if he had made his little racist diatribes in germany. instead in america he got some clucking, angered some people, and is currently working on a new film.

perhaps that demonstrates different cultural sensitivities.
14:33 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
The most common strategies, in online "debate" , employed by the rhetorically-weak and logically-challenged, are to A) go into pointless detail (thanks for that condensed history of the Klan, but beyond the fact that they hold racist views, my reference to that organization was not the crux of my argument) and B) bury the thread in very long comments.

I won't waste much effort going after the fact that you're an apologist for that walking billboard for enlightenment, Silvio Berlusconi, other than to ask you if you really intended to parody (and out) yourself...?

As a proud tax-payer in Berlin since 1990, I *do* wish this place were less of a beacon to ignorant, racist, right-wing expats. It embarrasses me in front of my cosmopolitan German friends.
14:45 September 17, 2011 by EC5
Don't forget that Obama is half white. Also, he is humorless and petulant.

Obama sold himself during his 2008 as post-racial. The reality turned out to be the opposite. Obama uses rhetoric to divide the races. I think it's perfectly okay to spoof or satirize Obama with black-face or half black-white face, whatever.

It is an American tradition to satirize leaders, especially presidents. Americans satirize other world leaders as well. It's perfectly okay for a German to make fun of Obama.

Germans have nothing to be embarrassed about, in this case.
14:52 September 17, 2011 by LeMaitre
Major B- You sir, madam, or it are full of it.

Blacks have the 2nd highest birthrate in the world, followed by the western latino. First place goes to certain oriental subgroups.

Check with the world population activism groups before making such asinine statements.

Yours is a case of deliberate igonorance as it is so easy to check. Deliberate, planned ignorance is called stupidity.
15:04 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
LeMaitre, you might want to re-read Major B's comment. I think you missed the gist of it the first time around. Not that I expect exemplary reading skills hereabouts...

He/she was saying that the "racists" have *lower* birth rates, etc. The implication being that they will soon be outnumbered.

Happy now?
15:37 September 17, 2011 by Hening
The verboten of comedy, a White man with black face. Blacks posing as whites, mocking their accents and culture, calling each other the 'N' word and mistreating Black women is acceptable and the height of progressive humor. There is no trace of equality in comedy when it comes to having a sense of humor and one color being allowed to joke with the other, unless you are Black. That is racism.
15:59 September 17, 2011 by USguy
A "black" person from the US checking in:

Blackface is NOT racist. Negroes performed in black face back in the days of the minstrel show. Whites borrowed the custom from them.

In any case, Obama himself is a racist clown-like buffoon. Making fun of an incompetent ass is perfectly acceptable.

However, as stated before, that wasn't the point of the billboard.
16:03 September 17, 2011 by Dennis in WV
We'll trade you Germans one Obama for One 1957 VW beetle.
16:17 September 17, 2011 by soltero
Warning: Some links may offend your sensitivities.

Some history of the satiricial achievements of Martin Sonneborn, Die Partei and Titanic magazine:

www.spiegel.de/international/search/index.html?suchbegriff=sonneborn

diepresse.com/home/kultur/medien/511689/Titanic_Mehr-als-30-Jahre-boese-Zunge

Nr. 20 depicting Roberto Blanco (see wikipedia)

Translation: Does it always have to be a man or a woman? Why not a Negro?

(on elections for the German President)

Nr. 28:

Translation: One obviously wasn't enough: Obama's shadow cabinet

And most of the commentators missed this point:

¦quot;the campaign has also mocked the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party¦quot;

What has happened:

The Nazis used this poster:

www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=225849&st=0

(second comment)

¦quot;Gas geben¦quot; is a play on words ­ accelerating the motorbike or figuratively gassing someone.

Sonneborn's answer:

www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,781410,00.html

For the context: Jörg Haider (see wikipedia) was an austrian right-wing politician who died in a car accident driving too fast.

Satire doesn't care for any sensitivities.
16:29 September 17, 2011 by Englishted
I have seen the tea party videos on you-tube now I know you also can make equally stupid comments on here.
16:32 September 17, 2011 by endrsgm
I *do* wish this place were less of a beacon to ignorant, racist, right-wing expats. It embarrasses me in front of my cosmopolitan German friends.

the opposite would be educated and tolerant and left-wing?

mighty tolerant of you to call for the supression of someone elses free speech. speech that violates no laws in the country it was made in, does not call for violence, and only offends people 1000s of miles away who still have their own hang-ups.

doesnt sound very tolerant to me. careful with how quick you are to reject someone elses right to free speech, it might be your free speech being muzzled next. in fact your screams that they need to be stopped lest some person 1000s of miles away be discomforted are actually a bit facist. wonder how your cosmopolitan german friends would feel about their closet facist friend who is willing to toss free speech under the bus so as to not be shamed.
17:04 September 17, 2011 by jakeFlagg
Here's the real sad joke, that this goober got 'elected?' Without doubt he was never eligeable to be a senator, forget president. Furthermore, as Billy Wilder might have said, 'I know HE thinks he's a president; and his hangers-on thinks he's a president, and unfortunately many in congress thinks he's a president. But to a president, he's no president.' The only president I can recall in my life is Ronald Reagan, with maybe JFK in back of de bus. Barry Soetoro is the first true fraud to be 'elected.'

When is congress, or the proper justice dept., going to arrest the usurper in chief, throw out all the legislation the usurper has 'signed,' and get back to running the country by the Constitution? Well, we'll know soon. It's obvious to even the dullest dolt that obama never met the requirements of US senator, forget president, and he's on his way to jail or fleeing the country--prolly the latter. He can't be impeached, as a usurper can never hold an office, search "Why Obama cannot be impeached" or www.jewpi.com/why-obama-cannot-be-impeached/ On the other hand, the country may be corrupt enough that obama feels he can lawyer-up and continue the game; after all a supreme court justice did administer the oath of office!

Hang on folks, the greatest depression is starting, and the ride's just begun.
17:14 September 17, 2011 by AmericanEagle
You Germans need to understand something. If you make fun of a white man, it is OK. Remember all the fun they made of George W. Bush? But, if the man is black - Oooh! - no jokes allowed.
17:27 September 17, 2011 by NObama Momma
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:27 September 17, 2011 by libsarescum
Germans are outraged? A "black face" is the least you can do to the most corrupt and incompetent head of state IN THE WORLD.
18:37 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
"Hmmm, last time I checked, BO WAS black. So what's all the indignency for? If it looks like an ape, walks like an ape, smells likesan ape, then it's an ape. And for added measure, I'd rather have a APE in the White House than BO."

How does it feel, murdering the English language whenever you open your mouth or "write" comments? Are you the same half-wit behind "USguy", who claims to be Black (too stupid to even get away with a lie online)?

What's it like, barely being able to read or write? Or having such a terrible life that your idiotic hatred feels like some sort of release or animalistic empowerment? I can't imagine how repulsive your wife, family and friends are... how depressing a look in your filthy hovel would be...

Try to find someone in your underprivileged area, capable of actually reading, who can translate the following article for you...

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/5318-bush-and-obama-standards-a-similarities
19:04 September 17, 2011 by NeilH1
Well, this American thinks the billboard is funny. Those humorless crabby types who find "racism" or "insensitivity" or "hatred" or "offensiveness" blah blah blah everywhere need to get over themselves. Their opinions are far more annoying and stupid than any blackface cartoon or billboard will ever be.
19:28 September 17, 2011 by Altefutze
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:53 September 17, 2011 by NeilH1
Comment: endrsgm says: "the klu klux klan is a purely american byproduct of the civil war. it was originally founded in response to southern men who had fought in the civil war being disinfranchised of their votes."

Yes. The Ku Klux Klan (correct spelling) was organized primarily to defend southern whites against the excesses and predations of northern white carpetbaggers and colored troops occupying the South during Reconstruction.

endsgrm continues: "not longer after foming it veered into the hard racism and violent tactics that we associate with it today."

Not exactly. The original Ku Klux Klan was disbanded in 1869. Later different groups were formed calling themselves the Ku Klux Klan. They had little if any connection with the original organization of that name.

endsgrm says: "however, the KKK goes beyond just cultural sensitivities. they have used outright violence, threats of violence, and terrorism to attempt to achieve their goals."

As have the Black Panthers, the New Black Panther Party, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Jewish Defense League, and various other organizations that are either for or against particular racial, religious or ethnic groups of any kind. As for the KKK, these days apart from occasionally holding rallies of one kind or another they don't seem to be doing much of anything.
20:58 September 17, 2011 by Joe Papp
To the author of the article - Do you think YOU are a bigot? Or maybe "uneducated". There is NO evidence that doing "black face" was intended to degrade people of color.

THEY were the first ones singing in the "minstral" style.

It was done to recognize that background.

The reason this is STUNNINGLY IGNORANT is because of Al Jolson, in the "Jazz Singer". Hum, FIRST EVER SOUND FILM.. and what was Al Jolson famous for. Singing "Jazz" (which came from the African American Heritage), in "Black Face".

Yeah, he was known for being a KKK bigot too. NOT!
21:28 September 17, 2011 by DickShawnsDiction
That's right, how could any "artform" which arose out of the institution of North American slavery be racist? Laugh! Idiots.

"The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the Civil War, black people in blackface.

Minstrel shows lampooned black people as ignorant, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, joyous, and musical."

or

"Since the Civil Rights Movement, on the other hand, nearly every commentator agrees that the minstrel show 'coon' is a racist caricature."

(Oh, that damned Civil Rights Movement, spoiling everyone's harmless fun!)

And, for those among you (show of hands?) capable of processing polysyllables:

"The appropriation of black music, dance, humor, and narratives for commercial entertainment, says Lott, expressed the deep racial conflicts suffered by the white working classes, especially in the North in the decades before the Civil War. Their parodies reflected their admiration and contempt, their envy and fear, their remoteness and--as the economy changed--their impending identification with the dispossessed, whom they represented as absurd. In their imitation of blacks, and in the cross-dressing that minstrelsy required, whites males gained control over the alien and the threatening (especially black sexuality) and changed the way they experienced themselves as men."
21:44 September 17, 2011 by bayern
No matter what color you paint him, Obama is a clown and a fool. His economic policies shame Stalin's economic polices. I anyone is a raciest, he is.
23:13 September 17, 2011 by 2lazy2p
It would have been better if Obama was painted half white.
02:07 September 18, 2011 by howard_feinski
All you German folks are completely missing the point. "Racism" is a brand for the black race, just as "swastikas" is the brand for the Jews. These minorities stand to make dollars and Euros from their brand. They will cling to them like a dying man to a floating timber in the ocean.

Now do you get it?
02:25 September 18, 2011 by donseye
So let me get this straight.....if "blackface" was a no no in upper Mongolia does that mean that Germans can't have fun with a caricature??

Frankly I am fed up with the whinny blacks about everything that they think is against them. They are beginning to sound like muslames.

And anyway...how come they can make fun of every other race, especially whites, in the media?? AND nobody says a peep?

I hope the guy puts up another billboard and screw the hypersensitive ding dongs who are complaining.
03:09 September 18, 2011 by PauvrePapillon
From Fun facts abou the U.S....

Can you identify the demographic group which comprises only 12 percent of the population yet accounts for 39 percent of all food stamp recipients, 40 percent of all welfare recipients and 57 percent of all federally subsidized housing beneficiaries; commits 45 percent of all burglaries, 48 percent of all aggregative assaults, 51 percent of all murders, 55 percent of all robberies, 56 percent of all carjackings and 85 percent of all violent interracial crime in the United States?
03:21 September 18, 2011 by MedicineBowColorado
This is another example of the Ugly American imposing our sensibilities and political correctness on others. Germans owned no American slaves (The first slave owner in the US was a black FYI). Germans had nothing to do with Jim Crow laws. Germans have their own history to feel sensitive about without having to tip toe around American sensibilities and bear the "White Man's Burden" of the US. As for this comedian, flip 'em the bird Mr. Sonneborn. The American domestic context is not the same as the German. Americans trash and ridicule Germans on a regular basis. Once Americas develope a conscience about ridiculing Germans and develope some respect and decency in their attitudes toward Germans, I see no reason for Germans to show Americans any respect for those who are not willing to give it.
03:51 September 18, 2011 by TWFaust
Germans have rarely been "kind" to American politicians. Or, perhaps they see things more clearly.

A German parade:

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQTqJpPmSPkTekW8nZImmZxS4_WLeWQ2EfayYRdGA5Hu5T6IZ4yVQ

Another. What do you make of Obama here:

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTSVVC4OSwntMAKj_hCS853ablH9cWu2F4_GRPhvDwr4NGxxZ-uFw
04:48 September 18, 2011 by ONTIME
Recently in the US free speech is only for libs and everyone else is to go pound salt, so this Mysery Man administration is mighty thin skinned. They really yelped like a dog that had it's tail stepped on when you compared the MM with the Uncle Remus charater the Tar Baby. I suppose they never read the book or understood the premise. It's pretty apparent comprehension is not their strong suit.
06:44 September 18, 2011 by John Svengali
FIRST, THIS BILLBOARD IS FUNNY. AS AN AMERICAN, I SUPPORT GERMANY'S RIGHT OF HUMOR AND FREE SPEECH.

When Obama spoke at the site of the former Berlin Wall, I asked myself, what is this clown doing? THE COLD WAR IS OVER. When Kennedy spoke, it was relevant and inspiring. When Reagan spoke, he stood down the Soviets. When Obama spoke, what was the point? NONE at all, except ego and imagery.

This ad was funny and mocked Obama at the site of the former Berlin Wall. The black-face is accurate and spoofs our narcissistic incompetent president. The U.S. ambassador does not speak for me. In fact, I say, shut up, you politically correct moron.

Conclusion: We need more black-face and more insulting of this fraud Obama. He is a traitor to my people and a fraud to the world.

YOW-ZAH!
08:16 September 18, 2011 by Esslingen Jim
The black-face is just uncalled for. The sad part is that "Ich bin ein Obama" is actually a pretty funny line - and telling of what people are finally able to see about theguy.

The Germans are finally catching on that it's all nothing more than a classic "cult of personality" situation, where when the layers are peeled back, it becomes clear that the guy is nothing but an empty suit. To use a Clintonism - "there's no there there."

"Ich bin ein Obama" juxtaposes the famous JFK line, where he butchered the language, but everyone completely understood what he was trying to say, and loved him all the more for messing it up. Compare the love the Germans had for JFK with the love initially felt for Obama, but the new realization that Obama is really all about Obama, and nothing more. It really is a good line that shows a lot of disillusion with the current President.
13:28 September 18, 2011 by Barry bin Inhalin
On the blackface - BFD. The comedian got what he wanted, which is to be noticed vs. obscurity. No one would have seen the dopey billboard but now it's all over the world via electronic media.

Libs are funny. They don't even know when they've been used. Comparisons to Hitler, the KKK and blah-blah-blah are some bedwetter's perceptions of bad things. Wanna know bad? Watch some WWII footage or invite an Al Queda to dinner.
13:53 September 18, 2011 by BillCarson
To all non-Americans: you may find a subject like this odd, but in America, ANY accusation of racism by blacks against any white is considered to be valid. Once leveled, the white person can never "explain" his way out of trouble, no matter how innocent he may be. This German guy with the billboard would be villified in the U.S. Personally, as a white guy, I don't think it should be up, just based upon my long life's experiences. Blacks in America can literally make any racist statement they want with no risk of censure. That is just the way it is in America. Personally, I am sick of "racism" accusations. I've seen thousands of them since the 1960s. Some have a basis of fairness like this one, but many, if not most, are completely unfounded.
14:11 September 18, 2011 by emma betscher
Who really cares. Obama and his Momma are bankrupting the U.S. just like Greece.
14:13 September 18, 2011 by cat56
MAMMIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15:22 September 18, 2011 by robertg222
Liberals are so thin skinned.
15:55 September 18, 2011 by dashark
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:14 September 18, 2011 by sandmannc40
If you are Liberal you find it racist. That is the problem today anything Liberals hate have a label of racist attached to it. So everything I dislike I can now label as racist? I remember those "Black Faced Movies" as a child. I never found it racist. I found it entertaining. Maybe you need to go back and watch it again with your own eyes instead of relaying on the voice of the liberal media. I lived in a "Mixed" neighborhood growing up. Many Blacks, Many Hispanics, a few Whites and very few Asians. I had some friends that were Black, Hispanic and White. We got along good. But the Gangs were what caused hatred within each group. Then there were Gangs within each group. Some gangs were a section of one street. They would fight and even kill each other for walking down that section of the street. This is true hatred not black faced so called comedians. I dislike Al Qaeda, does that mean they are a racist group everyone should hate? How about Muslims because Al Qaeda are Muslims? How about dark skinned people? How about people with funny eyes? How about people with blond hair? How about people with tattoos? The God you pray too? As liberals you can select all the above. As humans you only go after the terrorists and anyone who harbor these terrorists.
16:21 September 18, 2011 by herrboot
dashark, you are a piece of offal. what you wrote was the dumbest thing that i have ever read.
16:31 September 18, 2011 by JohnRalph
The only things missing are the Muslim turban, and a Salwar Kameez outfit emblazoned with the hammer and sickle and a swastika.
17:32 September 18, 2011 by skingn
Obama and his gangsters are the ones who always play the race card. What is wrong with putting on a billboard a picture showing Obama as he portrays himself?
18:06 September 18, 2011 by Rotag
You think Germans are embarassed by this black facing....? Imagine how embarassed we Americans are that the idiot majority voted him into office on hope and change... The only change we got now is a little left in our pockets and the only hope left , is that he will be turned out of office asap.... lol
22:11 September 18, 2011 by MaxfromBerlin
Comment: To the writer of this article and all friends in America: Ever since Obama was elected, German politicians of any party desperately try to get some "Obama flavor" into their boring images. Which mostly turns out a complete failure (take a look at Angela Merkels webcast channel - "dear users of the internet..."). Sonneborn is just exaggerating this a little. He says nothing but: German politicians would even paint their faces brown if it could finally get them some Obama coolness. And he shows how ridiculous this would look. This is not about blackface theatre at all - it's about making fun of embarrassing whitebread politicians. It's the nazi party NPD we should worry about, and Sonneborn's party completely sabotaged their campaign by modifying their billboards very effectively, but that is another story
08:54 September 19, 2011 by maxmaxmaxr
Ok here another view from a way too unfunny German from Germany:

1. They are not mocking Obama. They want to show that they copy as much of Obama as possible in order to appear popular. It's because many politicians want to be as cool as Obama and they (PARTEI) want to be the coolest going to extreme measures in copying him. If Obama would be white and his most prominent feature would e.g. be his hair, the PARTEI would copy it and not the approximate color of his skin.Germans don't know and don't care whether Obama is popular in the US or not.

2. Almost noone in Germany knows the details about your PC rituals concerning black people you practice in the US. Here it's imperative to be very sensitive about what happend to the Jews during the Nazi regime. For that purpose one can consider e.g. South Park, Sarah Silverman etc. very offensive by German PC standards. But I understand that in the US you have a different mindset and don't expect you to understand or apply our's as long as you don't live here in Germany.

3. How almost every US show depicts Germans as Nazis, greedy, mean .... is not very sensitive but since it's a US programm why should we in Germany be upset? I find this mindset and that of ambassador Murphy (that Germans are supposedly very racist) sad but honestly dont't care that much since for me the US ain't the centre of the known universe so please don't be offended by our standards.

Please dear Amaricans can't we all just laugh together?
11:42 September 19, 2011 by Querulant
Comment: This debate: Typical American cultural Imperialism. Of course there's problems with racism in Germany, but it's ridiculous enough that we can't use the word Neger anymore, just because Americans gave it a bad connotation. Now we're not allowed to paint our faces black and impersonate black people because...I'd probably have to read an American history book just to understand that, so let a "screw you" be sufficient. Anyhow, Sonneborn got what he wanted, his joke wasn't particularly good but you can always count on the brainless knee jerk reflex of Antiracists to give you a bit of extra exposure, even if you just use black face paint to lazily impersonate the most powerful man of the world. If naive people believe the things a psycho like Breivik writes about Cultural Marxism, it's because you pass him the ball so precisely.
15:20 September 19, 2011 by maxbrando
There is lots of ignorance in the above comments, so let's get at least one thing straight:

Obama's mother is a caucasian (white) female. That makes him half-white, methinks.

Not to mention a half-ass.
22:02 September 19, 2011 by Hamster3
Just relax. There is nothing like black facing in Germany. German children (and sometimes -e.g. during Karneval- adults) will dress up as Princesses, cowboys, american indians, black people, Arab sheiks etc etc sometimes in Kindergarten, during Karneval or at other times.

During Xmas time, generations of children have dressed up as wise men / the three kings have collected a total of close to 400 million euros (looked it up). And one of them usually is the black king with his/her face painted black. All usually have oriental clothes. Should we forbid this just because this might be regarded as non-PC in the US?

No, because it is just the opposite of being offensive. In the case of the Sternsingers it is helpful, in the case of karneval it is just as funny as dressing up as an arab, an american indian or as a princess.
06:27 September 20, 2011 by nathan almond
What passes as 'mankind' amounts to about 2.5 million years to reach this point in our evolution.. What we describe as human beings began a mere 50 thousand years, a tiny phart in hominid history. This change in title, animal to human, was probably caused by going from one to two languages, from the use of only vocal chord sounds to vocal chords plus lip-mouth-tongue sounds. For those 2.5 million years we were not different from the other animals, more like apes. Conclusion; we are still 'wild savages' in our inner beings. Religion tried for a mere 5-10 thousand years to teach we animals to not follow our inner beasts. They failed to accomplish this and instead they themselves became parties to those committed to war on the other guys 'different religious' groups. Extrapolating from this would indicate that eventual eradication of humans is a certainty. And the source of this calamity will be other 'human' beings.

"Black-face, long noses, , shanty Irish, Niger, Jude, Kraut. Feel free to add to the list of insults to the other guy. " Oh my, no sense of humor.
08:27 September 20, 2011 by parografik
Many of the comments above remind me of how nonchalant the german people seem to be about the "Mohrenkopf," a chocolate covered marshmallow. Get a clue! The lack of creativity is the most offensive thing about this "satire," in that it steals directly from the signs floating around the "Tea Party" demonstrations. It's racist, pure and simple.

I grew up in a mixed race middle class neighborhood in the U.S., and heard too often white people saying to their black friends that they weren't "really black," because they acted more polished than the Amos and Andy stereotype (see photo). Walk into a high end store on Madison Ave. in NY, and see who the sales help follow around, and we'll see if they're not.

I find it unlikely Sonneborn is unaware of the history of blackface, due to the fact that old american movies remained on German TV long after they vanished from the late late shows here. Then again, there are people in Germany who still find Jerry Lewis funny, so perhaps he's one of them.
09:40 September 20, 2011 by Querulant
So what's racist about a name like "Mohrenkopf" or "Negerkuss" (negro kiss) for a sweet covered in chocolate? Isn't that a rather nice name? Enlighten me, I really don't get it.

Also, for your consideration, is this city coat of arms racist and should get changed?

http://www.kirchengucker.de/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/wappen_coburg.jpg

(It's Saint Maurice, patron saint of Coburg)
15:25 September 20, 2011 by Shirazz
This must be the longest run of comments for one article in Thelocal.de history....

I finished breakfast, lunch and going on to afternoon tea...and still reading...
19:40 September 20, 2011 by Umi Zoomi
Nigga please!
21:47 September 20, 2011 by EddieM
I love the Black face, but the blue eyes are really disrespectful, and may be he should have went with a lighter shade of black, may be COCO brown. LOL. We need a little comedy these days, the world is too serious. And I don't consider him the first African American president, he is the first "Mulatto or Mixed" president that we know of. For all you serious offended people, that means half "AFRICAN" and half "IRISH". I think he should have been drinking a Guinness in that picture too. Or would that offend the Irish. LOL
10:59 September 21, 2011 by USA_NUMBER_ONE
didn't we bomb the hell out of you Nazis in World War II...obviously many of you survived ..Fitz...
23:09 September 21, 2011 by Major B
Well this thing has gone on an on. Wow!!

@ nolibs and your stupid comment on post # 79. True blue racists like you show your colors EVERY time. Undeducated, unhappy with your life, you blame everyone for you own inadequacies and deficiencies. The sad thing is that you REALLY DON'T know how igorant you are and how ignorant you sound. ( do you have a big assed beer belly, watch wrestling and NASCAR, and like Archie Bunker? bet so!!)

See what I mean Charlene? No need talking with Tea Pot party people like that. They will die, the world will keep changing around them and their inconsequential lives will be in vain.

@ byShawnDiction_ Thanks for straightening out LeMaitre at post # 114. Geez.

For all the racists who keep trying to justify your comments: No one blamed you for slavery, Obama, caucasians being made fun of, etc. These are same old right wing arguments repeated decaded after decade like a scratched out old worn record. Get a new argument. You folks can't even hide your vitriol and don't believe anyone is fooled, epecially the people of color you know. They really see through you, hold you in contempt,but you're too blind to know. Write all you want. Justify, explain, and continue to bla bla bla.

Know this. We really ARE one world now. People know history. They well remember the excesses of colonization, the privalege of certain(code word) groups, the oppression, the genocide and the lies. Lies now won't change anything. Ignorance is no excuse. If you are trully a world citizen, educate yourselves. Educate your children. Teach love and compassion. Forgo hate. Seek good. And stop going around blaming and crying others who speak the truth. That is, if you really mean well. Most on these pages don't.

Or, are you really scared about the way the world is changing?
16:23 September 22, 2011 by Querulant
Okay, since this seems to be mainly Americans arguing with Americans here, let me reformulate this question:

ASSUMING people wearing red hats had terrorized Germany in the 18th century, would this give me the right to call everyone all over the world who wears a red hat culturally insensitive?

No. I would just demonstrate that I have an absolutely overblown understanding of my own importance, and expect everyone to bow to my cultural sensitivities without making the least attempt to understand theirs (and see that them wearing a hat is not in the least way related to my concept of red hats) in the first place.

Or to take a much more realistic approach, does Nazism give me the right to go to Indians and tell them to remove the Swastikas off their temples?
18:06 September 22, 2011 by Major B
@ Querulant

No one is point accusing an entire group. Why do you people always do that? It is so old. A few, trying to find counterarguments, continue to drum the "not everyone is guilty line". Yes. True. Not the point. The awful ugly past is what it is. If member of a certain groups s blackface you will get protests. No one cares about the counterargumemnts, I.e. the "we're not all guilty" line. If a German wears a swastika or goosesteps..... If Turkey insults Greece or Armenia ....., If an American of European heritage uses the N word.

so on and so forth. If people want to be insensitve, alright. Keep drumming up hatred, if that is your intent.

Now for that fool that spoke about the "12% of the U.S. population" and went on with stats. You're the type of racists people love to hate. Bet you fit this demographic: unattractive, can't get a good female, are neurtotically insecure, ... like the guy with the mustache from Austria.

@ NeiH1_ref. post 128. Oh, "the yankees and the colored troops abusing the South after Civil War" . As if no one knows the facts of the horrendous attrocities of slavery in the U.S. Hey, that Confederate flag you love is the equivalent of the NAZI flag. But you wear it proudly.
18:14 September 22, 2011 by AClassicRed
Reading through the comments, the thing I find most absurd is the continuing need to use "colors" to describe others or oneself: white, black, brown. That is the thing that is absurd to me.

I wasn't offended by the billboard, but I did find it in questionable taste, closer to being tasteless. Seriously, however, I have more important things to worry about, deal with and direct my attention towards than a comedian who may or may not have made a bad choice with his "show."

I'm not trying to say my way of looking at things is better than anyone else's, but I would think people have more important things to concern themselves with than what amounts to a stupid comedy routine. If you don't like it: fine, that's understandable, but trying to generalize and stereotype a whole nation is pointless and wrong.

All the arguing, finger-pointing and back and forth with deeper and deeper self-absorbed comments perfectly represents why racism and ignorance continue.
09:25 September 23, 2011 by Querulant
@Mayor B

It's like you didn't read my argument at all. My point is not about accusing a single group, or that everyone is guilty or not guilty. My point is that the idea Blackface is racist is idiotic and does not orrur to anyone on the planet without knowing a specific part of American history.

If you did not know that part of history, everyone would consider someone imitating someone else an act of friendship or admiration. Without that whole US context, someone going as Obama or some other famous American Black man on Carnival would not have to deal with your accusations.

As I pointed out, I am not trying to justify this, I am pointing out how culturally insensitive you are by forcing your cultural sensitivities on others. It is an American problem. Why doesn't this STAY an American problem?
17:51 September 23, 2011 by Major B
@ Querulant

I am very aware of the errors of ethnocentrism, projecting your cultural standards and beliefs on members of another group and/or society. For example, witness the huge mistake the U.S. made in trying to force Western style democracy on Palestine and the Middle East in general. This just won't work with peoples who have a very different, and I might add longer, history and culture.

If you read my very first post I made it clear that the blackface didn't bother ME. I think he is an insensitive buffoon and I am more than happy to let the ignorant make fools of themselves, and make no other comment. One more. I lived in the mighty little nation of the Netherlands for four wonderful years. I watched their Schwartze Pete Holiday every year, where the Dutch have a black faced Santa Claus like figure that goes around the villages in early December. No problem, because you understand the history and culture of the people.

Look at the commentes above. The Local had to omit many comments because of their vulgarity. Read carefully some of the comments where the deeply prejudiced, lacking in sensitivity and compassion, took this opportunity to slide in their hatreds and air their vitriol.

Perhaps the Local shouldn't have aired this article. Like it or not, for the next two generations, anything that is racially or culturally divisive will be scrutinized if it emanates from Germany. History has given Germans more responsibility than most when it comes to the area of human rights and dignity. Fortunately, post-war German governments has fearlessly championed human dignity and have a distiguished record in this area.

Some Germans can thumb their noses, say they don't give a crap, and air their pollution. Sure they are tired of being judged unfairly. The same is true of Americans of European heritage. But, the history of the 20th century doesn't give Germany the same luxury that say Britain of France has. The awful, horrid history of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow and segregation in the U.S. till just 40 years ago still has its affects, no matter what many of the majority population in the U.S. thinks. Does anyone expect Israel to ever forget the holocaust?

It is one thing for Germans to have a culture of blackface in their holiday celebrations. It is quite another for a public figure to mock another people. Although it doesn't bother me, I will speak up for those that it does bother and always against the darkness and evil of racism, prejudice and human indignity.
02:45 September 25, 2011 by oftesheimkerl
Major B: I'm so glad you're out here; one of very few commentators, sadly, who makes any sense on a subject that is so insensitive, a subject that so many attempt to disguise as humor--it is not. Why is it that so much of this "Kot" comes out of Berlin? I know it's a different subject but I never was for Germany moving its capital from Bonn to Berlin. Berliners, overall, share a dangerous arrogance that got Germany into this sort of trouble once before. I wish that mass media would not give a forum to the Martin Sonneborns of Germany. Why can't this sort of "Kot" just float away across the Baltic to a much less refined and childlike nation like Sweden, where this sort of "humor" is more appreciated? I know deep in my heart that Germans who live in the area of Germany that was once West Germany--besides Berlin--are, overall, far above this sort of "humor." Or am I wrong? The Germany I knew of in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s has changed once again. Has reunification contributed to this change? To quote the French after Germany's reunification: "We love Germany so much that we preferred two Germanies." And I am starting to agree with the French when I read headlines like this one.
09:48 September 25, 2011 by Querulant
@Mayor B:

This is the same guy who faked illegal black accounts of the CDU when the Kohl black accounts came to light, and got 3 top CDU officials to travel to Switzerland where instead of dirty money, only cameras greeted them.

The same guy who faked bribery letters to UEFA officials and got the world cup for Germany about a decade back, because an Australian soccer official actually thought some German secret society was trying to bribe him witk Ku-Ku-Clocks and Wurst (it was in all the papers back then).

Apart from that he has played such tricks on nearly every group of German society: Bankers, Harz 4 people, Nazis, Commies, Newspaper officials, Turks, Conservatives, Austria, the Politicians, Crippled people and so on. The main standpoint of their Partei is to re-erect the Berlin wall, to finally seperate the Germans again, so everyone can stop whining.

The main joke about many of their actions is often that the people concerned start whining about how unfair it is that they of all people have been chosen to be made fun of (unfair since everyone knows they are the only people without flaws on this planet). Example, when TITANIC got Germany the World Cup, the Bild Zeitung organized a call-in into the TITANIC of their most ignorant readers telling them in how bad taste it was to treat the German holy cow Soccer like that! TITANIC recorded the calls of people insulting them, and released a CD of the best calls later on: "Bildleser beleidigen TITANIC-Redakteure". It's quite entertaining.

He and his magazine enjoy "Narrenfreiheit" in my eyes, they have made it their job to ridicule everyone and everything they deem ridiculous, and since I am not a professional satirist I don't see how it is my job to tell them what is ridiculous, they obviously have much more experience and expertise in that.

I think you are probably right that Germans may have a special role because of their history, but it can't be being super nice to everyone regardless of what they actually think. You might as well kill all Germans in that case since it's just not in many of us to be that way. Maybe our role is rather to learn to confront ourselves with predjudices and stereotypes until they are resolved since we have found a way to deal with them, maybe that is the point of all that talking.
09:57 October 10, 2011 by nolibs
@Major B:

Typical liberal. Can't argue with facts or logic so you resort to name calling.

In response to your post (I'm glad I revisited this article) I will note that I am well educated, fit, hate wrestling and NASCAR, and I am not a member of the tea party. I'm surprised you didn't accuse me of watching FOX News, that is a typical left-wing "argument".

I'm guess that you are a black-American, which is why you think that anyone who notes the truth about how the black community in the USA acts is a racist. Calling names to shut people up works in the USA, but not here. As noted in post #135, blacks in America cause far more problems and take up far more resources as a percentage of the population than any other group. Facts can't be racist.

That being said, I'm looking forward to (but don't expect it to happen) when race is no longer an issue in the USA. That will only happen once blacks stop blaming others for their failures, quit asking for special status and move out of the slums on their own merits.
18:18 October 10, 2011 by Major B
Just checked in to see who responded and here is a "tweet" abov e from

nolibs, expressing perfectly why so many across the world are losing respect for Americans.

@ nolibs- This was a European issues. Period. But you and other closet racists like you had to get on here and put an American slant to it. So typical, thinking the world evolves around the U.S.

I never discuss my race or ethnicity. Isn't relevant. You claim to want the day when "race is no longer an issue" in the U.S. but as long as there are folks like you out there, and there will be for four more generatiions, this will prove impossible. Your writings prove the point.

I'll say this. Despite the U.S. 's European heritage, the modern Europeans are so much more liberated when it comes to race i,t is pathetic. I know from experience. Sure there are European racists. But generally, Europeans are much more advanced when it comes to social issues.

Just look at your name -- "nolibs" Typical. Youu just have to categorize people. You call yourself educated? What a joke. You'v e been trained and brainwashed into labeling. To people like you, people are black, white, Hispanic, liberal, conservative, etc, etc. Then in your make believe fairy tell land, life is either right or wrong, this way or that way.

Your group loves selective facts. No matter where you live, there are outstanding Americans of African descent serving their nation well, living wonderful lives, working hard and pushing ahead despite the odds. People like you won't see that. Your facts are selective. What if someone said whites have killed more of mankind in the last century than any other race. Or that whites of European descent, in Europe and around the world, have used more resources, disrupted more nations, colonized more, discriminated more and have generally set the world on the negative course it is now. It would be useless, but there are billions who believe this. And you feed the flames

Or how about this, Americans of African descent make up a much greater percentage of professional basketball. Useless thinking and talk and means nothing. Your comments mean nothing.

You see, I learned long ago, that reason, common sense and logical thinking when it comes to race makes no difference when it comes to hard core racists like you. Now, Pres Obama finally knows for sure. You can put on a suit, get a college degree, smile and speake standard English all you want -- the evil and filth of your racism still smells, even when you write.
13:17 October 19, 2011 by nolibs
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
06:21 November 1, 2011 by Major B
Well, it seems the Local has to close down the comments from "nolibs". Seems that the one that acuses others of name calling can't express herself.

Your comments were ALSO removed on the German Population to Shrink by 2060 article. You probably went off on some rant that was racist towards the immigrant population needed to maintain the current German population level at that time.

Sad. Take your medicine and calm down.
21:19 November 11, 2011 by nolibs
It would seem that you have a friend with one of TheLocal's book-burning censors. It's a shame that opposing viewpoints are so often oppressed on this site. I don't remember what I said on my last post (or the 2060 post), so I'll only make one comment about your comment on Obama.

Based on what you have written and that comment, you basically proved my point about how the race card is pulled at every opportunity, and everyone is to blame for the problems "Americans of African descent" have. Obama was elected despite his race, so your argument is failure. Likewise, Obama's failure is his alone as well. He is worse than Jimmy Carter. His ineptitude, not his race, is why he is having problems, and why he won't be reelected. I'm not sure that non-racist like yourself can ever admit that.
12:49 December 27, 2011 by bugger
"Blackface" is an exclusively American problem of their own "political correctness". A white person painted black for whichever roles (advertising, jokes, theater play) never has been something good nor bad in itself. Germany never had black slaves imported from Africa.
20:13 June 9, 2012 by Redfeather
Angeli Jolie is playing a black woman in a recent movie currently. What's the problem? Would you rather Angelina is not paid and make the business put a black in there that no one will come and see; then bankrupt the company? Don't be like the USA democrats always sticking their nose in someone else's business and looking for handouts to support the 50% entitlements they dole out. USA has a major problem with racialism and Nobama is stirring more. They are calling for the killing of whitey; the killing of what they call crackers. The killing of white seniors and babies. Germans that don't know what they are talking about should stay quiet and make someone think they have more brains.
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Photo: DPA

Hitler painting goes under the hammer

A watercolour painted by a young Adolf Hitler a century ago went under the hammer for €130,000 ($161,000) Saturday at an auction in the southern German city of Nuremberg. READ  

Germany to drop probe into US spying on Merkel
Photo: DPA

Germany to drop probe into US spying on Merkel

Germany is dropping a probe into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone by US spies, due to a lack of evidence, magazine Focus said Saturday. READ  

German FM: Iran nuclear talks 'completely open'
Photo: DPA

German FM: Iran nuclear talks 'completely open'

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Saturday that the outcome of Iran's nuclear talks with six world powers was "completely open". READ  

New bird flu case in Germany
Photo: DPA

New bird flu case in Germany

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday. READ  

Anti-foreigner protesters rally in Berlin
Photo: DPA

Anti-foreigner protesters rally in Berlin

About 500 protesters, among them neo-Nazis and angry local residents, protested in the German capital on Saturday against the construction of a centre for refugees seeking political asylum. READ  

Radicalized Germans join jihadist cause
Iraqi fighters near Tikrit. Photo: DPA

Radicalized Germans join jihadist cause

Hundreds of Germans have left their home country to fight alongside jihadists in Syria and Iraq, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. READ  

Germany frees female Russian spy early
Photo: DPA

Germany frees female Russian spy early

A Russian spy, jailed in Germany with her husband last year, has been freed early and allowed to return home, media reports said Friday, suggesting a possible prisoner swap. READ  

Germans face flogging after Singapore charge
Andreas Van Knorre being transported by Singapore police. Photo: Wallace Woon/DPA

Germans face flogging after Singapore charge

Two German men were charged Saturday with breaking into a Singapore metro depot and spray-painting graffiti on a train, offences punishable by jail time and flogging with a cane. READ  

Last-minute lawsuit filed over Nazi-era art hoard
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern. Photo: Gian Ehrenzeller/DPA

Last-minute lawsuit filed over Nazi-era art hoard

A relative of late German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt lodged a claim Friday for his inheritance, a Nazi-era art hoard which he has bequested to a Swiss museum, a spokesman said. READ  

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