Kids in blackface? What could go wrong?

Unicefblackface It’s hard to know where to even begin with these German UNICEF ads. Let’s start with the most basic question: What in the Schadenfreude were they thinking? Little white kids in blackface? Blackface made of mud?  This campaign was meant to raise support for schools in Africa, but even that part of the message is mangled by lines that sound like they’re condemning an entire continent: “In Africa, kids don’t come to school late, but not at all.” (You can see four executions over on Radar.) The campaign’s apparently been pulled after international criticism, although UNICEF notes that there was no “negative reaction from the German public after publication.” Well grand! Good to hear Germany’s finally overcome its touchy history with race relations. I just wish I could have seen the lines that didn’t make it into this campaign. I bet they had winners like: “Here, I hurl spitballs at girls. In Africa, kids hurl spears at lions.”

—Posted by David Griner

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