Kids in blackface? What could go wrong?

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