Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bigotry From the Folks Who Brought It Into the Machine Age

From the German newspaper die tageszeitung on today's cover we have a picture of the White House with the legend "Uncle Barack's Cabin".
It's about what I expected from the folks who brought racism into the Age of Ford.


At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a German-American (not someone who's great-grandparents came to the US decades ago, but a German with an American parent) I'd have to say: this was probably just a stupid mistake by the taz's journalists. Germans just don't know what an insult it is calling someone "Uncle Tom". Hell, we even have a subway station in Berlin called "Uncle Tom's Cabin"!
I thought the cover was at least insensitive at first sight, but I heard many Germans say they thought it mildly amusing but not especially meaningful.
This wasn't meant to be racist, it's just a case of intercultural misunderstanding, I guess.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

Nice to hear from you Lorelei. My great grandfather was from Lubben down in the Spreewald and way back in 1870 or thereabouts he decided that the Army didn't need him and headed for New York. He was a baker ansd when he'd saved up enough money he sent it to his girlfriend for her passage. Ever since then we've been Americans of German extraction and no doubt I've shirttail relatives all over Germany.
Perhaps you are correct but there's a recurring theme here. Last year was the ruckus over a German Army trainer (wehrmacht? reichswehr?) telling a recruit on the firing range to imagine he was in New York facing a crowd of angry blacks.

Let's hope the tag, as you call it, comes to realize the error of its ways and prints an apologia of sorts that says "well, we didn't understand and yes, it was awfully insensitive, and yes, we should have known better and maybe asked a few people before we printed this."

Please keep me informed.


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