To say “I’m beside myself” would be saying the least. I am disgusted, appalled, offended and repulsed…but unfortunately, I’m not surprised.
An article in the Allgemeine Zeitung, a local German newspaper here in Namibia, displayed various photos of boys dressed in KKK uniform, while others sported the ever-so-popular ‘blackface’, and the country went haywire. And rightfully so!
I have always addressed racism discreetly. You’ll hear ignorant remarks here and there from some of the unfortunate rich white kids who weren’t educated properly and think it’s okay to call me “nigga”, as if half of what made me gives them an automatic “black” pass. But I let it slide. It comes to a point where you’re just tired of reciting quotes about black history and you simply say “I’d appreciate if you didn’t say that around me”, or you pretend you didn’t hear what they said altogether. But this? I’m not going to let it slide.
Let’s start off with how the Allgemeine Zeitung didn’t make this their cover story on how racism amongst the youth is rapidly growing and needs to be stopped, but instead praised them for being “imaginative”. Personally, I think the newspaper should be shut down completely. This is a publication, readily available to people such as tourists, and what does that say about our country? That we think being black is funny? That the KKK aren’t a racist and hateful group, but instead a really chill bunch of regular Joes, and that if you dress up like them, you’ll get a big thumbs up from the media!?!
Being black isn’t a dress up game.
You can’t slap on some dark foundation and call it creative. It’s sick, it’s wrong, and it needs to be stopped.
Next, I think ‘Kuska-Maskenball’ needs to be shut down too. How the organisers of the festival didn’t see these so called costumes and throw all of them out I don’t know, but because they didn’t, they shouldn’t be allowed to make profits, especially off racism.
Lastly, this needs to become a discussion. Although shutting down the newspaper and festival would be extremely satisfying, it’s not going to change the fact that racism is growing, particularly in schools.
We as the youth need to be taught what is right and what is wrong. We need to be taught to ask questions. We need to be taught, apparently, about black history all over again and its significance because some of us didn’t really get the message. We need pull the weed out by the root.
I’ll leave this here, along with the petition I came across to call on apologies and explanations from all parties involved.