Shameless move by the CDU
Probably shouldn’t get all worked up about this, but this might be the crassest, most damnable mindless misappropriation of American culture in Germany, ever. Seriously!? Black is Beautiful!? Are they out of their minds? After watching SPD politicians last fall attempt to channel Barack Obama–including, regretfully, the slogan “yes we can” in English–I thought things had hit rock bottom in the misappropriation department. Evidently that was overly optimistic.
Reaching into the history of the American civil rights movement and ripping this slogan from its context cheapens it significance and its history. That a center right party would do so makes it downright cynical. Putting a picture of a bunch of white people next to it is just … wrong. Selling it on t-shirts, wrist bands, and beach towels? Words fail me. This is not irony or some postmodern pastiche. It is tasteless.
This was actually called into life by the Junge Union, the young Republicans of Germany. Given the nature of their other campaigns (Nobel Peace Prize for Kohl, referring to Die Linke as crap, and using sex to sell politics, among others) I suppose this campaign fits right in. Suddenly, the cesspool of American politics seems like the moral high ground. Now that is a scary thought.