« Pipeline of Hatred... | Main | Three-Peat: Tony Blair Crushes the Competition Again »

Comments

Negerkuss isn't an icecream, and the translation is negro's kiss, not nigger's kiss.

Yeah, the Negerkuss's center is more of a meringue. Anyway, I'm assured by the grown-up and blogging Augustus Gloop that blacks are "honored" by the confection's name.


We have similar "honors" here in the US, and yet every February (Black History Month) comes and goes without a single celebration of either Aunt Jemima or Uncle Ben.

I'm amused that Anton V omits mentioning that Augustus also assures us that Negerkuss is out and Schokokuss is in. Yeah, I know it's in the text he linked to, but I wonder whether the omission could be a matter of selective emphasis.

In fact, Augustus attributes the name change to political correctness. Then again political correctness wouldn't be a big winner for most on this site, so why mention it ?

Fact is, the US had Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben. Whoa, we still do. Fancy that. The stereotyping has been cleaned up, but one could draw conclusions on the historical images - if one simply ignored the recent developments.

Think about sexist jokes - allowed and frequent in the German workplace, disallowed and surreptitious in the US.

Smoking - prevalent in the German workplace and all but compulsory in German restaurants, banned and shunned widely in the US.

Oriental stereotypes (saying 'l' instead of 'r', for example) - a staple in German advertising, unimaginable in the US.

Point of all this is that Germany seems to be behind the US in a number of 'progressive' areas - but Germany is (slowly) catching up. To me, it seems dishonest to make a point with an offensive example that, in fact, has been at least redone if not eliminated outright. And it seems just as dishonest to point out the equivocation regarding the change without mentioning the change itself.

Cheers,

Rofe, I took Anton's comment as a sarcastic view of Augustus statement, not a defense.

Mike H., I actually took Anton's comments to be sarcastic, too. But if I interpret his sarcasm correctly, then he takes offense at Augustus' notion that Negerkuss is really a kind of complement, one that blacks feel honored by. (I have to say that this equivocation offended me, too.)

My main point, however, is that the original post and Anton's response ignore the fact that Negerkuss has been largely replaced by Schokokuss. That fact, to me, negates the whole gist of the post.

Cheers,

The Icecream the article is talking about is Nogger, it is made my Unilever, a dutch company. They're also responsible for the advertising. The Icecream has nothing to do with the Negerkuss. A Negerkuss is not made of icecream.
Negerküsse look like this:

http://www.storck.com/imperia/md/images/_inet_marken/b_d80.jpg

And the right translation would be Negrokiss and not Niggerkiss. For the reasons of political correctness the companies who produce Negerküsse don't call them Negerkuss anymore, they call them Schokoküsse. I still call them Negerkuss and I will continue to do so. That's how they were called when I was a child in the 70s and nobody in his right mind viewed the name as racist.

My dear Rofe, most Germans I know still call the candies Negerkuss. Indeed, the webpage to which I linked begins with a lament that political correctness prevents the manufacturers from calling the candies what most of the people who eat them call them.

It should frighten you that Germans so casually toss around racial epithets, or in Julie's case defend them by trying to pretend that 'Neger' carries no semantic baggage. I have the same argument with my compatriots regarding the Washington Redskins (American football franchise and, for the record, the last NFL team to desegregate -- where's there's smoke, there's fire), and I hear the same lame apologism for bigoted language.

And it should frighten everybody to a much lesser extent that you've all blundered into a debate about candy without having read the classics.

What a nonsens just in this blog?

In Austria "Negerküsse" are called "Schwedenbomben" (swedisch bombs)
Is this a example for Austrias affectation to violence.

Anton,

You raise some goods points, but I think they actually validate mine.

Would it be fair to label America racist on the basis of the Redskins, the Cleveland Indians or the Chicago Black Hawks ? That would be a pretty broad generalization.

Sports Illustrated has looked into the issue. Surprisingly (to me, at least) polls indicated that most Native Americans are not offended by the names. (Apologies, again, to one and all for not being able to master those cool links.)

But let's say Dan Snyder officially renames the Redskins. (Maybe something like the 'Reaganauts' to keep in the spirit of scads of other DC-related renamings.) Would America be any more or less racist if people still referred to the team as the Redskins in private ? (This scenario would be similar to the point you're trying to make about Germany, but your point presupposes the final result.)

My points are these: those disgusting little blobs aren't marketed as Negerküsse anymore; the orginal post doesn't even acknowledge the fact; and labeling Germany racist on the basis of Negerküsse is quite a stretch.

Cheers,

Just in case anyone's interested, the article appeared in the March 4th, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated. The title is "The Indian Wars", and SI's lead-in reads as follows:

The campaign against Indian nicknames and mascots presumes that they offend Native Americans - but do they ?

Unfortunately, the article doesn't seem to be available online.

And we're drifting away from the topic at hand.

Cheers,

The etymology link above (http://www.esskultur.net/lm/negerkuss.html) also points out that they used to be called "Mohrenkopf". I forgot about that - I'm unsure whether "Mohr" (an archaic word for blacks - anybody considering *it* racist needs to have their head checked) really translates to "moor", but if so, it's "moor's head".

In cruddy slang (among foulmouthed children, that is...), "Neger" would occasionally be used to mean "slave" - but in this PC world, the kids in Germany probably say "African" with the same connotation.
It doesn't make the word "Neger" racist. The fact that the the PC police have been working to make the word racist (decades after "schwarz" had already become the more commomly used term) also doesn't.

The writer translating that as "Nigger" is pretty close to the people tryin to force a politician to resign after he used "niggardly".


Nogger? :) Years ago, after moving to the US, I theorized they couldn't sell Nogger here (it turns out they do, but under a different name, and only the lame version without Nutella in the center) because somebody would decide that it sounded like Nigger and decide to be offended.

So now they don't have to even sell it here to do that. I guess some ad wizard who - one can only assume - did not make the Nogger-Nigger connection decided this was the one ice cream to associate with a hot-weather image by showing a black kid.

Liek somebody above said - there are plenty of backwards things still proudly held in German culture (seemingly mandatory smoking in Restaurants is a good one). Ignore this one, I'd say.

I just realized that the original article is on Slate - at least that explains why it's all wrong and wasn't checked for accuracy.

This post is completely superfluous, getting the facts wrong, calling for more PC while otherwise the Right is complaining about PC. At least the discussion is kind of funny.
By the way, we also have some kind of cookies called "Amerikaner". As a reaction to the "French Fries"-"Freedom Fries" renaming, they were renamed to "Dumpfbacken" (dumbcheeks) by some bakeries in Germany.

Julie,

For some reason I don't think an advert featuring men shoving "Little Dickmann" treats into their mouths would sell in the US. :-)

The "mascot" for the Cleveland Indians is patently offensive. And I say that as a white guy. It's HORRIBLE. There's nothing wrong with the Washington Redskins' great logo, but the name is racist. I don't know what the hell the NBA and NFL having been thinking all these years.

http://www.clevelandskyline.com/CHP%203.jpg

What's cool is that a group of Native American guys at the University of Colorado changed the name of their basketball team in response to these stupid images.

http://www.fightingwhites.org/

Go, Fightin' Whites!

If in doubt try Leo

http://dict.leo.org/

"m blackamoor usually [pej.] der Neger
m coon [sl.] der Neger
m Negro [pej.] der Neger [pej.]
m Negroes pl. [pej.] die Neger Pl. [pej.]
m nigger [pej.] der Neger [pej.]"

The cakes or whatever have changed their name but I am still amazed about how much the word "neger" is still used in Germany. Whether the word has other meanings or could be translated slightly differently (like coon is better!?) or whether the government should "ban" the "Un-PC" word or not doesnt really interest me. Sad fact is that a lot of Germans have no problem with using the word despite the fact that it is extremely offensive and upsetting. Perhaps as a non-German I am missing something? I cant think of what could make this common use quite acceptable. Try me.

Lou,
The fighting whites is from the University of Northern Colorado, and it more of an anti-PC reaction than, as you claim, a reaction of a bunch of Native Americans against Native American Mascots.

Also, wrt Negerkuss, it's common usage. At least in Swabia, I only heard Negerkuss and Mohrenkopf, the latter being the more polite.

@Doughnut boy Andy:
yes you're missing something - the fact that dictionary translations like that are often not 1:1. Because of missing German words for some (usualy offensive) English terms, dictionaries are notorious for giving these sorts of "nearest" translations without pointing out that you can't go the other way. Leo.org searches for any translation matches, without giving a clear direction, thus further muddying the waters.

If you look up Neger in a German-

The most commonly observed example of this dictionary malfunction is "F*ck". E.g. Langenscheidt translates it (as an exclamation, i.e. "F!" or "F it!") as "verdammt!".
"Verdammt!", in German ("Dammit!", as you might guess), does certainly not translate to "F*ck!".

How we observe this example is in the form of native German speakers, in the US that haven't spent much time around English-speaking natives, overusing "f*ck" at particuarly inappropriate times.

I guess it's good that "Neger" is going out of fashion - it will reduce the number of tourists using "nigger" or "coon" after learning from the dictionary :)

Doughnut Boy Andy

I think the point that you're missing is there are not many black people in Germany, we never had slavery, we never had a black civil rights movement. We once had a few colonies in Africa, we got them late and lost them early. There was no immigration from these colonies to Germany like in France, Great Britain or Holland. Because there were no black people , especially no Black Germans there was also no discrimination against black people and no need for anti-discrimination laws. The word Neger was the appropriate word for somebody living in Africa. This was not viewed as a racist term. In the 19th and first half of the 20th century the only way to see a Neger in Germany was to go to a circus . Now you could claim to show black people in a circus shows how racist the German society was, but people did not view this as racist, the circus Neger or circus Mohr was an exotic attraction.
The first people who viewed the word Neger as racist were the Anti Vietnam war protesters in the late 1960s, because they were influenced by civil rights groups in the US and Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers etc and they viewed Nixons's America as a racist country they had to fight.
For them the word " Schwarzer" ( black) also was a racist word, to call a black man a black man was nearly as bad as calling him a Neger. So black people had to become " Farbige" ( colored) and today still some exremly political correct folks insist that anything but " Colored " is racist.
I personally don't call black people Neger, I call them black or maybe Africans if I know they're from Africa, but I don't have problems with the word Mohrenkopf or Negerkuss. If somebody is offended by the name of a certain type of chocolate he should get a life.

Something important fell out of my post above:
If you look up Neger in a German-
should be:
If you look up Neger in a German-English dictionary, you won't find any of the English words given above as translating to "Neger", other than Negro. You cannot conclude the entire connotation of a German word (or what to use when translating it to English) from an English-to-German dictionary entry.

When trying to decide what a treat should be called, seems a little odd to think up "Negerkuss", despite what the exact translation of "Neger" is.

What I've learned so far from this conversation:

Neger isn't really offensive; in fact, Negers are flattered by the term. I shall make a point of using it whenever possible.

It's unfair to claim that terms like Negerkuss and Redskin are manifestations of deep-seated racism. I'd have to be crazy to claim that most Germans and Americans are incorrigibly racist and that discourse plays at least some part in perpetuating racism.

There was never any slavery in Germany. I think Germans should be proud to have never enslaved anyone on the basis of their perceived racial identity. Ugly rumors to the contrary ought to be summarily dismissed.

Anton V

I'm glad you've learned something. I still don't know what your problem is. I don't feel the need to debate the names of American Football and Baseball teams. Name them whatever you want. The Washington Do Gooders or the Cleveland Tree Huggers if Indians and Redskins are not politically correct anymore. My German Negerkuss will stay a Negerkuss.

Rolf,

not only are you ignorant and racist, you can't even tell when people use blatant sarcasm. Moron!

Alan Shore

17 words and 3 insults. Wow. But Interesting to notice how fast you get called " racist " on this blog.

Mohrenkopf is different from Negerkuss:
Indside of a Negerkuss is some kind of cream. In a Mohrenkopf are layers of cake, cream and jam.

People who casually toss around racial epithets in the course of daily speech should be prepared to endure the occasional accusation of racism.

And anyone who defends the continued use of Negerkuss (or Redskin) on the grounds that it's part of their heritage needs to reconsider the morality of said heritage.

even former german president said in a speech once: "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Neger"

Poor old Luebke was just misunderstood. Happens all the time to my personal hero, Prince Phillip.

The discussion on what "Neger" translates into is pretty silly. The main crux of the argument that "Neger" is a neutral term rests on the claim that Germany, unlike every other European country, has somehow escaped perpetuating institutional racism because of a shorter period of colonialism and lower populations and therefore a slower movement to form community by people of African descent. This is simply untrue. Just logically, it would seem a bit strange for the only European country to have successfully instituted a totalitarian regime based on racial purity to come out on the other side a bastion of anti-racist color-blind loveydoveyness where everyone is fine with eating Negerküssen.
The colonial period, which for most European countries, Germany not excluded, cemented racist imagery and language into European culture, which still lingers today. Even during the short time, there were virulent debates in government about the offspring of white Germans and black Africans, how best to keep them from claiming German nationality. Black French troops during the Rheinland occupation caused a formative moment for White Germany and developing racial language centered on ideas of pollution, purity, nationality and culture. During the NS regime, the same question of the relatively small population of black children in the Rhineland was brought up; many of these children were sterilized. The fact is that NS history has trumped the colonial period and institutional racism that has existed before and after that period up until today. Despite that fact, there are many interesting books on the topic. Farbe bekennen is one that pops into mind. The formation of black community in Germany found strength in examples and icons in African-American culture and Black communities outside of Germany. ISD and ADEFRA are both legacies to that fact. The first literature prize for Black Germans took place last year. Both organizations use the term Schwarz in their titles.
It is more than ignorant to keep perpetuating the same terminology and racist culture. If you truly don't know, then you should learn about your own history. Then perhaps all Germans, yes, there are Black ones too, could enter into serious discourse about race, immigration/asylum, and identity in the present day. The only discussion there has ever really been is how to best keep people out. Germany has years and years experience of perfecting that. Until Joschka, that is.

@ Lou Minatti

Your statement that the logo of the Cleveland Indians baseball club is "patently offensive" is ridiculous.

>> Anton V
>>I'm glad you've learned something.

>Rolf,
> [...], you can't even tell when people use blatant sarcasm.

Can you? ;-)

Julie has said that very nicely on the very top.
Negerkuss is NOT an icecream and out of political correctness they have changed the name a long toime ago , even though everybody still calls the thing Negerkuss, that includes me.
The name stems from an era when it didn't seem offensive, the German word "Nigger" always translated "nigger" but "Neger" used to sound like "black" rather than "negro".
The connotation of the word has changed a little, that's why a liberal moron from Slate thinks he can make a fuss.

If someone ever has introduced a Negerkuss-ice ( how does that work?) it certainly isn't well known.
A "Nogger" has never had a racial connection and isn't a novelty but a classic.

Where I live the official name for the Negerkuss is "Mohrenkopf" , somebody here has stated that's something different, that's not correct.

Germans aren't racists at all, they aren't antisemitic either, that's a running gag by the international media, good story but, alas, no substance in it.

No, they are just simpleminded anti-American liberals, like Canadians, only worse.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30