The “Obama” flavored ice cream and the unintentional racism of Russians

The latest is a car wash in Blagoveshchensk called "Obama" that promises to wash away all the black dirt  from your car. Jokes about the color of the skin of the American president are now a leitmotif in Russian pop culture. Sign of a latent racism sometimes disguised as harmless irony.

The car wash is a marketing gimmick that works in Russia. It makes you smile and is not considered offensive. But the problem is just that. It is in the minds of those who think it’s funny – even for targeted colored people – to make harmless and recurrent jokes about the color of the skin. Just like that Prime Minister who, talking with the then Russian president Medvedev, called Obama “handsome, young and tanned guy“. There is not necessarily the intention to offend. But perhaps those who have been subject to this irony for generations are quite fed up with it.

Banan Obama

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