First veteran DFer Søren Espersen defended his use of the word ‘neger’ (Negro) in responding to criticism of an all-white advertising campaign by insisting that he would use the same term to describe Obama, setting off a debate over both the word itself and its correct English translation.
Now the youth wing of the party, Dansk Folkepartis Ungdom (DFU), is in hot water after writing a song that called Obama a “negro” who is “without talent”.
The youth party’s song was taking part in a song contest at the annual People’s Meeting (Folkemødet), a political festival of sorts held on the island of Bornholm. DFU performed a song that it called a “festive and humorous” song about the upcoming US presidential election.
In it, the youth party declared its support for Republican candidate Donald Trump and made comments about Obama’s race. The lyrics in part read:
“There is Obama, and he’s negro
And without talent, and he is no bro
Make America great again with Trump”
The lyric sheet was shared on Facebook by journalist and political commentator David Trads, who called on the Danish People’s Party to apologize, especially given that the DFU song was sung in front of US Ambassador Rufus Gifford.
“[The song] is, unfortunately, a good example of how the ‘tone’ of the debate is poisoned when those who wear the golden chains insist on bullying minorities because it legitimizes that their followers both carry on and worsen the course,” he wrote.
“I hope the Danish People’s Party leaders will publicly apologize for its’ youth party’s misplaced and idiotic behaviour in front of Obama’s friend and official representative but it is probably too much to ask. Unfortunately,” Trads continued.
As Trads’ Facebook post quickly picked up steam, DFU itself issued an apology. The youth party said its song lyrics were an “unfortunately misunderstood humorous reference to the entire farce” surrounding Espersen’s use of the word ‘Negro’.
“It wasn’t the intention to hurt or insult the American ambassador, Obama’s friend for many years, and I bitterly regret that we used that terminology in what was meant as a funny reference but was misunderstood and did more harm than good,” DFU national chairman Lucas Hultgren said, adding he has “the utmost respect” for both Gifford and Obama.
Gavin Sundwall, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Copenhagen, told The Local that the embassy considers the issue closed.
“The DF Ungdom apologized and realized that the term they used is very offensive to many Americans. We accept their apology and hope that they refrain from using offensive terms in the future,” Sundwall said.