Ich bin Tourist? Bah!

So, I am bugged by those billboards around town with the three black guys and text that reads, very roughly translated: “Eeenie, Minie, moo. I am blacker than you. But not much longer. Iinstead of ‘Black’, say, I am a ‘Tourist’.”

The text is based on a children’s rhyme. The meaning is supposedly playful: if you are black and want to fit in in Austria and be treated fairly, tell people you are a tourist. They are more likely to treat you fairly if they think you are passing through with money to spend, than if you are a person of color who happens to live here.

Is this billboard addressed to people of color who struggle to be accepted in this society, or to white Austrians who discriminate against them? Is it saying to white Austrians: Look how unfairly you act, or is it saying to Black Austrians, good luck, pal, maybe this ploy will help you get good service at K & O. In any case, I feel it a failure; its message is humiliating and ineffective. Bah!

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