Youth members of Danish right-wing party apologise for racist song

Controversial reference to US President Obama not a hit with everyone

Dansk Folkepartis Ungdom (DFU), the youth branch of the Danish right-wing party Dansk Folkeparti (DF), has apologised for a song it created during last weekend’s Folkemødet political gathering on Bornholm.

The song, set to the tune of ‘California Dreaming’ by the Mommas and Pappas, was written in the Danish tradition of altering the lyrics to a pop song for a singalong to fit the theme of the day. The practice is common at weddings, graduations, confirmations and just about anywhere Danes are gathered.

The youngsters performed the song, which referred to US President Obama as a ‘negro’ and said that “he ain’t no bro”.

The song was written in English, perhaps in deference to US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, who sat stone-faced while the song insulting his long-time friend was sung by well-scrubbed – and very white – young Danes.

Regrets, they have a few
In a status update on the Danish People’s Party Youth Facebook page, the party wrote that it “deeply regrets” having used the word “negro” in an attempt to be humorous.

Youth party chairman Lucas Hultgren said that the song was an attempt to poke fun at a debate that has arisen around DF member Søren Espersen recently calling Obama the “første neger i det amerikanske præsidentembede” – “the first negro American president’

Many Danes would like to see the word ‘neger’ retired from the Danish lexicon as it has come to be considered offensive. Museums have recently decided to remove it from descriptions of artworks. Hardline traditionalists disagree and say that they will continue to use it.

Jeppe Kofod, a member of Socialdemokraterne and one of Espersen’s political rivals, originally translated his comment using the much more offensive word ‘n*gger’, and although he has since rolled that back to the slightly less offensive ‘negro’, the debate has raged since.

A bad joke gone worse
Hultgren said that the singalong his group wrote was a ham-fisted attempt at commenting on the debate and not intended to offend the US president or ambassador.

“I did not mean to hurt or offend the US ambassador, Obama’s friend for many years, and I bitterly regret that we used the terminology that should have been a fun reference, but which has been misunderstood and has done more harm than good,” he posted on DFU’s Facebook page.

READ MORE: Every fourth Dane prefers the word ‘Neger’

Journalist David Trads was the first to call out DFU on his own Facebook page. Some of the commenters on his original post have likened DFU and the tone of their song to the Hitler Youth.