Recently the Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, was presented a cake at an event that many have decried as racist – understandably when one takes a first glance at the thing. The story and ensuing outrage has gone viral, with accusations of racism flying faster than homophobic comments from Rick Santorum.
The whole thing is reminiscent of the recent Kony 2012 viral video and of the ways in which we engage with social media in general. More than once I’ve clicked a link, sometimes even adding my own disgust to a public outcry over something that seems terribly unjust or wrong, only to discover later that I should have actually looked just a little bit further to discover the true nature of the situation.
So is the case with the now infamous “racist Swedish cake,” made as a political statement by a black Swedish artist, Makode Linde, wishing to draw attention to Western conceptions of blackness whose message has been lost in social-media fueled frenzy of racist accusations. It turns out it’s more complicated than it looks, as Makode Linde explains in this video on the Afro Europe site (after the jump).