A shooting festival in Lower Saxony, a pop music festival in Hamburg, a folk festival in Bavaria, an elite boarding school in Schleswig-Holstein – after a video of Sylt party guests shouting racist chants went viral on the Internet, other cases quickly became known in which the techno hit “L’Amour Toujours” by the Italian DJ Gigi D’Agostino was misused for this purpose.

This is not surprising: on the one hand, the uninhibited Sylt party racists may have provoked imitators and, on the other hand, “L’Amour Toujours” is a case of so-called “dog whistling politics”.

Right-wing extremists like Martin Sellner, the head of the Identitarian Movement, use the song as a code to spread their messages. In this case, insiders sing xenophobic lines to the tune of a dance music classic from the 1990s.

This alienation is popularized by social media such as TikTok. “L’Amour Toujours” has long been a right-wing extremist meme in Germany. This raises the question of how to react when people sing racist lines to well-known pop songs in public spaces or at private parties.

The Amadeu Antonio Foundation (AAS) has been trying to help organize civil society’s resistance to right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism since 1998. It calls on partygoers to intervene. “People feel safe when they spread racist messages to this catchy melody while drinking beer in a sociable mood,” says Lorenz Blumenthaler of the foundation. This is extremely alarming. You only find out about it if someone films it and reports it. But that rarely happens.

Blumenthaler stresses, however, that confronting the hooligans only makes sense if you don’t put yourself in danger. “Self-protection should come first,” he says. This is especially true for people with a migrant background, who are particularly at risk of attacks by racists.

He recommends looking around the room for possible allies. Then you can ask the singers of the right-wing extremist song to stop together. You should draw attention to yourself and clearly object, says Blumenthaler. As soon as the silence about the incident is broken, others in the room will often support those who intervene. It is best to ask the DJ to turn the music down beforehand to make it clear that this racist incident is no longer a carefree party.

If a confrontation is too dangerous, you can ask the DJ to change the song if he is not part of the event and does not know that extremist lyrics are being sung. “You can almost always film what is happening and report the perpetrators afterwards,” says Blumenthaler. “That has nothing to do with informing people,” he says. It does something to those affected when racism goes unchallenged.

Klaus-Peter Hufer, an adjunct professor for adult education at the University of Duisburg-Essen, is also calling for action. “Silence means consent,” he told “Spiegel”. If there is no contradiction, the racists will feel confirmed and intoxicated. When contradicting, he advises simple messages instead of a flood of arguments, otherwise one falls into the complexity trap.

However, most media lawyers consider it questionable that the Sylt video, which was recorded by one of the partygoers herself, was published on social media by third parties with unpixelated faces. Later, the names and in some cases the places of residence of the partygoers also circulated online. Some of those involved have been fired by their employers. This doxing, the collection and publication of personal data, has been widely criticized in recent days.

Many lawyers believe that the racist chanting on Sylt can be considered a historical event. However, it is questionable whether this means that the non-celebrities in the video can be shown without pixelation. This applies even more to those who did not take part in the chants, says media lawyer Lucas Brost to the “Legal Tribune Online”.

Lorenz Blumenthaler from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation advises against showing the video in its original form on social media for another reason. This would reproduce the right-wing meme and increase its popularity, he says. The media should therefore also avoid portraying the right-wing extremist party scene in its original form. Blumenthaler advises against constantly repeating the racist lines from the song.

At least there might be relatively few racist chants about “L’Amour Toujours” this summer, despite its enormous popularity. The song is no longer to be played at many folk festivals.

It is actually a love song, as Gigi D’Agostino emphasized after the Sylt video became known.

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The original of this article “Only one tactic helps: How to behave correctly when faced with racist yelling” comes from Tagesspiegel.