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What to make of this? (racist labeling)

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posted on Apr, 8 2007 @ 11:15 PM
Source Well I live a city away from Toronto and this was pretty suprising to hear and I would like to find out how and why is was labeled that. Has anything like this been seen before?

posted on Apr, 8 2007 @ 11:16 PM
It's like that because it was typed by someone with a very poor command of the English language, most likely. I'd say it's merely a very unfortunate accident.

posted on Apr, 8 2007 @ 11:22 PM
I thought about this one a little bit. Ok, the couch was made overseas and the color is a dark brown. I'm thinking to myself, no one in the english speaking world would put that on a label, not even a racist. So, the word in question comes from the latin "nigro" which can mean black OR dark. So, somehow in the process of poor translation what should have read "dark brown" ended up as "n*gger brown".

Does that seem realistic to anyone else?


posted on Apr, 8 2007 @ 11:23 PM
Yep, that's pretty much what I was thinking.

Originally posted by Vasilis Azoth
I thought about this one a little bit. Ok, the couch was made overseas and the color is a dark brown. I'm thinking to myself, no one in the english speaking world would put that on a label, not even a racist. So, the word in question comes from the latin "nigro" which can mean black OR dark. So, somehow in the process of poor translation what should have read "dark brown" ended up as "n*gger brown".

Does that seem realistic to anyone else?


posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 12:54 AM
Yeah, the true wording would have been negro-brown, but most household items are in fact made overseas by either Taiwan, China, Japan, or Korea... and one simple visit to will let you know just how badly someone with a miniscule understanding of the english language can screw it up.

It's just a misunderstanding. It's not racist, because the person who wrote that didn't intend for it to be a mistake. It's in our dictionaries, hence, the mistake could easily be made. A thesaurus will make that mistake easily.

Quite frankly, some people are WAY too easily offended. It wasn't intended as an insult, it's time to realise that.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 12:57 AM
I agree it was a mistake.
But still, someone along the lines should of picked up on it, and scribbled it out.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:22 AM
Most people will be aware that until a decade or so ago, the 'Ni**er Brown' description was extremely common. Ordinary clothing dyes bore that description on their package label -- as printed by the manufacturer --- as well as shoes (the name was used on shoe-boxes in stores) jackets, overcoats, hats, yardage-fabric, etc. It was used to denote a warm brown.

A close, but slightly cooler brown shade of dye colour (again used to describe an endless number of products: shoes, hats, coats, clothing dyes etc) was 'Donkey Brown'.

Then there were 'Dark Brown' (for very dark shades), 'Mid Brown', 'Bark Brown' etc.

These colour 'names' were not *intended* to be derogatory: they had simply become accepted useage over two hundred or more years within the clothing industries in particular, but were also used by furniture manufacturers, paint suppliers, etc., in much the same way people know immediately which colour is referred to when they hear, for example: ' Royal Blue', 'Navy Blue', 'Warm Yellow', etc.

The sofa manufacturer in question is apparently located overseas and in the country where the sofa was made, it may not be politically incorrect to still use colour-names which were in extremely common useage until quite recently even in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other Commonwealthy countries.

Very probably the sofa's manufacturer may still have vats of colour dye bearing the 'Ni**ger Brown' name, and so used this description, without intending offence, upon his product (which had been dyed using a product bearing that name --- the actual dye powders and ready-prepared vats of dye would bear the title: 'Ni**er Brown'. Just as other dyes would be labeled, 'Donkey' or 'Dark' or 'Mahogany' browns).

There are still many older residents in many countries who would unthinkingly and without intending offence, refer to a colour shade as 'Ni**ger Brown' --- and others of their era, again without intending any offence, would know precisely which shade of brown was being referred to. Older people (from all over the globe) tend not to frequent US forums or alternative news sources as commonly as younger generations.

When they refer to a colour as 'Royal Blue', it is the shade of blue within the dye spectrum that they would be focussed on -- not the 'Royal'. They would be visualising a warmer blue, as compared to for example, 'Navy' blue. People know that 'Royal' and 'Navy' blues do not actually refer to Royalty or the navy any longer but are terms used to differentiate between shades of blue.

Many colour shades began as colloquialisms. The colour names were not formally bestowed, initially. For example, amongst the pink shades you will often find 'Baby' pink, 'Flesh' pink, 'salmon' pink, etc. People were not as sophisticated then -- they were more down to earth, frank and open. They used names which most easily described what they meant, after which, manufacturers adopted these names for use on their products. That way, everyone knew more or less what everyone else meant.

The term 'Ni**ger Brown' was coined during that era, when dye techniques and marketing were in their infancy if they existed at all.

In America, the 'ni**ger' term has reached almost hysterical proportions, but yes, the word 'ni**ger' quite obviously derived from the word Negro, which is an academic (therefore 'correct') term used to denote Negroes, as Caucasian is academically correct. It's just a word.

The word 'Negro' became 'Nigra', because it was easier for some to pronounce, and inevitably it became 'Ni**ger' because that was even easier for some to pronounce -- remembering that the US was settled by those fluent in vastly different 'foreign' languages, all trying to communicate.

When did Ni**ger become an epithet? Was it during the same period Negroes began referring to non-negroes as 'Honkies' or whatever term is used to denote a white person? Perhaps it was at this time also that Italians began being referred to as 'Wops' and 'Dagos' and the Irish as 'Micks' and 'Paddys' and Canadians as 'Canucks' and Asians as 'Slants' and so on. Most racial groups refer to OTHER racial groups using some form of 'shorthand' and 'Ni**ger' was the natural colloquialism or 'nick-name' for Negroes.

So I think we can be confident that the sofa manufacturer was attempting merely to be precise in his labeling by using the term 'Ni**ger Brown' as would had been written on the dye powders or solution used in the dying of the sofa-materials. That this term fell out of favour relatively recently in the US may not have been known to him, and this entire explanation would be obvious for anyone over the age of 20 or so.

The purchaser of the sofa claims to have never heard the dye colour 'Ni**ger Brown' before, but such a claim is difficult to take seriously. Nevertheless, it makes for a lot of publicity. Cynic that I am, I'm tempted to suspect that someone behind the scenes with an agenda searched high and low for a product still bearing the once common 'Ni**ger Brown' label, in order to shove this fuss in a teacup into the news.

Sure, we no longer use the term 'Ni**ger Brown'. It's unnecessary and causes offence. And the term 'Warm Brown' or 'Chocolate Brown' will suffice just as well. When the term 'Ni**ger Brown' was coined, people from the Northern Hemisphere had never seen Negroes before. They were astonished by Negroes. Until then, most people in the Northern Hemisphere lived in the one small town or village all their lives and most of them never travelled more than ten miles from where they were born.

So, when they saw Negroes, they named a colour after them: 'Ni**ger Brown'. Just as --- if we were be introduced to green aliens today -- we might label a colour as 'Alien Green'.

The reality is, Negroes are brown. They are not pink or blue. They are brown. In fact, today, Negroes seem to prefer being described as 'Black', for some reason, which isn't a term I personally favour, although in posts I conform, as 'black' appears to be the 'socially accepted' term these days.

Does anyone here believe a furniture manufacturer deliberately set out to offend Negroes? Or are people able to understand that what is common useage in one era becomes 'incorrect' in another, with the changeover period often being quite brief in today's shrinking world.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:43 AM
It just occurred to me to mention the following ...

Currently, Nescafe are running a series of commercials on tv for one of their coffee products, which the commercial describes as 'dark, strong, black, expresso', etc.

The commerical (and you may be familiar with it) is focussed entirely on a Negro musician. The entire commerical is shot at night. It includes at least one 'black' cat and a savage dog. Every effort has been made by the commerical to convince that the Negro musician lives in Paris. We see him standing by a window in a darkened apartment, staring out at the rain. We see him walking down darkened cobbled streets at night.

The entire commericial is so dark, it gives the impression of being shot in shades of black, dark brown and shadows.

In short, the Negro musician is intended to symbolise this 'dark, strong, black coffee'.

The commericials' unmistakable message is one of: ' Think black coffee, think Negro', or, conversely, 'Think Negro if you're seeking a black, black coffee'.

Now this is 2007, not the 18th and 19th century in the Northern Hemisphere, yet Nescafe (jewish owned I've been informed) has had no hesitation in typecasting Negroes as 'dark'. This new Nescafe coffee is intended to be drunk black -- minus cream or milk. The commerical shows the coffee being sipped 'black' by a 'black' musician.

The Nescafe commerical makes every effort to appear 'sophisticated'.

Yet it has blatantly stereotyped the Negro as 'black'. Quite intentionally. The entire commericial consists of juxtaposed images of 'blackest night', 'black streets', 'black nightclub', 'black apartment', 'black Negro' and 'black coffee'. Quite obviously, this message was not aimed solely or even casually, at the Negro market.

Just as blatantly, the new Philladelphia Cream Cheese commericals use the whitest, palest, most golden-haired and 'innocent' Caucasian girls --- and THEY are filmed dressed in purest WHITE clothing, sitting on pristine CLOUDS in HEAVEN with their snowy wings fluttering behind them, eating WHITE cream cheese, and squealing: ' Ooooooh, HEAVENLY' etc.

There ARE organisations within our societies who are *confident* of their ability to stereotype -- without penalty --- opposing factions within our communities, based on skin colour.

In doing so -- and in being-seen-to-be doing so -- these organisations are surreptitiously RE-INFORCING racial stereotypes and gulfs ! At the same time, these massively successful organisations are paying lip-service to 'racial harmony' and buying politicians who will best serve their agendas and profit line. Believe me, racial harmony is the last thing they ACTUALLY want.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:44 AM
I think that's unnecessary whining, seeing as in both contexts dark and white are portrayed equally positively.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:48 AM

* YOU * may consider it however you please.

I'm confident the majority will regard it exactly as it is INTENDED --- as RACIAL STEREOTYPING.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:50 AM
Would it not be a better idea to take stereotyping in stride as long as the stereotyping is not accusing someone of being something negative? I mean, heck, I wish I was thought of as being musically talented, athletic, strong, etc.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 03:18 AM
Oh come on give me a break, its only words. seriously now, i dont condone that words use but its time to move on.
In a few years, this woman will be able to call the police and this furniture store owner will be taken to jail and prosecuted for a hate crime.
Has anyone ever noticed that white people in America are the only race in America that dont "hyphenate" our race.
How many whites call themselves European Americans or English American lol

Moore said she's not sure she wants the sofa set in her home.

"Every time I sit on it, I'll think of that," she said.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 05:02 AM
Oh dear its that word again that we must not say, jeez for Christ sake its a word and that's it. like its been said negro black is a color and it could possibly be translation error but probably the first thing she saw when she picked up the label is $$$.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 08:22 AM
The word 'Negro' became 'Nigra', because it was easier for some to pronounce, and inevitably it became 'Ni**ger' because that was even easier for some to pronounce...

Not exactly correct...

Nigra is a Spanish word for the color black. It was in use way before the word "Negro" was coined.

Niger is a Latin word that also refers to the color black.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 08:46 AM
I always assumed that they just generalized them all as being from Niger or Nigeria, then it was shortened to niger, then ni**er.
dont know that for sure, just a theory.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 09:40 AM
I recently purchased a white leather sofa and chair.

The label described it as crackaass-white. I wasn't too offended.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 12:02 PM
That chick looks like plastic. Forget the label. Head to the can and do something about that look.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 01:45 PM
Wow..I can tell just by most of these comments that a lot of you white people have a lot of built up racism. Come on, you can't get mad at a black woman for trying to find out why a word like that is on her furniture. I mean yeah, there's probally a reasonable explanation for it, but just the impact of seeing that word where it shouldn't be would make most blacks feel uncomfortable. This is a feeling that most of you white people will never understand, because this is "your" country and your considered the generic race here. So you have no idea what its like for people of another race when thier called spics, 'n-word's, or chincs. For example, when a black person calls a white person cracker or honky, the white person dosen't get mad because they know theres no meanig behind those words. But the word 'n-word' has a very long and deep history. Its meant to de-humanize another human being.

So before you jump the gun and scream "oh she's just trying to get money" or "Its not as serious as she's making it to be", why don't you try and see things threw her eyes.

Just my 2 cents

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 04:55 PM
I can see why she was mad and I don't even believe it was done on purpose but still someone should have noticed and changed before it was sold. I am always proud to say Canada is a tolerant place so I hope stuff like this stays to a minimum if not disappear completely.

posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 05:07 PM
im not racist, but i thought it was funny. those that did'nt laugh, when seeing her picture and reading that.. oh well dont admit it. you can call my sofa cracker white and i'd laugh. but id also laugh about an old lady falling down some stairs.

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