Bad Translation Software Called Couch "Nigger-Brown"

A couch labeled as “nigger-brown” got its offensive name from a bad translation program, according to the furniture’s supplier.

When users enter “dark brown” in Chinese in older versions of the Kingsoft program, its spits out the n-bomb. Newer versions don’t, but if you type the slur in English, “dark brown” shows in Chinese.

The supplier, who hasn’t updated the translation software in 10 years, blames the software. The couch store owner, who came to Canada in 1972 from India, says he’s never heard the word before. The lady who bought the couch is considering suing. — BEN POPKEN

Racial slur blamed on Chinese company’s faulty translation program [AP] (Thanks to Laura!)

PREVIOUSLY: Packaging Label Describes Sofa Color As “Nigger-brown”

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  1. mopar_man says:

    The lady who bought the couch is considering suing.

    You’re kidding right?

  2. phelander says:

    If she still sues, SHE is the one with the problem. It was a mistake on the account of CHINESE software! God, people need to chill. She probably said herself to her black friend, “N* you won’t be-LIEVE what I found on my couch label….” and her friend said “Girl, you should sue.”

  3. y2julio says:

    Ugh, America is going to crap. Everything is now sue, sue, sue. Someone looked at you wrong? Sued them. Someone spoke to you? Sue them. Ugh.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    @mopar_man: Nope.

  5. nweaver says:

    I sued Taco Bell, because I ate a million challupas, and I got FAT..

    I sued Starbucks, because I spilled a frappachino in my lap and brrr it was cold…

  6. indianaguy says:

    of course she is going to sue. she isn’t really offended she just sees that as her paycheck, as would most americans. they are just waiting for that day that thier’s comes in

  7. MstrShake says:

    Actually, they’re Canadian. I guess we’ve exported the instinct to sue for any slight, intentional or otherwise. Just think of the outrage if it was labeled “nappy-headed brown”!

  8. Ben Popken says:

    @indianaguy: @y2julio: Canada. This is taking place in Canada.

  9. Rick Rockwell says:

    And in the meantime we all pay higher prices to support that system.

  10. slapstick says:

    My eyes rolled so hard at the mention of her potential lawsuit they fell out of my head.

    You’ll be hearing from my lawyers, Consumerist!

  11. mopar_man says:

    And she’ll probably win too. Why? See here.

  12. y2julio says:

    @Ben Popken: Canada is part of America :p Just not officially LOL but yeah, I wouldn’t have found it offensive if it had said spic-brown. It’s just a word, it only has power if you submit to it.

  13. erika says:

    So,

  14. dbeahn says:

    @Ben Popken: Yes, it’s taking place in Canada. But the WOMAN is an American, born and raised in New York. Hence the “Oh, I is ENTITLED to this paycheck cause my ancestors MIGHT have been slaves, maybe – I dunno.”

  15. erika says:

    Yea! Time to file my paperwork for erika v. Nabisco!

  16. cncpun says:

    Wouldn’t this fall under freedom of speech anyways?

  17. jeblis says:

    The lady who bought the couch is considering suing.

    Of course…

  18. Slytherin says:

    Gotta love America nowadays with all these lawsuits. Some fool tries that on me, and I am going to give them something worth suing for!

  19. cracker002 says:

    Contrary to y2julio, the word “nigger” is offensive whether you submit to it or not. But, offensive or not, it’s still just a word. She has nothing to sue about. I hope she loses and is forced to pay the legal fees of the furniture company.

    And thank you consumerist for actually using the word, rather than the idiotic replacement “n-word.”

  20. Slytherin says:

    Canada = Mini USA :oP

  21. radiogrrl says:

    It was an acutal dye color once upon a time from Reeves & Sons in London. That’s what is in my user icon.

    Institutional racism in a bottle, a very old bottle.

  22. Mr. Gunn says:

    Couch, please!

  23. indianaguy says:

    @cncpun

    freedom of speech does not cover you from civil suit

  24. Alexander says:

    Complete and total bs if she sues. I can understand the mild shock at the beginning, but the situation was explained (with a reasonable explanation) and that should be that. No harm no foul.

  25. tadiera says:

    The next time I’m offered a cracker, I think I’m going to sue.

    Because that is a racist term against people who are white! How dare anyone use that word, ever! It’s mean and cruel and even if they don’t mean it as a slight against me, how dare they say it.


    (Ahem. Now back to your usual sanity.)

  26. jeblis says:

    @Mr. Gunn: giggle..snort

  27. bendsley says:

    I agree with the posts above about suing just because you can. She wasn’t wronged by the word. Sure, it sucks and in today’s society, probably should be used…..oh wait….anyone listen to rap music at all?

    Does this mean that Caucasian people should find Cracker Barrel offensive?

  28. bbbici says:

    To claim damages there must be a financial outlay on the part of the victim or a hinderance or inability to earn income. A mere verbal slight due to a poorly designed translation program is not enough. the most damages she will be able to claim would be getting her money refunded for the couch, which she must return to the store.

    that’s what you get for buying a couch the same color as your skin.

  29. enm4r says:

    Did anyone really expect any other explanation for the “mistake?” I realize on this site it might be hard to give any commercial operation the benefit of the doubt, but it seemed pretty clear from the start that this was probably going to be the explanation in the end.

    I hope she does sue, and I hope the furniture company files a counter-suit for her to pay the penalty of their expenses in going to trial. Unfortunately that seems the only possible way to discourage some of these insane lawsuits.

  30. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Her right to find the word offensive doesn’t magically disappear just because some overdressed wannabe criminals with ugly cars think it’s okay to toss around in their rhymes. If we’re going to be judging standards of behavior and decency by what celebrities find acceptable, we’re in some big damn trouble as a society.

    On the other hand, her right to find the word offensive stops at just about the time when she could have returned the damn couch.

  31. AnnieGetYourFun says:

    The N-word is actually in common use in China, and isn’t considered offensive there. I tried to disabuse some of my Chinese friends of this notion, but they thought I was nuts.

    “Michael Jordan is a nigger! Michael Jackson – nigger! We love the nigger!”

    I was cringing for DAYS over that, but they didn’t get it.

  32. 5h17h34d says:

    Suing over nothing beats working right?

  33. tcabeen says:

    Man, the amount of stereotyping, prejudice, and blatant racism I’m seeing in these comments is appalling. Shame on you.

    The couch store owner, who came to Canada in 1972 from India, says he’s never heard the word before.

    So if this guy is telling the truth, or at least seems genuinely apologetic about the mistake, then he updates his software and we call it a day. If he’s making excuses and is generally an unapologetic ass, then she sues him (and hopefully wins).

    If he’s apologetic and sincere, and she sues him, it’s on her karma. How is your comment (preaching to the choir, people!) going to change her mind?

  34. GenXCub says:

    Who’s going to sue her for removing a Do Not Remove tag????

  35. sncreducer says:

    @dbeahn:

    This’ll be a hit-and-run, nobody wants another flame war (at least I don’t). But you didn’t think you were rid of me forever, did you?

    Anyway, care to explain this?

    “Hence the ‘Oh, I is ENTITLED to this paycheck cause my ancestors MIGHT have been slaves, maybe – I dunno.’”

    Do all black people speak ebonics in your world? Is this another “scientific” observation from your expeditions to the local Denny’s? Did you read the article? What exactly are you basing your crude racial stereotyping on?

    I’ll await your response. It may take a while. since I figure you’ll be busy getting drunk on Jameson’s and beating your wife. (What’s the problem? It’s a scientific observation.)

  36. tekkierich says:

    I remember about a dozen years ago sitting in High School Spanish I class. We were going through the colors when “negro” came up. There was OUTCRY from the members of the class who could trace their liniage to Africa.
    I rolled my eyes, and exchanged a knowing glance with the teacher who did not think she could.

    In other news, once I was called a cracker in the most stereotypical situation known to man. A buddy of mine and I decided to put back a few beers and talk about girl problems. It was a nice night so we decided the best place for this to be done was sitting on the tool box of my beat up ford ranger in the parking lot of my apartment. My roommate came home from work and decided to join us, intending to catch up quickly via hard liquor. He also insists on turning on some country music. Apparently he caught up too quickly because in short order he was barfing over the side of the bed of the truck. At about this time a black couple drives by in a dark Lexus sedan with very tinted windows. She yells out “Hey, CRACKAS go back inside”. Our indignation lasted all of the split second it took for us to take stock of our circumstances. Someone then said, “You know, she’s right”. A good laugh was had and a few more beers.

  37. faust1200 says:

    Ok this happens when you enter dark-brown into an older Chinese translation program?? In what year was this the translation to dark-brown? I’m not saying this lady deserves money but I do think at sometime, somewhere, someone was chuckling to themselves as they entered this into some software.

    The night is cool, The Consumerist is hot, and you want to do more than blog: http://consumerist.proboards88

  38. Voyou_Charmant says:

    When i first read this article i started looking at the tags on items around the house. It turns out that what i though was a plain ol’ brown button-up shirt is actually “those people wont shut up in the movie theatre brown”, which is WILDLY inappropriate.

    Better start calling those lawyers now, Gap. I’m going to sue the poorly fitted over priced khakis off of you!

    Needless to say, i want one of those couches.

  39. slapstick says:

    My kitchen floor tiles are Honky White, but I can’t blame them. It’s the way they were raised. :(

  40. urban_ninjya says:

    Ha Ha.. software still can’t replace human translators. I know a bit of chinese, and I know that the Google language tools are way off. I’m learning Japanese, and the translations going from Japanese to English, let’s just say it makes ‘Engrish’ look like 1000 times better.

  41. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @tcabeen:

    It’s not the shop owners software, try reading the article again.

    Additionally, it’s not terribly hard to believe an immigrant who, most likely, spends all of his time working or at home with his family had not come in contact with that word.

  42. noisebar says:

    The supplier’s explanation is total bullshit. I’m a Chinese and I cannot think of any word that represents “dark” in Chinese would translate into Nigger. As stupid as Kingsoft is, I don’t think it’s the cause.

  43. ARPRINCE says:

    @thisaintsweettea: You are right @tcabeen should read the article again.

    Having migrated and stayed in a foreign country for 12 years and have not heard of that word? Unbelievable!! Heck, he owns a store and most likely deal with lots of people (different races) everyday.

  44. junkmail says:

    Sorry, I’m coming late to the discussion. Can somebody point out to me in the Constitution, (or Canada’s version thereof) where it grants the right NOT to be offended? I’m sure it’s there, it’s gotta be. I just can’t find it.

  45. buzzgirl says:

    So, dbeahn, is it because she’s from New York you assume she would say “I is entitled,” rather than I am”? It’s amazing how people state as fact about what someone’s motive is when, really, they have no idea!

    By the way, speculate all you want about what she “probably said” to her friend, phelander, but we (black women) don’t all refer to each other as “N*”.

  46. dbeahn says:

    @sncreducer: Actually, I was making a commentary that it takes a certain lack of education to decide that one is entitled to something because of something one was never subjected to.

    It is interesting that you saw a racial color in what was nothing more than a sentence written without regard to grammar.

  47. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @bbbici: So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t buy any white furniture because it might bear a slight resemblance to my skin color? Got it.

  48. otothehout says:

    I wonder how comfortable the couch is.

  49. i4ni says:

    What Would Rutgers Do?

  50. GirlGoneRiled says:

    So, if the word in question isn’t used as a slur in China as we in North America consider it to be a slur and the software the generated said slur/non-slur is Chinese software that has not be updated to reflect the huge growth in global trade in general and furniture imports from China specifically, I wonder who this woman is going to go after? I don’t buy that someone had a chuckle way back in the day inserting that translation – if it’s not offensive in the country in which the software was produced there’s no joke to be had there.

    Back, back to the lawsuit. Should she sue the original software company for not predicting that its product would one day be used by people who ship products to places where someone could fine a line item in the software offensive? The furniture exec who didn’t stay on top of his upgrades? The tag printer for not realizing that the countries to which the furniture would be shipped don’t like the word? Or maybe the furniture store guy for not monitoring the tags affixed to the furniture shipped to him from all over the world? The shipping company for shipping offensive merchandise?

    All of the above?

    I totally get and support the woman’s right to be offended, hurt, mortified, etc., etc., etc. (to the degree that she needs my understanding and support, which she doesn’t, natch) but MY GOD there is no one to effectively sue here unless she wants to go after the small business owner who is 100% completely not at fault in any way. All he has is the disadvantage (from his perspective) of being in the right country and likely insured for this kind of thing.

  51. legotech says:

    32 kids are murdered while at school and all this woman can find to be upset about is a word?

    I want to live in her world.

    regina

  52. LeopardSeal says:

    @junkmail: They’re currently drafting that amendment. It will protect everyone except Heterosexual Caucasians.

  53. dbeahn says:

    @sncreducer:

    “I’ll await your response. It may take a while. since I figure you’ll be busy getting drunk on Jameson’s and beating your wife. (What’s the problem? It’s a scientific observation.)”

    Yup, exactly. Just like with a name like Jimenez I have to wait for you to finish getting drunk on tequila and stealing hubcaps before you can reply. I’ll try and be as patient with you as you are being with me.

  54. GirlGoneRiled says:

    @legotech: I’m sure that any number of Iraqis and people currently hanging out in Darfur would like to live in our world where we can flip out over 32 people being killed in one event on one day when it’s like standard operating procedure every hour on the hour where they are.

    But I get your point, it’s a matter of perspective and someone who is thinking of suing over, say, getting on with things probably doesn’t have much of it (at least as reported, anyway).

  55. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @ARPRINCE:

    Where in the world do people hang out in furniture stores throwing around racial slurs?

    I dont think it’s unreasonable to think he may have never heard the word, or if he had, did not understand what it means or why it’s offensive; it was most likely stated without context, and not knowing that it is a slur, there would be no reason to think twice about it.

    A perfect example is hiphop from over seas, specifically some I’ve heard coming out of Russia and eastern Europe. They have no idea what they are saying, but they love calling each other nigger/nigga/nigguh and they are as white as can be.

  56. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @noisebar:


    Engrish.com AZNz have no idea what anything in English means.

  57. Buran says:

    @mopar_man: Suing? Over this? What exact harm was done? It was a mistake. It seems to me like they can apologize and send her a letter on their letterhead, but she wasn’t harmed in any way — unless you consider “I didn’t get free money from suing someone this week” harm.

    I’m ashamed that this woman lives in the same country I live in. What disgusting greed.

  58. not_seth_brundle says:

    @junkmail: It’s not a Constitutional issue. The cause of action would most likely be intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress.

  59. bedofnails says:

    “I had friends over from St. Lucia yesterday and they wouldn’t sit on the couch.”

    That is awesome.

  60. bbbici says:

    “So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t buy any white furniture because it might bear a slight resemblance to my skin color? Got it.”

    right. i wouldn’t be offended and shocked if i bought a beige sofa with a greenish undertone and the color description stated, “olive skin”.

    should native americans sue every time they see an Indian Red pencil crayon?

  61. bedofnails says:

    There are still Native Americans?

  62. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @onrampofframp:

    DAMN IT! If ever there was a group of people who needed protection.

    I’ll bet all these minorities have no idea how hard it is to be straight and white!!!1111eleven.

    Do you people have any idea how much it hurts to be walking through the grocery store with a basket of organic veggies and have some black guy say “you can’t dance, white boy! ahhhhhhhhh” then he high fives his friend and mumbles something about me having a good job and stable upbringing. OH THE PAIN!!!!!!!

  63. orig_club_soda says:

    Why are foriegn countries supposed to be liable, much less – sensitive, to a stimatism that American blacks have? While this sucks, at the same time, so what? Its just a word. A word they use themselves in practically every song and movie they produce. This is a non-issue.

  64. legotech says:

    @GirlGoneRiled: No argument from me regarding Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, China, North Korea, Guantanamo Bay or any number of other MUCH more important things to be worried about than a word.

    Regina

  65. i4ni says:

    @thisaintsweettea: You’re retarded, and your stereotypes aren’t funny.

    People have strife in their lives regardless of color or gender.

  66. ShadeWalker says:

    @bbbici: actually, crayola renamed indian red to chestnut awhile ago.

  67. LAGirl says:

    “Moore, 30, has three young children, and said the issue has taken a toll on her family.”

    a word on tag ‘has taken a toll on her family’? really???

  68. vanilla-fro says:

    The toll it has taken on her family is that she hasn’t gone back to work since this. she has been too busy talking to the media.

    look, I’m offended by the word nigger and I don’t think it should be used by anyone (unless for art and actual news, and by art i don’t mean rap or a comedy movie). Having said that, I would think it was hilarious if this happened to me. just because of how ridiculous it is that this word ended up on there.

    There is no need to sue even if the shop keeper or the supplier wasn’t apologetic.

  69. rockergal says:

    actually in Holland and Belgium the word Neger (which is the same as N-word) here in the USA is not offensive at all. It has the same meaning as the term “african american or black)
    when I moved here it took me a while to understand that that word here is taken as offensive.

  70. testkahuna says:

    I like the frayed edges on the tag…

    Yes, there still are American Indians, and I is one – are one? I am one of them, they? those people.. aww shit, someone’s gonna sue me now, huh?

    Time to get a GRIP!

  71. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @bbbici: I shouldn’t need to point this out, but “olive skin” isn’t exactly in the same offensiveness class as “nigger.” If you purchased a greenish-beige sofa and the label said “wop taupe” that’d be a little closer to the level of inappropriateness we’re talking about here.

  72. SadSam says:

    Maybe this was already covered, but sue for what? Yes, anyone can sue anyone for anything, but to last in the judicial system you have to have a viable claim. What are her damages, what statute or common law theory supports her claim for damages? She had every right to complain and it sounds like the company provided an explanation and a solution. If were king of this company I would send her an official “I’m sorry letter” this is what we’ve done to rectify the situation and thanks very much for bringing this to our attention and here is some minimal amount to show we care ($100 or the shipping cost the couch or something like that).

  73. FMulder says:

    Well once again racial cynicism is nurtured by people who’d proclaim themselves non-racist, even-minded, moderate people who are just striking out for freedom and anti-PC behavior.

    @rockergal: Neger is offensive to people in Holland and Belgium who are called Negers, perhaps not to white people there who use the word and haven’t been challenged on their sense of entitlement to use that word towards people. It has the same meaning only to people who make it have the same meaning — just like for some in the US nigger also means the same thing as black and african-american, and for many of you is PREFERRED because it reflects your racial disdain.

    @vanilla-fro: maybe you’d find it hilarious because the word doesn’t really hit you in a way it would other people? Maybe there are insulting words that wouldn’t sound so hilarious to you because they were a little more directed at you, or truly offensive to your real values, not just the ones you pretend to have? People who truly find the word offensive, wouldn’t find it hilarious to see ANYWHERE.

    While many of you criticize other countries for their lack of ‘civilization’ when it comes to gender issues, you applaud other countries for how freely they can express their racism. This mock outrage at political-correctness needs to be called out for what it really is — folks are only marginally (or not at all) less racist than their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and resent limitations on your ability to express it.

    The world is doomed if you can’t feel free to make racist comments, and certainly the end is now if a person of color, especially a black person, dares to openly resent terms that have been long used to demean their race. Dilute the issue all you want, but chance race to gender and let me address your mother, wife, grandmother, daughter in terms nearing the offensiveness as nigger and let’s see how ‘sensitive’ you get.

    It may not seem the same to you accept certain racial insults as okay, when ways a person can target your mom as a woman are NOT okay.

    The larger the white audience for rap has become, the more ‘mainstream’ music executives move in, the more financially profitable and promotable it is to be a gangster rather than a “Public Enemy.” Just like there are women willing to be exploited for money in porn, there are black people willing to live out your images of black people as long as they make money from it, and folks in both groups willing to buy into the image.

    Not all black people use the term, most black people despite the term and DON’T use it. Perhaps you should question your awareness of black people beyond rap imagery?? Approach them in your workplace, your university, your neighborhood, the few you see socially and ask advise them of what you claim to know. But why challenge what you need to justify your own racial attitudes? Sure listen to a small band of rappers and their audience, and decide the term is okay to call african-americans because “they [all] use the term themselves.” Fine, and I’ll decide that all white women market their sex tapes on the internet and expose their bare crotch like Britney Spears.

    Most black people are so exposed to this kind of stuff every day, so they would have just returned the couch, but sometimes people find they have to speak out. So she got upset, again switch terms and imagine the outcry if the couch had little number tattoos with the term ‘jewish pattern’ on it? Essentially if the term wasn’t insulting to a group of people you feel it is okay to insult.

    Like here, I overlook tons and tons of deliberate offensive offhand and direct racial comments, and felt the need now to make a comment. I don’t expect it to change anyone, but you shouldn’t expect to always hear the echo of your own racial animus.

    Each generation resents challenge to their accepted level of racism — hence the problems that martin luther king jr, had with issues that people now ‘claim’ to agree upon. MLK, Jr. also wrote:

    “First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.”

    His “I have a dream” speech is nice, but this one is much less known and much better:

    http://www.nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/MLK-jail.html

  74. Sudonum says:

    @Buran: Head down to the clue store they’re having a sale. Mopar-Man and you have the same perspective. His comment “You’re kidding right” was in response to the statemnet that she is going to sue someone over this.

    Secondly, she lives in Canada, not the USA. What province do you live in?

  75. rg says:

    Doesn’t it make a difference if a black person or white person did the translation? I mean, if a black person made the translation, then it’s ok right? Not only would it be ok, but it would quickly become the color of choice in interior decorating for the jet-set. But if a white person did the translation then it is definitely racist and they should be fired and the company they work for sued. Where is Jesse and Al when you need them?!

  76. unamericanvalues says:

    This is what is so pathetic about people these days. Why is there a need for a lawsuit, I mean it’s just their way of labeling a product.

    For example: (Situation A)
    I go to Big Bob’s Home Depot (eww!), and see a can of paint with the name “Crack-`A White,” So being a stereotypical American I immediately call up my lawyer and start suing home depot, because their label offended me.

    What could that possibly achieve besides eight hundred dollars in legal fees, and a gallon of free paint.

    (Situation B)
    I go to Big Bob’s Home Depot (eww!), and see a can of paint with the name “Crack-`A White,” and decide because the label offended me I’m not going to buy the paint.

    Or god forbid I actually bought something from Home Depot and didn’t read the label at the store I get the can of paint home, am offended by the label I’d Just take it back to the store and get a refund simple enough, NO LAWSUIT INVOLVED.

    And besides if she’s truly offended by the “word” she could just either opt to exchange the product for a non offensively labeled product, or just return and go to Ikea and bay sixteen hundred dollars for a cardboard and vinyl sofa (very comftorable) without ever suing.

    Come on do we really have to get a lawyer involved in everything?

  77. Zweites says:

    For the record, they’re from Ghana. You know… the people whose imperialist expansion generated slaves in the first place. I only mention it, because I recall in the original article she mentioned how APPALLED she was, what “with slavery and what happened to us and the words they called us, it hits home.”

    So… now she’s considering a lawsuit? I’m SHOCKED! What with, what happened to her and all! The words, plural, that they called her!

    I am a bit curious though. What OTHER word was offensive, so I can avoid a lawsuit at the hands of an opportunist, mortally wounded by a typo and their own hypocrisy.

    Original article: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_9536.aspx

  78. junkmail says:

    (Situation C)
    I go to Big Bob’s Home Depot (eww!), and see a can of paint with the name “Crack-’A White,” laugh my @ss off, buy four cans, call all my friends to come over and check it out, then paint everything I can find with “Crack-’A White” paint.

  79. Oh my gawd! It is a software mistake…right?
    I agree with the majority of noasalinra comments above.

    There is nothing I can add to the argument other than a reiteration of noasalira’s striking words to the situation and comments on this post,

    “…you shouldn’t expect to always hear the echo of your own racial animus.”

    Beautiful!

    http://www.adriennezurub.typepad.com

  80. @noasalira:

    Your stirring arguments are wonderfully composed, and stated with such emotional grasp!

    “…you shouldn’t expect to always hear the echo of your own racial animus.”
    I love words and the power betrayed in their meaning and marriage.

    That statement of yours…made me wet!

    Adrienne Zurub
    http://www.adriennezurub.typepad.com

  81. Muhlyssa says:

    I was in Canada, I looked at a pack of gum and it was called raisin gum, I thought that sounded interesting so I bought it. I put it in my mouth and it tasted like grape; mon dieu! I’m suing. Blame canada.

  82. Techguy1138 says:

    All the rage here feels fresh as a summer breeze of toxic waste.

    This is NOT a racial attack or insult.

    This is bad translation. If she sues over this the only people that will win are the lawyers. It doesn’t appear the sofa merchant wasn’t willing to help her out in a reasonable way.


    thisaintsweettea

    You are a racist in a way that boils my blood the most.

    “”Do you people have any idea how much it hurts to be walking through the grocery store with a basket of organic veggies and have some black guy say “you can’t dance, white boy! ahhhhhhhhh” then he high fives his friend and mumbles something about me having a good job and stable upbringing. OH THE PAIN!!!!!!!
    “”

    We know from experts on life, like you, that poor white people don’t exist. Maybe there is some white trash; that is because they choose to throw away all of the advantages in life for a chic style. So write off “white trash” as just being stupid.

    Since they don’t exist they don’t deserve the EXACT SAME rights as others in a similar class situation.

    If you grew up in a wealthy or even middleclass neighborhood Bully for you! Don’t assume that everyone who shares your whitness went to a highly respected public or private school, wasn’t beaten or mistreated, looked at as a criminal because they were poor, or that college was a given. Heck don’t even assume that their parents bothered to feed them daily. I should also say parent since a 2 parent household is another ‘white’ assumption.

    Poor white people need to get into college. They should be held to the exact same standards of college admission as their neighbors. They should get the same amount of govenment aid as the kid next door.

    The need to be protected from gross mistreatment knows no color boundries.

  83. moorie679 says:

    I am getting sick of all these race related arguments.

    Sometimes Sh*t Happens, Deal with it…

  84. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Who is she suing? The Chinese government? Canada? The software maker? Get over it already.

    If the furniture store owner did it on purpose as some people still think, what possible motive would he have for placing racially offensive labels on his furniture?

    “Ha, I’m going to put these on my couches and if I play my cards right, I’ll get sued or go out of business!!!”

  85. dietsamscola says:

    This would be a ridiculous lawsuit. First of all, if they wanna call the couch color “nigger brown” they should be able to. Offensive or not, you can’t just censor people. If you don’t like it don’t buy it.

    Obviously this was a mistake. This woman is entitled to no money. It’s not like an asian guy popped out of the couch and called this greedy woman a nigger. It was printed on a tag. Big deal. Update the software, move on. End of story.

  86. Jesse in Japan says:

    I really don’t understand on what grounds she’s planning to sue. Is she going to argue that the people working in a Chinese factory for five cents an hour should have had a sufficient understanding of the English language to recognize a racial slur? Is she going to argue that the ten-year old translation software should have been patched to remove any inappropriate translations? Or will she argue that the retailer in Canada should have checked all of his merchandise to make sure it didn’t contain any racial slurs? Is the use of the N-word even technically some kind of offense under Canadian civil law?

  87. Buran says:

    @Sudonum: I didn’t say a thing about “is she serious”. How about you go to the clue store yourself? Don’t assume I said things I didn’t. I merely said it’s a stupid reason to sue as no one was actually hurt.

    You’re also apparently good at making assumptions about other people in other ways too…

  88. MentalDisconnect says:

    Well… I’m Jewish. (That is pertinent to the comment.) Imagine I was looking at the advertisement of a rather sloppily run store that said “Kike Sale” when they were actually referring to kites. Alright, bizarre example, but work with me here. What would I do? Well, first I’d be shocked. That’s the thing about slurs, they have an impact on you regardless of if you think the word should have meaning. Then I’d calm down. I’d realize it was a typo. Businesses don’t don’t do well throwing slurs around, and I doubt some employee would want to make a clever little joke substituting “kike” for “kite”. So, after I figured it out, I’d go to the store, buy my kite (or pickles, or whatever) and point out the error to the manager and suggest they fix it before people really get the wrong idea. No need to sue. I’m not being callous, I have been harassed because of people’s prejudice, but you have to pick your battles. And like so many things, the big determining factor is intent. If a little kid says a slur because he doesn’t know what it means, or a slur shows up because of some kind of typo/ translation error, then it is meaningless. If the slur was used intentionally to hurt, then we need to talk.

    After all, a slur has no power except for the fact it’s been used by people who have ill intent. Without that intent, it’s just a word.

  89. superlayne says:

    80+ Comments. I think you lot have beaten out any other post to date.

    Suing, a proffitable venture.

  90. Slytherin says:

    Look everyone! There several more posts above this one! Let’s let this severely beaten horse die and read the new posts. Come on! :)

  91. everest1979 says:

    To concur with the previous posters, this is clearly a non-issue and everyone who is offended by it needs to calm down. I mean, the label was obviously an accident. What business would intentionally put something racist on their their products? Someone in China made a mistake, plain and simple. Besides, where is the store’s right to free speech? Most people would pass by it and not give it a second thought or maybe even think it was funny, but because a few people take offense the government gets involved. Everyone just needs to take a step back and …. oh, my mistake. I thought everyone was referring to the “nazi” t-shirt that this site has been complaining about for 22 straight weeks. Carry on.

  92. Sudonum says:

    @Buran: No, you didn’t say “is she serious” Mopar-Man did…. go back and read his comment. You also stated “I’m ashamed that this woman lives in the same country I live in. What disgusting greed.” Unless you live in Canada, you don’t live in the same country.

  93. superbmtsub says:

    She has her right to sue. If she hadnt bought that couch, it would be a different matter.

    Dont be surprised but if I bought a brand new car and it was being advertised as HONKY WHITE, I would goddang sue the dealership if I found out only after I made the purchase.

  94. shdwsclan says:

    The label itself is redundant
    When properly traced by meaning it actually says “Black Brown”.

    The word nigger is actually traced from latin roots from the work niger which means black. From there you can also trace the french neger and the spanish negro which also mean black. Nigger, was I guess an americanization of the latin word niger which should actually replace black, just like the spanish roho means red in english. It was maybe used back in Olde english since O.K. is actually Oll Korrect, and in todays english it mean everything good, or all right…So i can inderstand why it causes so much contriversy since its so well tied to the word black.

    Cracker white doesnt make any sense since there is no such balance and connection. Cracker really doesnt mean anything with caucasian.

    And calling a polish person polak must be confusing since polak actually mean one of polish origin in polish.

    Some swear words also come from acronyms for other words that dont even have anything to do with the current meaning of the word.

    The evolution of a language is really interesting, especially when meanings of words are changed, and spellings are changed, and even sometime the words are replaced.

    But what still puzzles me is why they would use a double positive, its like saying snack cracker. I would of settled for the pantone color number.

  95. bedofnails says:

    @MentalDisconnect:

    Were they used kikes or new kikes?

  96. sibertater says:

    @dbeahn: That’s just rude….and her hair is a weave.

  97. sibertater says:

    @shdwsclan: And see I thought “cracker” had to do with the white slave overseers and owners “cracking” the whip. I didn’t read this first hand but it was repeated to me by a college professor.

    I always thought it had to do with some saltine reference, as do most people. But the whip “cracker” makes sense, too.

  98. drdom says:

    And now, back to our subject…

    So this happened in Canada, eh. Good luck with the suing thing. Canada’s court system frowns on BS lawsuits much more than the US does, and also doesn’t give out very many high dollar awards.

    That aside, in American law, at least, she has no cause of action. In order to have a cause of action, some harm must have been done to her, and it must have resulted from either negligence or willful misconduct on the part of the person or party being sued. Even as screwed up as tort law is in this country, surely this young lady must have been exposed to the word nigger before, and the usage in this case was both unintentional and unintended. Ergo, no damages and thus, no case.

    I can understand how she must have been taken aback and perhaps offended. And rightfully so. Although people are way too sensitive today, generally the use of the word is not acceptable.

    Neither the manufacturer, nor the store owner got up one morning and said “lets see how many people we can piss off today by stenciling racial epitaphs on our furniture tags.” Besides which, it is a legitimate name of a colour of dye used on leather.

    This is kind of like the guy who was fired from some budget job for the Washington, DC municipal government, for using the word “niggardly” at a meeting, which has no racial connotation whatsoever, and means “stingy” or “cheap”. He was accused of being racist for using a larger than normal vocabulary.

    In Sicily, where I come from, sometimes black people are referred to using the same word we use to describe eggplant, melangiani. Now that this secret is out, lets sue anybody who uses the word eggplant on their menu. Cause you know what they really mean.