Friday, April 20, 2007

How much is a slur worth?

Few things sicken me more than the litigious nature of North American society. The culture that tells people that for every slight, mishap, mistake, perceived or real slight and their own personal defects, they are owed money.
You know how it works. Any and all of the above cause the "victim" "mental pain" "anguish" "loss of appetite" "loss of sleep" "inability to work, fuck, eat, shit and enlarge their bank account" as they had before. The latest example.
We have the story of the woman who discovered that the tag on her brown leather couch described the color as ni**er brown.
Now that IS offensive, it IS wrong, it IS insulting and IS just plain icky. It was discovered that the tag was put on at the factory in China, so it was not the work of some insidious racist.
4/19 - TORONTO ā€” Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the .
The situation was even more alarming for Moore because it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out "nā€”ā€”- brown" on the tag.
"My daughter saw the label and she knew the color brown, but didn't know what the other word meant. She asked, 'Mommy, what color is that?' I was stunned. I didn't know what to say. I never thought that's how she'd learn of that word," Moore said.
The mother complained to the furniture store, which blamed the supplier, who pointed to a computer problem as the source of the label.
Kingsoft Corp., a Chinese software company, acknowledged its translation program was at fault and said it was a regrettable error.

Chinglish, the often hilarious (although not in this case) mis-translation of Chinese to English produces thousands of these mishaps per day. One case is the Chinese Park that had a sign that said "RACIST PARK" when it meant "Ethnic Minorities Park".
So, you would figure the story ends there. Oh no. Doris Moore wants to get PAID BABY!!!!

Of course this is where it does get kind of funny/sad.

Moore is consulting with a lawyer and wants compensation. Last week, she filed a report with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Commission spokeswoman Afroze Edwards said the case is in the initial stages and could take six months to two years to resolve.
Moore, 30, has three young children, and said the issue has taken a toll on her family.
"Something more has to be done. We don't just need a personal apology, but someone needs to own up to where these labels were made, and someone needs to apologize to all people of color," Moore said. "I had friends over from St. Lucia yesterday and they wouldn't sit on the couch."
(that last line is the funny part).

Oh and by the way, good luck in the Chinese Courts.