Thursday, January 8, 2009

Racist Toothpaste

For those of you who are already familiar with Darlie (which used to be labeled with something much more offensive, differing from "Darlie" by just one letter), you must know that the label in Chinese has not been changed. In Chinese, it's still "Black Man Toothpaste".

Seems offensive enough already, right?

Now pair that with the travel toothpaste you get in many hotels, which conveniently has an English label on one side...

...

...

...wait for it...



...and yes, the backside of the smaller tube says "White Man" in Chinese.

I believe "guffaw" is the correct reaction here.

2 comments:

MJ Klein said...

racism and stereotyping are alive and well, and living in Asia.

Jenna said...

Maybe so, but I don't like to think of it in bitter terms (not saying that your comment was bitter at all, just that there seems to be a lot of expat bitterness about this subject).

There is racism all around the world, including in Taiwan. Having lived in China, I can say that Taiwan tries harder and succeeds more in emulating the more tolerant views of many Western countries - this is in terms of both race relations and sexual orientation. Yes, there is a long way to go - that's true for the entire world. But Taiwan has done a better job of it than Big Red across the strait.

Similar to the way Mel Brooks neutralized a lot of anti-Semitism by mocking it, mocking racism in all its forms is a good way to help it towards the end it so deserves.