July 11, 2008

Racist Toothpaste

Good morning, folks! It's time for another installment of everybody's favorite series:

You'd Never See that in America

(Previous episode here.)

Today's episode:

A friend of mine found this a long time ago, but I just remembered about it today, and of course, I wanted to present it to you myself.

Racist Toothpaste

Just freaking imagine this item being on sale in the US. Now imagine, as I am, the protests, the backlash, the strongly-worded letters-to-the-Editor of the NYT.

It's not even like the name "DARLIE" is accidental. The Chinese characters under the name read:

hei1 ren2 ya2 gao4 - "Black Person Toothpaste".


Some more research uncovers the Wikipedia article on this phenomenon. Yes, it used to actually be called "Darkie" before the k switched to an l. What's supremely interesting is that, Colgate owns the brand, and has since 1985. Can you believe that?? I can't really. Just imagine if Jesse Jackson knew. It kind of makes me not want to use Colgate anymore. I'll just stick to Mentadent, thank you, but I'm on my last tube and I didn't buy anymore when I was in the US.

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