Labeling

Racist objet trouvé

When the new chocolate-coloured sofa set was delivered to her Brampton home, Doris Moore was stunned to see packing labels describing the shade as “Nigger-brown.”

She and husband Douglas purchased a sofa, loveseat and chair in dark brown leather last week from Vanaik Furniture and Mattress store on Dundas St. E.

Moore, 30, who describes herself as an African-American born and raised in New York, said it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out the label just after delivery men from the Mississauga furniture store left.

“She’s very curious and she started reading the labels,” Moore explained. “She said, `Mommy, what is nig … ger brown?’ I went over and just couldn’t believe my eyes.”

She said yesterday each piece had a similar label affixed to the woven protective covering wrapped around the furniture.

“In this day and age, that’s totally unacceptable,” Moore said.

Douglas explained the origins of the word to daughter Olivia, telling how it was a bad name that blacks were called during the days of slavery in the United States.

“It was tough, because she really didn’t understand,” Moore said. “She’d never heard that word before and didn’t really understand the concept of it.”

Moore, who has a younger son and daughter, said she’s heard the word used many times, although it has never been directed in anger at her.

“But it’s a very, very bad word that makes you feel degraded, like you’re a nobody,” she said.

[…]

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

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