According to the Huffington Post, an eBay seller based out of Shanghai, China listed a “Korean style Lady PU leather handbag shoulder bag 4656” to international buyers. The bag is described to come in colors such as rose pink, peach blossom, watermelon red and, get this, “Nigger-Brown”.
They also report that over the last year, the seller has received 1536 positive reviews on the bag and only 14 negative comments, none of which have anything to do with the racially charged description.
eBay’s rules and policies state that they “don’t allow using hateful, offensive, profane, or vulgar language in almost all public areas of the website, including listing titles or descriptions,” although the bags have been on sale for month now.
In their defense, The Associated Press reports that the manufacturers of the bags are “using an old version of translation software from Beijing-based Kingsoft Corp., which got the definition from a Chinese-English dictionary.”
Incidents like this that describe a shade of brown are not new. In 2007, a black woman reportedly purchased a bag without knowing that the tag said “Nigger-Brown”.
In June, Apple caught heat for having the same description in their “Picture Effect Magic app” that allowed users to tint their picture. The app’s creator apologized for the improper Chinese-to-English translation and changed the shade to a simple “brown”.