Do you find Darlie toothpaste labelled as 黑人牙膏 (Black People Toothpaste) as offensive? Would Colgate use this label in Europe or North America?
I am revisiting issues on ethnicity and race in Hong Kong for some research and I am surprised to see that despite media coverage and a very informative Wikipedia page on Darlie toothpaste (which includes a link to this youtube video) the brand still carries this Chinese slogan.
Funnily enough the issue was raised in a blog post a year ago where a interesting debate of incredulity and astonishment too place. Many comments in Hong Kong simply don’t understand how this could be racist, while comments from outside of Asia can’t understand that this is real branding.
In an era where there are considerable efforts for Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities to achieve inclusive recognition in educational policies this provides a powerful example of how racial and ethnic difference is imagined locally.