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AIBU?

not to know if "brown sugar" is offensive.

342 replies

Charis1 · 20/08/2015 23:11

I am taking some gifts from work colleagues to a friend in hospital tomorrow. We had a collection, and one person bought the gifts from us all. We have some nice toiletries and things, but are in a toiletry bag with a picture of a teddy on it and the caption "brown sugar". I thought that term sometimes used in a racist context, so am reluctant to hand this over. but not sure if I am being paranoid and overly politically correct.

Please help!

OP posts:
Unhappyuser · 20/08/2015 23:17

I wouldn't find white sugar offensive but maybe odd on a toiletries bag

VivaLeBeaver · 20/08/2015 23:18

Ive never heard of it as a racist term.....isn't it slang for heroin or cocaine or something?

Shallishanti · 20/08/2015 23:19

i thought you were asking about the Stones song, that is definitely offensive and always amazes me that it gets played
the teddy just sounds a bit odd

VivaLeBeaver · 20/08/2015 23:21

The Stones song is about drug use.

Millliii · 20/08/2015 23:21

I think its a term someone uses when they fancy a coloured/brown skinned person.

VivaLeBeaver · 20/08/2015 23:22

Ok, just looked at the actual Stones lyrics, maybe not about drug use and yeah offensive.

lougle · 20/08/2015 23:23

Yes, having googled, it's the title of a very racist song.

Millliii · 20/08/2015 23:24

Would be racist if used in this context I think

EllenJanethickerknickers · 20/08/2015 23:26

www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=brown+sugar

Urban Dictionary says 'An attractive black woman/heroin'

So maybe a bit dodgy...

Charis1 · 20/08/2015 23:26

well, I am quite happy to go out and buy a new toiletry bag to replace this one, I just need to be sure of myself when explaining to the others why I rejected their choice, or be sure it is ok to give the original as a gift. i just have to feel sure one way or another.

would other people give it, or replace it?

OP posts:
thornrose · 20/08/2015 23:26

Coloured is offensive!

steff13 · 20/08/2015 23:27

Am I the only one who needs to see the bag to decide? Where did the bag come from, is it like a gift bag?

Charis1 · 20/08/2015 23:36

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brown-Sugar-Special-Friend-mug-Brown-Sugar-Teddy-birthday-card-gift-bag-/252042051677

I don't know if this link will work. I can't find a picture of the bag online, and the actual bag isn't here for me to photograph, but here is a mug with basically the same design on.

OP posts:
Millliii · 20/08/2015 23:37

Fair enough thorn . Didn't like to use the word from the Urban dictionary which is "black person" so possibly should use BME . What word should I use.

Gruntfuttock · 20/08/2015 23:41

It's obviously the name of the teddy bear, because it's brown and sweet.

steff13 · 20/08/2015 23:47

I'd take it as the name of the teddy bear. I think it's probably fine. Is the person you're giving it to black? If not, it might not even occur to the person that it's potentially offensive.

auntilin · 20/08/2015 23:47
Biscuit
ChristineDePisan · 20/08/2015 23:48

Is your friend BME? If so, I wouldn't give it, unless I was sure that they wouldn't be offended. If they aren't, I don't know - how well do you know them?

ReginaBlitz · 20/08/2015 23:52

Oh Ffs Confused. Where does it end? I have a golliwog on display in my French dresserGrin

ijustwannadance · 20/08/2015 23:54

Damn it. I'm going to the kitchen cupboard right now to throw away that pack of racist brown sugar. I will vow never to bake sweet treats again.

Now wondering if that's why avon stopped making brown sugar body scrub? The bastards.

Charis1 · 20/08/2015 23:54

Is your friend BME? - yes she is, and she is feeling pretty rough right now, not in the mood to laugh off some clumsy ignorant mistake by her colleagues.

I guess I swap it and deal with any upset that causes the person who chose it.

OP posts:
Millliii · 20/08/2015 23:54

I love my golliwog collection Regina

Charis1 · 20/08/2015 23:55

what does that mean auntilin?

OP posts:
MokunMokun · 20/08/2015 23:56

But would you give a toiletry bag with a golliwog on it to a coworker?

I'd say get a new bag just in case. Better safe than sorry.

BumpTheElephant · 20/08/2015 23:59

I have never heard brown sugar used to mean anything other than brown sugar!
On the mug you have linked it looks like the bear's name.

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