Everybody calm down.
Twitter is all a-twitter right now about Abercrombie & Fitch’s online UK outlet selling something called “N*gg*r Brown Pants.” Abercrombie may be sexist, elitist, vain and just a little bit racist, but they’re not dumb enough to something so overtly racist like this. This is fake, people. Relax.
First, the merchandise in question, then scroll down for the explanation:
According to a simple WhoIs search, the site — which has an obviously fake URL — was created in January 2012. The registrar of the site is BIZCN.COM, INC., located in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China.
Between the URL and the registrar, and China’s notorious history of not understanding the implications of a word like that, one can only come to the conclusion this is a cheap, Chinese knockoff site.
Gawker’s Adrian Chen weighs in with some more thoughts about how these racist pants came to be known by that affectionate term: “Our best guess: The sites’ Chinese owners relied on a very bad Chinese-English translation program that’s done this before. Back in 2007, a black Toronto couple were shocked to find that their new couch had a tag underneath that described its color, like these pants, as ‘nigger brown.’ Subsequent investigation traced the error back to the couch’s manufacturer, who had used a translation program by Kingsoft which gave the slur as a translation for ‘dark brown.’”