The Case of the Missing Pigment

earls, albino rhino, beer, human rights, bigotry,

Earls isn't ritually murdering albinos but some albinos don't see a difference. From:

A recent human rights complaint has surfaced in BC, in regards to Earls Restaurant and the serving of their Albino Rhino brand ale. They’ve been making and serving the beer for 25 years but a woman, Ikponwosa (I.K.) Ero, has now filed a human rights complaint that the beer discriminates against albinos. There is a clip to watch as well as the news report.

There is a difference between being an albino and being albinoid, where one is missing some of the pigmentation. While Ms Ero looks albinoid, her boss looks to be albino. Albinism does in fact have some serious defects for the person afflicted including vision and blood problems, and cancer risks. However, albinism affects almost every species. Many Native Americans/First Nations hold the white buffalo sacred. There are albino rabbits, alligators, fish, tigers and people. So maybe Earls holds their beer sacred.

human rights, albino, albino rhino, albinism, earls restaurant

This baby albino rhino is from Rocketworld. Is it derogatory to people suffering from albinism?

While I imagine Earls named their beer for its paleness, Ms Ero’s boss, Peter Ash says, “Follow your logic. If they have Alzheimer’s appetizers on the billboard, you’re totally okay with bringing your grandmother there to chow down a plate of Alzheimer’s appetizers.” Well, unfortunately my logic runs a different path from his. If my grandmother had Alzheimer’s she probably wouldn’t care or remember what the appetizers were called. Reminds me of the diner in the US (Heart Attack Grill) that sells Flatliner Fries and Triple Bypass burgers. They’re maybe being honest or are they demeaning people who have had heart attacks?

Second, my logic says, yeah an albino rhino is a white rhino. It does not say to me that it has anything to do with a person, not is it derogatory in any way. Since albinism affects most species, how is naming this beer the same as being mean to albino people?

While people suffering from albinism have health challenges and might have been picked on by some insensitive people, overall I don’t see most people ostracizing them because of a beer brand. That may not be true in all cultures and albino children have been murdered in Africa for magical rituals. I fully understand being singled out for being different. I had a fair share of it in my childhood but I don’t presume that Albino Rhino beer is about albinoid people, nor that Fat Bastard wine is out to be nasty to anyone overweight.

Sometimes it’s good to be politically correct, and sometimes people become hyper-sensitized, seeing evil and wrong every where. I’d say take such brands with a grain of salt, but may I should say a grain of pepper.




Filed under Culture, news, people

5 responses to “The Case of the Missing Pigment

  1. I think this may be taking political correctness too far. There are plenty of ‘blonde’ beers – do they also discriminate against people who aren’t fortunate enough to be brunette?

  2. Bunny Eats Design

    If you can have black beer stout, you should have albino rhino beer. There is a difference between offending people and people that look for offense.

  3. Sherry

    It’s got to be pretty serious – Amnesty International has been running campaigns to stop it because in Africa they mutilate and hunt down babies, women and men who have been effected by the Albino condition.

    I wouldn’t want to promote anything where a baby, child or loved one is mutilated for their body parts then sold for witchcraft and I wouldn’t want to promote anything which is such a Human Rights and Freedom concern that Amnesty International is trying to stop as well.

    Canadian Constitutional Rights and Human Freedoms have worked tirelessly to stop the resurgence of both these sorts of things (ie hate crimes, racism, gender bias etc) for years.

    It takes a bigger man to say “I’m sorry – we made a mistake and we’re rolling it back and we want to help” then to say “The customer is wrong”. Race, gender, culture or creed or medical condition doesn`t matter – the customer comes first.

    It is embarrassing to know that people operate businesses where they take the customer concerns to the Human Rights Tribunal as well as the Supreme Count of Canada. Maybe Earl`s Restaurant`s will be more customer focused and one day have an non discriminatory hiring practice but those are not going to come easy from the looks of it.

    • colleenanderson

      While I agree that people being hunted or hurt because of their skin color, ethnicity, religion or gender is a crime, I still don’t agree that there was any discrimination to albinos by having a beer named Albino Rhino. That was a case of someone looking at something that had nothing to do with people. If I used the term black to describe wings, night, ink or a thousand other things, I wouldn’t be discriminating against black people. Balance needs to be noted and not have people get hot and bothered just because they see a word that in itself has no discrimination but only description.

      Also it was not Earl’s that took the case to the human rights tribunal, but the individuals who felt they had been personally slighted. I’m not even sure these people were customers and I doubt it had anything to do with hiring people. However, if we want to talk about discrimination in many restaurants and pubs where they only hire male bartenders and female wait staff and those women have to wear short skirts, there we have another matter of where society turns a blind eye.

      • Megan

        a> Usually businesses being offensive don’t take themselves to the Human Rights Tribunal.

        b> If a business owner makes a mistake I agree with Sherry that “It takes a bigger man to say I’m sorry”. Customer comes first.

        c> Only the person being offended can measure the offense, if we have never suffered from this offense who are we too judge the magnitude of the offense?

        d> Yes I agree that Earls’, Joey’s and Cactus Club are notorious for undressing young girls but it’s not a “blind eye” if you noticed. It only takes one person with a blog to make a change.

        e>Society doesn’t turn a “blind eye” by helping people see. The “Blind Eye” in this case comes out of complete fear. You know as well as I do how ‘Uncool” it is for anyone to put down Earl’s, Joey’s or Cactus Club. Among the masses of young people and ‘cool’ people out there, if they said they didn’t like half naked peers or anyone said they didn’t like half naked girls at Earls, Joeys or Cactus Club how bad it would be.

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