Society

Swedish Teen Files Complaint For Paint Company's 'Racist' Color Label

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A 14-year-old student in Sweden has filed a complaint against a paint company that labeled the color beige as “skin color.”

Thyra, whose last name was not reported, said she found the paint sold by Universal Color and Chemicals at school, according to the United Press International.

"By renaming beige to skin color, they show that there is a whiteness norm in society," Thyra told the Aftonbladet newspaper. "It is completely sick that they just rename beige to skin color when black and brown are also that."

Thyra has taken her complaint to the Equality Ombudsman, arguing that the term "skin color" is racist.

Thyra’s father said his daughter’s complaint against the “racist” label was partly motivated by her sister, but adds that he did not think the manufacturer deliberately named the paints in a racist way.

"Her little sister has brown skin but according to the paint manufacturer she has no skin color. ... I think [the company] just looked at themselves and imagined that's what skin was," he told the newspaper.

The teenager’s report to the Equality Ombudsman has resulted in a debate on racism at the school.

Universal Color and Chemicals has not commented on the complaint.

Equality Ombudsman is a Swedish government agency which acts to fight discrimination and promote equal rights. In June, the government ordered the agency to move its headquarters to a suburb in north Stockholm where there is a high concentration of immigrants.

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