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Rail worker panned for 'negro ball' gaffe

TT/The Local · 9 May 2010, 09:50

Published: 09 May 2010 09:50 GMT+02:00

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A number of passengers complained about the loudspeaker reference to a small, spherical, coconut-covered cake more commonly referred to in modern times as a 'chocolate ball'.

"It wasn't particularly smart, or correct," said Ulf Wallin, spokesman for rail operator SJ.

The announcement was made on the X2000 fast train from Gothenburg to Stockholm.

Story continues below…

Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman classified the word 'negerboll' as inappropriate in a 2005 ruling against a bakery in Sjöbo in southern Sweden, arguing the term was redolent of racism and slavery.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:45 May 9, 2010 by booka
Get over it.
10:54 May 9, 2010 by bolababu
that also should apply to you.
10:54 May 9, 2010 by occassional
that is the last time i buy white chocolate from them
11:16 May 9, 2010 by Mb 65
Yes i agree get over it.
11:24 May 9, 2010 by dockmandock
How does the reporter know that passengers were left "reeling". Very sensationalist.
13:18 May 9, 2010 by unt9
So who was discriminated, the balls?
13:35 May 9, 2010 by superturbo
but I like "negro balls" :) It's not really the same thing as chocolate balls. They are bigger.
13:40 May 9, 2010 by occassional
no blonde ale on this train then...
14:26 May 9, 2010 by peropaco
Change the name to anyone of these; blue-balls,juicyballs, nuttyballs,suckballs,creamyballs,darkballs...
14:39 May 9, 2010 by bbeynch
Is this political correctness gone too far? Or did the train steward know exactly what he was doing for the sole purpose of agitating? What about an Eskimo ice cream bar then? In German the very Swedish phenomenon of kokosbollar is known as "Schwedenbomben". Should Swedes now be similarly outraged that Germans are insensitive? What about French Fries? And Västerbottensost? Hungarian Goulasch? Where do we draw the line on this PC madness?? There was once in the 50s a popular song in Sweden that went: "Uppå Zambesifloden finns en negerby, där stammens hövding Hul Bula bor….". I would imagine that this song has now gone the way of "Deutschland Deutschland überalles", and has been permanently obliterated from musical history. Not even as a historic curiosum would "Zambesi" be broadcast on Swedish radio? I think we need to lighten up a little, since all this pretended, faux, outrage only leads to further segmentation and animosity.
15:24 May 9, 2010 by Freebie
A very popular restaurant chain in the U-S did business under the name of "Sambos," until sometime in the '70s. No malice was intended by use of this name, however political correctness was well on its way to objecting to anything which did not meet standards of hypocrites whose own minds were the very domain of deceit. Be on guard Hooters--they will be coming after you soon also!
17:03 May 9, 2010 by cogito
The politically correct term is African-American.
17:20 May 9, 2010 by Elton John
If people are going to insist calling it "negerboll" just because it is the word one has always used, don't forget to call the child of your friend a "horunge" or "horbarn" because that is the correct word for a child which was conceived by an unmarried couple. I doubt that even Sweden Democrats use that word. Apparently political correctness is OK at times...
18:27 May 9, 2010 by saar
Must they rename salty nuts too?
18:36 May 9, 2010 by KingArthur
In the Netherlands where i am from we have "NegerZoenen" that would translate as Negro Kisses. Its brown Choco covered, marshmallowish treats.

I dont think anyone would be so ignorant to make complaints about them ....
18:38 May 9, 2010 by NovaLand
We swedes are so angry over the name "Swedish turnips". we protest wildly!
18:39 May 9, 2010 by Puffin
@ Freebie

Sambo is a very common word here in Sweden - we even have a Sambo Law - for couples that live together without being married

@ cognito

Do you mean that we should ask for an 'African-American' boller the next time we buy cakes

@Elton John

Are you talking about the offspring of a 'Stockholm marriage' (Stockholmsätkenskap) - very common here since the 1850s - long before the Socialdemocrats
19:17 May 9, 2010 by calebian22

African-American is for "Americans" with African roots. Pretty sure no black guy born in Sweden will be using that term.
20:30 May 9, 2010 by Kaethar
Sensationalist much? I really doubt the passengers were "reeling." Many many Swedes today still call negerbollar negerbollar. Just because the authorities have said you should say "slidkrans" instead of "mödomshinna" doesn't mean people are doing this. The same when it comes to negerbollar. You can't force people to change language and you shouldn't try to - language should be made to evolve naturally.

Pointless "news."
21:36 May 9, 2010 by booka
@ cognito

To say that negro accounts for just afro americans is discriminant.
22:34 May 9, 2010 by proteasome
For all the swedish red necks who need a clue, or if you don't have the time to keep a list of what is fun versus offensive. Would you have the "balls" to use the term in front of a famous person, lets say Obama's family or would you feel like a small minded jerk? I have more respect for people who are anti-PC all the time and not just when it is safe for the joker.
01:05 May 10, 2010 by soultraveler3
Are all the pc people confused about the meaning of the word "neger" thinking it means the same as the similar sounding dorogatory word, or are they just looking for reasons and things to be offended by?

The word "neger" comes from the latin word niger, meaning black. It's not a racist word, or at least it's not meant to be, although as I said above some people seem to be looking for things to be offended by. The words niger and negro are used all over the world, there are rivers, towns etc that are called the negro or niger river. All versions of the word come from the latin root of niger.

Just because a few uneducated, redneck, racists use the word in a manner that is negative doesn't mean that the rest of the world does. All of my "black" friends (to swedes, that is anyone not of european or asian descent) even think it's stupid that people make such a big deal about it. I'm guessing that the majority of minorities here in Sweden don't think it's a big deal either.

Sweden has more than her fair share of PC freaks and racial guilt.

Get educated instead of offended.
02:00 May 10, 2010 by Greg in Canada
I believe these are called "black balls" over here in Canukland rather than "negro balls" . Common Sweden, get more politically correct.
03:21 May 10, 2010 by scandinavian leather
Like Ben Johnson?

They're actually called rum balls in Canada, GIC. Wake up.

Perhaps the passengers were reeling because the driver had a heavy foot and kept hitting the brakes?
03:49 May 10, 2010 by Greg in Canada

Well I'm sure Ben's balls are black, and as much as I like rum, I didn't realize they were called "rum balls". Would they be called "screech balls" in Newfoundland? :-)
07:59 May 10, 2010 by proteasome
friends? your such a pussy, from the latin cat
09:18 May 10, 2010 by peropaco
Swedish massage anyone?
10:22 May 10, 2010 by Åskar
To quote Fritiof Nilsson Piraten "If you write about a needle there's always some one-eyed bastard that gets offended".
11:45 May 10, 2010 by zooeden
This is so boring, get over it masses!!!
12:35 May 10, 2010 by unforgiven
Racism is in the blood and flesh of Swedes. I don't think replacing "negerbollar" with "chocolate ball" will change the situation so dramatically!
14:02 May 10, 2010 by Audrian
Ref: Soultravel3:

Next time when you travel to the US call an African American a "nigger" and you will find the consequences of your insensitivity. He might even knock your front teeth out in the full view of spectators. This is an example of verbal violence being met by physical violence. Both are nasty even though one is a cause and the other is a consequence.

The transatlantic slave trade was conducted over a period of about four hundred years beginning the 15th century. This was followed by over two hundred years of virulent racism. Africa lost over 50% of its population; several civilization centers disappeared for good. It destroyed Africa while it enriched white America. It is a pity to read the opinions in this discussion board focusing on its dictionary meaning. The word connotes several years of exploitation and humiliation by one race against another race. It will take several decades for African Americans to come to terms with it. In the meanwhile we should respect their wishes
16:06 May 10, 2010 by soultraveler3

Lol, I'm american and my best friend is an african-american, or black as she says. We've had a conversation about these words and she agrees with me 100% so there won't be any knocking out of teeth.

Go and re-read my post, I never once said the word "n#gger" in fact, I made a point to refrence it as a similar sounding derogitory word that rascist and rednecks use. I'll say it once as again, as you obviously are thick-headed, there is a difference between the words and anyone with an education or half a brain knows that.

You almost certainly are one those people that get offended before they even stop and think, or in this case, stop and read. Better yet, get a life.
18:48 May 10, 2010 by MikeSar
The best way to TEACH better behaviour is by EXAMPLE.

To punish bad behaviour is unwise.

US jails more African-Americans than go to college,

at a cost that is higher than College tuition and room & board.

Yet, when prisoniers, of all races, are released, four out of five

are arrested again, within a year.

Does that seem wise to you?

It sure looks expensive and ignored.
19:33 May 10, 2010 by Frobobbles
The swedish state owned alcohol shop, Systembolaget, still sells Negrita.
13:43 May 11, 2010 by cogito
1. "Call an African American a "nigger" and ....He might even knock your front teeth out in the full view of spectators," says Audrian

2. "US jails more African-Americans than go to college," says MikeSar

Hmmm. Do you suppose there could be a connection?

Hmmm. Could there possible be a connection?
18:03 May 11, 2010 by jimthat
so in our own country we most to ask permission to speak in one way or another .why do we most to do it ? i speak the way i like

i think we have given too much power to immigrants and this is the result .they are very fast overtaking our minds with litle things like this i mean is first one then another then another and after you cant say no because you have said yes toomany times .

these guys are very smart and very determined those are 2 things you need to be succsesfull in your goals

the inmigrants you see here are not anyone they are the smarter of their country they have got to sweden where not anyone of them can get they are admired at home they are the wise teachers who teach their fellows allthe necessary tactics to overpass all the normal controls our country have they say how to seduce the gils and boys in here mostly through making us feel guilty of racism ,ignorance .bad taste or anticuated well i dont care for any of those thigs
23:27 May 11, 2010 by wxman
Yes please, for God's sake get over it.
08:56 May 12, 2010 by americanska
"To punish bad behaviour is unwise." - Mike Sar

16:13 May 15, 2010 by Stublore
It seems some people have a niggardly attitude to others expressing themselves :).

PS-African American refers to people who are descendants of Africans in America.

The clue is in the title!
16:05 May 17, 2010 by J Jack
take a page from 'south park' on political correctness ... chef sings,

"suck on my chocolate salty balls .. yeah .. stick 'em in your mouth and suck 'em"
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