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Does the Bianchi tradename have racist implications?(23 posts)

Does the Bianchi tradename have racist implications?teamsloppy
Sep 21, 2002 9:51 PM
I rode my Bianchi bike to the office last October (it's an Axis cyclo bike with wide tires that is less scary to ride in the dark). Another employee who was always friendly before, gave me a bad look that day. In retrospect it might be seeing that bike. I rode a Klein from the start of employment there the previous August. She has been cold to me ever since. The office rumor is that she thinks I am a racist. She won't even talk to me when I try to approach her.

Today, I downloaded the 2003 Bianchi catalog from their Italian web site. The USA web site has only last year's poop. I used Bablefish.com to translate the specs on the bikes.

The expression "white men" appeared everywhere. According to the Babel fish and several other web based translators, Bianchi means "White Men".

Is this a correct translation? Does Bianchi really mean White Men?

Why use this as a trade name? Is there any alleviating story (like drunk Italians painting themselves with white wash to symbolize unity of all cities)?

If Bianchi means "White Men", is there a common perception that this is offensive?

Is there some other fact that will hose me when I try to explain it's only a bike: like Mussolini is a founder or some other tidbit of Italian history that reinforces her opinion?
It's an Italian surnameirregardless
Sep 21, 2002 10:28 PM
Eduardo Bianchi. Founder of the company. Another variation is Bianco.
Axis?fbg111
Sep 22, 2002 1:08 AM
Maybe it's not the Bianchi name, but "Axis" that set her off. What race/religion is that woman? Jewish perhaps?
Damn Tiredtmotz
Sep 22, 2002 2:54 AM
Why do some people think theirs racial or evil in everything.Translating one language to another always gives multiple choice of meanings.
Damn Tired Too!!!queenb
Sep 22, 2002 5:36 AM
Of people taking offense at inconsequential things. It's a bike for God's sake! Now do I worry about someone taking offense with my last remark. NOT!!! Society has done this new generation an injustice by teaching them to be overly sensitive to every comment or image. Granted, there is a need for some sensitivity, but it has gone way too far. Just my humble opinion.
re: Does the Bianchi tradename have racist implications?Barton
Sep 22, 2002 5:33 AM
Bianchi is the last name of the founder of the company, roughly equivalent to Edward White in english.

Just like the opera composer Guiseppe Verdi translates to Joseph Green.

What's the deal with your colleague?
Are Americans named "Whiteman" racists in poor disguise??DanoK
Sep 22, 2002 5:45 AM
Have we really sunk this low in PC??? Bianchi is an Italian surname. Direct translations don't always convey the contextual meaning of words. If anyone is offended by the Bianchi name on your bike, then they need to get a life and quit worrying about meaningless things.

I think I can now exit the internet for good because now I have heard everything!
I'll bet you play pool, too...OffTheBack
Sep 22, 2002 6:12 AM
...which is obviously a racist game. The object is for the superior WHITE ball to knock the BLACK ball off of the table...

(taken from the Eddie Murphy filck "Boomerang")
Why did the chicken cross the road?Kerry
Sep 22, 2002 5:22 PM
Louis Farrakhan: "The road, you see, is the black man. The chicken is white! Don't you see? This is obviously the white man keeping the black man down!"
It's tough to stay out of trouble.the other Tim
Sep 22, 2002 9:31 AM
But, as always, Sheldon is there to help.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/evilbike.html
So the word "Axis" may have another meaningirregardless
Sep 22, 2002 10:11 AM
The site says it may be a reference to Nazis. Does anyone have any background info on this? I've never heard of it.
maybe reference to "axis powers" in WW2 which included Ger. (nm)VO2_max
Sep 22, 2002 12:11 PM
So the word "Axis" may have another meaningaeon
Sep 22, 2002 1:11 PM
ax·is Pronunciation Key (kss)
n. pl. ax·es (ksz)

A straight line about which a body or geometric object rotates or may be conceived to rotate.

Mathematics.
-An unlimited line, half-line, or line segment serving to orient a space or a geometric object, especially a line about which the object is symmetric.
-A reference line from which distances or angles are measured in a coordinate system.
-A center line to which parts of a structure or body may be referred.
-An imaginary line to which elements of a work of art, such as a picture, are referred for measurement or symmetry.

Anatomy.
-The second cervical vertebra on which the head turns.
Any of various central structures, such as the spinal column, or standard abstract lines used as a positional referent.

Botany.
-The main stem or central part about which organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged.

-One of three mutually perpendicular lines that define the orientation of an aircraft, with one being along its direction of travel and the other two being perpendicular to the direction of travel.
-A line through the optical center of a lens that is perpendicular to both its surfaces.
-One of three or four imaginary lines used to define the faces of a crystal and the position of its atoms.

-An alliance of powers, such as nations, to promote mutual interests and policies.
-Axis The alliance of Germany and Italy in 1936, later including Japan and other nations, that opposed the Allies in World War II.

So then, which of these 12 definitions would you like to focus on? Your co-worker has made baseless assumptions without any attempt to get the facts right, so if she doesn't want to associate with you, thats her loss. I wouldn't put much thought/effort into it.
re: Does the Bianchi tradename have racist implications?desmo
Sep 22, 2002 1:07 PM
this would have made a good Seinfield plot.
re: ROFLcyclejim
Sep 22, 2002 2:43 PM
That IS SO TRUE!!! LOL.
That's it.....NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!!! (nm)Scot_Gore
Sep 22, 2002 4:44 PM
Maybe the celeste clashed with her shoes? (nm)12x23
Sep 22, 2002 5:32 PM
re: Does the Bianchi tradename have racist implications?DieselDan
Sep 22, 2002 5:38 PM
How ridiculous is this? Isn't there an MTB company called "White"? There is a suspension fork called "Black". Bianchi is the founder's name. Nothing more. If you see anything into it, go get some glasses and shove them up your .....
I'm Jewish and ride a Bianchi...Iwannapodiumgirl
Sep 22, 2002 5:49 PM
Am I a bad person? hehehe
Also, I drive a German Car - opps, I did it again!
The world is PC mad... I say, forgive but do not forget - there is a difference.
you mean this?DougSloan
Sep 22, 2002 7:06 PM
"Passed E' a century, from when Edoardo White men , in one small bottega of Milan, planned and realized the first bici as we today know to them. From then they are passes 116 years to you . Centosedici history years of the bicycle, of search and technology to it applied. Centosedici years that have seen asserting itself in the world of the brand White men, of its strategies, its choices. Une and the others always a step ahead regarding the others, always projected in the future, back new spaces, new goals.
In so far as, the F.I.V. Edoardo White men has entered to make part, from May 1997, of the Swedish group Cycleurope AB the more world-wide holding important of the ciclistico field.

It marks of the group White men - White men, Legnano and Puch - have joined to those of Cycleurope - Monark, Crescent, DBS, Kildemoes, Everton, Peugeot, Micmo, Gitane - giving to life to an only grouping on the market of the bicycle for amplitude of the offer and capillarity of the distribution to world-wide level."

For some reason, Babel Fish translates "Bianchi" as "white men." Reversing it, going from English to Italian, it translates "white men" as "uomini bianchi". Another translation site translates it as "you whiten."

I can't understand why this would matter, anyway. There are people of all races in American named White, Black, Whiteman, Blackman, etc.

My bet is that if you offended her, it had nothing to do with the name "Bianchi." Do you stink? ;-)

Doug
um...are you sure it's the bike?mr_spin
Sep 23, 2002 6:27 AM
Maybe it's not about the bike. Maybe she doesn't like you for some other reason. Have you thought of asking her?
this has gotta be a troll (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 23, 2002 6:58 AM
Some of you helped and you didn'tteamsloppy
Sep 23, 2002 7:37 PM
The Sienfeld episode analogy made me laugh also. Wit and humor is help. Thanks. It's the only thing about this that is funny. Maybe I can use it some way, assuming she even watches tv.

The Axis thing I didn't consider. The lettering is about one fifth the size of the Bianchi name. I didn't even remember writing the model name.

The troll and other slights certainly didn't help.

The weird way this spun out to include other topics didn't really help, but in a way, it did. People pick up the smallest thing and become adamant about it. I'm probably hosed.

I put it off another day. I waited 10 months already. A Monday isn't the day to deal with this and I suspect there is a better story than "your wrong". I'm 85% sure it's something related to the bike. I am hoping for some info about Bianchi (and now, Axis) that is arcane and paints a benign picture rather that the current proposals which are to tell her she is wrong, jumped to an erroneous conclusion and mis-informed. That's a tough sell to someone who already is put off by you. I sure wish the drunk Italians painting themselves white were true. I think I could sell that.

Well, I am off to the genealogy sites. I am going to find some non-literal meaning to Bianchi. I'll let you know if there is an episode two.