By on November 22, 2016

pepper spray dude

Daimler AG had to fire a top-level executive after he reportedly announced that all Chinese people were bastards and then pepper-sprayed one into submission. The incident, which took place on Sunday, began as an ugly dispute over a parking space before evolving into a small-scale race war.

The Shanghai Daily reports that Rainer Gaertner, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks and Buses Ltd., and a Chinese driver were vying for the same parking space in an upscale Beijing suburb. The exchange became heated after Gaertner exited his Mercedes-Benz and the two men began arguing.

Deciding to toss all composure out of the window, Gartner allegedly exclaimed, “I am in China one year already. The first thing I learned here is that all you Chinese are bastards.”

The minor brouhaha turned into a melee as concerned residents and pedestrians came to defend the Chinese driver and Gaertner began pepper spraying them. One person was alleged to have suffered spray-related injuries from parking space scuffle.

China’s Global Times quoted Kang Zuoru, a friend of the injured person, as stating, “These kinds of foreigners take money from the Chinese people with one hand while also abusing them. They must hate China from the bottom of their hearts.”

Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media sites, exploded with news of the fracas while outraged readers began demanding that Gaertner be deported right away. Many users also posted comments saying they would avoid buying Daimler-produced cars.

In response, Daimler’s Chinese unit stated the dispute itself was a private issue but added that it had “immediately” relieved the manager of his position within the company.

“The nature of the dispute and in particular the manner in which it was conducted, irrespective of any comments alleged to have been made, is adjudged to be not only of concern to the public but viewed by us as detrimental to the standing of our company, unbecoming of a manager of our brand and prejudicial to our good name,” Daimler Greater China said in an statement.

“Such an incident reflects in no way the values of Daimler AG and we sincerely apologize for the concerns raised by this matter and the views that people have felt obliged to express following the reports of this regrettable matter.”

Rainer Gaertner has not yet been reached for comment.

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122 Comments on “Daimler Exec Loses Parking Space and Mind in Racial Rant...”


  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    No Yu Park.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      That would be Korean.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      If you want to make TTAC a better place, start by getting rid of racist comments like this.

      Not cool Mr.Lynch. Not cool at all.

      • 0 avatar

        You probably wouldn’t like the dialect humor of Myron Cohen then.

        • 0 avatar
          VA Terrapin

          Never heard of Myron Cohen ’til you mentioned him, so I did a little research about him.

          From what little I learned about Myron Cohen, it seems that he specialized in gentle, lighthearted humor about his own kind of people. That’s a lot more than what I can say about Steve Lynch and his crass, racially derogatory joke that contributes nothing valuable to this conversation.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          We do have moderators, Mr. Tonge and Mr. Williams, correct? We’ll see how they handle Mr. Lynch’s poorly-conceived comment.

          Frankly, Mr. Schreiber, I expected better of you.

      • 0 avatar
        rev0lver

        If that’s the most offensive thing you hear today, then you must not have left your bed.

        It’s a lighthearted comment with no ill intent, that isn’t racism.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Sum Ting Wong here…

          (if you don’t know the reference, google it!)

          • 0 avatar
            Steve Lynch

            We Tu Lo

          • 0 avatar
            jesqer

            Lynch White Dicks. Western names can be subject to offensive racial puns too.

            So an article about racist comments leads to…comments that are racist, with silence from TTAC editors?

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Can somebody please explain the racism to me? The suggestion of racial superiority in that comment went straight over my head.

          • 0 avatar

            “Lynch White Dicks. Western names can be subject to offensive racial puns too.”

            It would be surprising if some Chinese people haven’t already made offensive racial puns about those from other continents, what with people being, you know, people.

            “I’ve been all around the world and compared to Europeans, Asians and Africans, Americans are rank amateurs at racism.” – Prof. Lewis Lancaster, Univ of California Berkeley.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @Ronnie Schrieber

            Oy Vey! Or in Chinese, Ai ya! Two wrongs don’t make it right. This thread went from “it’s a racist comment, to it’s not a racist comment, to everyone is racist, so it’s ok?”

            @Steve Lynch – “No Yu Park”
            That you couldn’t distinguish Korean from Chinese is more a matter of ignorance than racism, but the good news is that ignorance is a treatable condition.

            @RHD – “Sum Ting Wong here…”
            The humor here is that the pranksters actually got a news anchor to say these “names” on air. I don’t see racism here; perhaps a little insensitivity, but that’s allowed in humor and satire.

            @Daimler Exec
            Worst stand up comic routine, ever.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    It’s possible that the Daimler mgr was expressing his hatred of the citizenry of China, not the Chinese race. Still very deplorable, but not racism.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Time once again to link to the greatest corporate video of all time:

    youtu.be/ENNOHx5QzOM

    The entire thing is epically wonderful but the moneyshot starts at 2:10.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    We called them “commie bastards” and never had an issue with that

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      The difference with “commie bastards” is that this epithet has nothing to do with appearance/race/skin color. There are “commie bastards” in many places on our globe that are of various appearances/races/skin colors.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    He was probably angry because he’s an executive and Daimler still had him in a C230.

  • avatar
    epc

    “Daimler AG had to fire a top-level executive.”

    Gartner was merely reassigned. He was removed from the position in China but not dismissed from Daimler. He will eventually get another position within Daimler.

    The words used were: “Therefore, we have immediately relieved the manager of his position.”

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      epc – Absolutely correct. Having worked for a very groß aktiengesellshaft for several years here in the US, der kinder of der Vaterland are well protected from the unwashed proles of other countries. Usually they get sent home after an incident, get bumped up the chain and attend cocktail parties to regale fellow guests with stories about the barbarians they had to suffer while posted abroad.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Agreed. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a German who stayed too long and was too well integrated into the colony would be viewed upon return as damaged goods like Japanese and their children returning from long overseas stints.

      • 0 avatar
        epc

        I too have worked for a very large German multinational, a division of which is a tier 1 supplier to all the automakers in the world. I was most impressed with the ability of German managers and engineers to parse and interpret words to suit their needs.

        So now I read any statement from a German company with utmost care.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I just hope he isn’t reassigned to customer service:

      Customer: My car has an oil leak.
      Exec: Ve don’t make leaks! Vat did you do?? (pepper sprays customer)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The guy may have a point. If parking sucks in Beijing, then it is obviously due to the presence of entirely too many Chinese people.*

    *I have no data on how many of them had parents who were married to each other when they were born.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    China’s culture is quite different than any you find in a western society.

    To quote a Chinese national who works for me:

    “In a country with so many people you do what you must to take care of yourself.”

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Or you become the crazy polite, like the Japanese.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        “Or you become the crazy polite, like the Japanese.”

        Technically, that’s an extremely racist statement.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Much though the remnants of the silly-ass nihonjinron movement would applaud you, Japanese are no more a distinct “race” than are Chinese.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            OK, then none of this is racist.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “OK, then none of this is racist.”

            That’s my take. Plenty of xenophobia, arrogance, jealousy, exploitation, chiseling, rapacity and occasional raw hatred on both sides but I don’t think this particular event is any different than thousands occurring every day purely among Chinese themselves.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    In Asia Chinese people are stereotyped as—shall we say—not the type to queue or wait their turn like British or Swiss or Japanese or Germans.

    I’m not a white male so I can say that :)

    nevertheless obviously the Daimler exec was in the wrong. but I wouldn’t label it as a racial thing—-undoubtedly the same guy could’ve exploded in a similar fit at your local American mega lo mart on Black Friday.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Germans have a reputation for queue jumping/ cutting in line. If my anecdotal experience counts for anything, then I would say that the reputation is well deserved.

      _____________

      For whatever reason, the famed German Ordnung — that is “order” — breaks down when it comes to waiting in line. Ruled as they are by some of the fattest law books in the world, Germans, rather than forming a nice orderly queue, instantly revert to the laws of the jungle. A jostling mob is often the result.

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/what-discipline-of-german-lines-and-pythons-a-406546.html

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        We who wait in line may be a global minority. I’ve had co-workers from Vietnam, Korea, Turkey, Iran, and Sri Lanka all tell me the same thing. In the absence of someone with a uniform and badge barking out instructions, most of the world’s population turns into a mob rather than wait their turn. Based not on race but species, we’re the odd ones, except for our betters. Queues are for the little people.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Very few societies worldwide have the same eagerness to form queues that you find in the USA and the UK. Neither the Germans nor the Chinese, generally speaking, are very interested in it.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “all you Chinese are bastards”

    As racism goes, that’s certainly underachieving, let alone for a Kraut.

    Any Nam vet could beat that while remaining in a jovial mood.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    “So, you insulted a billion potential customers due to their race?”

    “No, of course not! I insulted a billion potential customers due to their *nationality!*”

    “Oh, well, that’s fine then. Carry on.”

  • avatar
    319583076

    It seems like the next time Matt Posky slings together 400 words without any errors it will be the first. Some of us on this side of the site are reading these things…

  • avatar

    The “parking space” inhabits a very odd part of the human brain. If you want to see folks get nuts, mention that at any co-op, Village Board, or Town Hall. I have had billionaires (yes, with a B) argue $35 parking tickets with me at work..and go to the mat on it, never mind that the rounding error on their interest income for the time spent with me exceeded the ticket in question.

    That a parking ticket pulled a racist rant ? No surprise at all. I’d expect a foreign posted car exec to have a better developed personality, but again, it WAS a PARKING SPACE.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Confirmed.

      The level of pathology that you’ll see over parking in any major city is amazing. People genuinely believe that they should be entitled to park a car anywhere, for any amount of time, without payment or legal sanction. That’s true even in places where the market rental price of the land with the parking space on it would be hundreds of dollars per day. It’s true even where (and this happened to me several times when I drove buses) parking in the location completely blocks large vehicles, thereby blocking a whole street when a large vehicle arrives. It’s true on private property, regardless of whether the property is signed or posted.

      Just the other day, some a$$hat visiting my neighbor blocked my driveway when there were literally no cars parked on the opposite side of the neighborhood street, because evidently crossing the street would be too inconvenient.

      It’s like using a car for transport somehow removes the most basic norms and moral principles from people.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Oboy ! can I begin ranting now about my next door (redacted) Neighbors who always park in front of MY house leaving their curb open….
        .
        Or block my gate so I cannot even enter my driveway no matter how much open and free parking is closer to their house .
        .
        Of course they toss their trash in my gutter and parkway, kick over the spiny Cactus’ I planted there to dissuade them from parking in the area in front of MY house .
        .
        Even their visitors only park by me ~ never, ever in front of their house .
        .
        The endless stream of dirty diapers, take out food trash, empties, ciggie butts on and on…
        .
        I guess all (redacted) act this way .
        .
        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I’m not bothered at all by people parking in front of my house — it is a public curb parking spot — but the second they block my driveway or dump any litter on my planting strip it’s TIME FOR WAR.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Some piece of garbage whom I’ve yet to identify, has been throwing a McDonald’s bag of trash over the brick wall into my yard. Weekly, and for the past month.

            It’s infuriating.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Time for a cam along your wall.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, I think I could actually mount it on a tree, or in my dining room window. Someone who’s a passenger is throwing it, by the location. And I think they live in the condo complex which is behind me. Since they’re 98% of the way home, it makes NO sense to litter that way. I don’t get people.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Walls are racist. That’s what you get for having a racist wall.

          • 0 avatar
            Von

            I had an old college housemate that moved out but kept the keys and would come back once in a while and make a mess of my stuff. Since I didn’t want to call the police, I put a loaded BB gun on the sofa, knowing he has a habit of playing with it and has a very low safety conscientiousness. A few days later, I come home to find the BB gun on the floor, and the next day I see his hand in bandages.

            He never came in to mess with my stuff again.

      • 0 avatar
        Asdf

        Cities in general need to get better at providing drivers with parking spaces. Unfortunately, short-thinking politicians (and the anti-car intelligentsia) are all too willing to allow new buildings to confiscate valuable parking space, making the parking situation even worse by the simultaneous reduction of supply and increase in demand. This practice does tend to line the pockets of greedy real-estate developers, who probably know how lobbying works…

        Obviously, this is not a situation that should be condoned, and those responsible should be voted out of office.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Anti-gummint rant dispensers remind me of an entrance at my workplace with sliding doors.

          It’s positioned next to a heavily used stairwell and the infrared beam gets triggered every time someone ascends or descends those stairs because it’s impossible to do so and not break the beam.

          *ka-schunk..shhhhh..kaschunk*

          *ka-schunk..shhhhh..kaschunk*

          *ka-schunk..shhhhh..kaschunk*

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Cory ;

          How old are you ? .
          .
          I got the impression that you’re in your twenties but lately I think I was wrong .
          .
          FWIW, I have a motto : if I can see glass in the street from anywhere on my properly, I go pick it up and discard of properly .
          .
          For over two decades I had a neighbor who’d come South my my street well past midnight every Saturday morning and carelessly toss an empty Gin bottle out his window as he rolled the stop sign .
          .
          I’d go out first thing every Saturday and sweep it up before other cars came and crushed it to glitter .
          .
          This was back when I was still in my middle years so not an ‘ Old Man ‘ thing, just self respect ~ a precious and hard to find thing where I live .
          .
          My Son always thought me crazy but now he owns his own house and understands keeping his parkway clean and tidy .
          .
          I also pick up all the trash tossed here and there on both sides of the street on my corner .
          .
          If you try this you’ll be pleased to discover your slobby neighbors will slowly begin to take better care of their yards and so on ~ it really works .
          .
          Too bad I’m no Green Thumb as I’ve seen other neighborhoods come alive when one begins to plant flowers .
          .
          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I believe he is -6.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I am 30, I just sound like an old person usually.

            The bad thing is – everything else is already clean around here, just one person doing this litter infraction really. The wall is such that only I can see the garbage in my yard. People walking or driving by wouldn’t be able to see it.

            LOL, -6.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Cory ;
            .
            It’s frustrating to be sure .
            .
            -Nate
            (edited for a strong if not bad word)

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Cities in general need to get better at providing drivers with parking spaces.”

          But if all you have is parking space, you have a wasteland once people actually get out of their cars to explore the city.

          The market is pretty good at finding the right balance of parking space and other uses, if we let it. The trouble is, we usually don’t, because everyone feels entitled to park for free, no matter how great the opportunity cost is in terms of using that land for more economically productive purposes. There’s no reason people should be entitled to use unlimited land for car storage without paying for it.

          Where land is cheap enough that the value of parking is a rounding error–i.e., exurbs and rural areas–it makes sense for parking to be free. Where land is expensive enough that parking adds up to real money (central cities), people should pay for it.

        • 0 avatar
          Stevo

          No, there should be more moves to aggressive market pricing of parking. Too much parking kills many downtowns. Cars don’t shop, people do, and getting people out of cars to walk, do business, eat, etc is how you keep your town alive. Parking for free whenever you drive anywhere comes with a cost and it is a short sighted city government who doesn’t realize this.

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          Worse than cities? College campuses. If there’s a decent and close parking lot, guaranteed they will build a fancy new building on it and then raise the price of parking decals the next year. They also way oversell decals, then deploy genuine parking Nazi’s to write revenue sli…I mean tickets.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I have to wonder what school PR drones attend to compose such mealy-mouthed corp-speak? What would have been the problem with: “We are truly astounded that one of our employees said and did such a thing, we are really sorry this happened, and we’ve fired him for it. As an apology for this shameful behavior, we are offering $500 off any Mercedes purchased in China during the month of December.”

    Instead, it’s two solid paragraphs of “$hit just happens” passive-voice. Don’t PR flacks realize this style of “apology” just makes people MORE angry?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    China needs to finish building that wall!

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      And make Germany pay for it! Hmmm… I wonder if there are leftover bits from the Berlin Wall they could use?

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      They’ve enlisted Matt Damon’s help.

      • 0 avatar
        Von

        The Berlin wall barely lasted more than a quarter century. When the Chinese build walls, they last millennias. Not that it’s true of anything else like TVs, furniture, and the like. On the other hand, I hear the railroads in the western US are holding up well.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          If China used all the merchandise that they manufactured that no longer works after less than 2 years, the Great Wall would encircle the entire country, and be high enough to keep Rainer Gaertner’s plane out.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Not excusing it but sounds like a pretty sophisticated rant. Mine are normally just a bunch of three and four letter words in no particular order!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I guess that particular German wasn’t getting used to all climates…made a liar out of ol’ Major Strasser, that’s for sure.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Having just returned from a 2-week trip in China, I can kind of sympathize with the fellow. The Germans are an orderly folk; the Chinese are not. They can be infuriating as they literally walk on you or push you out of the way to get by without any acknowledgment whatsoever. That being said, I restrained myself from strangling every person who cut in front of me. Just told myself, “when in Rome…”

    Between the people and the pollution, I hope it’s a while before I have to go back again. On the other hand, I spent two weeks in South Korea in October. A lovely people, and Seoul is proof that 20 million people can live in a city without it turning into a zoo.

  • avatar
    Von

    A couple of things jumped out at me. First, all those internet warriors that say they will not, NEVER, EVER buy a MB, are most likely not able to afford a QQ if they tried.

    Second, I am surprised that the guy hasn’t claimed that “some of my best friends are Chinese”, or even better, “my wife is Chinese”, therefore implying he can not possibly be racist.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      It’s not a big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        Von

        I agree with you, it’s not a big deal, not sure where I said or implied it was.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          I just meant that this guy doesn’t need to grovel and concoct PC phrases to avoid The Hague.

          • 0 avatar
            Von

            His competitors will use this against him come promotion time. That’s as far as the impact goes.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I just think he’ll be welcomed back as a regular guy who had a very understandable but slightly embarrassing hissy.

            After a short while they’ll probably stop calling him der Pfeffer. But it’ll always be a bonding kind of chuckle-maker among his peers and superiors.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        He pepper-sprayed a bunch of onlookers after insulting their entire country because of a dispute over a parking space. What would it take for you to think it’s a “big deal”?

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Video or can’t assess fault.

        • 0 avatar
          Von

          Sirwired, on the surface it does seem like he is very much at fault. However, having lived in China for several years, I would not be so quick to pin it on him alone.

          Let me tell you about an incident in China: my wife told me that while leaving a shopping center with my son, who was about 6 or 7 at the time, he walked in front of a parked car that was about to leave the space. The asshat in the car decided to scare my kid by quickly moving the car forward a foot or so, just short of hitting my kid, and scared the crap out of my son. My wife got into a heated argument with the driver. Had I been there, he would have been in a hospital for sure, and I in jail.

          While this was the worst of it, there have been many, many incidents of very rude behavior and I have had to control my temper on many occasions. I honestly don’t think that would be possible when someone threatens major harm to my son for his amusement.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Not to excuse this sort of behaviour, because its unexcusable.

    But this is very often the kind reaction Hong Kong and overseas Chinese have with the mainlanders. There is often just an incredible undercurrent of tension, very often not so hidden. There are just some things that we take for granted that aren’t ‘there” has part of the mainland social fabric owing to where culture and history has taken it.

    Its easy to get lulled into a sense of familiarity working as an expat in Shanghai and Beijing, but you better send your most patient and open-minded if it requires long term direct relations with the locals…. true for any posting really.

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