A Charles County family reached out to WUSA9 after it was sent a Dell computer catalog addressed to Kunta Kinte.
The name, made popular by the movie Roots, is “equated to the n-word,” said Charles Gilbert of White Plains. He discovered the name as he was looking to buy a laptop for his college-bound daughter.
“Even if they tried to give me one I wouldn't take it,” said Gilbert. He called Dell customer service to explain that Kunta Kinte was a slave who refused to say his given name. Gilbert said the company offered to take him off its mailing list.
WUSA9 reached out to Dell for comment. “We take this issue very seriously,” said spokesperson Lauren Lee. The company said it “appears to be related to corrupted third-party data from a major credit reporting agency.”
“I think that’s a cop out,” said Gilbert. “They should do more research. Names like that should be flagged.”
Dell said it’s working to make sure the issue does not happen again.