The two executives mentioned here are European. Some quotes:
Top Metro executives used vile racist language at company meetings of the freebie newspaper chain, horrifying some attendees while at the same time drawing hoots of laughter from other Metro bigshots....
At one Metro International newspaper dinner in Rome in April 2003, Steve Nylund, the head of Metro USA, told nearly two dozen attendees a joke about the genitalia of black men, whom he called ``niggers'' according to people who were there. The account was first reported by Mediachannel.org, a media watchdog site, and then corroborated by the Herald through multiple sources who were at the event.
Another anecdote involves former Metro director Hans-Holger Albrecht at a Stockholm event in August 2003.
Albrecht, according to Mediachannel, introduced the festivities by saying "Good evening, ladies, gentlemen and niggers.''
Two former insiders, including former Boston Metro editor John Wilpers, told the Herald they heard Nylund make the racist joke at the Rome event, and had heard of Albrecht's slur.
The shocking behavior "sets race relations back to the Stone Age,'' suggested Jeffrey Brown of the Ten Point Coalition, a group of ministers who came together in the 1990s to fight urban violence.
Former insiders describe an arrogance among the European executives running the Metro chain. Wilpers and others say that instances of crude racism were common.
The executives of course say that it was a problem with translation.
I was not convinced by her argument when she made it. I am less convinced by it today.