UPDATE, April 18, 2013, 8:32 AM EST: We spoke with Phil Berne, Marketing Manager for Technical Media at Samsung Mobile. Berne shared the following official response from the company: “Samsung is not offering any such ringtones on our mobile devices.” We suspected that, since the ringtone comes from third parties, and in an open environment app world, monitoring all the ringtones that show up on smartphones is a daunting task. We are also aware that such a ringtone can work for any Android phone, but our original post was written because a customer told us that the ringtone was added to her Galaxy phone at a store in San Antonio. It was one of hundreds of ringtones that were added there. By the way, we still think the ringtone is awful and racist, and hope that companies such as Samsung let those third-party developers know that they should just stop producing this type of content. We can only hope.
We know that the line “Scanning for Mexicans” comes from an episode of “South Park” where the character of Cartman joins the Border Patrol and “turns out to be really good at stopping Mexicans,” according to the show’s official website.
We also know that “South Park” makes a living from this type of humor.
The question we have is simple one: why is the Cartman line a ringtone that you can obtain for your Samsung Galaxy phone? Outside the context of a “South Park” episode, hearing a phone go “scanning for Mexicans” when it rings, like at a restaurant or a library or anywhere BUT a “South Park” episode, is just racist and unsettling. Do you think a tone that scans for other groups would be seen as funny in the same setting? We doubt it.
Yet that is exactly what is happening when it comes to a ringtone that is easily available for Samsung’s Galaxy phones. Granted, the ringtone is coming from a third party developer, but wouldn’t you think that Samsung would decide to not allow it to be on their phone? You can find the ringtone at several sites. The one we found already had 198,291 downloads and 3,789 votes.
What do you think? As for us, we will let Samsung know.