Okay, once again for those in the cheap seats.
Cute, entertaining, educational, not racist.
Depicting black people as monkeys:
Simian depiction and derision of black people is nothing new. Indeed, just the history behind such a practice is enough to ink it into the vast racist lexicon. But the specific mechanics as to why it is such an abhorrent racist practice should be lost on no one.
In the universal present sense, it’s a matter of subjugation through dehumanization, a practice that has its historical roots that crawl all the way back to when the first white person saw the first non white people and called them savages. In a way, such subjugation, the intellectual practice of reasoning that a person can be less than a person, partially justified invading a people’s land, butchering them, enslaving them, etc.
Why not? They’re savages or monkeys.
Update the practice to a time when there are mixed societies, where laws should provide people of all color with the same rights and priveleges, again the imagery and the underlying intent behind it continues to justify heinous behavior against people of color.
For a slightly different perspective, if you ever take a stroll through some white supremacist sites, you’ll eventually pick up on one thing; the white supremacists who make it a matter of culture as opposed to species are the nice white supremacists (if there is actually such a thing, which there really isn’t).
All of this goes quite a bit more in depth, but this should give you the basic understanding that calling a black person a monkey, or depicting them through drawings or toys, is itself demeaning and wrong. I really wished I didn’t have to explain this, but apparently I do.
The cheerful fella above is on sale over at The Sock Obama, or it would be if there were any in stock, and let me tell ya, they are just WILD about their little toy. Whether the company selling the toy actually knows about their racial transgression is uncertain, given that emails for further clarification behind the intent of their product have thus far gone unanswered.
But a commenter at Plunderbund unearths some interesting information. The owners of the company, David and Elizabeth Lawson, hail from Jordan River Utah, and apparently they’re big Mitt Romney donors, or at least David is, having contributed the maximum $2,300 to the Mitt Romney campaign.
Is it possible that the real estate player just wanted to put out a cute doll in effigy of a political opponent? I suppose stranger things could happen, but I find it highly unlikely. Far more likely this is either a truly racist push, or it’s a political play on racism.
Neither is particularly savory.
No, even if you aren’t a racist, stirring up racial tension for political gain makes you no better, possibly worse, than real racists in my book (and to be sure, I don’t think it’s possible to cynically use race in politics without harboring racism yourself).
(h/t Oliver Willis)