Of Monkeys and Men

…with apologies to John Steinbeck. 8)
http://www.post-gazette.com/robrogers/Default.asp?m=6&d=6&y=2008( Taken from Rob Rogers @ the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

In March, a Marietta, Georgia bar owner sold jerseys that tried to associate Obama with the cartoon character, Curious George.

There were protests against the shirt… people were upset at the racism inherent with calling someone of African descent a chimpanzee.

Yet, all of them sold out.

Now, another company is selling monkey-related, Obama-associated items.

Ready to see Obama portrayed as a monkey in a suit?

Then check out the The SockObama doll.


All of them are sold out, too.

Some have said… isn’t Obama a political figure, like George W. Bush?

And don’t we have lots of caricatures of Bush as a chimp? How then is this Obama-monkey thing, racist?

Well, has anyone ever associated people of Bush’s race with monkeys, apes or other simians?

No. That seems to be reserved for people of African descent apparently…

Historically, blacks have historically always been “branded” ape like. European culture back in the day considered Africans to be savages and like monkeys. Its one of the reasons Africans were enslaved in the first place. We weren’t considered human at all.

Now, I’m not trying to incite hate here. I’m just pointing something out…

The company that’s selling the dolls seems upset that people are calling their doll “racist”!


( Taken from Shakesville )

Myth? Fable? Fairy tales? Folklore?

A charming association with a toy we had when we were little?


Its almost as if… its so ingrained… they don’t see how racist that doll actually is.

Anyway, let’s see what Dave Chappelle had to say…

Hmmm. Tell me something…

Am I not a Man and a Brother?

…Is Obama not a man and a brother?

If anyone could think that of a Harvard educated lawyer, State and United State Senator and Presidential Candidate

What could they be thinking about me?

I found out about all this on June 11th 2008.

Lets take a look back in History to another June 11th… this time in 1963.

George Wallace blocks black students from entering the University of Alabama...
(image taken from CBS)

On that day, Alabama Gov. George Wallace stood at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in a symbolic attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from enrolling at the school.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

We still have a long way to go.

Obama won the Alabama Democratic Primary, though. There’s still hope!

References used/Related items:

Peace and Much Love.


9 Responses to “Of Monkeys and Men”

  1. June 15, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    interesting post. just one point – you do not stand a chance to incite hate by referencing the fact that at one point in history africans were not considered human. racists are usually quite comfortable with their racism in theory and practice. blacks need to stop feeling bashful about confronting and discussing it and stop doubting the validity of our reality.

  2. 2 anonyjw
    June 16, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for the comment.

    I wasn’t being bashful.

    Writing is a conversation between the writer and the reader.

    I had a similar conversation about this issue with someone who wasn’t black a few weeks ago. One of the things he said to me was that highlighting and discussing racism made me “seem racist”, as he felt that I was calling “race” when he saw none.

    I pointed out to him that if my talking about injustice and blatant racism made me seem racist, then MLK, Gandhi and Mandela must be the most racist people ever to walk the earth.

    I also pointed out to him that what I was doing was not inciting hatred, but making people aware.

    In writing this, I recalled those conversational snippets.

    When I got to that part, I decided to point out, especially for the readers who may share the sentiments of my friend, that my aim with the piece was not to incite anything in anyone… except awareness.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. June 17, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Here in the U.S. “progressive” white people like to say they don’t see race/color. What this says is that in order for them to accept you as equal or interact with you without open bias, they must first nullify your race and culture – they must basically white you out and imagine that you are race-less and without culture or the experience of people of your race before they can feel any amount of ease around you. How wack is that?

    There is nothing wrong with people seeing color. The challenge is to see my color (black) and still treat me as a human being. It shouldn’t be that you need to turn a blind eye to my color and culture in order for you to treat me as an equal or know that I am human with the same basic needs as yours. When someone tell you that they don’t see race, know that they are racist and are not doing what is required to overcome it.

    And send them to this Web site and others like it where they can begin their much needed journey: http://worknow.ning.com/

  4. June 17, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. 5 Magne
    June 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Slightly off topic but..
    That doll bore a rather more striking resemblance to the current president of the US. I cannot imagine anyone being more often portrayed as a chimp than him. I still consider that an insult to such an intelligent animal to be associated with dubya…

    (rather funny)

  6. June 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    That’s not off-topic, man… its very much on point!

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. 7 soyluv
    August 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    wow. people never cease to amaze. i first read about that doll in a free, off-beat daily newspaper here in my city and i just shook my head. i mean, are people serious? great post though. you’re very good at crediting sources and context too. it would probably do me well to remember that…….

  8. August 17, 2008 at 11:51 am


    Yeah… I accredit cuz I don’t want to be accused of stealing. Unless I took the picture or wrote the article, I make sure to give credit where its due!

    Thanks for the comment!

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