The Eclectic Quill

July 30, 2009

He’s not a Banana Eating Jungle Monkey, He Just Acts Like One

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 9:52 am

Did you hear the one about the guy who said he wasn’t a racist, he just calls people who are mad that they are getting arrested in their own home “banana eating jungle monkeys” because they are black? It almost sounds like there should be a punch line here, but it’s reality and it offers us a poignant view of t modern face of racism. Racism isn’t always overt, always obvious, it lurks insidiously, and then every once in a while it pokes out its head in an incredibly ugly turn of phrase and leaves the speaker declaring, “I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black.” The problem with today’s racism isn’t what you think of the black people you know it’s what you think of the black people you don’t know.

Boston Police Officor Justin Bartlett is doing precisely that. In an email he authored he referred to Gates as “acting like a banana eating jungle monkey.” In defending his actions he said that he didn’t say Gates was one, but that he was just acting like one. Of course my question for him would be had he ever said an angry white person was acting like a “banana eating jungle monkey?” My personal query might also be, precisely how does a banana eating jungle monkey behave? It seems to me that a monkey with a banana would be quite happy, but that’s really sort of a moot point. It is unbelievable to me that anyone would make that comment (four times no less, and about two different black men) and then say that it had nothing to do with race.

This incident, the reaction to Obama’s reaction to it, the Sotamayor nomination and the “birther” conspiracy all point to a veiled racism, this notion that somehow whites are now the victims here. Sotamayor’s comment, when reviewed in context, is the exact opposite of racist (unless of course you would like to defend the Dred Scott decision). The leaping all over the President’s comments as a “rush to judgment” turns out to have been the rush to judgment after all, as it is apparent that Crowley lied in the police report on at least one detail (calling the rest into suspicion). The willingness to accept the word of the white police officer over the black professor is telling, station in life, character and success are all irrelevant here, all that matters to them is they believed the white guy over the black guy. Even the whole “birther” conspiracy and the willingness to believe that he’s not really American (in spite of the overwhelming evidence that he is) is again, an inherent willingness to believe something is wrong with the black guy.

It’s not just by inference either. Glenn Beck stated on Fox News that Obama hates white people. Rush Limbaugh has said that white police officers and firefighters are under attack from the “East Wing of the White House.” His logic seems to be that if you aren’t protecting white privilege then you are racist. Of course all of these white men are quick to quip they aren’t racist, heck some of their best friends are black. I’m not saying they are banana-eating-racists, I’m just saying they act like one.

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1 Comment »

  1. Glenn Beck is the dumbest RepubliNazi on earth

    Comment by 3rdStoneFromTheSun — August 8, 2009 @ 2:13 pm | Reply


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