Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Get Over It - Electing Obama Ended Racism in the US

Really, that's the gist of Raphael Alexander's piece in today's National Toast defending the New York Post cartoon depicting a monkey, lying on the sidewalk dead from gunshot wounds, as President Obama. Raphe says it's time to get over that silly old racism nonsense;

...they can unify in enough numbers to elect a black President [or half-black, or whatever you wish to call him], but they can’t let go of the racial sensitivity that has marked their long history of friction between whites and blacks. The best example of sensitivity turned to insanity has been during this whole “chimp cartoon” flap, and the resultant fallout that is reminiscent of the prophet Muhammad cartoons.

I guess from his perch in comfy Vancouver, Alexander hasn't noticed what's still going on in the American south. Maybe he didn't hear about New Orleans or its black communities. There was an article on the weekend about a resurgence of the KKK.

Alexander betrays his abject ignorance of the condition of many African Americans in not grasping that the term "monkey" is a racial perjorative used to denigrate blacks in today's America. Instead he dismisses this as an historical anecdote. Besides, aren't we all descended from apes?

There’s even an evolutionary correlation that is even more apparent, and important here. Most adults who aren’t devout in their faith will probably admit to the fact that humans evolved from hominids, and our closest genetic ancestors are chimpanzees [96% similar actually] so there is a cultural paradigm to referencing lower primates and human beings. Nobody wants to be seen as a lower primate, which is primarily why George W Bush was referred to as the “smirking chimp”. Calling a black person a chimp is seen as more offensive only because of the historical associations of racism.

Raphael, stick to something you understand, at least even vaguely. There must be something else you can mine out of the Vancouver olympics.


Anonymous said...

Racism isn't dead just because a smart, articulate black guy got elected President.

Racism will be dead when a black guy gets elected President who is as dumb as George W. Bush. Then we'll know we have true equality.

Beijing York said...

Racism will be dead when a black guy gets elected President who is as dumb as George W. Bush. Then we'll know we have true equality.

Funny. Sad. And accurate.

The Mound of Sound said...

It does make you wonder. Anyone who's spent any time driving the deep south would know that Alexander's opinions on racism and America are facile.