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Is it Racist to Say a Black Person Looks Like an Ape—if You Don’t Know They’re Black?

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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05 June 2018 06:47
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 04 June 2018 04:30 PM

Is Roseanne racist? Off topic, but…

On one hand, she was sued by George Zimmerman’s parents for tweeting their home address. Zimmerman, of course, fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a black teen, after accosting him after dark in a gated neighborhood.

Robert and Gladys Zimmerman have filed a lawsuit against Barr, accusing the comedian and actress of posting “an open and obvious call for vigilante justice,” which she intended “to cause a lynch mob to descend” on their Lake Mary, Florida, home.

This could be taken as Barr siding with Martin, which she probably wouldn’t do if she was racist.

On the other hand, her ex-husband is convinced she is a racist.

‘I had a feeling this would happen when there was news of a reboot.’

‘This monkey thing is something that she tweeted before about black people, it’s a meme that she and thousands of her alt-right fans do. They love to call black people monkeys, it’s not a one time joke,’ Arnold explained.

‘They can do this because we have a white trash racist president. That’s a fact!’

So which is true? Maybe both! In the past, Barr has claimed that she suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

Roseanne, who first told the world that she has multiple personality disorder in 1994, says it’s not easy dealing with switching between “Somebody” and “Nobody.”

Those are just two of the names the former sitcom queen has given to her personalities, which she says total seven in all. The rest she calls Baby, Cindy, Susan, Joey, and Heather.

Maybe she should get them each their own twitter account.

Maybe she has multiple personalities…and/or maybe she misuses drugs/meds and is reckless. She’s the sort of person who feels that inebriation absolves her of responsibility.

I recently sat through a DUI trial for a man who took prescribed Xanax and got behind the wheel.  His purported defense was that he didn’t know he’d black out.  The jury found him guilty because he’d been taking Xanax for years, and so he could reasonably be expected to know the effects.  In Barr’s case, a cell phone + a twitter account = dangerous machinery, which should not be operated after taking her meds.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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05 June 2018 08:13
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 04 June 2018 04:30 PM

Is Roseanne racist? Off topic, but…

On one hand, she was sued by George Zimmerman’s parents for tweeting their home address. Zimmerman, of course, fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a black teen, after accosting him after dark in a gated neighborhood.

Robert and Gladys Zimmerman have filed a lawsuit against Barr, accusing the comedian and actress of posting “an open and obvious call for vigilante justice,” which she intended “to cause a lynch mob to descend” on their Lake Mary, Florida, home.

This could be taken as Barr siding with Martin, which she probably wouldn’t do if she was racist.

On the other hand, her ex-husband is convinced she is a racist.

‘I had a feeling this would happen when there was news of a reboot.’

‘This monkey thing is something that she tweeted before about black people, it’s a meme that she and thousands of her alt-right fans do. They love to call black people monkeys, it’s not a one time joke,’ Arnold explained.

‘They can do this because we have a white trash racist president. That’s a fact!’

So which is true? Maybe both! In the past, Barr has claimed that she suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

Roseanne, who first told the world that she has multiple personality disorder in 1994, says it’s not easy dealing with switching between “Somebody” and “Nobody.”

Those are just two of the names the former sitcom queen has given to her personalities, which she says total seven in all. The rest she calls Baby, Cindy, Susan, Joey, and Heather.

Maybe she should get them each their own twitter account.

That’s why, in my previous post, I suggested that the story of Roseanne’s controversial tweet is more amenable to ethical consideration than moral indignity.

 
mapadofu
 
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05 June 2018 08:37
 

I used to use the term jipped to refer to being ripped-off; I’ve come to learn that that term comes from Gypsyies (maybe the right spelling is gypped?) and is, in effect, a racial/ethnic slur against them as unscrupulous con-men and women.  Even though I didn’t know this history, of the term nor used as a slur against Gypsies, I still figure that my use of it was racist in the sense in its own small way saying “jipped” perpetuated a term of racial/ethnic disparagement.

At first glance, the word ape seems a bit different in that it doesn’t seem as directly tied to race.  It’s different, sure, but as I consider it more, I end up with the sense that the racial connotations of calling someone an ape are still there.  And those connotations still exist whether you or I or Roseanne are consciously aware of them.

[ Edited: 05 June 2018 09:02 by mapadofu]
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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05 June 2018 09:34
 
mapadofu - 05 June 2018 08:37 AM

At first glance, the word ape seems a bit different in that it doesn’t seem as directly tied to race.  It’s different, sure, but as I consider it more, I end up with the sense that the racial connotations of calling someone an ape are still there.  And those connotations still exist whether you or I or Roseanne are consciously aware of them.

Exactly so. 

If my (hypothetical) kid said “Billy jewed me out of my lunch today, ” or some such thing, repeating something he heard at school, I’d immediately correct the speech.  Of course he isn’t anti-Semitic; he has no idea what he’s saying.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the phrase is a racial (or ethnic) slur, and he shouldn’t be using it.  The phrase means more than he intends, regardless of his ignorance of that meaning.  But he’s a kid, so he gets a pass with a correction.

Barr is in a similar situation (allegedly), just from a different kind of ignorance.  She called a black woman a Muslim monkey; it’s right there in the Tweet.  In a sense, (if we are to believe her), she had no idea what she was saying, in this case because she didn’t know that Jarret was black.  But regardless of that ignorance, the Tweet was a still racial slur, just one with no more intent behind it than the racial slur from my kid.  In Barr’s case, she just didn’t know the meaning of “vj”—an ignorance that doesn’t change what those initials signify, anymore than my kid’s ignorance of the significations of “jewed” changes the significations it carries.  But she’s an adult, so she doesn’t get a pass and loses her show.

Your earlier point is, I think, spot on.  There is a world of difference between the Tweet being a racial slur and Barr being a racist.  The Tweet is a racial slur because of publicly shared meanings and significations.  Barr as “racist” requires some kind of private animosity or intent.  One can use the former without having the later, something that might be getting lost in using one word (“racist”) to describe both.  Perhaps if people just said Barr is wrong for using a racial slur to describe a black woman instead of Barr is racist or that the slur is “racist”, things might clear up.

[ Edited: 06 June 2018 06:05 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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05 June 2018 11:20
 

When I first heard the remark, I thought the reference was the film franchise and that someone looked like they were halfway through the make-up.

One needs to know the intention behind the usage and usually that is easy. Most of the time, it is not intended to cast someone as fundamentally sub-human. It is instead an ephemeral casting of the moment. Overload your plate at the banquet and someone says, “Don’t be a pig”. This is rarely a suggestion of an actual swine lineage.

Be large and clumsy and someone says, “Watch out, ya big ape!” Batteries are likened to bunnies.

Likening Trump to an orangutang indicates an abundance of dissatisfied derision looking for something to do. Mitch McConnell looks like a turtle. Newt looks like cauliflower. If we were blissfully happy with how they were doing their jobs, we would overlook these similarities.

Likewise, if we were happy with certain grouping of people’s desire for an equal status in society, we would not look for justifications for denying them such. When the intention is to genetically disqualify people from a role in society, it is hard to miss.

In Barr’s case, I can’t get past a yawn. It is like staring at a turd. What do you expect it to do?

 
 
Quadrewple
 
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12 June 2018 09:07
 

George Bush Looks like a CHIMP


Hikaru Nakamura Looks Like an ORANGUTAN


Patrick Ewing Looks Like a GORILLA


Alright guys, better do some detective work so you can find out which of those comparisons was racist.  Am I white, Asian, or black?  The prize is your own moronic logic on display.


___________________________________________________________________________________

All satire aside, comparing someone to an animal is obviously an insult - it was intended as an insult and a joke (though the joke in question wasn’t funny to me).  White people are not insecure about being compared to primates, Asian people are not insecure about being compared to primates, but black people obviously are - thus the massive backlash and accusations of racism.

The fact is, anyone who would claim comparing a black person to a primate is “racist” either has to dig up historical examples which are not at all relevant to the Roseanne situation, is secretly admitting that they think black people, as a group, resemble apes, OR they are applying different standards of what insults cross the line for different races (in which case my question is, what can’t black people compare white people to?  What can’t Asians compare white people to?  What can’t black people compare Asians to?  Or do you simply hold blacks to the lowest standard of being able to handle insults?)

I’d love to see anyone try and defend the notion that if you know someone is black (and you aren’t) and you make a joke about them resembling a primate, that is necessarily a racist statement.  Is my statement about George Bush racist?  Is my statement about Hikaru Nakamura racist?  I admire the athleticism on display with these mental gymnastics.


By the way, some Irish people look like pigs…..there we go, I said it!  I’m at least 1/8 Irish so I guess that statement was 7/8ths racist….....

 
 
Celal
 
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12 June 2018 10:07
 
Quadrewple - 12 June 2018 09:07 AM

George Bush Looks like a CHIMP


Hikaru Nakamura Looks Like an ORANGUTAN


Patrick Ewing Looks Like a GORILLA


Alright guys, better do some detective work so you can find out which of those comparisons was racist.  Am I white, Asian, or black?  The prize is your own moronic logic on display.


___________________________________________________________________________________

All satire aside, comparing someone to an animal is obviously an insult - it was intended as an insult and a joke (though the joke in question wasn’t funny to me).  White people are not insecure about being compared to primates, Asian people are not insecure about being compared to primates, but black people obviously are - thus the massive backlash and accusations of racism.

The fact is, anyone who would claim comparing a black person to a primate is “racist” either has to dig up historical examples which are not at all relevant to the Roseanne situation, is secretly admitting that they think black people, as a group, resemble apes, OR they are applying different standards of what insults cross the line for different races (in which case my question is, what can’t black people compare white people to?  What can’t Asians compare white people to?  What can’t black people compare Asians to?  Or do you simply hold blacks to the lowest standard of being able to handle insults?)

I’d love to see anyone try and defend the notion that if you know someone is black (and you aren’t) and you make a joke about them resembling a primate, that is necessarily a racist statement.  Is my statement about George Bush racist?  Is my statement about Hikaru Nakamura racist?  I admire the athleticism on display with these mental gymnastics.


By the way, some Irish people look like pigs…..there we go, I said it!  I’m at least 1/8 Irish so I guess that statement was 7/8ths racist….....

Excellent analysis!

Furthermore, if one follows logic in your case, you would identify yourself - if necessary - as 7/8th ancestry…. whatever that is.  Not as the 1/8th Irish. That is just common sense. But to the left,  if the person is 1/64th black, that makes him/her black person. Clearly the left is implying or pursuing racial purity!  That is why the left has the “One Drop Rule”.  Just like the red dot on the Cashmere Sweater, renders it as marked down and placed on the discount shelf.  As was parodied on the Seinfeld Show.

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Quadrewple
 
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12 June 2018 16:53
 
Celal - 12 June 2018 10:07 AM

Furthermore, if one follows logic in your case, you would identify yourself - if necessary - as 7/8th ancestry…. whatever that is.  Not as the 1/8th Irish. That is just common sense. But to the left,  if the person is 1/64th black, that makes him/her black person. Clearly the left is implying or pursuing racial purity!  That is why the left has the “One Drop Rule”.  Just like the red dot on the Cashmere Sweater, renders it as marked down and placed on the discount shelf.  As was parodied on the Seinfeld Show.

That is actually a brilliant point which I hadn’t considered.  I highly doubt that most of the people criticizing Roseanne’s joke were aware of her partially-African ancestry unless they actually Googled her.  If I had to guess her ancestry, I’d guess some South American country.  I even asked a couple people on Twitter to explain what was racist about Roseanne’s tweet and every single one of them refused to answer, claiming some variation of “If you even have to ask, you’re too ignorant to understand.”  Collective insanity at its finest, but they were wise not to answer because even typing out their logic would make it obvious to them how far they far they were stretching logic to make that claim.

“Some people with white skin have called and compared some people with brown skin to monkeys in the past.  The people with white skin did bad things to those people with brown skin.  Therefore Roseanne (because she has white skin) is racist.”

By the way, I need to watch that Seinfeld episode again!  That was one of the funniest from what I remember.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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17 June 2018 21:53
 

I don’t like referring to people or even to phrases as racist unless it’s beyond any kind of reasonable doubt. I feel like it’s usually ambiguous and open to a lot of interpretation and sub text and playing the racist card rarely helps shed any light.

That said I will call out certain behaviors as despicable, deplorable and stupid. The impulse of many people to err on the side of injustice as a matter of principle is one such. In the case of Roseanne she publicly apologized for her comments, described them as being inexcusable and told her followers not to defend them or her. I thought this was about as a wise a thing as she could have said in such an aftermath. Even so, many took upon themselves to disregard this request and to disregard basic decency and flip the tables on those who took offense. Essentially maintaining that anyone who complains about racial slurs or stereotypes is, themselves racist for invoking the notion in the first place. This seems like ludicrous reasoning to me but I find it’s extremely common. Especially in our current environment.

I think racist attitudes usually manifest themselves in this passive and passive aggressive fashion. It’s taboo to be direct about racist attitudes but it still plays to be a constant devils advocate and to ridicule the honest efforts of those protest tyranny. The whole kneeling football player debacle… it isn’t overtly racist but it’s passively parallel to racist attitudes and racist objectives. The current drama with ICE… a lot of racist stereotypes being thrown around here… few people will own it but many people are quite clearly, to my ear sympathetic. Part of me has a reluctant respect for the person who just says screw it, I’m gonna wear a swastika. At least we know where they stand. At least they don’t engage in this perpetual semantic chicken dance.

 
nonverbal
 
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18 June 2018 06:38
 
Celal, to Quad - 12 June 2018 10:07 AM

. . .

. . . if one follows logic in your case, you would identify yourself - if necessary - as 7/8th ancestry…. whatever that is.  Not as the 1/8th Irish. That is just common sense. But to the left,  if the person is 1/64th black, that makes him/her black person. Clearly the left is implying or pursuing racial purity!  That is why the left has the “One Drop Rule”.  Just like the red dot on the Cashmere Sweater, renders it as marked down and placed on the discount shelf.  As was parodied on the Seinfeld Show.

If you haven’t yet read Kingsblood Royal, I think you’d enjoy it:
https://www.amazon.com/Kingsblood-Royal-Modern-Library-Classics/dp/0375756868/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529328424&sr=1-1&keywords=kingsblood+royal+by+sinclair+lewis

 
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18 June 2018 07:13
 
Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2018 09:53 PM

In the case of Roseanne she publicly apologized for her comments, described them as being inexcusable and told her followers not to defend them or her. I thought this was about as a wise a thing as she could have said in such an aftermath. Even so, many took upon themselves to disregard this request and to disregard basic decency and flip the tables on those who took offense. Essentially maintaining that anyone who complains about racial slurs or stereotypes is, themselves racist for invoking the notion in the first place. This seems like ludicrous reasoning to me but I find it’s extremely common. Especially in our current environment.

Okay, but has Roseanne showed a history of racial animus towards black people?  Because if she as an individual hasn’t, and people are making an assumption her tweet was in some way racist, then her individual identity is being ignored in favor of her group identity, as is Valerie Jarrett’s.  That’s racism….by definition. 

What worries me even more is the amount of unadulterated hate I saw directed towards her - by some of the shit I was seeing on Twitter, you’d think she advocated for a genocide of black people.  Emotionally unstable people are using social media to look for people to spew their hatred at, and the hate is massively disproportional to the meanness of the original comment.

It’s also funny to me that such a tweet would’ve probably gone under the radar without these “journalists” turning it viral.  What did the world gain from this tweet being heard about and read about by millions of people?  I guess if you’re a very pathetic person on the left, a conservative person in the media lost their job, and that’s enough of a justification to get thousands of people angry over something that literally has zero effect on their lives.

Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2018 09:53 PM

It’s taboo to be direct about racist attitudes but it still plays to be a constant devils advocate and to ridicule the honest efforts of those protest tyranny.

Okay but what does that have to do with a white comedian insulting a partially black former political advisor?

Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2018 09:53 PM

The whole kneeling football player debacle… it isn’t overtly racist but it’s passively parallel to racist attitudes and racist objectives.

What does “passively parallel” mean?

Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2018 09:53 PM

The current drama with ICE… a lot of racist stereotypes being thrown around here… few people will own it but many people are quite clearly, to my ear sympathetic.

ICE is a political issue and an issue of the rule of law.  Have you heard even a single person out there say or even imply that we should only deport illegal immigrants if they aren’t white?

Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2018 09:53 PM

Part of me has a reluctant respect for the person who just says screw it, I’m gonna wear a swastika. At least we know where they stand. At least they don’t engage in this perpetual semantic chicken dance.

What does wearing a swastika have to do with anything?  I would challenge you to respond to my first post on this thread (#66) if you think that the people who disagree with you are engaging in a “perpetual semantic chicken dance.”

 
 
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