Car Guy, a Black man from Ghana, writes:
Tulio (a US Black) is right. This is a silly topic. This Justin guy says Africans are closer to apes and then uses the fact that they have “flatter faces and noses, flared nostrils, big lips, etc” as evidence. As a poster already mentioned above, many East Asians have those features, including relatively thick lips (not that apes have thick lips), so what does that make them? If East Asians don’t look like Apes, then neither do the Khoisan, supposedly the earliest humans on earth, who happen to look rather East Asian. He says, “You can pick any black out of a crowd in America, strip ‘em of his clothes and place him in a jungle and he’d look right at home. Just give him a spear and wish him good luck.” The guy clearly has an agenda, so why would you even entertain his comment, Robert?
I didn’t intend to agree with Justin’s comment, and I’m not sure why he made those comments. Justin is a politically nonracist White man whose heroes are JFK, RFK and MLK from the Sixties. In particular, he honors the Civil Rights movement. However, like many White liberals, as you can see, he has his racist moments. One of the things that I have been trying pound into people’s heads forever on this site is that many good White liberals and even Leftists have at least some, and sometimes more than some, racist feelings. They don’t express them politically, but they sometimes do in private, often after a few drinks, and only in certain company. Racist jokes are also likely to be entertained with select company behind closed doors. At the same time, this identical leftwing Whites take offense at a lot of what they consider to be extreme racism, political racism, out front racism, hard racism or even racism that goes too far. For sure they are often frightened of Blacks and avoid them. Many are wary of having relationships, friendships or especially romantic and sexual ones, with Blacks. Many have a generally low opinion of Black culture, especially the lower class culture. Quite a few are a lot more “race realist” than you might think. In general, at worst their attitudes about Blacks are what you might call “cynical.” On the other hand though, they get mad about a lot of racism. They oppose all discrimination. They oppose all overt racism. They hate political racism and often discuss the racist politics of the Right, which they hate. I remember my mother told me about the father of my cousin’s wife, a man who lived in rural southern Illinois. When his daughter was pregnant and had to go to the hospital, they had a Black doctor. He pulled his wife out and got her another doctor because he said something along the lines of, “No nigger is going to deliver my daughter’s baby!” My mother was outraged and offended by that sort of high octane racism, and it just went to show that he was an inferior Southern cracker. I want to point out to Blacks that liberal and even Leftist Whites are not so free of racism as you might think! That’s not necessarily a good thing, but I think Blacks ought to know that. Are all Whites racist? Not really, but there’s more to White racism especially the covert varieties, than you think. Now what should Blacks and antis do with this information? I am not sure. I guess that is up to them to decide. Let’s get real here for a second. The Blacks = apes, gorillas or chimps meme is as old as forever. A lot of people think it’s very offensive, but is there anything to it? What’s the basis for it anyway? Are there features in common that cause this offensive stereotype? How should antis and Blacks react to this comment other than just shouting it down and screaming censorship? By the way, shouting down and ordering people to shut up is all that Blacks and their anti allies ever do. What’s the point of that? Why don’t Blacks and their allies attempt to counter the argument is some other way other than jumping up and down screaming, “You can’t say that!”? I would think that mature folks including relaxed Blacks and their anti and nonracist allies could have a reasonable discussion about this topic without screaming and yelling and telling people to shut up or degenerating into racist bullshit. So that’s in part what I was trying to do with that post. It’s also an interesting question, ugly and hurtful though it is, and it deserves investigation as all scientific questions do to see if there is anything to it or not. Now in the crowd that I run in, saying Blacks = apes, monkeys, chimps, gorillas, etc. is considered to be extremely rude, gauche, an undignified and dishonorable statement lacking of a nonracist White of some refinement. It’s really gutter talk, and if you start talking like that, people will sort of tell you to shut up. An anecdote will illustrate. I used to know a famous writer named Avram Davidson. He came to visit me and stayed with me near the end of his life. I was trying to find him a place to stay nearby, but nothing would work out. Avram was a former Orthodox Jew, one of the smartest men I have ever met. But it was said that he didn’t like Blacks too much. As a well-behaved Jewish intellectual, Black crime just scared the crap out of him. However, he had lived for a number of years in British Honduras, a place that is filled with Blacks. Avram was a friend of my family’s – really my father’s friend and not mine. He and my father had met as medics on Okinawa in the Pacific and then went to China together after the war. They kept in touch for the rest of their lives, and he used to visit when I was a child and young man living at home. My mother was fond of repeating one of Avram’s anecdotes about Blacks, which involved mass integration with White communities and breaking up large concentrations of Blacks that tend to descent to the lowest common denominator by reinforcement and egging on. “A Black a block!” he would say forcefully. “Spread em out and civilize em!” But in 1991 when he was visiting me, I mentioned that some Blacks looked like apes. Avram got rather offended by this and acted like was marginally not-OK conversation. “Some of them do,” he said forcefully. “Some of them do.” He said it as if he wanted to put the conversation to rest.