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Questions and confusions of a stupid white male

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Stiofan, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    I noticed a thread at another off site forum which started out as a joke, comparing George W. Bush to a chimpanzee. Poster after poster keep adding to the tirade, and it was all in good fun. People posted a photo from some web site, which has made the rounds lately which had comparisons between GW and chimps.

    I know most of the posters, and they are all white. Most are male. It struck me that if the subject of their humor was a minority, public comparisons like this, even in humor, would cause some degree of outrage and cries of racism. Shaq O'Neil's recent ill-timed remarks regarding his chinese opponent's language has resulted in a lot of furor lately from the Asian community in L.A. and elsewhere. It seems that most minorities are hypersensitive about things like this, but whites are not. And I don't think that the subject being GW is an excuse. I don't think you could get away posting photos of a black politician with a chimp.

    In America has it become generally accepted to be able to insult white males, where it's not ever questioned anymore? Should white males be able to treat others as they are being treated, or should they never offend, even when being slammed themselves. Why is it that white males have to be thick skinned, and others do not.

    Here's the photo to let you know what I'm talking about.
  2. bruzzes

    bruzzes Truthslayer


    I love my president and am generally dismayed when he is being attacked.

    But...what a priceless picture! I am sure it was made in jest and I think it is OK.

    You are right tho...
    Posting gorillas and chimps with a black person would be considered an affront and racist.

    But after viewing some of the antics of republicans and democrats, double standards are still the reality.

    Great topic and picture!!!
  3. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Yeah, I thought it was funny too, but that brings up another point. Are white guys the only ones who can laugh at themselves? I hope not.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    White males tend to be concentrating on things that matter more than petty feelings of being insulted. They also tend to have better sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves.

    When your parents, community, school, church, and other places you frequent, constantly tell you that you SHOULD be insulted by most of the things that other nationalities say about you, you will do just that.
  5. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Nope, I know quite a few African American folks who laugh at Al Sharpton.
  6. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    We're told we have to have a sense of humor about comments which, if made about other races, would be considered prejudiced. If we don't laugh, we're told we're showing our racist or discriminatory tendencies.

    Can't win either way ;)
  7. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    The standard rule of thumb appears to be that, w.r.t. making demeaning remarks (that specifically relates to skin color, culture or heritage), whites can make fun of whites, and blacks and can fun of blacks, and jews and make fun of jews, but one group making fun of another group can be considered racist.

    However, it's not quite that simple.

    Consider this: say the above photo compilation was created by some black students. Would it be considered racist? Relatively speaking, not really -- the reason is, there's no societal archetype that links whites to lower primates. The joke would simply be that Bush is a monkey, not because he's evolutionarily closer to a monkey, but because he's (say, for example) a doofus.

    However, if a bunch of white students made a similar photo compilation comparing Al Sharpton to chimpanzees, it would be considered racist. Why the difference? The difference is that there's a societal archetype dating back to the days of slavery where blacks were considered not much higher than monkeys. Any such reference is therefore condoning those reprehensible notions that blacks are 3/5 human, etc. People in this country actually believed this at one time.

    Now, if Bush had been likened to a hooded klansman by black students, that would be considered racist. There is a societal archetype, in African-American culture anyway, of whites considering themselves supreme.

    But, if Al Sharpton were likened to a jelly donut by white students, that should not be considered racist -- fatist perhaps, but not racist. ;) Again, no archetype associated with race, thus not racist.

    Not sure if this makes any sense to you, but it's only way I can make sense of it.

    EDIT: To complete the above though, I should add this: the reason whites need to be more careful about making racist remarks, or perpetuating racists ideas, is because there are more negative archetypes associated with the black race than for the white race, by shear virtue of the fact that blacks have been discriminated against for so long, while whites have not.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Good analysis, Cor.
  9. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    IMHO, that is incorrect. We should ALL be more careful about making racist remarks and those who in the past who were down trodden I would expect should be more sensitive to the effects of racism. What, we should let them make up for lost time? I don't think so.

    As for the pictures, come on.... they are both so CUTE! Isn't that Bonzo that Reagan used to start with in the movies? rofl
  10. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Yes, indeed, we should. However, I don't think there's any doubt that whites walk on eggshells more so than blacks when it comes to making racists statements or perpetuating racist ideas -- or at least it seems this way. I was simply offering an explanation for why this might be.
  11. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    I wonder if African Americans laugh at the idea that the racist idiot might actually be selected by the Democrat party to run for President?
  12. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    You mean Trent Lott? ;)
  13. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I don't care if anyone makes fun of us white males. We still control all of the money and political power and always will, so let them hurl whatever insults they desire.
  14. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Context is all. Coriolis has it right.

    Comparing a white man to a chimpanzee is funny, because it's just ridiculous. There is no historical context. There has never been an established "scientific" idea that white men are closer to being animals than being human. There has, however been a "scientific" definition of the line of "development" that went from monkeys, to apes, to neanderthals, to Africans, Europeans--so that only Europeans were truly developed human beings. (Stephen Jay Gould's excellent essay on "The Hottentot Venus" in <i>The Flamingo's Smile</i> is relevant here).

    In that historical context, comparing a Black man to a chimpanzee is absolutely racist, while comparing a white man to the same chimpanzee is not (although in the case of GWB, the chimp might be insulted ;) ).

    There's a kid's game called "monkey in the middle." A few years ago at this college, there was a meeting of three white deans, and a black assistant. One of the deans, placing a chair for the assistant, jokingly said "here, Louise, you can be the monkey in the middle." She didn't mean anything by it, she wasn't trying to be insulting, but Louise was shocked and hurt. She found herself unable to remain in the meeting. I think if Louise had been white, the comment would have been ignored or forgotten. But in that context it was a very insensitive comment. No one was fired, or sued, but the dean apologized to Louise, in writing, and learned something about context.
  15. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Well, unless the assistant had never heard of the game or phrase before, she took it out of context. The idea that she was so "hurt and shocked" that she had to leave the meeting, IMO, is rediculous.
  16. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Should have made that clear. The assistant had never heard of the game or phrase before. Neither had I, before this incident.
  17. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Even so, I really find it a little over the top that the assistant had to leave the meeting. These aren't the days of stringing up the "niggers" from the tree.... she more than likely wasn't even around when all of that garbage was going on. If she was, she would have known how to handle it..... either up front and out in the open or with a little "joke" of her own. If she wasn't around for all of the garbage, then what is she so sensitive about? Who taught her to be so sensitive about it?

    I don't know... I just think this political correctness and extreme sensitivity is too much.
  18. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Honestly, cydweeks, I think she was being a bit oversensitive. But I don't think it's a good approach, when someone's offended for reasons we don't really understand, to just decide that it's too much and they should get over it.

    I'm not saying we should go around walking on eggshells and never being able to say anything, but I do think there's a certain effort toward civility that we all need to take as our responsibility.

    How much effort does it really take to say, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I'll try to remember not to make that kind of joke again?"

    We never know what people's past experiences have been. This woman grew up in the South, in the late fifties. The garbage was very real to her, not just something she was "taught."

    In any case, I don't think the days of stringing people up from trees are all that far behind us. It was only a few years ago, in 1998, in Jasper, Texas, that James Byrd was chained and dragged to pieces behind a pickup truck, because of his race.

    Like I said, Louise didn't sue anyone, no one was fired, but it wasn't a joke to her. It wasn't funny. She's a woman of great dignity, very courteous and humane. She's a mother and grandmother. She was in a professional situation, and she was shocked by what she heard as a seriously crude and hurtful remark. I know what you're saying, and there are certainly times when "political correctness" goes too far, but I meant this case to illustrate that there are also times when we can learn something, and live together in a more comfortable and understanding environment.

    The dean in question still works at the college, and she and Louise have become good friends. They work together, and sometimes go out for lunch or a cup of coffee after work.

    I think that (sometimes) just hiding or lauging away offensive remarks is a very bad idea. Confronting assumptions, and making progress toward real communication, seems like a better course.
  19. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I affectionately refer to my two daughters as "my little monkeys". The oldest one (3), thinks this is a hoot, and likes to make jokes and little ooh! ooh! sounds. It's very cute and good for giggles, laughs, and quality time.

    A woman at the supermarket, a month or so ago, got very upset when she heard me refer to the oldest one as "my little monkey". She was appalled that I would compare "a precious child" to "a filthy ape" and intimated that people like me should be locked up and their children given up for adoption.

    I laughed in her face and made some comment about needing to get a life. My point? You can never tell what will set some people off.

    Sometimes you laugh at them, and sometimes there is a context you need to be aware of....
  20. midranger4

    midranger4 Banned

    All I know is those pictures do absolutely no justice to the chimps :)

    And yes...it is definitely open season on white males, after all...we deserve it right :rolleyes:

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