Monkey on our back, racists stereotypes

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm


Is the US still pretty racist underneath it all?:

Historical representations explicitly depicting Blacks as apelike have largely disappeared in the United States, yet a mental association between Blacks and apes remains. Here, the authors demonstrate that U.S. citizens implicitly associate Blacks and apes. In a series of laboratory studies, the authors reveal how this association influences study participants' basic cognitive processes and significantly alters their judgments in criminal justice contexts. Specifically, this Black-ape association alters visual perception and attention, and it increases endorsement of violence against Black suspects. In an archival study of actual criminal cases, the authors show that news articles written about Blacks who are convicted of capital crimes are more likely to contain ape-relevant language than news articles written about White convicts. Moreover, those who are implicitly portrayed as more apelike in these articles are more likely to be executed by the state than those who are not. The authors argue that examining the subtle persistence of specific historical representations such as these may not only enhance contemporary research on dehumanization, stereotyping, and implicit processes but also highlight common forms of discrimination that previously have gone unrecognized. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)

Found this via the always excellent: Eric Barker's barking up the wrong tree

Unfortunately I have to say  that personal evidence would back this paper up.

I blogged and agitated over the michelle obama monkey picture fiasco a while back, some of the comments I got back from the US astounded me e.g.
googleuser- "if the image is there its because it's real, yes she DOES look like a monkey to millions of Americans and to me. Fact. Look at her jaws hanks to google for not allowing filtering and other data manipulation whch would go against google's data and search integrity. Google does NOT have to apologize."

Even if we ignore the fact that the inappropriate picture was topping the rankings as a scam rather than a legitimate listing it does sadden me that this is still where we are at ?
On the surface it seems almost childishly stupid.
However when the facts start to point to this kind of stereotyping effecting treatment in the justice system or the workplace it becomes a very serious matter. 

In normal non internet life its unlikely I'm going to run into the guy above. 
If I do he's not going to express his views to me.

  • How do we meaningfully engage with people who think like this and let their views effect their behaviour ? 
  • How do we raise and tackle these kinds of issues in a constructive way ?
  • Even if I'm willing to be offended in order to deal with and counter these views its unlikely that those that hold them will be willing to confront me with this level of argument.

An Offer of Dialogue

I've done a lot of diversity training and written a lot of material on diversity of all kinds. 

So here's an offer if , you really can't see what all this "blacks look like monkey's" fuss is about 
Or you feel your justified in your views that blacks are inferior (bell curve and all)  
Then please I want to talk to you.
  • If you know anyone like this then please feel free to point them my way 
  • I promise I won't seek to out you, or ridicule you
  • I would like to start a dialogue regarding the validity of your views
  • I promise we can make the dialogue completely anonymous
  • I'm not picking a fight or inviting pointless insult here 
  • If you legitimately hold these views I would genuinely be interested in hearing from you.


Posted via email from Urban Ascetic (Lite)


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