Why is the word "monkey" associated with racism

@pitstop (5396)
India
January 11, 2008 10:50am CST
Ok - I dont want to cause a controversy, but I still dont understand why calling someone a Monkey is being racist. I understand it as an insult - but cricketers on the field use a lot of swear words and stuff and calling them an animal seems light! What is the origin to call this racist? Or is it just an exaggerated word! I understand that calling someone a Terrorist is quite bad or calling them by color is definitely racist! Can someone explain this to me - this is a genuine doubt
2 people like this
8 responses
• United States
11 Jan 08
Hopefully this comes before you get slammed with a lot of negativity. "Monkey" is associated with racism because in times of slavery and segregation in the United States, racist whites used this term toward black people. Some even believed that we were closely related to monkeys because of our dark skin. So saying that to a black person is almost as bad as using the n-word. I would refrain from it if I were you.
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@pitstop (5396)
• India
12 Jan 08
Thanks a lot - that clears up my doubt completely. I didnt realise that it had such a significance and thought that the term was non-specific. I hope no-one gets offended by my post - the intention is to clear up a genuine doubt and alos help others understand it.
1 person likes this
• Zambia
24 Jan 08
drknlvly6781's answer is the best response to this topic! Cheers. On others justifying the monkey slur on evolution, how come monkeys have not evolved and yet "we"evolved from them? This is food for thought for evolutionists!
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• United States
24 Jan 08
I have something else to say. Forgetting about the racist connotation related to calling a black person a monkey, and focusing solely on evolution. Why wouldn't a person get offended if you called them a Monkey. I mean, even looking at it in this light, you are calling them a lower life form, you are saying that they are not as evolved as the rest of us. Its still a hurtful word no matter which way you look at it.
@jayman32 (268)
• Australia
12 Jan 08
i think we are all in the same boat as you pitstop, i think things went to far on that one and blown all out of proportion. he does look kinda monkeyish though..:)
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@pitstop (5396)
• India
13 Jan 08
Careful.... you could get into trouble for saying that!
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@jayman32 (268)
• Australia
14 Jan 08
I'l keep that in mind.......
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• India
20 Jan 08
i dont understand what kinda trouble ur talking abt all our ancestors wre monkeys i wish u might b knowing this then wht the hell one feels bad upon being called a monkey dats our past we have evolved frm it.infact let me tell you that india even a god is called a monkey(Hunuman) and prayed all arnd in india for the strenght he possesses. n so i think dat the cricketer must feel proud abt dat rather then thinking abt this evry time he looks in the mirror.
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@gloria777 (1678)
• India
12 Jan 08
Its mine doubt too. It cannot be termed as racism. Its only an insult to physical appearance. Anyway from such controversies the concerned parties get so much publicity. Thats what they meant from this.
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@pitstop (5396)
• India
12 Jan 08
If you read drknlvly6781's reply you will realise theres more to the word than just the physical appearance or the animal. I was enlightened by the reply!
1 person likes this
12 Jan 08
We have to accept the fact that we r the descendants of the monkey n as we belong to the same species but thinking the physical appearance of the monkey comparing to u then that would be an insult but it would really matter f u tolerate n this kind of topic..
@I_LUV_U (2519)
• India
12 Jan 08
It is just the difference in cultures that is playing havoc, leading to as many controversies and criticisms. In australia, as some former cricket player said, calling others "lucky b*stards" is something very common and trivial. It is as common there as it is calling someone "monkey" in India. But we Indians take offense when being called upon "lucky b*stards" by the australians. Similarly, Andrew Symonds happened to be offended with this "monkey" chanting by Indians and allegedly harbhajan. A better solution to sort out these differences would be to completely ban the players of two teams from getting verbal on field. Anybody trying to have a word with the opposite team player should be punished by ICC, regardless of whether he abused or not. There's simply no reason for the batsmen and the fielding team to indulge in talks on field, umpires are always there to mediate if such a situation calls for.
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@SukiSmiles (1998)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I don't know much about cricket, but I can tell you that the term - at least how I learned it - is asociated with racism. A few years back I was talking with a lady from some organization that fights sterotypes (wish I could remember the name). She told me that people with dark skin as being associated with monkeys. For the life of me I can't remember why. Only that very recently (a few years back) when she was in the north part of the east coast of the US - in a very rural place - that some older person asked her where her tail was. He was wondering where she was hiding it since she was wearing pants. I was very shocked because I thought it was so ignorant and because I had never heard of it before.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
26 Jan 08
I have no idea. I would think that "monkey" as a deriative word would be calling that person an animal. Since I do believe that man came from apes, anyone calling anyone a "monkey" would mean that they do not have a soul and are therefore acting or looking like an animal. I have no idea what this term came from, except it must have been in the South. I have read a few books where Negroes (to distinguish them from people of Africa who came from the north or of European stock) were called "c*oons" and "pickaninnies" and the ones who said the former were usually poor whites who did not have a good education. These books were written in the 19th century by the way, but not the term "monkey."
• New Zealand
17 Jan 08
i think moneky word is realted and represent black people ..and because of this monkey is realted to racist word....cheers
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