Value Voters Summit, Part I - The "Monkey Joke"

@anniepa (27495)
United States
September 21, 2009 8:51pm CST
You probably heard about the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this past weekend where they held a 2012 Presidential straw poll among 9 conservative Republicans. Among the speakers was Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is running for U.S. Senate in 2010. He included a joke about British colonists in India, who build a golf course next to a jungle -- a hilarious jungle that just happens to be filled with pesky monkeys! And here comes the punchline, in Blunt's own words: "Almost from the day the first ball was hit on this golf course something happened they didn't anticipate: monkeys would come running out of the jungle and then grab the golf balls. (pause for chuckles) And if it was in the fairway, they might throw it in the rough. And if it was in the rough, they might throw it -- they might throw it back at you! (pause for mild laughs) And I can point to great and long detail about how many things they tried to eliminate the monkey problem, but they never got it done. So finally for this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. (pause for laughs) And that is the rule in Washington all the time. (pause for huge laughs)" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/9/19/784155/-Rep.-Roy-Blunts-racist-monkey-joke-(Updated) OK, I KNOW most of you HATE the DailyKos but I only got the transcript of the joke from them and the link to the video, which I happened to see on TV. I'm not asking nor expecting anyone to pay any attention to the opinions expressed in this so-called "hate blog" because I know you all can think for yourselves, right? Watch and listen to the joke here: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/content/audio-roy-blunts-monkey-joke I KNOW there's a lot of sensitivity over people feeling they're being unjustly accused of being racists so I'm not going to come right out and say Blount is a racist or his joke was meant to be racist. Again, you can decide for yourselves. Here's the conclusion of Blount's speech where he mention's Jimmy Carter's and then refers back to his joke:. "Don't be intimidated out of this fight. President Carter said if you disagree with this president, it's somehow fundamentally racist in nature... That's not what this is about. And we can't be intimidated into believing that that's what this is about... You do have to play the ball where it's thrown in this case." Any thoughts...and could be PLEASE keep it civil and respectful because I'm not accusing anyone of anything, I just found this interesting... Annie
2 people like this
8 responses
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I'd be willing to bet Blunt was daring people to call him a racist for the joke itself, though I doubt it had any racist intent behind it. As we already know, those who think first about race and second about everything else will see the term 'monkey', and go ape sh*t (figuratively speaking). DailyKos predictably rose to the challenge. I don't really find the joke funny, but I see what he's talking about and I agree with him.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I see what he's getting at, too, but WHY was he "daring people to call him a racist"? I'm of the opinion there are lots of people from both sides to blame for all the controversy or whatever it should be called that's been going on regarding race, playing the "race card", "race baiting", etc. I'm like Stephen Colbert - I don't see race! Annie
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Because, unfortunately, there are people in this country that are genuinely of the opinion that most of us who don't like Obama dislike him because of his race, and not his policies. He would be daring them to call him a racist because it would show their true race-baiting colors.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8712)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Where's the racism? Which monkey was break dancing? Which one was rapping? Which one was wearing the afro? Which monkey was wearing his pants belted to his knees?
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@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Aren't afros out now...lol? Annie
@irishidid (8712)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I see them once in a great while. Not as often as I used to though.
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
22 Sep 09
Can't say I saw anything racist in this one. It seemed to make fun of Washngton and the difficulties of working in it, but I can't say i saw anything racist. It wsn't directed at any one person or even group of people other than politicians, though calling politicians is not only giving politicians too much credit, it's an unsult to monkeys. However, marque my words, this WILL be billed as a racist statement by the media, I'm sure it's all over already.
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@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
22 Sep 09
LOL Mr. L.....Couldn't resist But, thanks for standing up for those poor monkeys being called politicians
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I kind of had a feeling I'd get this type of reaction from most of those who responded, X. I sincerely hope you're right and that it wasn't intended to be a joke with somewhat subtle racial undertones. I always found it sick and disgusting when people would make jokes in the past where they'd liken African-Americans to monkeys (or chimps or apes). I'm an animal lover from way back but when any person or group of people is compared to an animal it's saying they're somehow sub-human. If a white person is called a monkey it may be insulting but obviously it wouldn't be racist since there has never been that association between monkeys and Caucasians. Obviously, if Blount had told that joke when anyone else was in the White House there probably wouldn't have been a word said about it but do you really think he'd have told it in that case? I guess what I'm trying to get across without offending anyone is that since we ARE in such a sensitive time in this nation right now, no matter who's to blame, isn't it insensitive at the least to tell this kind of joke knowing what the reaction by some may be? Couldn't that be seen as baiting? Annie
• United States
22 Sep 09
It seems no one can make a joke about the president or Washington anymore without someone calling it racist. Did you hear President CLinton was on larry king live last night and basically said President Carter is right about his racist comment. It is the best weapon they have (the race card) and it looks like they are planning to use the heck out of it. The president and our government in general have been made fun of and been the butt of jokes for ages and ages.....so why should it stop now just because of the President's skin color. Can't they take a joke?
2 people like this
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I have no problem with anyone making jokes about anyone in Washington! Sometimes when things are tough it's better to laugh because otherwise we'd cry, right...lol? However, I have to disagree with what you wrote about President Clinton's comments about President Carter's words. I suppose it depends on how it's spun! I've heard commentators say Clinton agreed totally with Carter, that he'd DISAGREED and somewhere in the middle. From the little bit I've heard of the King interview I'd have to agree with the latter. Of course, that depends on how you spin Carter's words. I did NOT take Carter to say "all" of those opposed to President Obama's policies are racially motivated but that SOME are. I honestly don't understand why those of you who are in the VAST MAJORITY of those opposed to various policies the President and Congress have proposed can't just admit there are some who share your opposition who happen to also be racists and simply distance yourself from them. I also don't know why the "other side" can't just lay off the race issue and stop looking for it. I've put it this way before but I think everyone should try to be both more sensitive and less sensitive. Annie
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Does anyone know what he means about "their values being challenged"? I couldn't get beyond that since I kept thinking of Sanford's values. I guess I understand why the conservative in your other discussion said I don't have a sense of humor because if that is a conservative type of humor than their right because that "joke" was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I don't think it was raciest I think he was just trying to be funny, in that conservative sense of humor that liberals don't understand. You have to remember that Rush is their "offer up" of humor. Think Rush is funny?
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Sep 09
Rush is not even amusing much less funny. I truely can not stand that man. He is just another shock rock radio jockey in my opinion. And while i may not be a republican. I am a conservative. So not all of us love him. But he is laughing all the way to the bank with all the contraversy he sturs up.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
22 Sep 09
That's great that not all conservatives love him. But, everytime I hear Rush is the leader of the Republican party a conservative come back is "he's an entertainer" so since he doesn't sing and dance the last choice is comedy. That is my explaination of " You have to remember that Rush is their "offer up" of humor. "
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Sep 09
I know a lot of republicans that not only like him but take his show seriously. I don't know how. I have listened. I get more of a giggle out of how outragous he is than by what he is saying. But I can not take him seriously. I guess I have a different sense of humor. I don't like him But then I am not a republican.
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@irisheyes (4372)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Although I didn't see racism in Blunt's statments, I agree with what Carter said which was that racism was at the root of a lot of the oppostion to Obama. (I don't think Carter ever said it was at the root of ALL opposition. Blount twisted Carter's statements) The truth is that few will come out and publicly state that they can not stand having an African American president but some will just self rightously denounce everything Obama attempts to do and claim that their oppostion is completely based on their feelings about the policy. They think that makes them politically correct and no one will ever suspect that they are racist. Motivation is always hard to call and it's probably best for now to just do what Obama is doing and take the high road. Sooner or later these latent racists will become emboldened enough to slip up and let it show. (That guy who called "You lie" came close, I think)
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@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I think President Obama is handling this just right. I also agree with what Carter said and that his words have been twisted. Never in a million years would I say everyone who disagrees with Obama or the Democrats in Congress are racists! I wouldn't like being accused of racism anymore than anyone else. However, it seems like we've gotten so hypersensitive to the point where if anyone implies that someone who shares any of our views is racist that means they're calling US a racist as well and I don't believe that but why not just denounce those who ARE? I think Joe Wilson did more than come close, simply based on his history. He was one of only 7 South Carolina Senators who voted to keep the Confederate Flag and he's been part of organizations that have ties to white supremacist groups. Most people had never heard of him before that speech and his ONLY claim to fame had been those questionable connections. Annie
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@irisheyes (4372)
• United States
23 Sep 09
This is very interesting, Annie. Although I didn't know much (and haven't had time to check things out) about this guy's background, I could hear the venom in his voice when he called out and I was pretty sure it wasn't related to one politician's anger over another's alleged lies (They are all very tolerant of each other 's lies). I felt then (& now) that it was the anger of a man who could not stand the idea of having a black man address him as his president. He just knew better than to scream out an obviously racist comment. Just give him a little more rope and he'll hang himself. They always do.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22971)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
22 Sep 09
I think he was saying that, while we can't be afraid to be called racist (or anything else) for our views and positions, we also can't decide what others are going to say about us. Carter and others can "throw golf balls" all day long without fear of getting anything thrown back at them. We can sit and whine about the name calling or we can continue to play the fairway, taking whatever "monkeys" as they come. Reagan was the last president I can remember that simply accepted "monkeys" and "golf balls" as part of the game. He knew where the green was, knew what par was and kept his eye on playing for eagles and holes in one. All the other presidents during my lifetime have been the people who tried everything to ban the monkeys, only to find that trying to change that which can't be ordered around is futile. They spent too much time wishing they could alter the game to fit their agenda instead of working for the agenda itself.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Hey, that's pretty deep there, Ted. I think possibly TOO deep for some of those who attended the Values Voters Summit...lol! Annie
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I think we need to exterminate monkeys, remove the memory of their behavior and appearance from all human brains, and remove the word from our language. There are just far too many liberals who can't handle the concept of a monkey or even a mention of the word. It doesn't surprise me in the least that you had to go to DailyKOS again. I'm surprised those morons haven't started protesting zoos and calling them all racists for having monkeys on the premises. Those monkeys are a racist insult to every black person that enters the zoo and they know it.
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Taskr, that's not fair at all! I wrote in my OP that DailyKos had only been used as a source to get the transcript of the speech I'd seen elsewhere on TV and that the opinions they expressed had nothing to do with my views. Others who have responded here have been respectful when they've given their opinion that this wasn't intended to be racist. Maybe Roy Blount had no racist intent whatsoever when he told that joke but he DID later mention Jimmy Carter's comments and then refer back to the joke, did he not? By the sound of the reaction of the crowd there were possibly even some ultra conservatives who had attended that summit who had their suspicions about his motives. My personal opinion is that this joke told by Rep. Blount doesn't "prove" him to be a racist by any means. I really don't know enough about his record to make a judgment either way about him. However, I suspect he was "pushing the envelope" in the hopes that he'd be accused of telling a racist joke so he and other conservatives could be offended and outraged by the "liberal morons" who "can't handle the concept of a monkey". Annie
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
22 Sep 09
Annie I'm not saying you feel the same way as the morons at DailyKOS. I'm saying that I knew you'd go there for the story because it's garbage being pushed by hateful extremists like them. The fact still stands that anytime someone mentions a monkey and politics in the same breath, people like those at DailyKOS will scream racism just as they did with that stupid chimp cartoon that mentioned the stimulus.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27495)
• United States
22 Sep 09
The truth is, Taskr, I didn't actually "go there for the story", I did a search on Roy Blount, Values Voters Summit and monkey joke AFTER I'd seen clips from his speech telling the joke on several TV shows and I'd also heard about it on a local radio show. I just happened to come to the DailyKos site and discovered they ahd the transcript of Blount's words - which I'd heard so I knew they were accurate - and also the link to the audio/video of it. I made it a point to add a "disclaimer" in my OP for the benefit of you and some of my other friends here. I don't entirely disagree with you when you write, "The fact still stands that anytime someone mentions a monkey and politics in the same breath, people like those at DailyKOS will scream racism just as they did with that stupid chimp cartoon that mentioned the stimulus." I just wish I were articulate enough to make the point that we should be able to meet each other halfway on this. I have no doubt there are people on the left who spend hours every day going through every clip and editorial or blog they can find to find SOMETHING they can cry "RACIST" about and I HATE that! I also think there are some on the right who probably don't have a racist bone in their bodies but they still can't resist baiting the left, daring them to say they're racists. It's far from being a majority on either side but can't we both admit they do exist? Annie