There is nothing that disgusts me more than the view of four privileged white men known for their conservative views sitting around and discussing whether they found the NY Post cartoon of yesterday racist, as they did this morning on Morning Joe. ("I didn't think it was racist; did you find it racist, Pat Buchanan?" "I didn't, Joe, and I think Halperin will back me up on that. You know, blacks can be so sensitive sometimes." Not an exact transcript, but close enough) And as expected, they brought up the fact that Bush had been portrayed as a chimp frequently.
Talking about missing the forest for the trees. It wasn't just the metaphor of the chimp, but the fact that the chimp was shot dead by the cops. Remind me again when any political commentator EVER suggested killing Bush or even the Bushchimp? Oh that's right, never. 1600 Penn guest and blogger at Jack & Jill Politics, Baratunde Thurston reminds us of the long, sordid history of conflating African Americans with primates and police brutality:
I mentioned that a psychologist at UCLA has studied the link between seeing blacks as apes, monkeys, etc and treating them brutally. [..]The psychologist is Dr. Phillip A. Goff. I actually attended undergrad with him which is why I’m familiar with his work. [..]
In short, what Dr. Goff and his colleagues have found is a clear connection between the psychology of racism and real harm to black people. Further, they have been working with police departments across the nation to study their records, analyze their people and adjust their training in order to save the lives of black people and improve the effectiveness of policing. This is truly where the academy meets the streets.
Next week in NYC, on February 26, there will be a summit on racial and gender bias in policing and the need to expand these studies and their remedies. Here’s an article Dr. Goff wrote yesterday in response to the NY Post cartoon. I strongly urge you to read the entire thing and follow the links.
Little Things Are Still a Big Deal