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Tags lawsuits , New York incidents , racism charges , racism incidents , school incidents

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Old 11th January 2020, 09:07 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Yeah, we get all that. Its the finer points that are a little murky, like using the innocent phrase 'monkey see, monkey do'. That is not specific to black people, the way a slur or wearing chains would be.

What some of us are asking is 'is this going too far, even though well intentioned?' Are we requiring white people never use the expression 'monkey do' at all, or just use it with white kids? Do you see what I mean?
Yeah, not sure you do get all that. i wouldn’t use it to describe black kids because I am white and white people have a history of debasing the dignity of black people that way.
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:18 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Yeah, not sure you do get all that. i wouldn’t use it to describe black kids because I am white and white people have a history of debasing the dignity of black people that way.
Do you do so? Do these kids receive that? Does anyone in this generation even do that?
Assuming This teacher is in his 40s or 50s, even his generation didn't do that (in mainstream America, more of a relic from the 50s and 60s).

Debasing the dignity of black people is a serious problem. Monkey see, monkey do is not. That is a colloquialism of mimicry.

Tell me, when people mention monkeys, you say your thought jump to black people? Mine sure don't. I doubt this teacher's did.
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:30 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
I was beaten up repeatedly from about age 8 to age 14 by bullies. Not one of those attacks, or all of them together, affected me as profoundly as that adult shaming me for my appearance.
I have also been bullied and received hurtful remarks from adults whom I otherwise would have respected. Yes, it is painful and it can take a long time to get over things like these and in some ways, you never do.

But get some perspective. I have known kids who had it way harder than me. I may not have recognized the harm they were undergoing at the time because they necessarily had to adopt a tough facade to cope. I'm grateful that I didn't have to endure the hardships that some of my peers had to go through.
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:36 AM   #164
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My own father called me Sue and made a ton of gay cracks when I was a long haired teen. My own mother said I looked like a punk. I wonder how many millions they owe me? Maybe I should contact this OP lawyer...
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:38 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Do you do so? Do these kids receive that? Does anyone in this generation even do that?
Assuming This teacher is in his 40s or 50s, even his generation didn't do that (in mainstream America, more of a relic from the 50s and 60s).

Debasing the dignity of black people is a serious problem. Monkey see, monkey do is not. That is a colloquialism of mimicry.

Tell me, when people mention monkeys, you say your thought jump to black people? Mine sure don't. I doubt this teacher's did.
That’s a common trope but its not about guilt for sins of the past. And lets not think our racist past is dead and buried because it is not.

I am never going to use that expression with a black person because I am mindful. There is a whole lot of comedy based around this from Basil Fawlty (not mentioning the war) to David Brent and Larry David. Do you try to move past or draw attention with a fumbling apology? But this case of staging photos and captioning them provided plenty of tine for reflection, didn’t it.

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Old 11th January 2020, 09:42 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I have also been bullied and received hurtful remarks from adults whom I otherwise would have respected. Yes, it is painful and it can take a long time to get over things like these and in some ways, you never do.

But get some perspective. I have known kids who had it way harder than me. I may not have recognized the harm they were undergoing at the time because they necessarily had to adopt a tough facade to cope. I'm grateful that I didn't have to endure the hardships that some of my peers had to go through.
Wow, you're such a sensitive soul. To **** on and dismiss the experiences of some people because of the far worse experiences of others even further removed is truly the height of empathy.

Couldn't you have just said "suck it up, weaklings" and saved yourself some time?
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:51 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
My own father called me Sue and made a ton of gay cracks when I was a long haired teen. My own mother said I looked like a punk. I wonder how many millions they owe me? Maybe I should contact this OP lawyer...
You cant pick them, can you. You can build better school cultures however. But you are just are trivialising the idea of a white teacher using racist symbolism towards black students.

Analogies are so often **** because they move goal posts and distract. But lets play. If you were going through a period of questioning your sexuality or gender and this was the context.. yeah why not see a lawyer. There are plenty of examples of such ****** parent behaviour leading to suicide and addiction.

Again was really careful with my own offspring about these kinds of things. Even jokes are things requiring reflection.

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Old 11th January 2020, 09:59 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

Maybe the moral of the story is, don't use your students as props for jokes. Or if you do, only work with students who know what you intend and are volunteering to be in on the joke.
I was thinking about why the defense of "he does this all the time with students, look at these other examples of pictures with mildly insulting, animal-related captions" didn't sit right with me, and then I realized it's because the kids are the butt of the joke. That might have been fine in the past, but we know better now. Those aren't pictures of kids having fun at the zoo interacting with animals, they're posed pictures the teacher later gives captions comparing them to animals in a denigrating way (like calling them ugly, and lets not forget that "monkey see, monkey do" is supposed to be an insult - usually indicating that a person is just mimicking something without being able to understand it). That just doesn't seem like a thing a teacher should be doing to me. They're supposed to be supportive, not insulting, and having your own fun at the kids' expense seems like it crosses a line IMO. Granted, my only experience working with kids was a few years as a camp counselor, but I can't imagine anything like that flying there. Or even any of the counselors thinking it was a good idea. We were always encouraged to take our goofy pictures having fun with the kids.

For the people trying to act like this would have been harmless with white kids, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. No matter what, they pictures would have been inappropriate, the teacher's carelessness just made that obvious by giving those insults a racial dimension as well.

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Old 11th January 2020, 10:06 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by ArchSas View Post
For the people trying to act like this would have been harmless with white kids, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. No matter what, they pictures would have been inappropriate, the teacher's carelessness just made that obvious by giving those insults a racial dimension as well.
It goes beyond carelessness into the realm of stupidity. The demographics of this school district are such that likely 70% of the students are white. The teacher had to make a conscious effort to choose only black kids to pose for the picture. Not that it would be any less problematic if there was a mix of kids in the picture; as you say, the bottom line is that the teacher is trying to make a joke at the expense of the students, whether that joke is racist or not.
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:18 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by ArchSas View Post
I was thinking about why the defense of "he does this all the time with students, look at these other examples of pictures with mildly insulting, animal-related captions" didn't sit right with me, and then I realized it's because the kids are the butt of the joke. That might have been fine in the past, but we know better now. Those aren't pictures of kids having fun at the zoo interacting with animals, they're posed pictures the teacher later gives captions comparing them to animals in a denigrating way (like calling them ugly, and lets not forget that "monkey see, monkey do" is supposed to be an insult - usually indicating that a person is just mimicking something without being able to understand it). That just doesn't seem like a thing a teacher should be doing to me. They're supposed to be supportive, not insulting, and having your own fun at the kids' expense seems like it crosses a line IMO. Granted, my only experience working with kids was a few years as a camp counselor, but I can't imagine anything like that flying there. Or even any of the counselors thinking it was a good idea. We were always encouraged to take our goofy pictures having fun with the kids.

For the people trying to act like this would have been harmless with white kids, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. No matter what, they pictures would have been inappropriate, the teacher's carelessness just made that obvious by giving those insults a racial dimension as well.
I think that would depend on the teachers relationship with the students. If he was more cold and distant, this would be entirely innapropriate. If he was ' one of the guys' and busted chops with the kids, would the familiarity make it ok? I certainly liked the teachers in school that acted like one of us, rather than above us
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:23 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
It goes beyond carelessness into the realm of stupidity. The demographics of this school district are such that likely 70% of the students are white. The teacher had to make a conscious effort to choose only black kids to pose for the picture. Not that it would be any less problematic if there was a mix of kids in the picture; as you say, the bottom line is that the teacher is trying to make a joke at the expense of the students, whether that joke is racist or not.
Perhaps, perhaps not. Would it be entirely unlikely that a small group of boys hanging together in such a demographic be of the same race?
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:24 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
You cant pick them, can you. You can build better school cultures however. But you are just are trivialising the idea of a white teacher using racist symbolism towards black students.

Analogies are so often **** because they move goal posts and distract. But lets play. If you were going through a period of questioning your sexuality or gender and this was the context.. yeah why not see a lawyer. There are plenty of examples of such ****** parent behaviour leading to suicide and addiction.

Again was really careful with my own offspring about these kinds of things. Even jokes are things requiring reflection.
Such an attitude perpetrates continued segregation IMO.
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:36 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Perhaps, perhaps not. Would it be entirely unlikely that a small group of boys hanging together in such a demographic be of the same race?
What does "hanging together" have to do with it when the teacher was choosing when and where to take the picture and choosing how they were posed? It was a school trip and these boys couldn't have been the only ones present.
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:40 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
You cant pick them, can you. You can build better school cultures however. But y
You are just are trivialising the idea of a white teacher using racist symbolism towards black students.

Analogies are so often **** because they move goal posts and distract. But lets play. If you were going through a period of questioning your sexuality or gender and this was the context.. yeah why not see a lawyer. There are plenty of examples of such ****** parent behaviour leading to suicide and addiction.

Again was really careful with my own offspring about these kinds of things. Even jokes are things requiring reflection.
No, I'm questioning whether this was racist symbolism at all. A racist certainly cannot say anything remotely like this. A regular person could, IMO, without being thought of as a racist.

I was serious about that question I asked you. When someone says monkey, why do you think of black people? I think of monkeys. I don't mean that as a slam, btw. I mean, are you making a concious effort to be hyper viligant about the perception of racism?
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:40 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Perhaps, perhaps not. Would it be entirely unlikely that a small group of boys hanging together in such a demographic be of the same race?
Are we back on the lynching pictures now?
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:42 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
What does "hanging together" have to do with it when the teacher was choosing when and where to take the picture and choosing how they were posed? It was a school trip and these boys couldn't have been the only ones present.
Your suggestion was that it couldn't be possible in a 70/30 demographic to randomly select four students of the same race. That is not only mathematically false, but IRL it is likely that a random grouping of four boys in the 70/30 demographic you have asserted be of the same race is more than simply statistically likely.

More simply put, the teacher could have simply selected "you four", as opposed to looking around to cobble together a group that only includes one race.
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:45 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Are we back on the lynching pictures now?
are you joking?
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:54 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think that would depend on the teachers relationship with the students. If he was more cold and distant, this would be entirely innapropriate. If he was ' one of the guys' and busted chops with the kids, would the familiarity make it ok? I certainly liked the teachers in school that acted like one of us, rather than above us
I don't. Firstly, because a teacher isn't "one of the guys," and shouldn't act as such. But more importantly, because a teacher shouldn't be insulting students, even playfully. In today's world that's seen as inappropriate and usually bad for students. Having a good, joking relationship with kids is a good thing, but it's entirely possible to create that kind of relationship without basing it around insulting comparing students to animals. I know that very well firsthand, as it's the only way I was even remotely able to be successful as a camp counselor - I worked best with older kids I could build a joking, but respectful and positive, relationship with. And again, when it came to pictures and things like that, we would always be doing the goofy things with the students and not to them. I don't know if you'll recognize the difference or not, but it's significant.
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Old 11th January 2020, 10:56 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Your suggestion was that it couldn't be possible in a 70/30 demographic to randomly select four students of the same race. That is not only mathematically false, but IRL it is likely that a random grouping of four boys in the 70/30 demographic you have asserted be of the same race is more than simply statistically likely.

More simply put, the teacher could have simply selected "you four", as opposed to looking around to cobble together a group that only includes one race.
That's a wild misrepresentation of my "suggestion." My suggestion is that it wasn't in any way random. He didn't roll dice or use a randomizer app on his phone. He chose.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:02 AM   #180
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There are some missing details.

We don't quite know to what degree previous students have liked Monkey Do and Not All Are Cute. A poster described it as a joke at their expense. But maybe instead they loved it and even hoped that they would be the Monkey Do or even Not All Are Cute. A school tradition that kids looked forward to - at which point "at their expense" is meaningless because they actually demand it. Maybe. We don't know.

We don't know how many students are photographed posing at the zoo before choosing a picture for Monkey Do and Not Cute. The photographer might take dozens of pictures of all sorts of posed pals hanging out together and only later decide on the ones that are shown in the slideshow. If this is true then the teacher might choose black students because if they continue to use only white students then it is not a racially inclusive tradition. IOW, it's racist to leave black kids out of the fun tradition. Maybe. We don't know.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:07 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
He chose.
Possibly because not ever choosing black kids is a pretty damn racist thing to do. It's racially discriminatory.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:10 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by ArchSas View Post
I don't. Firstly, because a teacher isn't "one of the guys," and shouldn't act as such. But more importantly, because a teacher shouldn't be insulting students, even playfully. In today's world that's seen as inappropriate and usually bad for students. Having a good, joking relationship with kids is a good thing, but it's entirely possible to create that kind of relationship without basing it around insulting comparing students to animals. I know that very well firsthand, as it's the only way I was even remotely able to be successful as a camp counselor - I worked best with older kids I could build a joking, but respectful and positive, relationship with. And again, when it came to pictures and things like that, we would always be doing the goofy things with the students and not to them. I don't know if you'll recognize the difference or not, but it's significant.
I guess in a zoology lesson it is important to point out that humans are definitely not animals. Or primates, of course.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:12 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Possibly because not ever choosing black kids is a pretty damn racist thing to do. It's racially discriminatory.
After decades it seems we have come back to the only workable solution again being "separate but equal".
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:15 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
That’s a common trope but its not about guilt for sins of the past. And lets not think our racist past is dead and buried because it is not.

I am never going to use that expression with a black person because I am mindful. There is a whole lot of comedy based around this from Basil Fawlty (not mentioning the war) to David Brent and Larry David. Do you try to move past or draw attention with a fumbling apology? But this case of staging photos and captioning them provided plenty of tine for reflection, didn’t it.
If being "mindful" means considering race primarily in every thought, word, and deed with which one interacts with another human being how is it functionally different from being "racist"?
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:28 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
After decades it seems we have come back to the only workable solution again being "separate but equal".
Nope. It's more like we've come to the workable solution of "stop making stupid jokes when they can so easily be interpreted as racist."

Seriously, the way some are defending this you'd think that "monkey see monkey do" is the pinnacle of humor. In the best possible execution and interpretation, it's not even worthy of a slight chuckle. It's several levels below the picture of a cat hanging from a branch captioned with "hang in there."
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:33 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
it's not even worthy of a slight chuckle.
We don't know how the class reacts and that's what matters. The whole class might burst out in laughter when they finally get to see the Monkey Do slide. Maybe they Roll On The Floor Laughing Their Asses Off. ROTFLTAO!
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:36 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
We don't know how the class reacts and that's what matters. The whole class might burst out in laughter when they finally get to see the Monkey Do slide. Maybe they Roll On The Floor Laughing Their Asses Off. ROTFLTAO!

Which is why the subjects this year are suing the school. Because they found it so hilarious!
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:38 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Nope. It's more like we've come to the workable solution of "stop making stupid jokes when they can so easily be interpreted as racist."

Seriously, the way some are defending this you'd think that "monkey see monkey do" is the pinnacle of humor. In the best possible execution and interpretation, it's not even worthy of a slight chuckle. It's several levels below the picture of a cat hanging from a branch captioned with "hang in there."
And about as worthy of taking offense to when used innocently.

One could juxtapose the kittens "hang in there" with an image of a lynching and be extremely, offensively, racist. Without taking that step, however, the argument seems to be that the kitten is racist because that step could be taken. I reject that philosophy.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:47 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Possibly because not ever choosing black kids is a pretty damn racist thing to do. It's racially discriminatory.
Good example of where an attempt at humor results in an insensitive and embarrassing result.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:49 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
And about as worthy of taking offense to when used innocently.

One could juxtapose the kittens "hang in there" with an image of a lynching and be extremely, offensively, racist. Without taking that step, however, the argument seems to be that the kitten is racist because that step could be taken. I reject that philosophy.
Yes, you should reject your [straw] philosophy. The step of labeling four black students as monkeys was actually taken.
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Old 11th January 2020, 11:57 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Do you do so? Do these kids receive that? Does anyone in this generation even do that?
Assuming This teacher is in his 40s or 50s, even his generation didn't do that (in mainstream America, more of a relic from the 50s and 60s).

Debasing the dignity of black people is a serious problem. Monkey see, monkey do is not. That is a colloquialism of mimicry.

Tell me, when people mention monkeys, you say your thought jump to black people? Mine sure don't. I doubt this teacher's did.
When black people are described as monkeys or linked to monkeys I think immediately of the long history of the meme being used in a racist fashion. Decades, hundreds of years of its use in this fashion. It hasn't disappeared by any means (in fact I see it recently expanding once again as politicians have sought to play to racist groups for support). Do you think that the kids and their parents somehow were unaware of it as a racial insult and had to be told about the problem by someone over 60 years old?

Were you unaware of it and were shocked to learn of the racist connection by this thread?

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Old 11th January 2020, 12:10 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Yes, you should reject your [straw] philosophy. The step of labeling four black students as monkeys was actually taken.
Certainly. In the context of the innocuous and widely known expression of "monkey see-monkey do" with further overtones that humans of every "race" zoologicaly share a great deal with our monkey and gorilla cousins, and even further context that the same had been done to students of other races which indicates that the example was one of humans place in the animal kingdom and not simply black humans place in it.

Perhaps it should be further examined to see if the epitet "boys" was ever used to describe the students. The well known use of that word as pejorative surely must indicate that its' use to describe a juvenile black male is a racist assault in every context.
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:11 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
I guess in a zoology lesson it is important to point out that humans are definitely not animals. Or primates, of course.
These were not images to amusingly point out that humans are animals. These were not zoology lessons. Specific children were the target of jokes with a nasty edge. Not the best idea in general.

Sure, the kids probably feel the need to at least pretend to laugh along but jr high and high school are difficult environments for many kids to get through just as is. A popular kid might not care being in one of these slides, but a kid having problems, or a social loner, being called out in this way by teachers, will very likely have their situation bad worse. Imagine someone already being bullied now being called a monkey too!

It is an authorized form of bullying, not science education. Bullies make fun about any flaws (real or not) in their prey and when challenged claim that they were "only making a joke." Yeah, ha, ha, ha - I remember just how funny it was from the bullied point of view. Here we have teachers doing it! "We were just making a joke." The more I think about it the more I think the entire school administration needs to be snapped out of their stupidity and ignorance.

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Old 11th January 2020, 12:22 PM   #194
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In thread after thread, at least according to a few posters, no matter what occurs there is no evidence of it being racism. Apparently the black people involved in these incidents who do believe that racism has taken place are wrong; just over-sensitive and/or incited by others to leap to the wrong conclusion and "play the race card."

Thankfully we white people know better and that most racism has disappeared! Certainly we don't see it...

Having lived through the 1960s I am reminded by a very common response by those in opposition to the civil rights movement at that time, "Its all those outside agitators! We whites and them "racial slurs" got along just fine until those communists, Jews, and Northerns came down and started putting ideas into their heads."
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:27 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Having lived through the 1960s I am reminded by a very common response by those in opposition to the civil rights movement at that time, "Its all those outside agitators! We whites and them "racial slurs" got along just fine until those communists, Jews, and Northerns came down and started putting ideas into their heads."
My grandparents used to call Martin Luther King, Jr., long after he had been murdered, a "troublemaker."
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Old 11th January 2020, 12:43 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
My grandparents used to call Martin Luther King, Jr., long after he had been murdered, a "troublemaker."
And indeed he was!

Achieving justice is a whole lot of trouble! Especially for those who were already on the top of the heap previously...
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Old 11th January 2020, 01:01 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
And indeed he was!

Achieving justice is a whole lot of trouble! Especially for those who were already on the top of the heap previously...
Yeah, I don't think that's how they meant it (obviously). It's particularly disheartening given that they were 1st and 2nd generation children of immigrants who should have known something about discrimination. One of my great-grandfathers never even spoke English.
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Old 11th January 2020, 01:10 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Yeah, I don't think that's how they meant it (obviously). It's particularly disheartening given that they were 1st and 2nd generation children of immigrants who should have known something about discrimination. One of my great-grandfathers never even spoke English.
My parents were the opposite of racist, being 1930s radicals. But one of my grandparents was quite racist in his speech even having experienced much discrimination himself (having left Eastern Europe in response to anti-Semtic pogroms). Apparently not everyone can learn from their own experiences to step out of their own brain and put themselves in someone else's head...
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Old 11th January 2020, 03:14 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
If being "mindful" means considering race primarily in every thought, word, and deed with which one interacts with another human being how is it functionally different from being "racist"?
Right, again that idea is the source of a lot of cringe comedy. We do manage to build and break habits of language. It doesn’t seem that hard to treat people with dignity and respect while avoiding racially loaded expressions out of good habit.

This teacher didn’t make just a slip of the tongue and had many stop and think checkpoints on the way to showing the image that she produced.
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Old 11th January 2020, 03:24 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
No, I'm questioning whether this was racist symbolism at all. A racist certainly cannot say anything remotely like this. A regular person could, IMO, without being thought of as a racist.

I was serious about that question I asked you. When someone says monkey, why do you think of black people? I think of monkeys. I don't mean that as a slam, btw. I mean, are you making a concious effort to be hyper viligant about the perception of racism?
It is racial symbolism. White people have a long history of portraying black people as apes. I don’t actively think of black people when I think of monkeys but I am aware of this class distinction between black and white and its horrendous history.

A lack of authorial intent does not make something no longer a symbol. The meaning exists beyond an individual but in a culture and language.
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