Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Monkey baby

A post by Cro rightly decries the BBC employee who Tweeted a photo of Prince Harry Big Down There and Sparkle Markel with a monkey between them after the birth of their son. Disgraceful and he was rightly sacked by the BBC. What planet do some people live on that they think that would in any way be acceptable in the 21st century.

I think in the past our Aborigines were at times referred to as niggers, but I am not sure that it was really a pejorative word, although of course it came with contotations. We had our own offensive words for Aborigines. Nigger is not a word used here now and we know how sensitive the use of it is in US, to the point that no one will actually write the word. It will be n*****r if it has to be written. It amuses me how some US black people use the word among themselves. We had Nigger Boy Liquorice here in my childhood years, and did anyone really associate it with black people?  Like Black Face comedy, we don't have the historical connection to this word or performance.

We had our own monkey problems when a coloured skin footballer player was called a monkey by a  spectator. She was thoroughly humiliated and deserved to be. It was clear that the player was upset and the comment had an impact on him.

R tells me I talk a lot of crap and did so when I expressed that there could be a problem. Ex Sis in Law had long referred to babies as little monkeys. I remember it happening for years. You cute little monkey as she cuddles one. She calls her twin granddaughters little monkeys. BUT, the twins are cafe latte coloured from their South Sea Islander father and obviously not WASPs. Maybe as they grow a bit, she will stop saying it.

There was an interesting moment at the zoo a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a nice looking Islander guy with his family walking towards us. He probably grabbed my attention because of his bright red top. I saw him notice the twins, and then his eyes flick to Hippie Niece to confirm their origin. I don't know what he thought but it is obvious that Hippy Niece is not an Islander.


28 comments:

  1. Words are powerful things - and who ever said sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me was lying through their teeth.

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    1. Too true EC, as Maribeth described yesterday.

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  2. People can be obtuse and at times deliberately hurtful.

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    1. Sandra, I really don't know which he is. I'll go for deliberately hurtful though.

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  3. That chap at the Beeb pretended he didn’t known Harry and Megan had had a baby and pretended he’d just pulled up the photo because he’d do so for every royal baby. What a prat. I am no royalist but that was tasteless at best and highly offensive at worst.

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    1. Friko, he lives under a rock? I don't mind some clever humour to put down the Royals, such as one comment I saw with a photo, one more baby born to welfare dependant parents. I'll go for the worst, highly offensive.

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  4. And of course to qualify their 'remarks' people will cite the fact that in years past anthropologists always mentioned the fact that modern man was related to the ape family!

    One of my uncles always referred to our youngest two sons as 'right little horrors / monsters'. True, the boys could be mischievous - 'crept it must have bothered one because he asked me did he really look like Dracula (a monster in his eyes)

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    1. Cathy, even around children now, adults are little more careful how they speak to them and about them. Words do have an impact on children, as the case with your son, but I hope not a lasting impact.

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  5. I think with words, context means everything.
    I teasingly call my blond blue eyed grandson a little monkey because the child has climbed everything he could, since he was seven months old! Even a double gated door frame! Yes, Quinn is my monekey child.
    However, that being said, the picture in question was extremely tasteless. Especially since much has been made of Meghan being bi-racial.
    I said good on them and I wish them much happiness with their little baby boy.
    After all, what should a person's color matter? What matters is the quality of their character.

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    1. Maribeth, context is important. But would you call him a little monkey if he was dark skinned, especially if his dark skinned father was around? I've really not read much about her but she seems ok. Her non limelight seeking mother seems to be a good person too, but as for her father....

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    2. I agree with your final sentence Maribeth.

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    3. That'[s a good question, Andrew. If Quinn's Daddy were African American, I probably would not call him that. I certainly try to think before I speak with all children. As a wall pacque I have seen says, "Children Learn What They Live".

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  6. As far as babies go, I don't think there is anything wrong with calling them cute little monkeys. Babies copy (ape) their parents and siblings to learn just as baby monkeys ape(copy) their parents and siblings. I do object to older people being referred to as monkeys just because they're a different colour. That's just rude.

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    1. River, as Maribeth said, I suppose if they are white babies in a white family, it matters little. It matters when you bring adults who aren't white and are sensitive about the word where it gets troublesome. Yes, just plain rude, and nasty really.

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  7. If colour is such an issue, why are the Bondi bimbos still baking themselves dark brown in summer?

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    1. Jah Teh, they are all British, Irish and European backpackers who are burning their skin on the beaches.

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    2. Good point, no one wants to be a "darkie" (old word for negro) but they all tan as dark as they can all summer, which may simply have its roots in being able to afford a holiday away in the sun (i.e. rich) while others stay home and the tan is the proof.

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  8. One would think the BBC guy would have known better. We have to be more careful nowadays how we refer to people but there is no need to call anyone a monkey or ape. 'Cute' will do.

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    1. So right Diane. Cute, cutie are the best words.

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  9. It's a minefield of a subject, I'm still learning what I can and cannot say. The latest banned word is 'coloured', but it's OK to say 'a person of colour'. I try to avoid all mention of skin colouring.

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    1. Cro is it really banned, or have just heard that? Coloured person. Person of colour. I don't see the difference. And be careful of who you say to, you are looking a little jaundiced.

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  10. BBC man showed no respect whatsoever and thank goodness he was sacked. We know political correctness has gone too far these days but you just don't do that what he did.
    As for those little monkeys, just a saying and nothing is meant by it I'm sure, for they are getting into mischief just like little monkeys do.

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    1. Margaret, yes, even that goes way beyond political correctness. Children certainly can be like little monkeys.

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  11. Wouldn't it be wonderful if colour didn't come into the equation at all, just people. I didn't hear about the Prince Harry thing, you have to wonder what people are thinking about when they tweet things like that. Tweeting sucks anyway, I just don't get it!

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  12. Anonymous4:13 am

    For the pitiful folks who don't live in the Antipodes, please explain what is meant by "an Islander," Roderick

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    1. Roderick, I should been clearer. South Sea Islander. That is southern Pacific Ocean. Tongan,Cook Islands, Maori from New Zealand and perhaps more.

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  13. If that BBC employee was as innocent as he claims, I'll eat my hat :)

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    1. Jenny, I think your digestive system is quite safe.

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