This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

August 17, 2009

“Lil Monkey”=Black Baby; “Pretty Panda”=White Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — pprscribe @ 7:26 am

Via Sociological Images:

The fact that we are all racist already, whether we like it or not, is the point that the manufacturer completely misses.  They do think in that way.  We all do.  Not thinking in that way consciously doesn’t mean that racism didn’t play a role in the manufacturing of a black Lil’ Monkey doll.  In fact, their defense actually makes things worse.  Their refusal to think about racism, in favor of a defensive reaction, is as racist as the doll itself.  We can’t fight racism unless we’re prepared to admit that we hold unconscious biases.



  1. It amazes me how everyone finds a way in interprete something so innocent. The doll was a cutie! It also came in white and asian, so I seriously doubt this one doll was intentionally meant to offend the black race. If blacks see themselves as monkeys, then I can see how they’d be offended, but they’re no more a monkey than whites or asians! Instead of focusing on only what YOU want to see, see it like others do.

    Comment by anogamesgirl — August 17, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  2. anogamesgirl, whether or not the doll is “cute” is beside the point. It seems you are not aware, or are choosing to ignore, the long history in this country and European countries in equating Black people with animals—including monkeys—in an attempt to justify slavery and other atrocities against us. Afterall, if were not human, or subhuman, then the rules of humanity—and especially of Christian humanity—do not apply to us.

    There are many resources available in case you are interested in learning about this history. It is a history that includes Blacks in advertising as well as mainstream, accepted scientific opinion about African Americans. (See the “Hottentot Venus” for example.)

    Your comment actually makes the writer’s point of the blog I linked to in this post, and is one of the reasons why racism will continue to thrive: Many people do not want to admit that they and others hold unconscious biases.

    I would ask that you take your own advice in your final sentence and attempt to see products like this in their historical context.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by pprscribe — August 18, 2009 @ 7:17 am

  3. Hello PPRscribe,

    I did venture over to the link and left a comment.

    As you pointed out,this comment rings so true …”It amazes me how everyone finds a way in interprete something so innocent”

    It’s interesting how that comment is similar to others @ the link. But of course the replies were much like yours.

    Comment by careycarey — August 18, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  4. I guess I’m not one to continue dwelling on the past. Today is my concern and one way to eliminate racism is to stop always talking about “my ancestors were slaves”, “the white people owe us”….and so the violin continues. I don’t know what kind of people you associate with, but all this PAST talks gets extremely tiresome. We’ll NEVER have slavery again in this country! There would be too many races that would fight against it…not just the blacks. Everyone is so afraid of offending someone that it’s difficult to carry on a conversation in mixed company anymore. But please remember, that doll was also made in Asian and Caucasian, so why aren’t they raising a fuss? I still believe the black race is being too sensitive about this.

    Comment by anogamesgirl — August 18, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    • anogamegirl You are obviously very racist and you are contradicting yourself in the most ridiculous way. The fact that you would say “the black race is being too sensitive about this” shows just how racist you are. Are we not individuals like other races? Because we share the same skin color, does that mean that we automatically agree with each other on every issue? Are we not entitled to our own opinions. The fact is that most racists, like yourself, see African-Americans as a group… (possibly a group of monkeys but I don’t want to make ASSUMPTIONS about you JUST BECAUSE OF YOUR RACE) and not as individuals. You never hear racists say “Why do white people…?” when talking about one or two people. You hear “Why does s/he…?” or you may even hear a specific name. There are more than 10 of us. We are extremely diverse even within our own race. We don’t all walk around with baggy pants, gold teeth, or bones through our noses… nor are we responsible for the one’s that choose to live their lives that way. You watch too much TV. This may shock you but WE (black people) DON’T ALL KNOW EACH OTHER, we don’t all listen to rap music, we do not share a brain and therefore should not be grouped together… like monkeys.

      Comment by Andrea721 — October 19, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  5. “Today is my concern and one way to eliminate racism is to stop always talking about “my ancestors were slaves”, “the white people owe us”….”

    Hello Onogamesgirl, that was a valid point. However, I do not think that is the battle cry of the present struggle. I have not heard “white people owe us” in the last 50 years. I’ve heard debate about the responsibility of the government to uphold the laws of this land.

    Here’s a point you may be missing. Slavery was just the sore. It’s much like a symptom that doesn’t appear until AFTER the virus or germ has entered the system. Racism, in all it’s glory ran rampant in this country, even before slavery. If that was not true, maybe the American Indian would not have been slaughtered by the thousands. If the fine twigs of racist attitudes are not clipped at the root, those twigs will soon produce seeds. It’s a mindset. Label as they may …a boo-boo – an oversight- a marketing error – an insensitivity – an unconscience slip, it has to be identified before the slip or dip turns into a fast walk.

    The article in question spoke to those that wish to close a blind eye to an ugly message. It appears you can not see the message because of your ambivalence toward the key issues of slavery. An ambiguous view of the core elements of slavery will cause one to error in judgement.

    I do not know your ethnical background, I will assume it is not Black/afro american/Negro, etc,. I only say that because it’s hard to understand another persons pain unless you’ve actually been there or are truly trying to understand it. Seek first to understand!

    Comment by careycarey — August 18, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  6. […] blog of mine. I was reminded of this post after a discussion between myself and two commenters to this post. At this stage in my life, I often have little patience for people who tell me to just […]

    Pingback by Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes, and Freckled Faced Freaks « This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life — August 19, 2009 @ 7:13 am

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