Saturday, January 12, 2008

Busy Period and Evolution Article

It's the beginning of a rather busy period for me. Well, the busy period probably began three days ago, which explains why I haven't been talking about it much, but nonetheless.

But: aside from lifeblogging, I do actually have something to say (at the end of this post)

Firstly, I received my offer, which means that I have been confirmed to do senior secondary Education this year, specialising in Social Sciences (history, geography and a whole host of other barely-related subjects).

Then, I received the essay questions for my applied theology course. In total, and in terms I'm more used to, I'll have to write at least 8500w in the next six weeks. On the whole, not worried. At all. There are other issues, though - there is an overseas component which, although by all accounts Very Good Indeed, is also completely impossible for me to do...and this affects whether I can complete the otherwise-fairly-straightforward course. May have a few higher-than-usual level discussions about this.

Last night, I went to a meet up of my old high school bench - about a 50% strike rate of attendees. Good discussion, good to know some things don't change, but I'm also a little surprised to see how many things do.

Visited my parents a couple of days ago - partly to celebrate my acceptance into Education - and conveniently left my mobile phone behind. Minor catastrophe, but since I wasn't planning to go out the next day, I was okay. Today I went and retreived my phone.

Thus ends lifeblogging.

The article I wanted to disagree with is called "It's just not cricket" - basically, it's about Andrew Symonds, the fact that he's been taunted with the 'monkey' tag, and what that actually means. What the article concludes is that the media's unspoken premise is that calling a negro a monkey is racist because we believe that negros are less developed.

However, I must contest the findings of this article. I would still hold the term 'monkey' to be racist - not because I believe in evolution (and yes, it does seem to me to be a belief decision), but because of the intention of the sayer. It is fairly accepted that the person/people using the monkey tag (whether the crowd or a certain now-suspended off-spin bowler) were using it as a racially prejorative insult, and the fact that the ability to do this is generally accepted gives it power (obviously, calling someone a diary because of their race would have no power if no one knew what you were talking about; although, it could hypothetically still be racist).

So: it's not racist (or otherwise) because negros are less evolutionarily developed (which, for the record, is something that I would never say explicitly or implicitly), but it is a racist insult because the people using the term intended it to be insulting on the basis of race, and it is punishable as a racist insult because the meaning of the term in context is widely known.

I know, that took a long time to say, but when talking about race it's very difficult to say things in few words.

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