Race matters?

Is there "implicit racism" in King Kong? According to David Edelstein, there is. And here's "the implication":

Kong stands for the black man brought in chains from a dark island...
I never knew.

Seriously, this is the first I've heard about the racism of King Kong. But according to Baldilocks, "only a racist would automatically think of race *whenever* monkeys are mentioned." John Hawkins has more on this old, rather tired strategy of finding hidden racism in the most innocuous (and humorous) discussions of simians.

At the risk of asking a serious question, though, if "monkey" is a racist slur, is it fair to ask which race is being targeted? As Larry Elder points out, the term is often used by radical Muslims to describe Jews. Does that mean the racism implicit in "King Kong" might be anti-Jewish? How are we to know?

I'm confused.

And what about the term "ReCHIMPlican" (and likening Bush to a chimp)? Is that racism too?

Frank J. call your office!

posted by Eric on 12.15.05 at 12:03 PM


For crying out loud. Why is it always a giant ape! Show some diversity here! What about the 'Tangs, Chimps and Baboons! They could do this part just as well, if not better. Bigotry I tell you.

mdmhvonpa   ·  December 15, 2005 2:37 PM

Some people just need to see racism behind every tree I guess.

Even Freud said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Jon   ·  December 15, 2005 4:32 PM

I liked Freud's cigar remark . . .


But Groucho Marx got in big trouble for saying (to a female contestant who'd just told him she had 16 kids), "I like my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth occasionally!"

Eric Scheie   ·  December 15, 2005 7:06 PM

One website (http://www.cinematical.com/2005/12/15/king-kong-the-inevitable-race-beastiality-questions-begin/) jokingly questions whether the real issue isn't racism, but beastiality.

Adam   ·  December 16, 2005 12:53 AM

I thought it was BushMchimphitler, my bad. I think that moniker would certainly lead one to believe all of the racist myths. Blowing up levees etc.

lance   ·  December 16, 2005 2:43 PM

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