Australian Football has recently played host to a racism saga that has attracted huge media attention. One of our Indigenous players was called an ‘ape’ by a young female spectator. She was escorted out of the stadium, and he sat out for the rest of the game. The saga was further complicated some time later when the president of the opposing team made an outrageously stupid comment alluding to it on national radio.
I had only mild interest in this issue until I read this article which makes some incredibly valid points about the offensiveness of the original comment. There is no question that calling someone an ‘ape’ is rude. It shouldn’t have been said. But is it really racist?
Calling a white person an ape isn’t considered racist, but things suddenly change when the person is coloured. Why is that?
According to evolutionary theory, humans came from apes, and it has historically been portrayed that the ‘black man’ is closer in the chain to the ape than the ‘white man.’
Evolutionarily speaking then, calling someone an ape means rudely suggesting that they are less ‘evolved’ than their white counterparts. This crosses a social taboo, but if it’s racist then so is evolution. According to evolutionary roots we are not all equal, but somehow pointing that out in public is an atrocity.
Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our origins, and realize that claiming evolutionary theory as fact, may have much wider ramifications than what we’re willing to accept.
If you read this post, please read my follow-up post: Apologies, my last Post hadn’t quite evolved enough.