This Is Why You Should Never Compare Black People To Monkeys


On Tuesday, The Times published a cartoon by Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro, which depicted the NPA’s Shaun Abrahams as a monkey doing the bidding of Jacob Zuma, who controls him with a music box labelled “NPA”. Now, while Zapiro is known for courting controversy, this cartoon was a step too far. THE DAILY VOX TEAM explains why.

It is racist.

Allow Mr Mckaiser to explain the problems with Zapiro’s latest cartoon.

Eusebius FB

The Conversation offers a deep dive into the problematic history of comparing black people to monkeys. But here it is summarised: the association of black people with monkeys is traced to the start of the Europeans’ reign of plunder and terror in these parts. And it has consistently been used to denigrate black people as being less worthy of dignity than their white counterparts.

It is racist.

And it’s not funny. The point of depicting black people as monkeys relies on the idea of black people being inherently inferior to white people. And there’s nothing funny about that. Especially in a country where until 20-odd years ago, everyone with a skin tone darker than white, was systematically oppressed, and now continues to suffer through the legacies of that system. Depicting a black person as a monkey, and then expecting people to accept it as political commentary is some higher grade Penny Sparrowism.

It is racist.

And let’s not forget the reference to black people as monkeys in this manner does not happen in a vacuum. Just a few days ago, in the US, a professional basketball player described his opponents as “quick little monkeys”. He apologised, but there have also been spirited defences written on his behalf anyway.

Just in case anyone believes the depiction of black people as monkeys is benign, research has shown that it affects the behaviour of white people towards black people. “The association between ‘black’ and ape left our white respondents more open to the possibility that police violence might, in fact, be justified,”Phillip Atiba Goff says of the findings of his research. 

It is racist.

Whilst Zapiro did try to defend himself by tweeting a link to this image when asked whether he has drawn white people as monkeys previously, it doesn’t suddenly make everything okay. The ugly, racist history behind the usage of the term means that it’s totally off limits for him. Simple as that. And if you are unable to describe public figures without resorting to racist caricatures, then, in the words of the Honourable Ndlozi, “Your politics is bankrupt.”




  1. the way i feel about it, is if some loser who accidentally bumps into me and says “gtf out of my, b____…” and if he looks simian enough, i might call him a subhuman or monkey looking piece of trash. i’ve done it later in life and i really don’t care. i’ve said this to hispanics/whites who also are also dumb, ghetto / ratchet towards me without any good reason. i like to remind people like that that is what they get for being prejudice and rude to anyone walking their way in the first place. plus many do look simian and in an unattractive way. not all blacks/hispanics are like that though.

  2. Wow it funny that whites have the nerve to say black are monkeys, yet whites people have The RH factor like monkeys and black people do not. Talk about projection.

    • Lol, the problem isn’t the insult. It’s that black people see themselves as a type o ape, as does most of the left wing, so it’s accepted as common sense that it becomes an especially horrid insult to call a black person an ape. It’s the same reason you don’t call a retarded person retarded. It’s especially bigoted to pick on people for what they cannot help.

    • Mz Jazzy, Please read up on the antigens that make up blood Rh factoring before commenting like this in the future. Just reviewing all that goes into blood typing and screening is amazing. Did you know that 85% of the world’s population has Rh antigens in their blood?
      And while researching your comments, I did learn a little about U Negative, Vel Negative and Lan Negative (all rare blood types) that ARE race related. Fascinating reading…

  3. Never judge a book by it’s cover. Yes, African people resemble apes much more than other races, but this does not mean that because they look that way that are less intelligent, or beautiful.

    • But studies have in fact shown that on average, blacks ARE less intelligent, and while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, there’s a good reason why you see more black men with white women than you do white men with black women. In fact, generally speaking, even within the black community the lighter your skin, the more you’re perceived as better looking.

      • Case in point – Back in 1985-89 I had quite a few African American girl friends who I worked and partied with. They talked openly about skin color and that lighter skin was better. They even had names for the shades, Caramel, Mocha, Coffee, among others. Me being Caucasian, and being a young 18 when we met, my friends brought me into their circle and we talked about everything race related, including hair, men, family and partying… though we didn’t call it race related… It was just life. My job moved me away and we lost touch, but I still miss those ladies, so much.

    • I saw the gorilla exhibit at the zoo in Colorado Springs. They were amazing animals, although very violent, and painted with their own sh** on the walls, and traded bananas for sex with the females. Go black power!

  4. white people get called racist thing and were even in slavery but when a white person calls a black person something racist it suddenly becomes a big problem it just dose not make fucking sense

  5. The thing is they do look like apes so all this posturing trying to pretend you don’t observe the obvious is absolutely ridiculous.

  6. What I find curious about this entire dust-up with Barr (and, I must admit, I missed every second of every show ever broadcast with her in the cast) is that ‘ape’ HAS BEEN THE REPRESENTATIVE CARICATURE FOR SLANDERING EVERY IMMIGRANT GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE THE WAR OF 1812. Check out the cartoons in 19th century nativist pamphlets and, even mainstream, magazines and they are, by today’s standards, beyond-the-pale crude and vicious. Just when did blacks culturally-appropriate that which had been applied to Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, Slavs, etc?  I know that don’t teach history in school anymore, but jeepers, not even in college? 

  7. the blacks weren’t immigrants. They were slaves. Dragged here kicking and screaming. Not considered human. Not considered a WHOLE white man. Think about that. It’s incredible that we are even discussing WHY calling a college-educated woman an APE would be a problem!

    • That may be so for many of the ancestors but what is stopping them today from leaving America? Most groups who were held as captives in other countries couldn’t wait to flee as soon as they could. The fact that complaining Blacks don’t pick up and seek out new sights is the very reason why many people no longer take them seriously or even have compassion for them. I, being one of those people who is sick and tired. If you stay in America then do the legwork like everybody else or shut up. Rehashing your past is irrelevant.

      • Hear hear! Blacks have been free to leave since 1865 but CHOSE to stay. In fact, blacks (Africans) CONTINUE to come to the United States even today.

      • do you have compassion for yourself? yeah you want them to be more like you huh? your people left your original country to kill steal another people’s land…. not founding fathers….”killing fathers” we my people should have built a wall to keep all of you devils out go back to your own country please please please… punchuniawai

  8. It seemed to me that she was’nt even meaning it in the way it was taken , if anything she seemed to just imply the lady was ugly and she didnt like her.
    This culteral over sensitivity has to end before were all stripped of all our rights in order to make everyone stay in their “comfortable place ” .
    Why on earth is it ok every where I go , for every other race to act racist to me because I am predominantly white ?
    I have never had a desire to own or enslave anyone so why is the past my problem ?

  9. Mostly the problem is lack of education and improper upbringing. Or is it culture or nature that people act like animals and get branded as such? In any race, there are awesome good people….even uneducated but with good upbringing that are worthy of human kindness.

    Black people don’t want to be called monkeys (though evolutionists are convinced used to be one) and white people don’t want to be discriminated against past ideologies they had nothing to do with. Only within the Christian/Judeo message can the racial divides be put down to sleep.

    • you whites are actually the most evil motherfuckers that ever exist. you people are the fucking reason that the whole world has been plagued by evil atrocity. you people are a plague in the world and are trash. you will pay for what your ancestors did and deserve everything you get. christianity isn’t going to do shit as there will always be bigotry in the world. you people will be killed and hated on site.

        • Hatred knows no color. Humans have been killing each other since the dawn of time: country against country, tribe against tribe, literally brother against brother. In the end this is human nature, and it’s our choice to either hold on to the fear and anger that pushes us apart, or see the value and worth of every human.

  10. Even white people evolved for monkeys becouse if u take look on european monkeys they look alike big ears and long nose .And they ar stupid coz as they live in Africa they call themselves african.They loose their idetinty very easy. To me they look like fake people like white chicken from the farm.And they dont have ubuntu they only think for themselves .

  11. Whites are vanishing.that’s what is important. That Africans were enslaving other Africans and selling them ,its a white history not African.also if whites are smarter than Black’s that nice but doesn’t make blacks less human because have what whites Dont, we are the best entertainers, good athletes ,blessed in strength. Whites are always depressed, unhappy people who commit suicide, sleep with all sorts of animals, have sex with other males via borehole.balcks are a dominant gene and whites recessive. Blacks should learn more about themselves and realize how superior they are. There are a lot of names for whites. Cave man.pigs,rednecks,offsprings of the fallen angel,God hated,curse of the earth,barbarians,Demons,pale pigs. Inhuman and So forth . why are balcks still angry when called a monkey and comparing a monkey to a pig you know you are more human than whites. It time we laugh out loud and give them back what they deserve and stop acting like weaklings. We are strong people we have taken their nonsense but can they take ours.blacks are leading. That’s it. We have what they can only dream of we have humanity, we are humble and we are loved by God. Worry about better things than people who are naturally dying off.

    • So, that explains why there’s more blacks in prisons than whites, and why you kill your own kind far more than we ever have. Oh let’s not forget, entertainers, athletes… that’s it? So we allow you to amuse us with your “strengths” why we still rule the world. Ha ha I’ll take that any day of the week buddy. Cheers

    • See equality. Blacks can be racist too. Pretty sure that sort of imitation is not flattery to anyone though. Also remember being racist is only an evil power if you have lots of evil co-conspirators in powerful places.

      TBH the really poor whites and poor blacks get treated pretty much the same (like crap) by rich racist white folk. They got unflattering names for both groups.

      “Green” (vast money) tends to be its own race up to a point. Not sure extremely rich people have that many true friends.

  12. of course u can’t compare black people to monkeys. you insult the monkeys.
    and u can’t compare middle east with europe, because u insult real european origins!
    that’s not racism, it’s the truth!

  13. Rasicist people are disgusting and should be pushed off the face of this earth… period…
    Hopefully this new generation end racism… .. it’s 2018 .. times aren’t the same times … THIS GENERATION WILL LIVE ON ..WITHOUT YOU RACIST PRICKS

  14. Fuck you all this is what is wrong in the country. We just CANNOT get along and can’t let the pas go and it will destroy this entire nation and every color in it.. I’m sick of hearing your whinning and crying over bs that happened years ago.. the Jews were slaves for over 400 years and had way worse conditions. U wernt the only slaves in history but yet ur the only ones still crying about it trying to start wars and shit.. PATHETHIC!! U don’t want to be called a monkey then quit acting savage and immature and unintelligent!!!

    • That other slavery is irrelevant only because its thousands of years into the past. Yes the term Slave comes from white Slavs sold in Africa among other places. But the scars of black slavery and the subsequent generational disadvantages have not yet had a chance to fade. Black US slavery is extremely recent and has been reluctant to completely fade away.

      Blacks in the US remained half-slave by discriminatory laws into the early 1970s. Unwritten discrimination was fairly strong for another 20 years.

      Even with that removed it will probably be at least 3-4 generations (roughly 80 years) before the economic and educational effect of that just removed oppression fade away for the majority of blacks.

      Plus of course the KKK only dropped its official public face and recorded membership. The infrastructure just went underground. The George DA office shows how that KKK family money and political influence still buys its way into public offices — and operates within law enforcement. The KKK underground still terrorizes blacks in much of America even if its power is factually rather thin. But even a thin ability to strike should rightfully make blacks paranoid. And paranoid WILL interfere with efforts to integrate the rest of America and build up economics.

    • But yes at this point most of the work of recovery from slavery now rest of black shoulders – one generation at a time. There is a limit to outside help if they are to truly shed “slave shame-resentment” for normal pride.

      Still it will likely be at least 2055-2075 before most young adult US blacks attain true economic and educational parity with the rest of the US. Poorer, less mainstream educated parents do affect what children can do with their potential.

      The big city legal and police system will have to be equal for 40 years for blacks to lose paranoia, though cautious acceptance by most US blacks could come in after a single generation grows up without suspect incidents (e.g. no sooner than 2045).

  15. Damn son, my dog just threw up all over my BEDROOM floor. And its WHIIITE . . Like the Scuum of the eeaarrth. . . . Keep focusing on the blacks and whites, I’ll handle the greens.

  16. Firstly, I don’t personally believe we came from monkeys – otherwise monkeys would be extinct. my question to you Sandile is why would you assume black means African. i looked up the word black and it gave no reference to africa/african. You see poor Sandile, you are now being racist that a white person BORN in Africa cannot be considered African. I am white and born in Africa. I am proud to be born here and because I am not black, you are saying I have lost my identity and I can’t be proud of my African roots. I am not lost in my identity – because my identity isn’t in colour. Have you lost your identity believing that each country has a colour and you can only be born in that country if you are that colour? what a shame! I think you have lost your identity believing you are a colour and not a person.

  17. White people have monkey blood too. We all are from the mutation of past life animals. The first human exsisted was dark and located in africa. The mutation of past animals leading to monkeys and a unknown four legged animal led to the formation of humans and sickness occurred with some monkeys causing light skin white monkeys …that is why you see some white people have skinny almost no lips like monkeys . look up online white monkeys all types and see white people’s ancestors the disease made their skin light . color eyes .humans all are descendent of breeding of past four legged creatures. Trillion of years agi . micrograms have plenty to do with this also. So white folk just cause you came from a lighter more brighter monkey that doesnt make you better. Cause the first human animal was created in africa a dark breeding was created and lived in caves . So stop all the fuss those small slim lips show your up now in the future. To prove ur DNA is too. Monkey. You lil monkeyZ you…????

    • Humans have ape ancestors not monkeys. The insult lies first with religion and creationism that proclaims “God created all other races without any monkey ancestors”. But popular secular culture has evolved the original creationism insult to mean “blacks failed to fully evolve from monkeys”.

      This is somewhat based on popular assumptions stemming from evolution science assertions of the 1960s that blacks are the most recently evolved race. However not only is the science still somewhat speculative (discovery of fossil evidence is not necessarily in order or interpreted correctly etc) but also evolutionary science does not say anything about which race is the most advanced. Rates of evolution are not guaranteed to be equal or constant. So whites are not necessarily either the oldest nor the wisest most fully evolved race.

      Dimwits just went there from a single basic scientific proposition.

  18. Author is actually wrong. Early 20th century science is actually to blame for seeding the idea.

    The derogatory association of blacks with monkeys did not exist until the “Scopes monkey trial” which was about Creationism versus the new scientific theory that humans evolved from apes in Africa. Apes became monkeys in the popular low-brow news as apes was too technical and less familiar. Creationists reacted as they still do today.

    The whole thing was ready made for religious racists …who proceeded to ridicule both evolution concepts and blacks by saying that evolution was only partially correct in that blacks and only blacks might well have evolved from monkeys. The whole idea was then pushed forward as truth to justify apartheid-type laws as blacks were not really human — having evolved from monkeys whereas true humans of other races were created by God.

    So in retrospect the insult should have failed or softened as evolution science became more accepted by the general public. But not only does the original idea still continue to hold real belief in white fundamentalist religion — but the original idea has morph in the general public mind into “blacks failed to evolve from monkeys”.

    Basic de-humanization tactics of any struggle for absolute political supremacy. Typically drawn along race, language or religious lines due to ease of identification. Heh the evolving Democrat versus Republican struggle just lacks such an easy means of hard identification to turn truly ugly (maybe a mandatory phone app). But I do note the human insanity where new battle lines for absolute supremacy never wipes out old ones of race, language-nationality, or religion…though sometimes it lessens the immediacy of such old hates.


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