Of Men and Monkeys: Dani Alves' Reaction

“I’m tired of talking about/writing about/getting mad about/pondering racism. Sh*t is exhausting. Like fighting…air.” – Denene Millner

My friend Afi asked me to weigh in on the latest and hottest (as of two days ago) racial kerfuffle, but I couldn’t resist quoting Ms. Millner. By the time I’m done writing, someone will have upped the ante on the Racist Games and we’ll be forced to refocus our attention on that. As Denene Millner rightly says, this stuff gets exhausting. Is it so hard to ask people to exhibit some basic courtesy and respect? Just basic ooo! I’m not even talking about the sort required to get you through the afternoon in an Elizabethan Era court; just a simple “How do you do?” would suit the masses, I’m sure.

Anyway, the Racist Games collided with another well known sport: soccer. For those not in the know, soccer is a brutal, vicious sport. Don’t misunderstand me! It’s not the game itself which is as violent as it is its fans. The reports of the number of fights, injuries and deaths at the hands of opposing fans over the decades are beyond count. But what is violence without a sprinkle of xenophobia the garnish it? That’s what gives brutish behavior that certain finesse, that je ne sais quoi, that “oomph”! What would be an appropriate flavor? What would racism taste like? Well in Europe, it appears to have the tang of a banana.

daniThis week, Barcelona and Brazil star Dani Alves – who is of mixed race – took the field for a free kick (or a corner kick, I don’t know which) and was pelted with a myriad of items as he did so. One of those items was a banana. Banana throwing, hooting and screeching to taunt brown and black players in European soccer is very common and has been since the days of Pele. Players of darker skin who find themselves victims of racist jeers react in a myriad of ways, from stoic silence to protesting to officials. I have seen it all, but I have yet to see a reaction as brilliant as the one Alves demonstrated in this latest incident.

When a fan threw a banana on the pitch he walked over, peeled it and took a bite before executing his kick. It was magic. In a show of support, pro soccer players around the world have begun posting smiling pictures of themselves with bananas with the hash tag #WeAreAllMonkeys in accompaniment. I’m certain if you dig hard enough you will find a number of people who take offence with this manner of support, but no one is really checking for them, are we?


Hmmmm…. Now what exactly do monkeys eat?

What Dani Alves and his colleagues did was show how unimaginative racists really are. These idiots like to trot out tired phrases like “go back to Africa” and “can I see your tail?” when talking to people of African decent or mixed race in an effort to reduce them. All they really succeed in doing is displaying how (barely) educated they truly are. I decided to find out for myself what monkeys eat. Here are the astonishing results:

“Wild monkeys will eat a variety of foods. They eat fruits, leaves, gums and sometimes other monkeys. Insects are also a part of their diet in the wild. Sometimes they will eat blossoms and leafy things to supplement their diet. Ants and termites are a favorite snack of monkeys.”

My goodness! Maybe we all truly ARE monkeys! Let’s name some monkeys in our family tree, shall we?

Jeffery Dahmer ate other human beings, which certainly qualifies him as a monkey since cannibalism, after all, is a monkey-ish trait. There are several women in my office who take psychopathic delight in the perpetual chewing of gum, and let’s not forget the millions of people who nourish their bodies with leaves and fruits on a daily basis! Are you eating a salad right now, aren’t you? You are all monkeys!

I got even more curious about monkeys. Did you know they have complex social structures? Like humans, monkeys practice a variety of mating habits and form family bonds based on tradition. Some are monogamous with their offspring venturing off to form their own nuclear families at the age of maturity. Some are polygamous with one Alpha male leading the troop. Some monkey species are even polyandrous! In that final regard, I consider them far more advanced than their human cousins.

So yeah, we should all hope to be monkeys.

Come on racists. C’mon! Get a grip. The more retarded your behavior, the less chance we have of creating the warp core, or the transporter beam or a bloody time machine. You’re holding humanity back! Don’t be such a bloody primate.