by Yusuf Gadlin
NBA All-star Demarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings was blitz with heavy criticism when he had every shirt with Monkeys on them removed in Arco Arena recently. The Kings organization claimed it was celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year, which during the month of February in the Chinese culture is the year of the Monkey. However, in America, in February, African Americans celebrate Black History month during that time also. From a sociological perspective, this is where cultural relativism comes into play. In China the year of monkey means ambitiousness, compassion, smart, and a bevy of positive meanings. As an African American myself and obviously from a different culture, I trust that the year of the monkey, in the Chinese context, is meant to be celebrated they way it was attended to be.
On the flip side, being Black in America also means having had my ancestors and family member’s subjected to unforgivable racism by whites. The word “monkey” to black folks, depending on their level of sensitivity could be used by racists as a demeaning and offensive term due to blacks folk’s genetic makeup, preferably when it comes to our skin color or the sizes of noses. Racist found Blacks comparable to monkeys for some strange idiotic reason. So when a Black basketball player who is cognizant of the dark symbolic meaning of a monkey towards African Americans, especially during black history month, who happens to play in America not China where these sick twisted stereotypes still take place today. On behalf of the Black race, I want the Chinese race to indulge in a bit of cultural relativism, and not judge us for this decision, but understand what the black race has been through with the Year of the Monkey.
#YearofMonkey #BHM2016 #NBA