Sunday, November 1, 2009

World's Fastest Indian - RACIST!

On the ship travelling to the US from New Zealand Burt talks with the Maori men crew on the ship and calls them, good humouredly, monkeys.

This is no racist reference, it's a term that anyone of his age would have used for someone younger than them.

I do similar things, calling people young enough to be my children "kids" and "boys". I have also been known to call small kids, little urchins, monkeys, particularly when they're full of "beans" (energy), and running around, laughing and giggling.

Just don't let the self-appointed language watchdog Sam Watson get onto this or the movie will have to be redubbed because he will demand that people will be offended.


Boy on a bike said...

Our Monkey has taken to climbing door frames. He grabs the side of the frame, and then starts walking up the frame. After a few days of practice, he can climb 4 feet off the ground.

When he was young and I started calling him "monkey", J said "Don't do that - he might turn out to be one".

Too late.

At school, we had blokes who were nicknamed horse, mouse, sheep, spider, chook, rocklobster, rabbit and badger. I have also met a bloke who is still called hippo. Are other animal names verbotten, or is it just monkey?

splice said...

Thank goodness Burt had the good sense not to call the Maoris ‘Kiwi’.

Dodged a bullet there.

Ah well, if only Achmed’s cousin was aboard ship at the time. He would have noted, perhaps with some inter-cultural awkwardness, that almost everybody else was the son of a pig and a monkey. It’s all just affectionate banter, I’m sure.