...sent me an email today that included:
``JungleMonkey's username and Bob's remark are parallel situations. JM is using a derogatory name for a black person as a reference instead to the coliseum being the jungle (or at least that's what I want to think). Bob used Jap to describe a sneak attack. If people commenting on the blog are going to give Bob hell for that, then they need to do the same to one of their own.
``Cries of "Racist!" have been thrown about so often in our society that the term has lost some of its meaning and potency. Racism is an attitude and a mindset. Using a racially charged term once does not necessarily make someone a racist any more than eating a garden salad makes someone a vegetarian.
``I can see how it could have happened: Bob served in World War II, Pearl Harbor Day was coming up and a lot of history was being brought back up in his mind. That doesn't excuse what he said, but it may shed some light into why the term might be fresh in his mind. Then the question becomes did the terms from a bygone era get the better of him or is he truly racist?
``Was the term insensitive? Yes. Were there better ways to describe a sneak attack, especially for a hockey game? Of course. But does Bob have a history of using racially insensitive terms? If he does, then the outcry is justified. If he does not, then people should not be so quick to brand him a racist for what could be a genuine mistake. Now a mountain has been made of what could have been a molehill, and all sides share in the fault.''
Back to me now: Is there any doubt that the term JungleMonkey is extremely offensive to many people? Is JungleMonkey a racist? Am I a racist for allowing him to post here using that name? Am I a racist whenever I type JungleMonkey to refer to him? By the reasoning expressed by many here, you must answer yes to all four questions.
JungleMonkey is absolutely NOT a racist, at least by anything I've ever seen, and I would defend him equally as tenaciously as I have Bob. I do not believe by any stretch JungleMonkey intended to be a racist by using that name.
Well, neither did Bob.
But they both should be tarred with the same brush, right? There's no choice, no leeway in the matter because the terms are absolutely racist, right?