Back in college, at a soft science class, the professor laid out a survey that was meant to test for unconscious racism. It asked if gorillas have black skin underneath their fur.
The real thrust of this question blew past everybody answering it. It’s one of those racial Rorschach tests that tell you far more about the person asking it than the one answering it.
The media outrage over Rep. DeSantis’ “monkey this up” is a fairly typical case of people seeing the racism in their own heads, and also the ubiquitous retroactive racism in which something becomes racist, after being quite normal, only when it’s to someone’s political advantage.
As Breitbart notes, “Then-Senator Obama (D-IL) said: “I come from Chicago. It’s not as if it’s just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes Democrats have, too. You know, whenever people are in power, they have this tendency to try to tilt things in their direction.”
Variations on monkeying, monkeyed and monkey around are routinely used in talking about elections. There are plenty of recent examples.
The working theory of the left here was that Rep. DeSantis was trying to use secret monkey code to use a racial slur. That’s stupid. But the left has run this playbook before once, and it worked, against George Allen, who completely melted down. (Perversely, while Allen hadn’t said anything racist, the media attacks on him quickly spilled into anti-Semitism.) DeSantis isn’t melting down. And that’s good.
The public reacts to signals. Confidence and strength. Offense, not defense. Always call out a lie and turn it around. Never apologize for it.
The left’s retroactive racism is a nasty and hypocritical tactic that relies on wrongfooting and shame. And should always be exposed for what it is.
Monkeying around, throwing a monkey wrench in it, the 800 pound gorilla in the room, and a thousand others, are typical phrases with no racial implications. If the left believes otherwise, it’s the one with the unconscious racism problem.