In 1906, the Bronx Zoo exhibited a Congolese man in its primate house


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/02/in-1906-the-bronx-zoo-exhibit.html


#2

Here is a more modern and less racist version:


#3

:musical_note: Put people in zoos, in a cage
Chimpanzee, black human, ape
And it was upon this here atrocity
Europe became the dominant economy
Now they play games, pretend it’s about names
It’s a scheme for unequal trade
Imagine the largest companies today
If all of their employees got no pay
For all of the centuries profit was made
Black skin was always branded slave :musical_note:


#4

It’s horrifying, but it’s not surprising. People tend to forget that it wasn’t very damned long ago that legal segregation was enforced. Brown v. Board of Education may have been ruled on in 1955, but individual districts fought it up through the late 70’s/early 80’s. The early 80’s. I’d imagine that a significant portion of the people on BB were alive, or were about to be alive in the late 70’s/early 80’s. We reached peak school integration in 1988 at a whole whopping 45% integration, and then the aftershocks of Reagan started disassembling it. By 2002, it was widely recognized that American schools were resegregating and the number of schools with 75% or greater non-white student populations more than doubled over the course of the next decade, and by 2007 the supreme court had ruled that even district-voluntary desegregation plans were forbidden, using the logic that “forcing” non-whites to attend schools in order to prevent things like white flight from effectively resegregating schools was tantamount to segregation in itself.

In the ten years since then, people like Betsy DeVos and a disturbingly large group of wealthy, white, evangelical Christians have been working tirelessly to erode federal oversight in education, and to funnel ABSOLUTELY CRIMINAL amounts of money from public education into private charter schools that, in comparison to public schools, are subject to virtually zero oversight. Those schools are then used to justify the closure of public schools which causes redistricting, which ultimately results in non-white and/or poor students being funneled one way, and white and/or wealthy are funneled the other way.

That’s just education. Nixon, et alii (let’s be realistic, it wasn’t et alia) took special care to associate drugs with African Americans and leftists, history books robbed groups like the Black Panthers of all context, and the police have been destroying the lives and communities of non-whites basically from day one.

These same people do things like talk about Africa both as though it’s a single cohesive unit and not a gigantic continent full of distinct people, as well as some kind of mysterious charity-case with problems that nobody really knows the cause of. Just must have been bad luck, and it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that for hundreds of years European countries, the US, Russia, and China have been intentionally disrupting social progress, toppling legitimate governments in favor of “friendly” dictatorships, supplying and funding genocide (when they weren’t the ones doing it) and even worse.

So yeah, people were super racist in 1906. They’re still super racist now, but they were super racist in 1906 too.


#5

I remember that Twilight Zone episode

image


#6

The Good Ol’ Days for Trumpians.


#7

https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_zoo


#8

Thats nothing. Hagenbecks Tiergarten, the Zoo of Hamburg, had an entire villages of Inuit, Sami, Samoans and Massai. It was one of their main attractions until well into the 1930s.


#9

Coulda been worse. Coulda been a Congolese woman, displayed ala Nat Geo.


#10

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Baartman


#11

When I worked at the Academy, the old timers swore up and down that Victorian adventurers used to shoot pygmies and stuff them for trophies.

I think the Mütter might’ve ended up with a couple of them, but I believe those were wet specimens, pickled in buffered alcohol.


#12

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