Liberals say King Kong represents black people

With a new movie about King Kong coming out, a whole segment on NPR was devoted to proving that the fictional King Kong monster is actually a commentary on black people.  The show interviewed Robin Means Coleman, a professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Michigan who specializes in studying King Kong.

Yes, you read that right: a professor of Afro-American studies whose specialty is...King Kong.

Coleman said:

King Kong was a metaphor for black masculinity. This is a big black man, a big black ape who is absolutely obsessed with ... white women.

More commentary from other sources:

Kong is often conceived of as the monstrous embodiment of the African-American experience, a powerful "primitive" being forcibly taken from the tropical realm where his hegemony is absolute and displayed in bondage as a figure of exotic amusement (though not, curiously, as a beast of burden, as were the historical African slaves). He escapes and asserts not only his physical prowess but also, potentially, his sexual prowess by abducting Fay Wray's Ann Darrow, the blond, virtuous personification of white American womanhood.

Clutching the object of his forbidden, impossible desire, Kong is chased to the pinnacle of the inescapably phallic Empire State Building (a freshly-built structure in 1933 whose appearance in an iconic piece of cinema helped allay scepticism about it from both potential tenants and from the wider public). There, his savage defiance of the democratic capitalist order (and of firmly-defended racial taboos) sees him executed summarily by biplanes.

It doesn't take a Ph.D. to see echoes of American's fraught historical discourse on race in such a tale. It evokes colonialism, the slave trade, Reconstruction, minstrel shows, Jim Crow, white supremacy ... miscegenation and urbanization[.]

This is ridiculous.  Yes, in the past, some racists have compared blacks to monkeys.  But that does not mean that all portrayals of monkeys are about black people.

In the original Planet of the Apes movie, the main chimpanzee was played by Roddy McDowall, whose voice was obviously very white-sounding (and more than a little gay).  No one said the Planet of the Apes movies were about black people.

In Star Wars, the character of Chewbacca is obviously monkey-related.  But no one says Chewbacca is a slur on black people.

Is Disney's Jungle Book racist for having a monkey in it?  Is Tarzan racist as well?  And what about computer games like "Donkey Kong"?  Is "Donkey Kong" a game made by racists who want to give white people the ability to make black people jump in the air repeatedly?

Of course not.  This is all ridiculous.  Without any real racism to talk about, "professors" like Coleman have to justify their pay by making this stuff up.  The ridiculous part is how the liberal media takes this seriously.  If they are so concerned about racism, maybe they should look farther afield to the black people being held as slaves today in North Africa.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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