Fresh from making a formal complaint about Roy Hodgson telling a joke about a monkey, Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, Peter Herbert, has now set his sights on the nation’s zoos, who he claims also use the term. The decorated civil rights lawyer is insisting that any reference to monkeys is removed from signs and promotional materials or he will make a complaint to the police.
“To think that in 2013 people still believe that this is acceptable language is unbelievable. Some of these zoos have signs and even adverts that have clear racial overtones which, in the multicultural society we live, is frankly unacceptable.” said Mr Herbert,
“London Zoo, which is one of the biggest zoos in the country and employs many ethnic minorities, has an attraction called ‘Meet the monkeys’. This sort of casual racism is astonishing and my organisation will be lodging a police complaint if this is not renamed immediately.”
A spokesman for London Zoo claimed that renaming the attraction ‘Meet the giraffes’ would be misleading as there are no giraffes in the enclosure, and ‘Meet the animals whose correct species name can sometimes be used or interpreted as a racial slur’ does not have the ring to it that they are looking for in their advertising.
“I’m not even going to give any credence to the idea that this form of racism is acceptable and can be explained away by suggesting that the signs refer to actual monkeys.” responded Mr Herbert, “I can see that this is racism, and if you can’t then you’re either an idiot or a racist. Or a racist idiot. Either way I get to completely dismiss any opinions that conflict with mine, which makes it very difficult to argue with me.”
Many public figures from the world of sport have become involved in the row, with former England captain John Terry adding “So just to be clear, am I still ok to call Andros Townsend a monkey or not?”.