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We Are All Monkeys

By May 1, 2014 No Comments

The core motivator behind Nobly is a desire to locate and activate people eager to do good. These acts of good could range in size from walking your neighbor’s dog to helping him paint his house to volunteering at a local shelter to championing a non-profit (and everything in between). These are all vastly different tasks that require a range of effort and time expenditure. But one thing they do have in common is that they all treat causes that are, by and large, tangible. The degree of difficulty increases exponentially when you seek to remedy something elusive. Something like racism.

Sports news over this past week has been dominated with two prominent examples of racial prejudice: human landfill Donald Sterling’s leaked conversations with his then-girlfriend regarding his distaste for black people and the latest in what is a systemic problem with racism in European soccer. Instead of focusing on the vomitus circumstances surrounding the stories themselves, I wanted to take a look at the reaction, particularly in the social space.

In both instances, instead of responding with vitriol, effectively propagating the cycle of hatred, the two communities promoted messages of unity. The L.A. Clippers re-skinned their website with this screen:

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No link to enter the site and no further context needed or given. The language was quickly adopted with hashtags and even a video from the NBA itself.

The second response, while a bit cheekier, summons the same sentiment of togetherness. After F.C. Barcelona wing-back Dani Alves was pegged with a banana while taking a corner kick in a match last weekend, he deftly scooped up the offending fruit, peeled it and took a big bite. Alves’ action launched a groundswell of support as a whole legion of football superstars adopted the language #todossomosmacacos (#WeAreAllMonkeys) and began posting photos in that vein:

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Everyone from everyday joes like you and me to the Prime Minister of Italy got in on the fun. And while the sentiment is steeped in jest, its social payoff couldn’t be more genuine: the good guys are winning. While racism remains a scathing blight, responses like this lend hope and credence to the notion that we’re moving in the right direction and we, as one, can continue the march towards empathy and push the fruit tossers and bigoted dinosaurs right out of the equation.