Ariel Zilber, Daily Mail, May 17, 2017
A white Alabama legislator who stirred outrage after sending an email that black lawmakers on Wednesday condemned as racist has apologized.
Republican Rep. Lynn Greer, of Rogersville, forwarded a constituent email to dozens of legislators and lobbyists that described an experiment in which caged monkeys will eventually stop reaching for a dangling banana as they slowly accept the status quo because their predecessors were punished.
The email was sent as black lawmakers used procedural tactics in the House and Senate to oppose proposed new legislative districts they said minimized black voters’ influence.
Greer apologized and said the email was meant to be a joke about the need to replace incumbents.
However, black lawmakers said its intent was clearly racial. The bubbling tensions threatened to derail the final days of the legislative session.
‘We have been subjected to the most racial insult that I’ve ever seen,’ House Black Caucus Chairman John Knight said of Greer’s email.
‘There is no place in the statehouse. ‘It is insulting and it is unacceptable.’
Greer issued a statement apologizing for the email and met with the black lawmakers to apologize in person.
When asked why he believed the email to be racist, another black lawmaker, Rep. John Rogers, said: ‘I didn’t fall off the truck yesterday.
‘He didn’t write it, but he spread it around,’ Rogers said.
‘Everybody knows what he meant when he said “monkey with a banana”.
As far as I’m concerned it’s a pimp slap to my face. It was totally racist in intent.’
The email in full:
Subject: POLITICS Psychology
You start with a cage containing four monkey, and inside the cage you hang a banana on a string, and then you place a set of stairs under the banana.
Before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.
You then spray ALL the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt. As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray ALL the monkeys with cold water.
Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water.
Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new monkey.
The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, ALL of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him.
After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original four monkeys, replacing it with a new monkey.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.
The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment – with enthusiasm – because he is now part of the ‘team.’
Then, replace a third original monkey with a new monkey, followed by the fourth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
Now, the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs.
Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
Having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water.
Nevertheless, not one of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the Banana.
Why, you ask? Because in their minds, that is the way it has always been!
This is how today’s House and Senate operates, and this is why from time to time, ALL of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME!
DISCLAIMER: This is meant as no disrespect to monkeys.