We are all Monkeys

On April 27, 2014 Brazil’s football club matched with Villarreal’s club football team. As the game went on Brazil’s player Dani Alves sets up for a corner kick. Out of the blue a fan member from the audience throws a banana at Dan. Dan, nonchalantly, picks up the banana, takes a bite, and continues on with the game. Brazil won the match but this isn’t about the game. After the game Dani spoke with the press he said, “It’s been happening on for eleven years, we can’t change it, so best to treat it as a joke. If we give it no importance, then they fail.” While Dan and his team members were out celebrating what Dan didn’t know was that fans were taking this racist incident to social media in awe of his swift and positive reaction to this aggression. The next day one of Dan’s teammates, Neymar, decided to do the same. He posted a “selfie” with his son on Instagram. They were both holding a half-eaten banana with a caption of,” We are all equal #Weareallmonkeys”.


Twitter has been around for many years now for a way to express how they feel. It also can be used as a tool to help spread the word for a campaign and in this case that is what Neymar was trying to do. After Neymar posted this selfie, many people on twitter started sharing the photo and their feelings towards this incident and using the hashtag #weareallmonkeys. Protestors were also using the hashtag #saynotoracism to spread the word. Twitter helps people campaign their ideas and create new hashtags so other users can use the same hashtag and tweet for the campaign. Because of Neymar this spread a whole new campaign for racism.

Today we still see racialization going on and this is one example of racialization. We tend to put people with associated groups or things. In Dani’s case he was racialized by being light-skinned and associated with a monkey. This racialized idea isn’t new in today’s world and many African American or colored person are associated with being called a monkey often. We also experience negative interpellation in which we are recognized uncomfortably and made visibly. Obviously getting a banana thrown at you is pretty visible that you are being recognized but the way that Dani approached the situation was that he didn’t take it negatively. This is a huge reason why so many people went to social media to express the situation. Many people may have dealt with this situation differently and may have caused an outbreak. In addition, Dani represent the idea of mis-interpellation. Mis-interpellation is defined when we understand ourselves to be included in “everybody” but when you later realize that you clearly are not. Dani’s situation clearly defined as this. Like I said before Dani could have out-raged like what most people would have done yet he swiftly took a bite of the banana and went on to kick the ball. I think it definitely takes some guts to do this.

This tweet really stood out to me because of the picture presented. We are looking at Equality because in the picture there are pictures of skeletons, written underneath them are different races. Every skeleton is the same representing equality. I like how Hume used the #weareallmonkeys hashtags because if the person who threw that banana is calling Dani a monkey then they are calling everyone else a monkey. According to the picture if they are calling a dark-skinned a monkey than they are calling themselves a monkey which explains the hashtag why we are all monkeys. This solidifies that there is colorblindness. Many people do not think they are racist yet when you throw a banana at someone there is. They might not say that they are racist when in fact they are.

Another person campaigned this incident on vine. Vine allows users to share a six second video. In this video he shares the video of Dani getting the banana thrown at him as I posted before. What I like is the caption of the vine which is “Dani Alves showing just how to react to racism.” This is also an example of showing mis-interpellation is represented on social media. We see how Dani doesn’t follow with crowd.
Inspired by Neymar over 100,000 people have used the hashtag #weareallmonkeys celebrities and ordinary people. Many famous musicians, actors, and other athletes began sharing their selfies with a banana in hand onto Twitter and Instagram. This helps publicize the event because when a well-known person speaks about what they believe many people tend to follow what they do. Argentine striker Sergio Aguero strike a pose with Brazilian football player Marta Vieira da Silva with their bananas to spread the word. In which you can see they start a new hashtag for other people to use and campaign.

Bonilla- Silva, Eduardo. “Racism without Racists.” The Central Frames of Colorblind- Racism
(2010): 3rd edition. PDF file

Senft, Theresa; Noble, Saifya Omoja. Race and Social Media. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. 15 October 2014.

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