1. The association of apes with indigenous people and people of African descent in the European imagination is rooted in history, particularly the influence of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.
2. In the 18th century, scientists like Comte de Buffon and Petrus Camper reinforced this connection by proposing that all species were descended from a small number of spontaneously-generated types, with Africans being closer to apes than Europeans.
3. These different theories were used to justify plantation slavery and colonialism, and the ape insult continues to tap into the power dynamics that have led to indigenous dispossession and other legacies of colonialism.
The article explores the history of the ape insult and its association with racism towards indigenous people and those of African descent. The author argues that the European imagination has long associated apes with Africans, which has been reinforced by various scientific and religious theories throughout history. The article highlights how these different theories were used to justify plantation slavery in the Americas and colonialism through the rest of the world.
The article provides a detailed historical account of how evolutionary thinking has contributed to the longevity of the ape insult. However, it fails to acknowledge that not all evolutionary scientists believed in biological racism. The article also overlooks other factors that have contributed to racism towards indigenous people and those of African descent, such as economic interests, political power dynamics, and cultural biases.
The article's potential bias lies in its focus on European perspectives while neglecting the experiences and perspectives of indigenous people and those of African descent. The author assumes that white Europeans are not aware of their history, while "other" people are much more aware. This assumption is problematic as it perpetuates a binary view of race where one group is privileged over another.
The article's claims are supported by historical evidence, but some points lack sufficient evidence or exploration of counterarguments. For example, when discussing Mendelian genetics, the author suggests that it made things worse for Africans as they were far closer in evolutionary terms to great apes than Europeans. However, this claim lacks evidence or explanation for why Mendelian genetics would lead to this conclusion.
Overall, while the article provides an informative historical account of the ape insult's association with racism towards indigenous people and those of African descent, it overlooks other factors contributing to racism and perpetuates a binary view of race.