Horse Owner Accused of Racism After Naming Racehorse 'Jungle Bunny'

Illustration for article titled Horse Owner Accused of Racism After Naming Racehorse 'Jungle Bunny'
Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

After hundreds of years, white people have yet to develop a cure for racism—though it only took them nine months to create a vaccine for the coronavirus. (Oh wait, no they didn’t. They just like to credit for shit they shouldn’t.) This reinforces the widely held belief that they have alllllllllllllll the effort and ingenuity in the world to oppress our Black asses, but oddly lose that same zeal when it’s time to acknowledge our humanity and treat us as equals.

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They disproportionately jail us, subject us to unethical healthcare, offer us higher interest rates, deny us equal jobs and wages, and pull a whole bunch of other privileged bullshit that makes it abundantly clear that the playing field we share is anything but fair. But one of the best examples of how committed white folks are to racism is the laundry list of racial epithets that they’ve created and have been hurling our way ever since they were kind enough to drag us across the ocean during the Middle Passage.

Porch monkey, coon, moon cricket, the list goes on and on. Sometimes they’ll say it straight to your face, other times they’ll try to be a bit more indirect about it, but the end result is always the same: try as we may determine otherwise, our dignity will forever remain their favorite punchline—which brings us to horse owner-trainer David Evans.

From The Guardian:

Racing’s ruling body is to review the process by which it approves racehorse names after a runner was allowed to compete under the name of a racial slur.

The horse, named Jungle Bunny, raced in a low-profile contest at Wolverhampton on Saturday, having been missed by officials at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) who are supposed to prevent offensive and inappropriate names being used.

Yes, horse racing is full of quirky names, but before you extend grace and assume all is not as it seems, apparently Evans has been on this bullshit for a while.

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Emma Evans, the wife of Dave, maintains that it was an “innocent mistake” with no racial connotation. More specifically, that the name was derived from filly’s sire, Bungle Inthejungle.

“David’s daughter gave us the horse and there’s a computer game called Jungle Bunny Run, which her son loves playing,” Emma told The Guardian. “I just thought, that’ll do. I had no idea. It was completely innocent and that is the gospel truth.”

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The gospel truth, dammit!

“None of the staff said anything, nobody else said anything and I’m totally flabbergasted,” Emma continued. “I’m upset because we’ve had our Sunday ruined by everybody ringing about it. It makes you look like a racist, which I am certainly not.”

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She’s totally flabbergasted, dammit!

To clarify, I’m by no means calling Dave and Emma racists because I’ve never met them a day in my life. But if you own a horse named Jungle Bunny, you sure as fuck look the part. So I don’t get why she’s so surprised by people’s reactions.

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In response to this couple channeling their inner “accidental” racists—allegedly—the BHA has apologized and could be considering disciplinary action.

“We reiterate the apology that was issued after the horse ran. Racist language is not tolerated in our sport, whether intentional or accidental,” a spokesperson for the BHA told The Guardian. “We are opposed to racism and prejudice in all its forms and are committed to making British racing an open, diverse and inclusive industry that is welcoming to all.

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“We are deeply concerned as to how this happened and are reviewing the processes for approving the names of racehorses.”

Umm, OK.

In the future, maybe the BHA might want to consider doing this:

“They should just put every proposed name through urban dictionary,” Twitter user @_Harriet90 tweeted.

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She might be onto something.

Or white folks could just stop being racist, “accidentally” or otherwise.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

skeffles
skeffles

That name sounds low key racist too, if you ask me.

Sometimes a racist is clever enough that you can’t pin them down on one specific act, because they’ve always got a barely plausibly deniable explanation for any single interaction, but are super obvious when taken in aggregate.

I’ll buy that the horse naming association didn’t notice it, ‘cause that is a type of institutional racism blindness, while it was happening, but they damn well better pay attention now.