point loma

Stuffed Monkey Decoration Sparks Concerns of Racism In Point Loma

The sight of a stuffed monkey on the roof of her Point Loma neighbor's home struck a nerve with Tracey Beal.

“It makes me hurt,” said the Point Loma mother and wife.  

Hurt because of the history of apes and monkeys being used as racist comparisons used to dehumanize African-American people like her wife. 

Hurt because Beal initially thought the stuffed animal was a response to the  recent protests for racial equality-- sparked by George Floyd being killed.

After seeing the display for the first time, Beal says she tried to have a conversation with the homeowner.

"He just said it was meant to be funny. In response, I said I’m just seeing it now and to some it could come across as racist,” said Beal.

With it's mouth covered by a mask and an American flag in hand while sitting in a lawn chair, neighbors say the stuffed animal has been a fixture on the roof for weeks. Along with the heart-shaped cutouts in the windows of the house that read “Faith, Hope, Love,” neighbors say it's all helped uplift their spirits during the pandemic.

"I think it's very inspirational to stay home and be happy at home and keep people safe," said neighbor Kim Monroe.

Though Beal now realizes the homeowner doesn't appear to have any malicious intent, she's hoping their conversation sparks change and understanding.

“If I drive by it and I’m hurt by it and worried other people might be hurt by it, he has the choice. I would hope that he might see where that hurt is coming from and want to rectify that," said Beal.

NBC 7 reached out to the homeowner but was unable to make contact.

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