Monkey-Eating Diversity on Trial
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Today's diversity drama concerns how at least some Africans who want to bring their custom of eating monkeys to America, even though the practice is illegal because of dangers to public health and species preservation. A recent case is playing out in New York with a Liberian woman, Mamie Manneh, who unlawfully smuggled bushmeat (aka dead monkeys) for eating purposes.

Although the Associated Press calls her a "modest woman," she is already a convicted felon serving two years in prison for running over a rival for sleeping with her husband and the mother of nine children (several of whom are pictured here, holding a photo of their incarcerated mom, a Liberian national who has resided here for 25 years).

Federal prosecutors hit Manneh with smuggling charges that accused her of violating import procedures and suggested she was a menace to man and beast alike.

A criminal complaint cited evidence that the illegal importation of bushmeat encourages the slaughter of protected wild animals.

More ominously, the complaint warned of "the potential health risks to humans linking bushmeat to diseases like Lassa fever, Ebola, HIV, SARS and monkeypox."

Defense attorney Rostal has countered by accusing the government of picking on a poorly educated immigrant. [...]

Manneh testified last year that before arriving in the United States more than 25 years ago, monkey meat was critical to her religious upbringing.

At age 7, "I was baptized and they used that for the baptizing ceremony," she told a judge.

Baptisms, Easter, Christmas, weddings — all are occasions for eating monkey, Manneh's supporters said in a sworn statement filed with the court. [Monkey Meat at Center of NYC Court Case Washington Post. November 24, 2007]

See, it's all about "the Holidays" — that it would be cruel to deny any traditional observances to the "melting pot," according to multiculturalists.

Didn't anyone tell Liberians that Americans like to see monkeys swinging through the treetops, not on a plate? Citizens in this country regard Cheeta (Tarzan's chimp pal in the movies) as more suitable to be a sidekick than lunch. Johnny Weissmuller's co-star chimp turned 75 in April and got a birthday party reported by the press. Nobody at Cheeta's cushy digs in Palm Springs was talking about barbecuing the critter.

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