Monday, March 8, 2010

"Breed Bans" Are Directed Against People, Not Dogs

There are laws forbidding the ownership of varying and different breeds of dogs all over the country. One breed is more often stigmatized, and ostracized (and seized and killed) than any other: American Pit Bull Terriers, aka "pit bulls."

Like my Budreau.

(There are two other "breeds recognized as pit-bulls, too: American Stafforshire and traditional old English Staffordshires; but "pittie" or "pibbuls" ar the most common). Buster Brown's dog, Tige, was a pit-bull, as was the dog in The Little Rascals, Petey. So, probably, was Sandy, Li'l Orphan Annie's dog.

If I took Budreaux even through Denver with me, he could be seized from me with no judicial appeal or proceding, and summarily destroyed for no other reason than "the breed" he belongs to.

Which an unexpectedly reveaing description of the dynamics involved. Cuz Denver a bourgeois town...

Because what the folks who 'outlaw" these dogs are doing is trying to outlaw the OWNERS.

Twenty-five years ago, when gangsta culture was just unfolding, with hip-hop/rappers in gaudy gold bangles, violent lyrics, and threatening gestures, the pit-bull was the dog of choice of the 'threatening, urban black man."

It's that association which now is what the rest of "Middull Murka" is punishing.

Terrified white bourgeoise can't keep the scary PEOPLE out, but they can keep their dogs out, and demonize 'em and kill 'em.

They're just lynching the dog, instead of the man...


  1. You have a very good point. I'm sure part of this is racism, pure and simple. We live in a racially diverse area of New Jersey and many of my neighbors and other nearby residents have pit bulls or pit bull mixes. And in our neighborhood we get admiring glances and compliments when we pass by with Diva, not fearful or condemning comments. But I'll bet in the lily white suburbs not far from here it might be another story. I only hope New Jersey doesn't give in the hysteria other places have and start having breed specific legislation. If we ever decide to go on a cross-country trip with our dog I'll have to do careful research to ensure we don't go through places like Denver. It's like a modern day gulag.

  2. Similar statutes have tried and failed to pass locally here as well. In these cases, there were known pit bull attacks on pedestrians, and a toddler was almost mauled to death by a family pet. In none of the heavily publicized cases (which fanned the flames of desire for the breed ban) were the owners black. In fact, likely as not, they were skoal chewing mouth breathing rednecks. (Canine irresponsibility rates just above child abuse on my "deserving of its own circle of hell" behavior.)

    The unfortunate fact that pits are used by dog fighters is another thing in their disfavor, and when celebrities like Michael Vick are arrested for dogfighting, it ties a black face to a crime already abhorred by skittery whites.

    My best friend had a staffordshire terrier, and it was hands down the most retarded animal I have ever met. (weird for any terrier I know!) Not a mean bone in its body though. I know this breed is not naturally mean, They have to be taught and tortured. Can such an animal be retrained and redeemed after this treatment? If so, how is it fair or reasonable to punish the animal, but not the owner?

  3. Oh, yeah...almost all of the michael vick dogs that could be saved at all were rehabilitated. There's a link on the left to Villalobos Rescue center, where they took in about 30 of 'em, plus rescues from the Katrina flood.

  4. Morgan is right, of course, depending on the area, pit bulls are owned by people of all races. And the ones who abuse the dogs or turn them mean can be of any race. And from what I see in my neighborhood, both black and white people own pit bulls and all seem to be responsible owners. The dogs look well cared-for, are being walked on leashes and look very happy. Sadly, though, to Woody's point, I'm sure there are some in the inner cities nearby (such as Newark, NJ) that are used by drug dealers and other unsavory people as weapons. Luckily that is not the case in my area.