Finding the balance
0 comment Monday, June 2, 2014 |
Everything is a racial issue. That's what I've learned from the media over the last couple of decades. The media help ensure that this is so when they give a megaphone to every race huckster or grievance-monger, as long of course as they are not White or Christian.
The brouhaha now is over the Michael Vick story, which I blogged about back at the time that the story broke. Then we had the presidential seal of approval given to Vick's ''second chance'' and now it seems Tucker Carlson in an outburst on MSNBC said that Vick should be executed for his abuse of animals.
Then someone of a Turkish-sounding name, Cenk Uygur, on MSNBC, suggests that Sarah Palin ought also to be executed for hunting and killing wild animals. Next, apparently, on that same 'news' channel (I have not seen this stuff, only read about it) some Ivy-league black spokeswoman says the Vick case is all about slavery and civil rights.
Does any of this make sense to you all? Me neither.
The Free Republic discussions, linked here and here, discuss whether Carlson's comments were over-the-top. Most think so, but I am a little troubled by the number of people who seem to be diminishing the seriousness of Vick's torture of the dogs. Maybe most ''conservatives'' are really libertarians these days, and are no longer Christian in any real sense, but surely it should not be reduced to the argument that ''animals are property. Plain and simple. We have a right to do as we please with them because we own them.'' Well, in a legalistic, libertarian sense I suppose that would be the argument, but I've argued before that one of the things that characterizes European-descended people is our unique relationship with animals. All we have to do is to look at how other cultures regard animals, and notice that White people tend to bond more with animals, even if those animals are working animals. Perhaps White people, especially in our decadent postmodern culture, go overboard and treat animals as children or dote excessively on them. We see this a lot in a society where many people are childless. But the fact is, Whites seem to be the race which has the greatest empathy with and affinity for animals. I would say that while some Whites are wantonly cruel to animals, that behavior is not as frequent with Whites as it is in certain other ''communities". So for 'conservatives' to make the argument that animals are nothing more than property is a step backwards for us.
From a Christian perspective, we are not the 'owners' of animals as we are of inanimate objects; they were given into our care by God, and we were told to be the stewards of God's creation. The Old Testament certainly enjoins us to treat animals humanely. One passage says "The righteous person regards the life of his beast." Proverbs 12:10. Still the Bible allows for animals to be used for meat, fur, and other purposes, while discouraging needless cruelty to animals. The Bible does not treat animals as inert property to be disposed of however we wish.
So is the MSNBC 'pundit' correct to liken hunting wild animals to Vick's torturing and killing his dogs? I can't imagine that anyone would believe that a quick kill by a hunter is the same as torturing and mutilating animals for sheer malice. Maybe you could make the case that killing an animal with the intention of eating it is killing out of necessity, and not just for sport, and is therefore less objectionable. But there are times when it is necessary to kill animals for other reasons (because they are predators killing livestock, or because their populations have overgrown and become destructive, for example) . Of course some urban person could hardly be expected to understand that kind of thing, and I believe the media consists mostly of liberal urban types who can afford to sit on high and judge rural people for being heartless killers of animals. Then they turn around and make excuses for Vick's behavior.
The most predictable part of this whole media furor is the playing of the race card by this professional race apologist. She seems to imply that blacks having had troubled histories with dogs (dogs were sicced on them by evil White men, of course), and blacks having been 'likened to animals' apparently leads them to a vendetta against dogs. Or something. I guess anything can be made to make sense if your sole purpose is to defend and excuse blacks for any bad behavior or crime.
This is just observation on my part, anecdotal, if you will, but I've perceived that fewer blacks have dogs that are not obviously intended for fighting or protection against gang rivals, or a kind of surrogate masculinity -- hence the popularity of pit bulls, and earlier, Doberman Pinschers, dogs that were known for their fierceness or menacing behavior. There are some blacks who have dogs for companionship but it seems less common than with Whites. When I blogged about this in the past, one of my semi-regular readers (YIH, are you still around?) differed with me, and said that lower-class Whites were just as likely to be into dogfighting and acquiring the aggressive breeds of dogs.
I still believe that Whites, at their best, have a kind of bond with animals that I don't observe with other races. Some people who idealize American Indians as being at one with Mother Earth and All Creation, etc., think that they have a similar fondness for animals. I've observed that they are much less sentimental towards animals then Whites, and I have a friend who works among Indians who was dismayed to see some of her Indian clients abusing a 'runt' puppy. She rescued the pup and took it to a shelter; the clients saw it only as a nuisance.
It's also well-known that before the conquest by Whites, many Indian tribes ate dogs, just as in Asia where dogs are a common menu item.
And yes, I know, who are we to judge other cultures? It's all relative, isn't it? Oprah told me so.
In any case, as to the remarks by Tucker Carlson, he was being a little over-the-top recommending execution for animal cruelty, but there is data out there that shows that most people who commit violence against human beings started out by abusing animals.
I don't blindly accept everything that the 'psychiatric community' tells us, but it makes sense. I steer well clear of anybody who is wantonly cruel to animals. Do I recommend the death penalty for animal abuse? No, but neither do we shrug it off by saying ''animals are property and it's none of our business what people do with theirs.'' There is a happy medium between a callous response to animal cruelty in the name of some kind of purist libertarian principles and being a PETA fanatic.
As for making the Vick story a racial issue, that to me is just more evidence of my own perception that blacks do not feel the same empathy for animals that many White people do. To them all that seems to matter is sticking by their racial kin and defending them no matter what they do.
In a sense we might learn something from them on that score, since we seem to turn on each other all too quickly these days, but on the other hand, if we suspend all our ethics in the name of defending the bad apples amongst us, we will not be true to who we are. Our strengths include our empathy and our adherence to principles - but among our principles ought to be some kind of kin-loyalty. It ought to be higher on our list.

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