5.26.2005

Is Fear of Dogs Racist?

I had this thought this morning while calling Nande back from an exploratory excursion from her regularly scheduled rock chasing this morning. The detour was a family of four that included a little girl who was very obviously terrified of dogs.

And it got me to thinking, is the blanket fear of dogs a racist perspective? I don't think so in the little girl's case because it would be simpler (and good ol' Occam's Razor says simpler is more likely to be right) to say that she's frightened of things she doesn't know and are bigger than her and have big teeth.

But what about larger kids, what about adults who fear all dogs no matter their size? I'm sure they've had a bad experience in the past with a dog that either attacked them or attacked someone they knew. And I understand that fear, I've had dogs chase me with my meaty calves in their crosshairs and it is damned scary.

But if you replace bad experience with a dog to bad experience with a black man or with a Mexican or with a Japanese girl then the picture is very clear. It is racist to take a single incident and lay it over a whole demographic. So why is it acceptable to be racist towards dogs or other creatures? Or is racism the wrong term and it should be speciesism?
Venom +1
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