Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Your Dog A RAAAAAcist?!

Remember dear readers, there are always five r's in raaaaacism!
But the question, sadly, is a serious one.
At least if you believe this story in the London Independent.
Yup, the Los Angeles county sheriff's department has a bunch of raaaaacist police dogs.
The article cites that in the following period from 2004 to 2012, eight years, dog bites on Hispanic suspects went from 30 incidents to 39, an increase of 30%.
OK, that is a total annual average of, rounding up, five whole incidents each year of the reporting period.
So, based on this beyond flimsy "evidence", we are to assume that police dogs are raaaaacist?!
Now the article also says that during that period, police dog bites on Blacks increased 33% but did not cite the actual number as it did for the Hispanics.
This is all according to a non-profit group known as Police Assesment Resource Center which studies such things and is supposedly interested in advancing effective and accountable policing.
After a cursory look at the website linked above, it is pretty much into finding such things and creating problems rather than solving problems.
But here is something helpful if you go to the actual report here. According to to a chart on page 10 in which highlight LASD dog bite incidents by race (Asian, Black, Hispanic, White and other races), it is actually going down from from highs in 2009.
Too bad that the article did not mention that.
But the report overall blasts the use of police dogs because they are supposedly deployed in minority areas.
Shockingly, a lot of crime happens in these areas.
And police dogs are not always used in the majority of situations in which police have to report and take action.
So how does a dog become raaaaacist?
Well, nothing in the report and or the article really explains. But in the article it reported that a police dog in Pennsylvania in 2004 named Dolpho was suspended for his propensity in biting Blacks.
In my experience as a dog owner, usually there are signs that a dog is anxious around certain people that have nothing to do with race.
Our dog the late Scout the Wonder Dog, did not really like strange men in hats. Did not matter the race. She would bark not menacing but out of fear. Master Barney is very young and while exposed to many people does not seem to have any anti-race tendencies. Mr. Cashew, he does not exhibit anything that could be construed, by a huge stretch, not liking people who are of different races than ours. He doesn't like full-grown bulldogs, so I guess that makes him a breedest, right?
Well, maybe in training a police dog. But again, even in training police dogs, there is no way that a dog can be trained to focus only on one race. A dog is trained and follows commands.
AHH! Can it be said maybe, again by a stretch, that it is not the dog at all but the trainers and or handlers?
Once again, it is not like they will say "Attack the fill-in-the-blank race group!" The commands must be specific and very short. Even and especially police dogs have short attention spans.
What is needed to ascertain is each situation rather than such generalizations.
Often times police dogs are used in car chase situations. And sometimes it is a member of a minority group that is being chased. And while many end up with the driver getting out of the car after a chase, falling to the ground, being handcuffed and put in a police car. But sometimes police dogs are used and are very effective in catching fleeing suspects.
But the implication that somehow dogs are raaaaacist is so over the top it is total theater of the absurd.
It is strange people foisting human foibles on animals that have no concept of racial animosity for they have no clue what the hell it means.
So people, no your dog, my dog, police dogs are not raaaaacists. It is a helluva a lot of projection in a report that is very flawed to begin with.

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