Dog Gate 2.0—White Liberals Cry “Poor Dog!”

Dog Gate Sequel: You Hate When We Call Out Your Anti-Blackness, Yet Love Demonstrating It

Both Photos by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The piece, Dog Gate, written about the importance that white people place on animal life, particularly dogs, while ignoring or minimizing the harm that Black people experience because of racism, racist and dogs was…well-received. In the sense that the comments section amply showcased white people raving from they don’t get it, to “all life matters”, to “you must not have pets”. 

As such, and given the recent occurrences in NYC, it’s time to once again revisit how much emphasis white people place on their love of dogs, while ignoring the racism before them. But point it out and they lose their minds. Don’t believe me. Look at the comments for the Dog Gate piece. 

Amy Cooper was walking her dog — off leash — in a section that forbids it due to the environmental damage dogs can wreak on the vegetation when Chris Cooper (no relation), a Black man and birder, told her to leash her dog. 

Being told to leash her dog by a Black man unleashed her Karen mach 5 and she demanded he stop filming her. Then, when he ignored her demand and told her to keep back—because she kept coming toward him—she declared she was calling the cops. She also made a point to let Chris know that she would tell the 911 dispatcher that “an African-American man [was] threatening [her].” 

White people, I get it. There is so much news out there and racism, that the chances of your racism being showcased and trending in another ep of “When It’s White” seems unlikely, but there’s always that chance. This society has given you a conceit to write checks your ass can’t cash. Yet, you keep on. 

So she calls, in her best tearful and fearful Karen voice and put a Black man’s life in jeopardy because she wanted to demonstrate her power over him. While doing all that she seemed to be strangling her poor dog, causing it to yelp. This could’ve been accidental, but it easily could also be intentional as she did tell the 911 operator that a Black man was threatening her and her dog, and the dog’s yelps would add to the fake urgency her voice was trying to convey. 

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I felt horrified and angry for the man, and I also felt bad for the dog. But…my focus was the man whose life could’ve easily been cut short thanks to racism, anti-Blackness and white privilege. Because a white women purposely endangered him and he could’ve easily wound up being the latest in a long list of victims of police brutality. 

Unsurprisingly, many white people on social once again took the time to prove…they care more for the dog’s life than the Black man. It’s interesting how quickly a current example of white privilege, supremacy, racism, anti-Blackness and inhumanity show up. Because after the original dog gate piece there was a surplus of whinging about the example used of a white cop using a dog to brutalize a Black man. The stream of complaints stemmed from white people’s desperation to avoid confronting their identity and damage head on. It’s not that they don’t care about the Black man, it’s that everyone else who point it out, must not like dogs or animals. 

Most common was the example didnt work because it’s a cop in the scenario and people would be in danger if they shot the dog. The point of scenarios such as these is not to make blockades—cop would stop it, get arrested, might get hurt—but to assume that if all favorable factors were met, would one be willing to shoot a dog to save a Black man’s life. 

Here is a situation where a Black man was endangered by a privileged white women who consciously weaponized her privilege…and still there were more tweets by white people giving sympathy to the dog. 

This is precisely why the majority of us now ignore any excuses, rationalizations, whataboutisms we hear because those tactics are only ever about derailing the imperative dialogue we need to have to craft actionable methods to stop continual government-sanctioned murders of Black people. 

Love of animals is not a problem. Many people who aren’t white, have, and love animals. “Oh, but the poor dog is defenseless!” The problem is a Black man, faced with police, is also defenseless—at the mercy of those officers’ hate, biases, and fears. Yet white people don’t see it because they don’t see Black people as vulnerable. 

It’s precisely why there was little fear or horror for Chris Cooper. We have been taught to associate Black people with strength, anger, wildness and, because of this, white people don’t extend their sympathy to Black people. White people are sadly not the only ones guilty of this…because we’ve all been taught this through education, government and mainstream media.

Yet, pointing this out leads to white people using every method possible to shift the focus back to every possible thing except their ingrained anti-Blackness, which only starkly brings out their anti-Blackness. We’re tired. Tired of the focus being what white people “feel” is important, rather than what anyone with sense knows is important.

Till you learn to decenter your hurt feelings over demonstrable harm, we will continue to see murders, close-calls and an increase in anger and pain on a global scale. Put simply: get your shit together. We. Are. Done.

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