Within the pages of this blog, I've written a lot about the changing narrative of Pit Bulls over recent years.
This, along with the growth in popularity of pit bulls among all segments of the population has really helped solidify pit bulls back in the position of truly being "America's Dog".
In the August issue of Esquire, the trend continues in an article by Tom Junod entitled "The State of the American Dog" (my photo of the story lead above).
The article itself takes an interesting look at pit bulls as "America's Dog". It's not always positive. I don't always agree with it. But it did make me think about how in so many ways, what is happening, and has happened, with pit bulls in this country is very much a reflection of who we are as a people.
"You learn a lot about America when you own a pit bull. You learn not just who likes your dog, but you learn what KIND of person likes your dog -- and what kind of person fears him. You generalize. You profile.....You learn that the argument about pit bulls takes place along the lines of class and, to a lesser extent race. The opposition to pit bulls might not be racist; but it does, however, employ racial thinking...."
The article then goes on to talk about what the mass killing of dogs in our shelters, most of which are pit bulls, has to say about us as a country:
"America is two countries now -- the country of its narrative and the country of its numbers, with the latter sitting in judgment of the former. In the stories we tell ourselves, we are nearly always too good, too soft on criminals, to easy on terrorists, too lenient with immigrants, too kind to animals. In the stories told by our numbers, we imprison, we drone, we deport and we euthanize with an easy conscience and avenging zeal. We have become schizophrenic in this way, and pit bulls hold up the same mirror as the 2.2 million souls in our prisons and jails and more than 350,000 people we deport every year....
"We are not a pure country, or one that values purity. We are a country of adoption, a country of rescues, a country of mutts. At least that's how we like to think of ourselves. But we are also a country that likes to create idylls of its own good intentions and then penalize what doesn't fit. Pit bulls don't fit."
It's a good piece - and I would encourage you to go check out the piece in the magazine (on newsstands now and show the folks at Esquire a little love for a thoughtful piece.