Saturday, June 14, 2008
Blog Against Dog
I would have thought that this whole mess would just go away. I mean, I know that in the U.S. we're given as a culture to some embarrassingly weird tastes. Reality shows pitting human against human in one way or another are all the rage. So, yeah, Duane "Dog" Chapman, the bounty hunter that looks like a professional wrestler who got lost on his way to the rink fits right in.
But a year ago March, his son Tucker threw him a curve. From what I can gather, Tucker went to prison for twenty years on a drug beef in 2002 while he was still in his teens. Then, only four years later (will wonders never cease?) he was released for some reason. Unfortunately, it appears that he hadn't gotten his loose ends tucked in while incarcerated and by the time he'd been out a year, he was in serious need of money. So he taped his dear old Dad during a fatherly chat and sold the tape for $15,000 to the National Enquirer. And this is what "Dog" was caught saying about Tucker's African-American girlfriend:
"I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore or whatever. It's not because she's black. It's because we use the word 'nigger' sometimes here. I'm not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I've worked for for 30 years because some fucking nigger heard us say 'nigger' and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I'm not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa [Dog's daughter] was dating a nigger, we would all say 'fuck you!' And you know that...[I]t's not that they're black, it's none of that. It's that we use the word 'nigger'. We don't mean 'you fucking scum nigger without a soul'. We don't mean that shit. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a racial slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that, Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love for 7 months.' Fuck that! So, I'll help you get another job, but you cannot work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life...."
Well, it started out just like "Dog" had feared. A&E took his incredibly popular reality show off the air. Tucker's girl friend started talking about suing him. It must have been veeeeery stressful. "Dog" was apologizing like his life depended on it, but it wasn't helping.
True, 40,000 fans signed a petition asking A&E to put the show back on the air. And in December, Roy Inniss of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) agreed to support the return of the show as well. (Excuse me?!?)
Still, A&E (supposedly) would not relent. In February, however, the network announced that "Dog" the Bounty Hunter will return, after all. The plan is to finish televising the unviewed Season 4 episodes beginning June 24th and then commence Season 5 (with a bang, I assume) on July 16th.
Now, you have to understand that my television is only a DVD monitor and not connected to the outside world, so I don't care about tv in the same way that most people seem to. And I don't even care that "Dog" is a former gang member who has eighteen felony convictions for armed robbery and did time for murder in his youth. Hell, in my hey day, I had boyfriends with worse records. And it's really none of my business that he's raising a houseful of children where he admits that the n word is in regular casual use. I'm sure he's far from alone in that.
But he's going to make a more than ample living chasing people down without the cameras. I see no reason to suggest that his racist rant ought to be overlooked. So I am supporting the Afrosphere Action Coalition's Day of Blogging for Racial Justice in Media on Wednesday, June 18th, calling for A&E to scrap this "star" once and for all. I will boycott the sponsors of the show. And participate in such other activities as Afrosphere organizes to affect the situation appropriately. If you would like to do the same, visit BlackPerspective.net and let Yobachi know right away, so that your blog can be added to the list.
I have no doubt that "Dog" is sorry his thirty-year career has taken a hit. And I don't doubt that if his son hadn't had financial problems, "Dog" would probably never have missed a show. And I don't think for a minute that burying one guy for using the n word is going to change anything about this White Supremacist system in the U.S. So, I guess I'm just doing this out of general principle. It's not personal, "Dog." Just think of it as "business." Kind of like when you chase a guy down for having the ill fortune to get on a law enforcement list (the kind you probably used to be on).
There's a point at which a dog loses his "house" privileges permanently. I think that's the situation we have here. It's okay, "Dog". You're still going to be rich. You're still going to look like a professional wrestler. And you'll still be using whatever language you want to in front of your children (I'm sure). But you're just not going to be a tv star any more. You'll get over it.