Kimberly Gauthier from Keep The Tail Wagging gave me permission to share this powerful reminder. I’ve been working on becoming anti-racist for a while, but I know people visit my platforms to see great photos of dogs, not to get my take on current events. I’ve been leery to address Black Lives Matter on the blog. I didn’t want to ruin someone’s day by reminding them of the injustices in the world. But the worst choice is not to say anything. I can use my voice to help fight racism, so I am trying. This is not a political post. This is a personal post about human rights. Discrimination is not a left versus right issue, it is an issue that all humans should speak out against. As Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
I have five kids, and like every mom, I think my kids are amazing human beings. One of my kids is a trans lesbian. One of my daughters-in-law is Black. My niece is biracial. They are three of the smartest, kindest, and funniest people that I know. My heart breaks to think that people would hurt them because of their skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. It is both infuriating and scary they may be treated differently than my other children.
When my children were in high school, I worried that as teens, they would make stupid mistakes. But I was never concerned about what might happen to them if the police picked them up, I had every confidence that my kids would be okay. During those years, I watched a video with Black moms telling their children how to behave in the same situation. I cried and was shook by the reality of two different scenarios based on skin color. Sadly, 15 years later, Black parents still need to have “the talk” with their children. Not every cop is a bad cop, but we need to address the fact that racism is part of our society. It is more than police brutality.
Chances are that you’re here on the blog because you love animals. If you can speak out about puppy mills, the Yulin dog meat festival, dogfighting rings, and factory farms, then I hope you’ll also speak out against injustices against human beings.
If you want to be a better ally to the Black Lives Matter Movement, this guide might be a good place to start.
Looking for Black-owned pet businesses to support? Check out this post from Boogie the Pug.
And since it is Pride Month, here are some tips to be a better LGBTQIA ally.
And while I believe it is important that I share my personal story, I believe it is also important that we center the voices of those who are most hurt by bigotry. I would love to host those voices on the Daily Dog Tag.
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melissa chapman says
It is so important to respect all people’s rights and as a pet owner I have two rescues. I think all living things deserve to live and be free.
Jennifer Van Haitsma says
Thank you so much for this!! Some people just don’t get it .
Mitch Chaitin says
During the pandemic, I have been staying up late watching TV. I usually take a break and get hooked on the dog videos on FB. So many poor puppies have to be saved form puppy mills, especially when they literally discard these beautiful looking creatures. Thanks for speaking out no this subject!
Bonnie G says
Thank you for sharing. I’m going to learn more by visiting the links.
The Dash Kitten Crew says
The world in lacking in so much compassion these days and it is important to show respect. I have been sharing and tweeting about Yulin for a couple of years now. This is so wrong.
Lecy | A Simpler Grace says
You raise some great points. I think so many humans have become desensitized to violence and oppression, especially when it is happening to a group of people that is marginalized or doesn’t “look like us.” I am all for animal rights, but it’s so important to also be about human rights.
Pam Wattenbarger says
Thank you for sharing this! I have four rescued cats and a rescue donkey (seriously) and I am always trying to speak out against abusive practices.
Thanks for speaking out!
Indya | The Small Adventurer says
This is such a great, yet sad and important post. I’m also so pleased to see what an accepting mother you are, as a lot of my friends and myself were not fortunate enough to have parents who accepted people of different sexualities or genders, whether it actually be us or our friends. Thank you for helping make the next generation more kinder.
Thanks, Indya. I can’t understand parents who don’t accept other human beings, especially their own children.
As an Asian, I’m glad that you’re sharing this and it’s great to know your personal thoughts about racism. You are kind and we need more people like you in this world.
Morgan @ Baby Got Balance says
You make a good point about injustice. I have always thought of it as less “animal rights > human rights” and more standing against things that are just wrong (like racism and animal cruelty). Thank you for sharing this!
Ruth Epstein says
I speak out all the time about animal rights as I will not keep quiet as we have to be their voices.
Jamie H says
It makes me so sad to think that anyone would be unkind to another person just because of the color of their skin. Living in a rural, western area, I had no idea racism was still so rampant in some areas. It’s so sad.
I am so agree with you! We need to be a positive example to our children!
Well said! We need to respect everyone no matter how or what they identify with – we are all humans after all.
Rebecca Sanchez says
Thank you for speaking out, on behalf of your family, and on behalf of people of color everywhere. I agree, we as pet lovers, champion animal rights and we can do the same for people too❤️
Thanks, Rebecca! I know that you advocate for kindness and fairness all across the board.
We really do need more people to remember to just be kind. No matter what.
You are right, the world would be better off if people were kinder to each other.
I couldn’t agree more with you. All human beings are equal and we need to be more compassionate with each other as well as animals.
Jana Rade says
The world is full of injustices. I think the best approach to any problem is leading by example.
Britt K says
It is heartbreaking to think that this is still happening in countries where we pride ourselves on being ‘civilized’ or ‘superior’. No mother should have to have ‘the talk’ with their child out of fear that a routine traffic stop or minor miscommunication could cost their life. I really do hope that this is FINALLY the turning point where we demand better. However, for that to happen, we all need to stand up and add our voices to the cry for change.
I hope that many people will add their voices and speak up!
Nancy Taylor says
Our compassion and kindness should know no bounds.
Very well said!
I grew up in the 60s, I find it appalling that my children and grandchildren are dealing with the same issues today as we did back then. People are people. We shouldn’t be hating on each other for race or gender or sexuality
I completely agree with you!
Sweet Purrfections says
Excellent! I grew up in the deep South in the 50s-70s. Desegregation didn’t occur in the schools until I went to junior high school. I admit – I grew up in a racist environment. I remember wanting to invite black students to our home to swim in our pool, but my dad put his foot down and said, “no.” I was also turned down for my first teaching job, being told, “I’d love to hire you, but you’re the wrong color.” The older I became and the more education I received, I began to change. I’d like to think I’m no longer racist, but there are times I have to fight the environment in the South I grew up in. I am not the stereotypical senior, Southern, white female because I find myself becoming more accepting and liberal. I am shocked at some of my “friends” who are openly showing their racist tendencies. I honesty thought things are better than when I was growing up. I truly believe we should accept people for who they are!
Paula, thanks so much for sharing your story! I think it is exciting that you’re becoming more liberal with age.
Shannon Gurnee says
This is a great reminder for many of us. Thanks for sharing. I think being a good example is super important.
Ruth Epstein says
Fantastic post and we must use our blogs to speak out against hate of all kinds, whether it is human or animal as that is a way of educating others. I do not have kids but was a step in care giver for a kid who had two fathers and I taught him that respect is the most important word in the dictionary, not to judge others if he did not want others to judge him. He is a great teenager today and thanks me all the time for opening his eyes to the world