Neoliberals use “racism” as a cudgel against all who disagree with any of their positions. To them, the ultimate epithet to hurl at an opponent is “racist!’ They use is against the entire right (often accurately) and against most on the political left, (rarely accurately). Their litmus test for piety is political correctness, and the penultimate sin is to appear politically incorrect. In their warped worldview neoliberals place cultures and barbaric traditions above all other concerns. Doing so validates their imagined holier-than-thou superiority.
– Roland Vincent
by Marcia Mueller
The neoliberals did invent a really effective weapon to bully and silence opponents. Political correctness works for several reasons. Calling people the usual epithets—racist, bigot, xenophobe—is about as bad as tagging them as pedophiles. So most people want to avoid being targets.
Political correctness is also a great weapon for the witless. The PC gang turn their names into slogans for protest chants and signs. They parrot them in interviews. They toss their epithets like verbal grenades and run. And they seldom feel called upon to prove their point as they bask in their self-righteousness.
The political correctness warfare has worked in the social and political arena for human issues. It has also infected animal advocacy, but PC animal activists run into special problems, appearing logically inconsistent and hypocritical.
For example an activist may have no trouble condemning the hunting and trapping of wolves, coyotes, and other animals as the work of “ignorant white trash,” and “junk,” and they refer to rodeos as being cruel. Fair enough! That is called freedom of speech. No one who cares about animals should disagree.
But when one activist calls another “racist” for condemning a particular rodeo event, charro horse tripping, because the event originated in Mexico, that is a problem of logic. Is it somehow cruel to kill a calf by roping but okay to kill a horse through charro tripping? The first event is an American tradition and the other began in Mexico, but both rodeo events result in injured and dead animals. Similarly, one activist calls complaints of halal slaughter “racist,” although professing to hate animal cruelty. Does the cow whose throat is slit in ritual slaughter suffer less than one killed in the equally violent nonritual slaughter? Is her death somehow more meritorious? Does race and/or ethnicity justify cruelty?
Condemning animal cruelty in one group while condoning or excusing it in others because of cultural traditions or ethnicity is inconsistent. The focus should be on the abuse, not the racial or ethnic identity of the abuser. All people in all cultures and at all times have been guilty of torturing animals in one form or another. It continues today, throughout the USA and throughout the world: Fox hunting in England, coyote and squirrel killing contests in America, bullfighting in Spain, Mexico, and South America, vivisection in multiple countries, wildlife poaching of megafauna in Africa, boiling cats and dogs alive in China. None of the above abuses should be selectively excused.
Animal rights activists must focus on fighting ALL the abuses EQUALLY. Culture and tradition are not the same as race and ethnicity. Condemning cruel traditions is not racism or bigotry. It is the work of the true anti-speciesist and real animal activist.
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