Phi Beta Cons

Dog Fighting and Faulty Reasoning

Many thanks to George for pointing to Professor Rudy’s truly silly piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  What is more disturbing to me than the cry of “it’s all about race” is the way in which she skates directly through standard rules of logic and critical thinking to make her predictable and tiresome ideological point.  To professor Rudy, horse racing is comparable to dogfighting because horses can be hurt (and yes, killed) while engaging in the sport.  But isn’t the whole point of dog fighting to hurt or kill the dog?  Comparing horse racing and dog fighting would be like saying that the NFL (because people get hurt in football) or NASCAR (because drivers sometimes die) is morally comparable to, say, dueling. 
She gives the game away at the end of the essay.  After comparing dog fighting to horse racing and even to the (humane) practice of ending animals’ lives at animal shelters, she then says: “Whether or not dogs are fought more by minorities than white people is actually unknown.”  What?  So it turns out that dogfighting may actually be more white than black?  But she tries to salvage the point by hurling an utterly unprovable (and false) allegation against the media, saying “the media representations of the last several weeks make it appear that black culture and dogfighting are inextricably intertwined.”  Oh really?  I daresay that link has not been made one single time by any credible member of the media.  Not once.  While there have certainly been stories indicating that a few particularly thuggish figures in hip-hop have been known to engage in dogfighting, nobody has equated dogfighting with “black culture.”
But then again, perhaps Professor Rudy equates the most extreme, violent, and thuggish elements of hip-hop with “black culture.”  But she wouldn’t do that, would she?  That would be racist.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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