Another Black Victim Of Dog Prejudice
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies removed 12 distressed pit bulls from the Phoenix area home of rapper-turned-actor DMX in a raid that also found a number of firearms, police said on Friday.
Sheriffs' office spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, 36, was not at home during the raid.
"We served an initial search warrant for animal neglect, and 12 pit bulls were removed," Chagolla told Reuters by telephone.
DMX is not a quick learner. In 2002 he pled guilty in New Jersey to criminal neglect of 13 pit bulls, leading to a sentence of producing an apparently not too heartfelt public service announcement denouncing animal cruelty.
PR tip to dumb celebrities: If you suddenly see a celebrity being ravaged by the media for doing something you also do, best take immediate action, since the media love nothing more than a trend. This trend: Stupid celebrities who abuse dogs.
LAUER: Dennis Courtland Hayes is the interim president and CEO of the national chapter of the NAACP. Ingrid Newkirk is the president and co-founder of the animal rights group PETA.Take note: This is the first time in recorded history that Newkirk has been the least bit fresh and witty in one of her rants. That "... or can be if you're not a good shot" was pretty good.
Good morning to both of you.
Mr. DENNIS COURTLAND HAYES (Interim President and CEO, NAACP): Good morning, Matt.
LAUER: Mr. Hayes, let me start with you. When we heard the comments, raised some eyebrows. The head of the NAACP in Atlanta saying that he just wants Michael Vick to be treated fairly, suggesting he has not been treated fairly thus far. Do you think Michael Vick has gotten a fair shake? And do you think there's been a racial element to his treatment so far?
Mr. HAYES: Well, let me say, Matt, that the NACP***(as spoken)***, its national board of directions, its national office, is not taking an official position on the Mike Vick matter. We're made of up of tens of thousands of members, over 2,000 affiliate units across the country, including Europe and Jam--and Japan. And they often speak to issues that are substantiative, local in nature. And...
Mr. HAYES: Let me be clear, the NACP***(as spoken)***does not condone dogfighting. This is a situation involving Mike Vick. I understand he has admitted wrongdoing. Michael Vick is not a victim in this situation. He was in control of his actions and he's not a victim.
LAUER: And would you be of the opinion, Mr. Hayes, that if Michael Vick were a white quarterback, star athlete, a Peyton Manning, that we would see the same amount of attention and the same amount of negative comments and the same amount of protests from people like PETA? And we'll talk to Ingrid in a second.
Mr. HAYES: Well, that's speculative. What we have to understand is the backdrop. We have to understand that what we're hearing expressed by some African-Americans is their anger and hurt, distrust in a criminal justice system that they feel treats them like animals. No dog deserves to be mistreated. And blacks and Hispanics don't deserve to represent a majority of our prison population in this country while blacks and Hispanics represent only one-third of the population.
LAUER: Ingrid, let me--let me, again, specifically talk to you about the dogfighting aspect of this. We've heard some people say that this is a sport, albeit behind closed doors. Stephon Marbury, as you just heard, compared it to deer hunting and said he doesn't know that it's any worse. How does--I think I know, but how do you come down on that?
Ms. NEWKIRK: Well, of course, the majority of Americans have spoken out very clearly. And we all know that it's illegal to be cruel to animals in any state in the union. PETA, of course, opposes deer hunting. Only 7 percent of the US population goes deer hunting. But you don't dowse deer in water and then electrocute them and beat them to death and slam them into the ground and you don't build pits in your backyard for deer to fight. So, if somebody is so mad as to say that there's an absolute comparison, they're wrong. They're both cruel sports or can be if you're not a good shot...
LAUER: Well, let me ask...
Ms. NEWKIRK: ...with deer hunting. But dogfighting is a world unto itself. It is bloods--blood and guts.