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Comments by YACCS
Sunday, August 14, 2005

So you were almost lynched, big deal

James Cameron is lucky to not have been
the third person hung in this picture

Some of you wondered if I was over the top in calling PETA racist.

I want you to read the following and then you can make up your own minds

Such is the juxtaposition of a new PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) exhibit, "Are Animals the New Slaves?"
For Vakiya Courtney, executive director of America's Black Holocaust Museum, some images in PETA's new campaign strike an especially painful chord.

Dr. James Cameron, founder of America's Black Holocaust Museum, survived an attempted lynching after he and two friends were falsely accused of murdering a white man in Marion, Ind., in 1930. Cameron, 91, the nation's only living survivor of a lynching, watched a mob of whites beat and lynch his two friends — the same two men shown hanging in the PETA exhibit.

"I just cannot believe they would do this," Courtney said, gasping as she viewed the exhibit on PETA's website. "Dr. Cameron was supposed to have been the third man in this picture."

Courtney, who is vegetarian, said that while she, too, is against animal cruelty, comparing the suffering of human beings to animals is unthinkable:

"How can you possibly compare the brutality that our ancestors experienced here, and the brutality that people like Dr. Cameron had to overcome, to animal cruelty?"


PETA, for now, isn't apologizing for its "Slavery" campaign, nor does it plan to discontinue the exhibit anytime soon. The display is being featured in Scranton, Pa., and Baltimore, Md., this week. After the 10-week tour ends, the exhibit will travel to college campuses around the nation.

Dawn Carr, director of special projects for PETA, said that while the organization has heard its share of negative reactions to the exhibit, more often than not, people walk away "with something to chew on."

"People have shouted at us for comparing black people to animals. But the exhibit also compares other cruelties — women being denied the right to vote, children forced into labor," Carr said.

"Obviously, the circumstances are different, but the lack of compassion that allowed humans to be enslaved and lynched and for women and children to be mistreated is similar to the lack of compassion that makes it possible for animals to suffer cruelty today."

Perhaps no one disagrees with that statement more than Dr. James Cameron.

"They may have treated us like animals back then, but there is no way we should be compared to animals today," he said. "You cannot compare the suffering of human beings or the suffering that I experienced to the suffering of an animal."

This is Newkirk's direct response to Mr. Cameron.

We Are All Animals, So Get Over It

"How dare you compare my ancestors' subjugation to the subjugation of cows prodded down the slaughter line to their deaths?!" I can, because it is right to do so and wrong to reject the concept. Please open your heart and your mind and do not take such offense.

Generally speaking, mustn't rhinos think that rhino suffering is more important than vervet monkey suffering and vervet monkeys think that their suffering is more important than songbird suffering? I'd imagine so, for a monkey mother who must choose between rescuing her own baby or a squirrel baby from drowning would surely pluck the monkey baby from the water? Just so, humans who define themselves by religion or culture or nationality or skin color think that their suffering can never be compared, no matter how factually, with any other human or animal's suffering. To do so makes them feel belittled, reduced. But perhaps that's just our primitive biology crying out to protect and save our own kind, the more narrowly defined the better, and the rest be damned. I reject that. Or I try to. Only supremacism makes us think that "our kind," our narrow view of ourselves as Protestants, Muslims, white, black, a woman, a man, a human being, is more important than the rest. But a broader definition of ourselves is simply that we are all animals. Our indignation at injustice to fellow whatever we are should go further-to indignation at injustice to anyone. Otherwise, what are we, but selfish little supremacists.

Remember, Mr. Cameron almost died at the hands of a lynch mob. They were screaming "get the nigger" and had yanked him out of his cell. Only the lone voice of a woman saying "leave that boy alone" saved his life. But this harrowing experience means nothing to Newkirk, his pain is irrelevant to her. I thought I had seen cruel responses to Mrs. Sheehan. But this tops them. By a mile.

It's the same kind of ignorant cruelty Cindy Sheehan is facing. Newkirk is simply incapable, like most fanatics, of seeing any side but her own. And she is blind to the outrage this will cause. She has no idea of how her response is not going to go over with black people. Even her explaination is as tone deaf as George Bush. That may go over well with her donors and allies when she makes a mistake, but it will fall on deaf ears with black people. I dare her to defend this on any black radio show, or even Air America.

Now, not only is PETA refusing to apologize, as they did with the Holocaust ad, they intend to continue the tour, well until they're denounced on Tom Joyner and from church pulpits. To compare black people to animals is the gravest insult a white person can do, and no matter how "liberal" PETA says it is, this will dog it until their tour is cancelled. Because she is fucking with something she does not understand in any way, shape or form. Angry isn't the word. I'd be surprised if Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton aren't outside PETA HQ at the end of the week.

So, given that this is the mentality of PETA's leadership, do you think it's fair to call them racist, now?

posted by Steve @ 9:13:00 PM

9:13:00 PM

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