Who could have ever imagined that a cute, harmless commercial, featuring an adorable French Bulldog, a pack of Racing Greyhounds, and an in-your-face, canine moonwalk, could have caused such a ruckus?
Firstly, a veritable Old Faithful of dis-information and propaganda, also known as Grey2k, predictably, threw a world-class hissy-fit. It was a truly diva-worthy performance, all on account of the Skechers footwear company’s decision to run a commercial during the Super Bowl broadcast. The commercial depicted Racing Greyhounds being challenged by Mr. Quiggly, the aforementioned little French Bulldog sparkplug (who eventually emerged victorious while wearing a pint-sized set of Skechers running shoes). The Grey2k-instigated national boycott of Skechers, and the demonstrations they had planned onsite at various Skechers outlets fizzled. Their blogging, visual and print media antics and histrionics failed to persuade Skechers, (or too many of the viewing audience), that the world would indeed, immediately, and in concert, convert to a new Religion based upon the worship of greyhound racing, if Skechers went ahead with the commercial—which they did. Then, with that final indignity a fait-accompli, the geyser of frustration, self-righteous indignation and hyper-vitriol finally blew, spewing animus and hatred all over the new media, courtesy of Grey2k, their supporters and their acolytes.
For those who are unfamiliar with them, Grey2k are a Massachusetts-based animal rights lobbying group who work to criminalize wagering on State-regulated greyhound races. They are neither a provider of animal or Greyhound welfare, nor have they any practical experience as working Greyhound Racing professionals, in any breeding, rearing or training capacity whatsoever. But one of their officers did recently manage to have his name included on a Federal complaint made against an alleged extortionist, who had interjected himself into the West Virginia Gubernatorial race, proving once again, that politics indeed seem to make for strange bedfellows. I’ll let you decide how having one’s name included on a Federal complaint made against an alleged extortionist does anything to “help the greyhounds”, which is Grey2k’s mantra, and more specifically, is usually Grey2k-speak for “please donate early and often.”
Let’s see now…where were we? Oh dear yes, the geyser had erupted and was spewing. Yuck. Nothing extraordinary, mind you, just the usual verbal venom and vomit, directed at Greyhound racing, and thus projected upon every single person who has ever participated in what Grey2k and its internet infantry feel is a brutal, cruel, inhumane, outmoded activity. No lives were ruined, no families were uprooted or shattered, no careers or jobs were lost, as they had been when Grey2k worked successfully to turn wagering on greyhound races into a felony in Massachusetts.
So it was business as usual. Isolate…target…attack…though Skechers had now been added to their mass-media provided target range.
The relentless crusade against greyhound racing and its participants has always contained a strong overtone of culturism. It’s a cultural war. On one side are the New-Age, enlightened, progressive, elitist, animal rights advocacy groups, who believe in limited or no interactions between men and animals, and that the use of an animal for any reason is unacceptable. They have chosen to attack and demonize a mostly rural, agrarian, working-class, and what they seem to view to be a “throwback” culture, who regard the keeping of animals as something more complex than just an end unto itself.
At any rate, in the days after the Super Bowl and the cataclysmic airing of the offending Skechers commercial, the Grey2k bloggers were congratulating themselves for having made such a fuss that Skechers had undertaken some alterations to it’s video, filmed at the rather drab racetrack in Tuscon. The identifying name of “Tuscon” on the starting box had been changed to something more whimsical, so all of their hysterics had not been in vain. Tuscon would derive no publicity from this event. At least not any more than Carey Nation’s (Grey2k and their internet infantry) nationally publicized spleen venting and hand-wringing had already provided for them. Skechers was guilty, the Magpies of Carey Nation crowed, of super-imposing upon the video of the plain jane racetrack at Tuscon, greenery that would have made the ownership of Epsom Downs jealous, and a crowd the size of that usually only seen at World Cup Soccer matches. The difference being, that this fake crowd was apparently, and predominantly, lily-white of skin.
And then the other shoe dropped. Whoops.
Someone blogged, while decrying Skechers for having taken such liberties, and I quote:
“Middle class educated white people don’t go to bet on the dogs.”
No rational, reasonably sensitive person of any race, education level, or income class, could possibly infer anything other than that a new front in the 40-year long attack on Greyhound racing and greyhound racing professionals had just been opened, and that the people who support and enable what Grey2k loathes and characterizes as “cruel”, “inhumane” and “outmoded”, we’re now directly in their sights.
The fact that the remark was made by no less than a Board Member of Grey2k would seem to cast a new, much less flattering light than the activist mainstream media always provides for them, upon the nature of the Grey2k agenda.
Greyhound professionals have grown used to having their choice of career and lifestyle attacked in the most vicious and debasing manner, and to the negative stereotypes that Grey2k and their supporters promote with their inflammatory rhetoric and talking points. But this was something else again. The battle front had suddenly shifted to include, as co-targets, those who choose to support and enable greyhound racing with their wagering dollars. One can only infer by the statement
“Middle class educated white people don’t go to bet on the dogs”.
that apparently these new villains are non-white, and/or of lesser education, and/or of lower income status.
As of this writing, to my knowledge, no higher official of Grey2k has yet made an official statement disowning the remark made by one of its Board Members—though all traces of it were scrubbed from their blog the next day. Until such time as an official of Grey2k publicly disavows THE statement, we’ll have to assume that they own it.
It does appear, however, that the Supreme Leaders of Carey Nation have shrewdly instructed their internet infantry to do an about-face on it.
Here are some post-remark blog entries from a blog-site that is supportive of Grey2k, and vice-versa. The internet infantry seem to have become suddenly fixated upon skin color.
Exhibit A….“This means that each and every retired greyhound is just another surplus animal in an already overburdened system of shelters and rescue groups. And for what? So fat, white retirees in Florida and Arizona can gamble? Hey come on. There’s fat white retirees in West Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama and Iowa too. What are they gonna do? Watch Jersey Shore reruns?”
Exhibit B….“I suggest that, rather than watch dogs run around a track, that they get their fat, white asses off the couch, put down the deep-fried cheeseburgers and milkshakes, and get some f**king exercise.”
Exhibit C….”Maybe we should start racing fat retirees, give the greyhounds something to watch.”
Charming, aren’t they?
And so sophomorically, transparently, disingenuously and obviously part of a plan of action which we should perhaps call “Equal Opportunity Bigotry”, clumsily designed and executed to redirect and walk back “THE statement”.
“Middle class educated white people don’t go to bet on the dogs”.
And just in case you’re tempted to fall for this latest little diversion, and to perhaps believe that the statement “Middle class educated white people don’t go to bet on the dogs” could have possibly been somehow meant to slur wealthy, white, “fat” retirees….here is the full text of “THE statement” made by a Grey2k Board Member on the Grey2k Blog, the day after the Super Bowl.
“Middle class educated white people don’t go to bet on the dogs. That is Skechers or the TGP’s (Tuscon Greyhound Park) wet dream.”