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February 11, 2009

Stupid Protests: PETA Plays KKK

Apparently being sexist wasn't getting them enough attention, so PETA has now decided to try a little racism.

"People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals knows how to grab attention. And show off its laundry. The animal rights group, which every year stages a protest at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, had two of its members dress in Ku Klux Klan garb outside Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Their goal, according to a post on the PETA website, was to draw a parallel between the KKK and the American Kennel Club. "Obviously it's an uncomfortable comparison," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw told the Associated Press.

But the AKC is trying to create a "master race" when it comes to pure-bred dogs, he added. "It's a very apt comparison."

The group passed out brochures implying the Klan and AKC have the goal of "pure bloodlines" in common." [USA Today]

I'm sure PETA was very excited about the publicity that they knew they would get from this little stunt, but do you think any of them stopped for even a second to consider how the people walking down that New York City street would feel about being confronted by KKK symbolism? Were people supposed to somehow be less offended or upset because the PETA members aren't actually representatives of the KKK? Most people on that street aren't going to stop to chat and hear the explanation for the outfits, and in my opinion the alleged 'good intentions' don't make the protest any less offensive anyway.

Actually, where PETA is concerned those are probably the wrong questions. I'm sure they did think about how shocked and offended people would be and considered that a positive outcome because of the press coverage that would come along with it. I guess we were all supposed to buy into their half-assed comparison of the American Kennel Club to the KKK and then all of our outrage over their racist protest would transform into passion for animal rights. Or something. And if someone who saw the protest or the coverage of it ended up feeling triggered, afraid, angry, or hurt, PETA apparently thought of that as collateral damage at best and a necessary shock to the system at worst.

It's hard to grasp how an organization with a commitment to "ethical treatment" right in its name can repeatedly decide that their cause is so just that it gives them the right to mock other causes in the most twisted and painful ways they can think of if they feel that it serves them. It's okay to stage a fake KKK demonstration on a New York City street. Who cares how people of color might feel about it? They should all become vegetarians anyway! And hey, it's okay to stage a girl-on-girl make out tour to promote your claim that vegetarians have better sex. Who cares what LGBT activists are fighting for right now? If this undermines them, too bad! Naked women in plastic, or in cages? Why not! PETA's run by a woman, so they can't ever be sexist or harmful to women. Want to make a point about the slaughter of animals? It's okay to co-opt Holocaust imagery to do it! The ends justify the means, right?

PETA is into the idea that "animals are people too". Maybe someday they'll figure out that they'd be a better, more ethical, and more successful organization if they started with the principle that people are animals too. But I won't hold my breath.

For more:

~PETA Dresses Up As KKK (Womanist Musings)
~PETA Racism Goes Into Overload (Feministe)


Bunny said...

Ah PETA, you continue to cause dislike to you and your causes due to all these media feeding-frenzy styled campaigns. Hence why there is a PETA2, who actually thinks of people's feelings and writes well thought out letters to congressmen instead of acting like complete fools in public. I can understand their comparison, but they took it WAY too far, and it looks like it's all for shock appeal. I myself am vegan, and keep along with the PETA2 efforts, but PETA will always be shunned for spilling pigs' blood on people. Sacre Bleu. I would be SO embarrassed.

Dick Tremayne said...

They've obviously never seen "Best In Show." They'd know these dogs are pampered beyond belief and treated quite ethically. What I wanna know is who's out there protesting pageant moms that force their kids into those horror shows?

Blue Gal said...

When mere attention whoredom becomes pure stupidity. I'm stunned.

noparty said...

The comparison is a stretch at best, but I don't see what the big deal is. South Park can evoke KKK imagery, but PETA can't? I don't understand why this gets more press than an actual Klan rally.

Rebekah said...

The day I read about this in the news I came home to find a(mother) mailing from them asking for donations. I am planning to fill out the mailing's "survey" designed to make people feel guilty (my partner and I are already vegetarians) but I'll add a note that seeing the way they alienate so many more than they reach with their publicity, the donation I'm sending is going to the Humane Society instead.

Pillow Pants said...

Honestly, maybe Nazi SS uniforms would have been better suited for them seeing how Ingrid Newkirk wants to eradicate the American Pit Bull Terrier through sterilization and euthenization. I believe Hitler had a similer plan for the Jews.

Green Eagle said...

It has seemed to me for a long time that the behavior of PETA members comes from some sort of bizarre psychological deformity rather than any real concern for animals. I don't mean this as a joke. Their behavior, which consistently is useless in helping animals, and which does nothing but degrade and humiliate themselves, cannot really be traced to any rational expectations regarding their supposed cause.

Tengrain said...

You won me over, heart and soul with this post.

I love animals; I loathe PETA.

I want to like them, but I just cannot get there, mostly because of the way they get themselves into every issue it stops being about the animals and become Veruca Salt on a heavy flow day.



Bird of Paradise said...

PETAs mental instability comes from its amount of pure stupdidy why else are they alwaying pulling of these exteremly stupid protests to prove what stupid brainless jerks they are. I mean only a brainless idiot would have anything to do with this PETA bunch of jerks

300 Lbs Parakeet said...

PETA are whole bunch of stupidhead idiots who rely on shack tactics get get everyone to belive the same stupid things they beileve and only a brainless jerk would have anything to do with these PETA jerks

Flu-Bird said...

We ned to protect the animals from these peta jerks i mean PETA is so stupid and rediclous if animals even se PETA comming they had better run away and hide

Spurwing Plover said...

How many trees were chopped down and birds and squerrsls went homeless so PETA could have all those fliers that jerk is handing out?

300 LBS PARAKEET said...

PETA are bunch of idiots i mean its founder INGRID NEWKIRK has preposed to have herself BBQd after she dies i mean this group sounds more like a radical cult it should be avoided at all cost and parents should keep their kids far away from PETA and not allow PETA anywhere near their kids

Anonymous said...

PETA is, to use a quote from Douglas Adams, "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."