The Obamas Should Have Adopted a Pit Bull Instead
Breed has become a symbol of racial segregation, poverty: Emily Nusser
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2013 10:25 AM CDT
Bo, left, and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House.   (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

(Newser) – The Obamas just adopted a pretty new Portuguese water dog. But if the first family really wanted to make a statement, they should have adopted a pit bull from the pound instead, writes Susan Nusser at Salon. Pit bulls are "resilient, unpretentious, and a little gritty," she says. "To me, pit bulls are as American as a striking coal miner." Yet pit bulls are routinely excluded from private shelters in favor of their more "easily adoptable" peers, instead languishing in public shelters with "aged, injured, ill, and undesirable animals," where they are euthanized at three to four times the rate of other breeds of dogs.

So why doesn't anyone want them? For "white, suburban America," she posits, "pit bulls serve as a metaphor for the urban, non-white, poor, and male problems of which they are the most afraid." Cities and towns regularly try to ban them, and media stories around the dogs are typically "tinged with race and class issues." A recent headline in the Stranger by columnist Dan Savage read: "Pit bulls should be boiled alive like lobsters and fed to their idiot owners." But pets can also offer the opportunity to remind people "not of their fears and their differences, but of their common humanity." If Obama wants "to show the country what resilience is," she writes, he should "leave the purebreds to the aristocracy," and "go to the pound and get a pit bull." Click to read Nusser's full column.

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Showing 3 of 55 comments
Aug 25, 2013 11:48 AM CDT
If Obumma adopted a pitbull, there would finally be someone in the First Family with balls.
Aug 22, 2013 9:17 PM CDT
Obama Should Have Adopted a Pit Bull Instead? He had one once, but Hillary is no longer employed there...
Aug 22, 2013 8:47 PM CDT
If people would just grow up and begin to take responsibility for their pets we wouldn't have the overpopulation of dogs/cats that we have today. What is so hard about getting your animal spayed or neutered so they don't breed more animals for the shelters. I don't want to hear the crap excuse that it cost money to spay or neuter. If you own an animal then figure it cost money to take care of them. Many cities/counties have free or discounted spay and neuter programs. If you adopt from a shelter they will normally have that included in the cost. Stop letting all your pets breed. There are so many pit bulls because idiot owners let them breed. People can be very stupid sometimes.