Breeze Harper on Speciesism and Racism

Please listen to Breeze Harper's new podcast on the intersections of racism and speciesism. Breeze reads from "Speciesism: Why We Cannot Fully Eradicate it if We are Unmindful of its Contingency Upon Racism, Racialization, and Normalization of 'Whiteness,'" a chapter she wrote for a new anthology that will be out soon.

Breeze discusses how in the media, "White male youths who kill 'game' animals are heroes. Black male youths who kill a puppy or engage in dogfighting are the anti-hero." She goes on to encourage us to think critically about why that is:

Why do Black performances of masculinity compared with white middle-class performances of masculinity elicit different responses from the mainstream media? How is USA's covert whiteness maintained by sensationalizing and reprimanding DMX and Michael Vick for animal torture and cruelty, while ignoring the animal gaming pastimes of white class-privileged males or casting them as non-deviant normative behavioral patterns? These questions are rarely asked anywhere in the mainstream animal rights movements in the USA. It is crucial that all of us involved with animal rights and critical animal studies ask these types of questions; that we all critique how racism, racialization, ethnocentrism, and whiteness as the norms affect our consciousness and relationships with nonhuman animals, as well as other human animals.

Breeze also advises:

If you're sincerely interested in becoming part of the resolution to ending racism, I'm suggesting that you cannot be completely successful if you don't recognize racism's roots in the USA's relationship with, and constructions of, the place of the nonhuman animal. And if you're sincerely interested in becoming part of the resolution of ending nonhuman animal exploitation, you must educate yourself on the connections between the social constructions of whiteness, racialization, and racisms – as well as sexisms and nationalisms – and animal abuse.

At the end of the podcast, Breeze refers to this reading list on racism, racialization, and whiteness.