Sunday, July 13, 2008

There goes the neighborhood. Foreclosure freak out.

Watch out! Foreclosures are attracting a new kind of neighbor to once-gated communities, and long-time residents aren't happy. Gasp. Taxi drivers. Gasp. Kids who race their cars. Gasp. Families who sit in lawn chairs and drink beer in the middle of the day! What's an upper-class homeowner to do? American Public Media drums up all kinds stereotypes in this article about foreclosures in Las Vegas. Seems they attract the I-got-mine types' worst nightmares, including the wrong kinds of people and especially, the wrong kinds of pets. It's a wingdinger of a piece in that the author, Krissy Clark - who seems to recognize that classism & racism are, um, bad - is completely oblivious to the fact that her words have endorsed another way to stereotype and condemn American families. Article

Krissy writes: "To understand how San Niccolo went from a place you'd expect to see golden retrievers to a place where pit bulls are the in-vogue pet, you need to back up a few years."

.....A fews years, like the 1950s?

She goes on: "Three pit bulls now live on Arcata Point, Karen's neighbor says. She shows me her son's Louisville Slugger baseball bat, which she carries whenever she leaves the house to fend off the dogs in case they get off-leash."

The article's subject (who is black) comes around some and confesses: "There are some biases that I had that I didn't realize. You sort of stereotype people."

Ya think? Now let's see if we can put away that baseball bat and go get to know those neighbors who love up on those crazy smiling dawgs with the big fat heads.


On a better note, while times are tough and we hate seeing anyone lose their home, we're hopeful that the foreclosure trend can offer new opportunities for stability to long-suffering pit bull owners. Many can finally keep their dog safe from landlord bias and buy a decent house in a decent neighborhood. Who ever thought we could find house again for $200,000 in the SF bay area? Rock on pit bull owners -- go make it work for you and yours. Photo Above: Pit Bull Hall dog Elvez, now adopted, is about to take his Canine Good Citizen test. His new owner is renting and hopes very much to buy a home to help keep his boy safe.


Anonymous said...

"Crumbling stucco is another sign of a foreclosed house. Lewis points to a gash on the side of one porch. "This has to be willful, because this house is only four years old," she says, explaining that some of her neighbors, forced out by the bank, have taken their frustrations out on their walls.

"I wouldn't blame them," she says."

That sure sounds like one thugy 'hood... what with residents taking baseball bats to destroy homes and to beat Pit Bulls.

Leila said...

As my cat would say to my pit bull, "Stupid humans!"

We have lost sight of community in this country. We don't get to know our neighbors, so we are afraid of what we don't know. When I moved into my firmly middle class neighborhood, I worked hard on being a model PB one woman PR team. I walked the neighborhood 2-3 times a day letting adults and kids get to know me and my dog.

My pittie is now the most popular dog in the neighborhood with kids and parents. People come up as talk to me about my dog I belong to my community.

People who are new to the neighborhood are freaked out by my cat and dog laying down together on the front porch watching the world go by.

The dog is rarely the problem, it is the humans and their resistance to change.

Anonymous said...

One day, I hope to be as brave as most of you are and to be owned by my very own pibble.

Until then, please know that I'm completely won over and have been known to evangelize from time to time on the wonderfulness of pitties.

mad black woman said...

Just out of curiosity, since the baseball bat carrying subject of the article, Karen Lewis, is black (which you obligingly tell us), why didn't you use a photo of a black woman holding a baseball bat? Here is a few you could have chosen from.

Donna said...

mad black woman

I actually wondered for a minute if the woman in the photo was* black. Not sure.

Great photo though. In the end, it worked out because it's pre-copyright.

Megan said...

I heard this on the radio the other day- why does she need to even bring pit bulls into the story? I am a dog walker and I have a lot of pit clients, and they live in a wide range of places. A couple in the bad neighborhood, but a lot in the middle and upper middle class places too! Right next door to goldendoodles and labs! Crazy!
Having pits in the neighborhood doesn't say anything about the deteroation of a neighborhood.
And I hear ya'll on the fear of landlords! We live in a pretty run down old apartment building, but we can have our dog but for the grace of the slum lord! Every time I try to find a new place, we get shot down.