Quit Doggin' Dog the Bounty Hunter

Can't a man use an offensive racial epithet in the privacy of his own home anymore without jeopardizing his lucrative reality television program? Duane "Dog" Chapman, star of A&E's Dog the Bounty Hunter has had his show suspended after he was taped saying the N-word repeatedly and he is devastated. Now reporters are hounding the poor bounty hunter, walking around his neighborhood, showing his picture to friends and neighbors, saying, "Have you seen this man? Do you know where we can find him? We just want to talk to him."

The irony of this whole thing is that anyone who knows Dog -- and who doesn't feel they know him from his well-edited television program -- knows that he isn't a racist. This whole misunderstanding started when he was actually trying to protect his son's black girlfriend from having to hear all the racial epithets he and the members of his crew and family say in a typical day. He was afraid they just wouldn't be able to stop themselves from using the N-word around her and she might take offense. We all know how touchy black people can be about these things, which is why Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck have been forced to stop socializing with all their black friends. So Dog told his son, Tucker, that he would either have to dump his girlfriend or quit the show. It was really for her own good, to spare her feelings.

"I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore or whatever," Dog patiently explained to Tucker. "It's not because she's black, it's because we use the word n----r sometimes here. I'm not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I've worked for for 30 years because some fucking n----r heard us say n----r and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I'm not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa [Dog's daughter] was dating a n----r, we would all say 'f--k you!' And you know that. If Lyssa brought a black guy home ya da da... it's not that they're black, it's none of that. It's that we use the word n----r. We don't mean you f--king scum n----r without a soul. We don't mean that s--t. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a racial slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love for 7 months' - f--k that! So, I'll help you get another job but you can not work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life. I got 'em in the parking lot trying to record us. I got that girl saying she's gonna wear a recorder."

"I don't even know what to say," Tucker replied.

It turned out that Dog was right to be worried about someone recording his words and people misconstruing them. Unbeknownst to him, Tucker taped their telephone conversation and sold it to the National Enquirer. If this incident shows anything, it shows what a good father Dog was in the way he instilled his values into his son. After all, Dog's work often depends on family members turning in their relatives.

Now America has the wrong idea about Dog even though it's hard to see how anyone could interpret his words as racist. As he explained to his son, when he uses the word n----r, he means it in the good way. In fact, Dog always thought of himself as practically an honorary black person: "There’s a special connection that I thought I had between me and black America," he explained. "And I used to say, 'I’m black, too.' In other words, I — my whole life I’ve been called a half-breed, a convict, king of the trailer trash, this and that. I take that and stand. So when I stood there and said, 'I kind of know what you feel like, because I’ve been there, too, I felt that I could embrace and like, as brothers or, even as a black woman, say the word."

And he didn't want his son to break up with his girlfriend just because she was black. If Tucker brought a Jew home, Dog would have been worried that his girlfriend would hear them making anti-Semitic remarks. Or if Tucker had a homosexual lover, think how difficult it would have been for the family not to let the word "faggot" slip out. Yet people insist on making it a racial thing.

It's hard not to feel sympathy for Dog, who still has a lot of fans. Even Whoopi Goldberg defended Dog on The View (she's not the one who thinks the world is flat, she's the other one), claiming that she uses racial slurs around her house all the time. Who doesn't? And Dog is really trying hard to make amends. Like Michael Richards, Mel Gibson and Don Imus, Dog has gone on CNN's Larry King and made a tearful apology. He went on Sean Hannity on Fox and cried there, too, saying "If I could kill myself and people would forgive me, I would do that," an offer some people are considering. He has asked to meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton. He has promised to seek counseling for anger management and to do something about his inability to stop saying the word n----r, which could take years of work. But that's not all. To show just how sorry he is Dog is making arrangements to spend eternity surrounded by black people. He wants to be buried at a slave burial ground near George Washington's home, Mount Vernon in Virginia. "I want to be buried right where they're at because I will never be forgiven as (long as) I'm alive," Chapman said. After he is dead, Dog should have no problem at all being around black people and not saying the word n----r. I think we all can be pretty sure of that.

Crossposted at Jon Swift

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