My Dog Is Racist

by xoJane

My friend Jenée writes a regular column called “Race Manners” in which she tackles readers’ real life questions about race, duh. She’s taken on everything from colorism, “ghetto names,” interracial dating, and most recently canine bigots. Before you laugh out loud, let me introduce you to one such prejudiced pet, his name is Miles Davis Andrews.


When I sent the above picture to my best friend her first reaction was, “Clearly those other two are racist.” That’s before we knew the whole story of Miles’ weird aversion to the black men in my transitioning neighborhood.

Much like the scenario described in Jenée’s column, where a darker-skinned man is getting barked at by dogs that don’t bark at the white people present, Miles would often hone in on black men and proceed to go ape shit. He had absolutely no problem with the smattering of white people who lived on our block. He’d happily trot up, tail wagging, to those strangers and lick their palms. But if that hand was black? Forget about it.

It was embarrassing to say the least.

I figured at first it must be some sort of protection/aggression thing. But then why would Miles, a dog who lacks socio-political thought processing or institutional privilege, feel threatened by one race over another? Was it me? It had to be me.

When I first got Miles, I’d just moved to a new and seedier section of my city. I’d just signed a lease on a reasonably-priced gorgeous loft-style apartment. And we all know where reasonably-priced loft-style apartments are. My building was wedged between a crumbling row house and an abandoned lot. Across the street there was a house that seemed bursting with an endless stream of parentless children. A friend of mine who literally wrote the book on drugs told me that my new turf used to be “the biggest open air drug market in DC.” Oh. OK.

So I made a pact with myself to always be “aware” of my surroundings. By then I’d already been mugged twice by teenagers who looked like my younger cousins.

I wasn’t fearful. Just cautious. And that tension was passed through my dog’s leash and routinely came out the business end. Sure tacking some anthropomorphic qualities onto an otherwise sweet little pug was a cute bit to do at cocktail parties — “My dog is sooo racist!” but in the end  all I was doing was projecting. It wasn’t poor untrained Miles who was the embarrassment, it was me.


Eventually we both got over ourselves. I relaxed my butt cheeks and Miles stopped his discriminatory barking practices. No matter what color you are, if you’re walking on our condo floor without Miles’ permission he will set you straight — loudly. Basically he did the same thing for me. When I got out of line — with my own ridiculous preconceived notions — he let me know.



This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission. Click here for more Helena on XOJane!

  • jamesfrmphilly

    yep, dumber than a box of crayons……

  • No_chaser

    This was hilarious! Could your pooch have been a grand dragon of the kkk in his past life?

  • ImJustSaying

    James, we seldom agree, but I am really upset with myself for reading this all the way through. This was a waste of time and internet space.

  • Anthony

    I have found that white’s dogs can be very unfriendly. I think they can smell changes in their masters and act accordingly. If I owned a dog that unfriendly to black men and loved whites, I would get rid of it ASAP.

  • Daznotracist

    Dogs just project what their owners feel.

    This article wasn’t stupid, sheesh. Every article on clutch doesn’t have to be sooooo in depth. Get over yourselves.

  • Tonton Michel

    Some people write just to be writing. Can’t be mad at her someone green lighted this may have paid her for it too. Definitely not mad at that. Go aheadd boo boo get your money rob them of everything they got. You still counting your money girl.

  • Lynne

    A racist dog, huh? Well, I’ll start worrying when the dog refuses to hire me for a job.

  • Tiffy

    I have a Rottweiler who doesn’t like the Orthodox Jewish men in our neighborhood. we always joke in the house and with family that he’s a nazi dog since he’s a German breed and my stepdad is German but seriously I think its those big black hats they wear. but I thought that the post was cute. Without meaning to we can do things and behave in certain ways that our pets pick up on

  • talaktochoba

    um, aren’t dogs genetically colourblind?

    if so, then isn’t there a missing and very un-funny element to this story?

  • dirtychai

    My dog acts that way toward White people. I chart it up to the differences in appearance and smell.

  • Fantastico

    My last dog was like that too. RIP beloved fur baby.

  • Deb

    Look, i have been a victim of doggie racism. I’ve never been able to speak out about it till now. This was tough to read.

  • BriA

    My dog was a racist though – he was a rottweiler – he did not like white people at allllll …… He nearly jumped on my friend – well he did – but I gave him food to give to my dog and everything was good lol

  • dirtychai


  • KemaVA

    “I wasn’t fearful. Just cautious. And that tension was passed through my dog’s leash and routinely came out the business end.”

    Surely everyone sees that the one being racist was the dog owner. The owner realized that it was her reaction to black men that made the dog react likewise.

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