As much as I get frustrated by everyone blaming everything on “the media,” this is the one area where I absolutely agree. I wrote about this at length, but one of my biggest bones to pick with working for a mainstream newspaper was this “Mugshots” gallery they had. As you would expect, damn near every person in the mugshot photo gallery was black. So obviously folks trying to feed into their own theory that black people are violent salivated over this gallery. Not only does lack of exposure make one agree with their own biases and assumption, but it also co-signs them from equally oblivious people. As for the dog comment, I get it. Interestingly, it was a white guy who asked me why was I brave enough to walk dogs. He said he was bit as a child and has been scared of most dogs ever since. He asked me if I was scared of being bitten. I told him, “Not at all.” He was perplexed by that idea, but hell, I’ve been around 76 different dogs and completed 469 walks (to date) in one year. That’s not including my own two dogs for 22 years. Hard to be terrified of dogs when I’ve lucked out this time. I know they have teeth. I’m aware. But I don’t fear dogs biting me the same way I don’t fear people biting me. It’s just not something I have a preconceived notion about.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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