Monday, March 30, 2009

Harry the Dirty Dog Exposes America's Racism

America in the mid-1950s was a turbulent time. Elvis Presley was shaking his hips. The Korean Was going strong. The civil rights movement was building up momentum. No book exposes America's racial bias at the time as Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.

The book shows everyone loves Harry as a loveable white dog with some black spots. Harry finds his roots becoming more and more black returning to his family reinvigorated. His family scoffs at the dog claiming they do not know this animal even though he shows the same mannerisms and tricks he did a few hours previously. The family only comes to love Harry again as his blackness is washed away, showing the white dog he was previously.

Gene Zion is probably a pseudonym as he is likely one of the propenents of the anti-semetic manifesto 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. This is evident there seem to be no characters in the book who are Jewish, unless the author things Harry the chosen one. This would be entirely wrong to categorize the Jew as a dog. This mimics the Palestinian's view as Jews are pigs.

Is Harry a loveable dog that gets dirty, is the book a metaphor for the nation's view of civil rights similar to Arthur Miller's metaphor for McCarthyism in The Crucible, or is Gene Zion's Harry The Dirty Dog just another attempt of America to keep our African American brothers down. I think the proof is clear.