Teachable Moment: A Dialogue

Background: One of the hazards of living in Majuro is the dog pack. These dogs are neither stray nor feral, but are not controlled or generally treated as pets.

I was talking with a student about a particular dog down the back road near campus who has attacked a number of faculty. One time when he went after me, I lost my keys and only got them back through the incredible kindness of a witness.

Student: Yeah, that’s my brother’s dog. We trained him to be that way. He keeps the kids away.

Me: Could you at least train him not to go after ri-bālle [foreigners]?

Student: laughs He’s always been that way. He likes white meat. He’s racist.

Me: No, he can’t be racist because institutional power doesn’t support his going after white people.

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