Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Use of The “N” Word Outs His Racism and Causes Show To Be Suspended
A&E’s top-rated show, Dog The Bounty Hunter is a reality series, that premiered in 2004 and that features Duane "Dog" Chapman, a long-time bounty hunter with a criminal and troubled past and his sons Leland and Duane Lee. The show also features his wife Beth, daughter Baby Lyssa and his brother Tim Chapman. In the reality series the Chapman family is shown going after on-the-run criminals. Chapman’s team shot footage of their successful efforts to find and capture the infamous and now convicted rapist Andrew Luster down in Mexico in 2003.
The National Enquirer posted the full, almost eight minute phone conversation between Dog and his son, Tucker, on their website. In the recording, Dog Chapman tries to convince his son to break up with his new girlfriend, Monique Shinnery, a black woman. Dog is apparently expressing his concern about Tucker’s girlfriend taking offense to the family’s liberal dropping of the N-bomb. He also expresses that he worries their liberal dropping of the N-bomb could be made public if the girl friend objected. I am wondering how it actually did fall into the hands of someone who made it public. I don’t think we’ve heard any news about the source of this revelation as of yet.
What Duane "Dog" Chapman actually is quoted as having said from the tape that was posted on the site of the National Enquirer in what was supposed to have been a private phone conversation with his son Tucker:
"I’m not taking a chance…not because she’s black but because we use the word n—er sometimes here. I’m not going to take any chance ever in life of losing everything I’ve worked for 30 years because some drunken n—er heard us say n—er and turned us into the Enquirer magazine…I’m not taking that chance at all never in life. Never…"
I went and listened to the long version of the taped phone call. I am appalled. Chapman also says to Tucker that if he is going to continue to go with that "girl" that he doesn’t want his son in his house.
I must say as someone who has watched Dog The Bounty Hunter and somewhat admired Chapman it was painful to hear how he really talks in "private". Unfortunately, hearing Duane Chapman in a real-life "private" phone conversation with son revealed way more about the man than I ever wanted to know – none of it flattering at all.
The statement that Duane "Dog" Chapman has made to the press:
"I have the utmost respect and aloha for black people who have suffered so much due to racial discrimination and acts of hatred," Chapman said. "I did not mean to add yet another slap in the face to an entire race of people who have brought so many gifts to this world. I am ashamed of myself and I pledge to do whatever I can to repair this damage I have caused.
"My sincerest, heartfelt apologies go out to every person I have offended for my regrettable use of very inappropriate language," he continued. "I am deeply disappointed in myself for speaking out of anger to my son and using such a hateful term in a private phone conversation.
"I was disappointed in his choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character. However, I should have never used that term."
Say what? In the phone conversation with his son Chapman admits that he or possibly they "sometimes" use the "N" word "around here". But then in his statement he says that he has the utmost respect "and aloha for black people who have suffered so much due to racial discrimination and acts of hatred." This doesn’t make sense at all. In my opinion and life experience if you have respect you do not use such a word – period. To use it and to use it more or less regularly as Chapman hints at, even in private, sadly says more about one’s character than it seems Chapman understands.
Chapman’s racial slurs are a part of the very hatred and racial discrimination that he seems to be saying he has respect for. Yeah right – sure – NOT! In the phone call itself he talks about how he isn’t willing to risk, essentially, a black woman in his house hearing what he must know are racial slurs because he talks to his son about how they could end his show. He knows this and yet he still uses and defends his private use of the N-bomb. This to me smacks of a racist who somehow doesn’t get that he’s racist.
The use of the "N" word in my opinion is barbaric and calls into question the character of anyone who uses it. People who respect others from different races and who respect those who are African-American do not use the "N" word – period.
Ironic don’t you think that at the same time Don Imus is being hired by another radio station after having been fired for his racial slurs against the Rutger’s Women’s Basketball team some months ago that also included the "N" word and touched off a storm of debate that Dog The Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman would now find himself having been caught using that word and that it has resulted in his show being suspended.
I must say though that Chapman’s racist revelation is even more deep-seated than Imus’ seemed to be. For Chapman this use of the "N" word seems to be deeply ingrained in his life and his family. You see, it can’t just be about the use of the word. Chapman’s use of the word is the tip of the ice-berg of his actual racism whether he gets that or not.
I do not agree with the use of the "N" word under any circumstances. However, I am not so sure that society should advocate for word police. I am also not sure that the use of said word in one’s private life should be grounds for firing people. It no doubt does reflect terribly upon some character issues of the person using such a word, even in what was supposed to be a "private conversation". Mind you when something "private" becomes public, well, then it’s out there and there really isn’t any taking it back. I still say though we don’t need word police we need as societies to deal with the racism that words just convey. We must not get hung up on the word usage and forget the deeper meaning of it.
Who I thought Duane Dog Chapman was based upon his television image and his interviews has now gone out the window.
I don’t understand Chapman’s apology. It is incongruent. He hasn’t said anything about not using that word so I wonder how sincere he really is. I must add here that after actually going to the National Enquirer’s site and listening to the long version of the phone call tape I have a lump in my throat. I am angry also. It sure sounds like the "N" word is a major staple at the Chapman home. That is just appalling. And what’s worse is that Chapman really thinks that there is separation between the family’s liberal use of the n-bomb and racism. I just sat there listening to the recording of his phone call to his son with my mouth hanging open in disbelief.
The bigger problem is ignorance, racist issues, and prejudice. I hope that Chapman will really search himself inside and out so that he may come to truly recognize that what he said in that phone conversation with his son and what he said in his public apology don’t make sense. I think we can see that Duane Chapman has a problem. It’s not a pretty problem or a popular problem. He strikes me as being racist. That’s very sad. He even says to his son in the longer version of the tape on the National Enquirer site that he doesn’t want his son going out with a "f—ing n—er" because he is not willing to risk his reputation – one that he says he has worked long and hard for. He states this in the phone call to his son. So on one level he is obviously aware that the use of the N-bomb in the Chapman family is something to hide and protect.
I hope that something good can come out of all of this. I was leaning toward hoping that Chapman wouldn’t have to fired. I was thinking that it wouldn’t be anymore of an answer to the problem with Chapman than it seemed to be with Imus. After listening to the actual long version of the taped phone conversation I have to say that even if A&E decided to keep Dog The Bounty Hunter on the air, and I can’t see how they will be able to, that I can’t watch it anymore. Dog the Bounty Hunter, in my opinion now, has outed himself for the racist person that he sadly is. I don’t find anything even remotely entertaining about a racist.
The issues of racism must be outed and remain in the open and discussed so that people can be educated further. Sadly, racism is still very much a reality in this world.
Duane "Dog" Chapman doesn’t appear to get it. He doesn’t seem to know that he is a racist. He thinks it’s okay to use the "N" word and tell his son if he continues to go out with a black woman that his son isn’t welcome at his house and that the reason he feels this way is his use of a word that he knows can and should end his television career. He is putting his use of a word ahead of his relationship with his own son. Wow, that’s a mighty important word to the Dog eh? All-too-important. Dog has shot himself in the foot and at the same time made us all aware of who he really is. I hope that he will get some help. Can Dog learn some new tricks? Can the Dog learn how to actually truly respect difference?
I think that his career needs to be over now, not just because he uses the "N" word but because of the ignorance and obvious racism that is behind his liberal use of that word. For whatever reason, most sadly, Chapman has just destroyed himself. He has outed himself as a racist and a fake.
© A.J. Mahari
And now, as of November 3, 2007, the latest from Chapman’s lawyer in the video below.
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