Councilman Linwood Mann said he has heard from many constituents who don't want chickens as neighbors. They worry, he said, that newcomers from rural areas of Latin America will bring in their own favorite farm animals.These biases all seem run along the lines of "well, if we let chickens in here, pretty soon we'll have goats and pigs and horses and cows and..." Yes, hyperbole runs rampant, but I've heard this kind of reasoning before somewhere.
"This is just one of many ordinances put on the book to help people trying to live in harmony," Mann said. "So far, it has worked very well."
Tony Asion, executive director of El Pueblo, a Latino advocacy group in Raleigh, was mystified.
"What in the world would make them think that all Latinos want to have chickens in their backyard?" Asion asked. "Here's the deal: It has nothing to do with culture. It has to do with where you came from. If you came from a rural area where you had animals in your back yard, that's what you're used to. The same is true in the United States. Maybe in rural Alabama they might have them, but not in Montgomery. I don't think this has anything to do with ethnicity."
[Almost exactly a year ago (coincidentally?) I posted about a similar dust up in the DC suburbs reported by the Washington Post. And while there are parallels in the ethnic target, I'd rather not touch the not-so-subtly racist aspects of the arguments in this post.]
Oh yeah, the hyperbolic argument is the same argument that's used to discourage changing anything because of the slippery slope that we'd unknowlingly slide all the way down to the nasty worst-case bottom. Kinda like sex ed is the gateway to teen promiscuity. Or marijuana is the gateway to cocaine abuse. (or credit cards are the gateway to bankruptcy?)
I'd better watch out or soon I'll have a backyard full of promiscuous drug-addicted cattle in my backyard. How will I ever stop myself? ;^)