This is not an issue of race. People are not reacting so harshly to this group of four black men, or even the one black superstar, because of the color of their skin. The courts are reacting because they broke the law. The NFL is reacting because Vick broke their rules. The public is reacting because they find dog-fights and the ensuing executions to be barbaric. This is not an issue of race.
This did not stop one NAACP leader, of course, from recently calling for Vick to be given the benefit of the doubt by his former league, team, and sponsors. R.L. White, president of the NAACP’s Atlanta chapter, told America that “as a society, we should aid in his (Vick’s) rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football.”
What ‘rehabilitation’ is he talking about?
Vick said, just weeks ago, that he was looking forward to ‘clearing his name’ of the charges against him. Now, in the face of his co-defendants turning on him, he immediately announces that he will plead guilty. These are not the actions of a remorseful man looking to better fit the mold his society wishes for him; they are the actions of someone who knows when he is beat and is trying to salvage some semblance of his former decadent life.
White alluded to this very fact, saying that he supported Vick’s guilty plea, if it was in the man’s best interest, but that he believed it was a decision more about “cutting losses than the truth.” Why are these two mutually exclusive? It seems to me to be a clear case of Vick and Co. cutting their respective losses in the daunting face of the truth.
White went on to say that Vick has received more negative press “than if he had killed a human being,” and that he considers dog-fighting to be “as bad as hunting.” So the real bottom-line for this guy is not that dog-fighting should be legal, but that other activities that he finds immoral, should be illegal as well. Maybe this guy is working for the wrong group; I am sure PETA would love to have a little chat with him.
Comparing a sport which is enjoyed the world over and follows in the foot-steps of man’s survivalist instinct to breeding animals with the express intent of locking them in brutal, mortal combat with each other for your own amusement and financial gain is pretty sad. It is even worse when you juxtapose a hunter stalking his prey and turning a successful kill into useful meat, hides, etc. with a bunch of drug-fiends hanging, drowning, and electrocuting dogs whose only crime was poor fighting ability.
Perhaps Mr. White’s most pervasive bit of wisdom shared that day though was his simple summation of the charges against Vick, “His crime is, it was a dog.”
No, his crime is, he bred and trained dogs to fight (a crime), gambled on the fights (a crime and NFL rule violation), while taking drugs (a crime), and then executed at least eight dogs in barbaric fashion (a crime, unlike hunting.)
If this guy was really concerned about racial injustice then perhaps he would have a better defense for Vick than saying that the quarterback has been hung out to dry by his co-defendants who are also black. That is merely supporting the man who has the most power and influence to lend to your side and nearly as ludicrous a case of passing the buck as comparing the charges against Michael Vick to sport-hunting.