Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mike Vick Is Not a Political Prisoner

Since Hip Hop is crap, I spend 90% of my commute listening to talk radio, including DC's black talk station, WOL-1450am. Since Mike Vick decided to cop a plea yesterday, I've digested hour upon hour of call-in opinions on stations across the dial. People seem to fall into one of two categories when speaking about this case.

1. Mike Vick should burn in hell for killing those dogs
2. Mike Vick is the new school Mumia Abu-Jamal

I can't really say I subscribe to either train of thought. I don't necessarily think that what Vick did was bad. Chalk this up to one of many factors: a bad childhood incident with a dog, complete apathy towards Peta, or the fact that while I'm a sports fan, I don't really care too much for football. Either way, I just fail to see the logic at either end of the spectrum.

Still, one thing that seems to stick out most to me, is the insistence of any callers, nearly all of them black, that Vick getting caught up in this dogfighting scheme was somehow a "conspiracy". I've heard callers spout the Festival Of Typical Negro Soundbytes like "build you up to tear you down", "if this was a white man...", "this is another way they maintain white supremacy", "they're trying to set an example of him", "what about Mark McGuire", and all types of other BS.


Reality is, Vick bought this on himself. Period. There is no disputing that he provided funding, was well aware that such activities were taking place on his property, and may have even participated in the torture of a number of dogs. There's nothing noble about that. Your boy is guilty, and his 12-18 month sentence (you know he won't do more than a year tops) is appropriate punishment, this being a federal offense and all.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder: why do we still stick up for people "cause they black", when they're clearly in the wrong? Believe me, I was raised with the "don't talk bad in front of company" code, which says don't badmouth another brotha in front of "them". I think that's somewhat understandable when I consider how one sided the media (especially unfiltered media like blogs and sports talk radio) can be when discussing issues that involve blacks. Listening to host after host refer to dogfighting as "a black thing", I wanted to call in and put somebody on blast myself. But how you explain the same tired dialogue on a black talk radio station? Who exactly is the "company" that we're not trying to talk bad in front of?

If we can't keep it real with ourselves, can't be honest, truthful, and transparent about the flaws of our people, then how will our situation ever get better?

On this blog, I try to present an unbiased, straight to the point assessment of current events, usually ones that involve "us". This often means I'm going to end up ruffling some feathers, since because I call em' like I see em', I'm often going to make some other black people look bad. I've been called some pretty bad things by commenters here since AvBro started: sexist, racist, a race traitor, even a Republican (gasp). But I can't NOT tell the truth. Sorry. If the truth is too much for you, find a kinder, gentler blog someplace else. It's a free country.

While I don't think Mike Vick did anything particularly heinous, I don't think he deserves your sympathy. Reality is, Vick has a $130M contract to play a child's sport, and threw it all away to help a few of his boys run an illegal dogfighting scheme. Even worse, his boys all ended up snitching on him, violating every Rule of Weed Carrying in the process. They should be tarred and feathered. But that doesn't make Mike Vick a saint, and it doesn't mean he shouldn't pay for his part in this whole thing. In addition to pleading guilty to dogfighting, Mike is guilty of very poor judgement.

That doesn't make him a political prisoner.

Playing to Wrong Crowd: Longtime Loyalties Are Seen as Culprits In Vick's Undoing [WashPost]

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