CC Image via Getty/Bob Levey 2.0
I remember it like it was yesterday. David Banner one of my idols, raising go old Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick jersey into the air ,screaming “we still love you, Mike Vick.”
“Banner concludes his speech by hollering, “If the Falcons don’t love him no more, we still love you”, then triumphantly holds up a Michael Vick jersey while the crowd hoots and hollers in approval, some even giving the gesture a standing ovation.” https://music.avclub.com/ephemereview-the-2007-bet-hip-hop-awards-1798214335
Although the event is foggy, and also the date, I remember that moment. It was just after the fact that the world was notified that Michael Vick had held a pivotal role in a dogfighting ring.
This was a dark part of this man’s life that cost him practically his entire football career. Vick had grown up with his father running dog fighting rings and it was something that he carried with him into his adult life. He lost everything, endorsements, his football deal, he went to jail for 4 years in 2007 and came back in 2010.
He was at the top of his game. I don’t know anyone that didn’t think that Michael Vick was the best quarterback in the league. A black quarterback running the entire NFL, he was a model for so many Youth. And he was entertaining, breaking records making new ones we all knew how great he was and how great he was going to be.
And then those dark days came. The backlash, the hatred, the death threats and the pure visceral that came from White America and those other lovers of dogs. I’m not saying what he did wasn’t wrong, but damn they came for him with a fervor I’ve never seen.
However, it’s a fervor I’m numb to at this point in time. How many black men are castrated and used as examples when they do something wrong? Again what Michael Vick did was wrong I agree with that. No one should do what this man had done.
But my question is, and a question for so many in my community, where is this energy when young black youth are killed by police brutality? Another question where is this energy for the mass garbage in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans? Where is this energy for the priest that are touching young boys? Where is this energy for systemic oppression of black and brown bodies in America and across the globe? Where is this energy for Donald Trump and his racially-charged rhetoric that has placed Latinos in the same Concentration Camps that placed the Japanese in over 70 years ago? My question to White America is why do you have such fervor for a man that made a mistake? Why this much hatred for a man that has atoned for his wrongdoings?
Just recently Michael Vick was announced as a Pro Bowl captain for the NFL. And the hatred, visceral and anger has arisen again. 12 years after we found out Mike Vick was fighting dogs. After all the philanthropy and the humanitarian work that Michael Vick has done over the past 8 or so years to rectify his wrongs, people still hold a grudge against him. And to what end? For what reason?
Do we still have the same type of energy for those such as George Zimmerman in Mike Brown’s killer? George Zimmerman runs free, has done nothing but victimized himself in his murdering Trayvon after he was freed and acquitted of all charges.
He sold the gun that he used to kill Trayvon Martin and is now suing the family of Trayvon Martin for false accusations. But yet there’s silence in the white community for this heinous act. The murdering of a young innocent black boy that was just trying to get back home. But yet you can attack a man who has changed his life and tried to do right by the wrong he committed in killing dogs?
Where is this anger towards Donald Trump, who put out a $25,000 campaign against five innocent black and brown boys for a crime they did not commit? see When They See Us on Netflix and look up the exonerated five.
Where is the truth white America, this is an address to you. Know this is addressed to mainly White America, and anyone who has any type of hatred towards Michael Vick. We understand what he did was wrong, even though he understands that what he did was wrong. He has fought to change his image, and also did right by all that he is done wrong.
It’s your love for animals and sheer hate for this man supersedes anything that he is done. You act as if people can’t change, that people can’t do the right thing after they’ve done wrong. Yes, he was aware of what he was doing, but people grow, people change, they do time for what they did wrong. And we must accept the fact that this man is doing the right thing, he has his own foundations and has done a lot of humanitarian work for animals. It’s not a publicity stunt by him, he’s been doing this for years you can find Michael Vick foundations online.
Right now there is a petition going around with over 200,000 signatures to keep Michael Vick from being in a pro bowl Captain. I am grateful that the NFL is standing strong and keeping his name as a Pro Bowl.
The problem I have in this address in this opinionated post has already been stated, however, I will address it again. When it’s time to fight for black issues, white America has been silenced for decades. When it’s time to fight for black and brown Justice, white America has turned the other cheek. When it is time to seek Justice for human lives, white America has said nothing. And this isn’t all white America, there are actual white Americans that understand what Michael Vick did was wrong and that he’s working to be a better person.
Let me not address the entirety of white America. But those that understand these arguments to its fullest understand the people I am addressing this to. Where is this fervor for the inhumane conditions for those mass incarcerated, those that are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit but are doing 25 to life. Scratch that, those are stuck in a box, having their mental health deteriorated every waking day just dropped, being forced to eat at a certain time being told what to eat, and when. The number of people incarcerated in America at this moment in time. See the 13th a Netflix series. where is this attack on someone’s Humanity when these issues are addressed.
The silence is deafening and disheartening. The sheer fact that there are people actually being incarcerated for trying to cross the border to live a better life. Placed in concentration camps that they used to have the Japanese in, out of fear something that happened across Seas. However, we are worried about Michael Vick being a pro bowl captain. This is the America we live in. And this time we start addressing these issues. Mike Vick does not deserve your anger and hatred.
There is a laundry list of other people who deserve this type of visceral. People who are violating human rights. The sheer fact that you put an animal’s life above another human is a direct representation of the type of people you choose to be. And eliminates any validity within any argument you may have. Yet again, I do not endorse nor promote the violence towards any animals. However, if you feel like what Michael Vick did still deserves some sort of punishment, and I strongly suggest you stop hunting animals for sport. I strongly suggest you fight the killing of sharks within the oceans. Look it up. sharks are being skinned for their fins and thrown back into the ocean to die.
There is no fervor for this justice, Not as much energy is put in place for this heinous crime. These are the issues we need fervor towards, not for a man who atoned for his sins. Not for a man who has fought for almost a decade to change the asterisk is life and do right by what he did wrong. And if you need evidence look up what he has done right and his humanitarian work.
As I said, I saw it like it was yesterday, we still love you, Michael Vick. That very sentence resonates today, as we still fight to remind people that this man was a good soul, that has a dark past that came to light. Is just another representation of how being black no matter who you are, or where you are, if you do something wrong, that microscope will burn you till the day you die and even after that.
Your legacy will be tarnished, your life will be destroyed at every turn. And white America will try to bring you down, even your ashes. Once again I’m not addressing the entirety of White America, and there may be also people of color who think that Michael Vick hasn’t atoned. I’m addressing those people, those that feel like Michael Vick hasn’t atoned for his crimes. To those who understand my argument, you know that this is an address to the majority of White America. And this time we start addressing these issues.
Thank you for reading