Friday, August 24, 2007

I was wrong about the Michael Vick situation, and I was wrong on three counts. First of all, Vick is being treated differently because he is Black. Second, racism is a very real factor in the situation. Third, this is a symptom of a very serious problem.
There is now no doubt in my mind that Vick is being treated differently because he is black. If he was a high profile white quarterback (Farve, Manning, Brady, etc.), no one outside of the city he plays football in would even be thinking about defending him. A white quarterback would simply be vilified. No one would think of saying that he was a victim of his choice of friends, or that he was being unfairly treated.
So, Vick is being treated differently because of the color of his skin, and thus racism is playing a role. The racists in this case are almost universally Black, but Black's are just as capable of being racists as anyone else. If you defend someone, and simultaneously condone crimes he has committed, because of the color of his skin, you are a racist. You're allowing your fear and hatred to color you're judgement. That is always wrong, no matter how you color it.
What is also always wrong is failing to take responsibility for your own actions. Many Blacks leaders in this country, and a vocal number of ordinary Blacks, are seemingly incapable of accepting responsibility for their own actions. Michael Vick is in this predicament because the Man is out to get him, not because he has covertly killed animals for his own amusement and enrichment for at least seven years. This is evidence of a collective failure to accept responsibility. It is not a problem unique to Black Americans, but, rather, is a shortcoming shared with victims of violent crime, professional athletes, recent Republican administrations, most post-colonial third world administrations, and many Hollywood starlets. As common as it may be, however, when mixed with race it becomes a potent and hard to handle mix.
Race is real, because we have made it real. Ours is a race obsessed country. It has also been, unfortunately, a country paralyzed by this uber-consciousness of race. Hopefully Blacks and Whites who have long been fed up with this mess will begin to find the courage to speak out. When we speak our displeasure and counter the cries of a vocal but hate filled and ignorant minority, their voices won't be the only ones heard and will be relegated to the periphery of our national consciousness.

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