For the most part. I haven't really blogged about my true personal feelings on Michael Vick because I feel like enough people already are. Besides, I try to avoid long posts that go on and on forever. However, I just feel like since everyone has their two cents, I can have mine as well.
I DO NOT think that Michael Vick is a "bad person." I do not think that he should be executed (can you believe that this lady on the radio where I'm from said that if she was a prosecutor she'd have him executed without a doubt...WTF?), I do not think that he's a potential serial killer (I also heard people say that since he tortures animals, humans can't be too far behind), and I think that he SHOULD play in the NFL again (call me crazy, but I'll call me forgiving). And maybe I feel the way that I feel because I've grown up with an understanding and crazy acceptance of dogfighting. Maybe it's because I understand the culture that accepts, participates, and find no harm dogfighting and feel that it is (as Stephon Marbury said earlier this week) a sport. Unfortunately I understand a culture that does many things that are illegal, but because of it I know that just because a person is involved in things that are not ok in the eyes of the law DOES NOT necessarily make the person a bad human being.
The Michael Vick situation has been viewed and discussed from all angles. Of course race was one of them. I'm black, and I'd like to consider myself as the last person to ever pull the race card. I hate when race comes up in discussion many times because I just like to feel that everybody is the same and no organized faction (whether it be the government, the NFL, or simply a college or university) practices racism. I know that this is not true, but it's the way that I like to believe it should be and therefore that's the way that I sometimes pretend that it is. With that said, someone has to blatantly say some racist shit (like I hate black people) for me to label it as racism. But, I'm going to explore race for a minute. Not to make an excuse but to encourage understanding.
I grew up in a urban environment. There were black people to the left of me, to the right of me, in front of me, and behind me. In my neighborhood (and I'm gonna speak for a majority of urban neighborhoods across America) we didn't really care about dogs like a lot of other people do. Dogs were just that....dogs. As a kid, I can remember seeing stray, unkept, uncivilized dogs roaming the streets all of the time. In our community we didn't call the animal shelter for them, we didn't want to adopt them, we didn't have some warm feeling in our heart because a three legged dog limped down the street. We just didn't want that dog in our yard trying to eat our food, or possibly being a threat to our kids. That's a stark contrast to a lot of white people who I know that will be late for work if they see a stray dog just so they can either find it's rightful owner or seek help for it (I use that example because I actually worked with a person who was late for work so that she could make sure a stray animal was taken care of). I grew up playing with my male cousins and I'm aware of the devious nature of boys (that sometimes never leave as men). My cousins would throw bricks at manged dogs or do any devilish "boy thing" that they could think of. Would they get in trouble for it? NO. Would they get in trouble for doing that to another kid?...Hell Yeah. That's probably because in my family kindness, care, and concern for human beings were stressed. I guess they forgot to tell us how important it is to love your fellow dog.
I'm not a dog nor animal lover, but I don't hate them either. I would never torture an animal as a child (and I always thought I didn't because I'm a "giiirl") or as an adult. But as a child I would never do lot of the dangerous, mischievous things that a lot of boys would do either. So with all of that being said, I understand dogfighting as being a cultural thing. I don't/never participate but not because I think the people who do it are bad...it's just that I'm not interested. As I grew older, a lot of those same boys that I played with as a child bred dogs and trained them to fight. I'd have casual conversation with a guy or two and even ask how "the last fight went" or "how much did you win?" I'd even hear about the losses and how pissed a person was because their dog disappointed. I've played with some pits trained for fighting, and even have been invited to dog fights (again not declining because I thought it was wrong, just wasn't interested). I have a good friend who is involved and I trust him around myself, my family, and etc. He's a trustworthy person and his interest in dogfighting doesn't diminish his credibility with me.
For those who didn't grow up with the knowledge or casual attitude towards dogfighting, it's hard to understand. But can you believe that some of the same people who engage in dogfighting would never shoot a buckshot between the eyes of a deer? Can you believe that some of the same people who dogfight would never go out and kill chinchillas for their fur (these are both things that are legal and accepted). Why is it that a person who finds nothing wrong with dogfighting is a potential serial killer while a person who shoots up the forest is a respectable hunter? If you thought that Michael Vick was a good guy at this time last year, what about him is different at present? Last year he was involved in the activities that we're now finding out about, and that's the Mike Vick we've always known. According to reports, he's been a dogfighter since we've been introduced to him! So is he terrible now that his dark done activity has come to light? I'm sorry, but I really don't think so.
In our country we're more forgiving of people who hurt humans than we are of those who hurt animals. Everyday I listen to some over the top person on TV talking about Vick like he's the scum of the earth, like he should crawl into a hole and die there, like it'll be a disgrace to mankind if he ever steps foot on a football field. While all of this is being said, Leonard Little is playing preseason football with the Rams. He has been forgiven and forgotten and he actually is responsible for the demise of another human being. If he is playing football again, I can only hope that Mike Vick gets another chance. For some reason I don't think he's dumb enough to ever do again what he's done before. I don't think he'll ever associate with people who mean him more harm than good for as long as he lives. I believe in second chances, I believe in forgiving people and all of that has to do with me believing in God. I've screwed up so much and yet I can't imagine God saying "serves you right" and not giving me another chance. If God can forgive Michael Vick, then to hell with everybody else.