Mike Vick for President!Posted by in Uncategorized
Oh. My. God.
I thought the Kate Gosselin cruelty complaints were going to give me an aneurism but I think this Mike Vick insanity might be the thing to do me in.
In the past week or so I’ve been forwarded links to articles which range from Tucker Carlson calling for Vick’s execution to Michael Gerson writing that Vick is representative of all those ex-cons seeking a second chance to Charing Ball saying that the problem white people have with Vick isn’t the dog thing it’s that we hate rich black men to MSNBC’s Countdown equating the hiring of Vick with the hiring of Scooter Libby. I swear to God everyone has lost their damn minds over this.
Vick is not representative of anything but himself. His hiring was not a clarion call for anything. The injustices heaped on man and beast cannot be summed up by what we do to, for, or with Mike Vick. Can we please all try to look at this through a clear lens, a lens that looks at Mike Vick and just Mike Vick? We can tie whatever baggage we want to Vick, but let’s be clear about the larded slope we all slide down when we employ his name to make our case.
Can we all agree that the Eagles did not hire Vick to strike a blow for the concept of hiring ex-cons? Have they been hiring ex-con trainers, receptionists, coaches, and parking attendants? Hell, no! I guarantee they do what most employers do; they look for that check box on the application that asks if you’ve been convicted of a felony and they throw it in the trash.
They hired Mike Vick because he was a great quarterback, they could get him cheap, and they could throw him away if he didn’t work out. Guess what? He worked out! The Eagles have the choice to hire who they choose, even if it’s a dog killing racketeer, wife beater, rapist, or vehicular murderer. Hey, it’s their league; let them hire whoever they want.
However, the fact that we have created a prison state which profits on locking people up and disproportionately targets minorities through its crimes codes also does not mean that Mike Vick, a millionaire with the potential to make more even after he got out of prison whether he ever threw another football, should have been hired by the NFL. Take away his talent (let’s say one of his dogs bit off his Achilles tendon before he was arrested) and would he have been hired for anything? Would the Eagles have even given him a parking attendant job? I really, really doubt it.
And the nonsense that the problem dog people have with Vick is that they hate rich, black men is just stupid. There are lots of racists out there and even more sexists and loads of homophobes. It helps when someone who does something as horrible as he did is also part of another group you happen to hate. It makes it easier to hate them. But I’m pretty sure when white Philadelphians were booing the signing of Donovan McNabb it was a vote to make another black man, Ricky Williams, rich in his place. And when we were all cool with him getting traded to DC, it’s because he couldn’t win a Superbowl! If we want to claim racism, let’s go subtle and wonder if Ben Roethlisberger would still have a job if the accusations against him had been made against, oh, I don’t know, Cordell Stewart? I doubt that, too.
And really, Keith Olbermann, couldn’t you have called in from vacation to tamp down the inane knee jerk story that because Fox News isn’t livid about Scooter Libby getting work but are about the President applauding Vick’s hire that they are somehow equivalent. Didn’t you just throw a tantrum about John Stewart’s false equivalence? One guy got his sentence commuted by the President. While I think what Scooter did was essentially treasonous, I could see how Fox News might be able to see a patriot who got screwed covering for his boss. Is there any way to twist what Vick did into something heroic or in the best interest of a nation at war? Anyone?
So I will bring it back to the single lens: a dog killing racketeer got a particular job. Good or bad?
It depends. Should an ex-convict be able to get a second chance, get a job after release? I think so. But any job? No! What job matters a great deal. But if you think anyone with a violent criminal background should ever get any job, ever, than you need to explain why he deserves one but not this one. Otherwise, isn’t Tucker right? He might as well have been executed if he had no future. But it is also perfectly fair to say that not every criminal gets to walk out and get any job just to get a redemptive second chance.
In some cases, it might be clear. A pedophile teacher should not get to teach again. A dog fighting Humane Officer should not get to work with animals again. I think everyone would be OK with that.
Some jobs are held to a higher standard. If Mike Vick had been in the military, could he lead a battalion again after conviction? Would you want him to be your child’s school teacher? Could he be appointed Secretary of State? Nothing dog related there, everyone deserves a second chance, right?
So for this one guy and this one job, here’s how I see it through my lens: I for one think the NFL should hold itself to a higher standard and not hire back violent felons. I don’t stop at violence against animals. I think women and other humans should count at least as much as a dog. Whether the NFL hires violent individuals is entirely on them and I think it is their choice and their shame. I am a football fan but I have been having trouble watching games the more I have pondered the NFL’s hypocrisy and seen the decisions they have made that put money over a moral standard. But they’ve done their calculation and they know that I’m one small fish. More power to them. But if they really want to make a statement to help America, start with showing that violence criminal activity is not acceptable to them. Maybe start offering these players jobs on the loading dock for minimum wage for their redemption instead of million dollar contracts.
But to all those people out there who want to make Vick the cardboard cutout representing their agenda, can you please just make an honest argument? What job shouldn’t he be allowed to have and why? Conversely, if he can do this job, why should we stop there? Let’s really give him a second chance. 2012 is just around the corner and he won’t be any more likely to win the Superbowl for us that he was in Atlanta.
Mike Vick for President!