Friday, August 26, 2011

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations: If Michael Vick were White He Would Still be a Piece of Human Debris



Race is an undeniable and complex element of Vick's story, both because of his style as well as the rarity of black QBs in the NFL. A decade after he became the first black QB to be drafted No. 1 overall, about one in five of the league's passers is African-American, compared with two-thirds of all players. But after his arrest for dogfighting, so many people asked: Would a white football player have gotten nearly two years in prison for what Vick did to dogs?
This question makes me cringe. It is so facile, naive, shortsighted and flawed that it is meaningless. Whiteness comes with great advantages, but it's not a get-out-of-every-crime-free card. Killing dogs is a heinous crime that disgusts and frightens many Americans. I'm certain white privilege would not be enough to rescue a white NFL star caught killing dogs.
Dog equals God.

On a day when I read about a noble four legged friend sitting Shiva for his slain Navy Seal human friend, the following piece on Michael Vick was really ill-timed.

I generally like Toure's writing. But, I cannot cosign this excuse making disguised as an exploration of Michael Vick's wicked behavior. So, this will be a bit of a promo that I am cutting on the subject. Proceed at your caution.

The following is normative as these types of editorials often are. Moreover, I maintain no semblance of fairness or empathy towards Michael Vick, the beast that he is.

In all, this will be one of those moments where the silent majority will agree or disagree with unanimous sentiment. I may lose a few of you. More generally, this honesty and real talk will confuse those who want to brand me as being a stereotypical "liberal" or "progressive." Black Pragmatists are so much more than that my friends. I embrace that ability to go both Left and Right at the same time. Black folks are and remain both modern and postmodern.

I cannot resist using that gift.

Blackness can be oh so confusing.

We rarely talk about sports here on We Are Respectable Negroes. However, sports is also politics. And when we talk about million dollar slaves and the politicization of the black body, questions of race and representation cannot help but bubble to the surface.

I cannot accept the soft bigotry of low expectations wherein some make excuses for the criminal behavior of people of color out of a sense of pity (or as I term it, "liberal racism"). That does not mean that structures are unimportant. We must always take a full account of the whole person.

Thus, when I talk about street pirate flash mobs, thuggish criminal behavior, Moynihan's prescient insight, or upright-walking, mouth-breathing, human apes, I accept the structural and institutional variables. But, I always zero in on human agency and the power of choice. The latter may be truncated and limited by classism, sexism, or white supremacy. Nevertheless, they are still operative and are not universally overriding.

I cannot escape the following though: One of the reasons I love the Black Freedom Struggle and see we/us as part of it even into the Age of Obama is that despite how easy it would be to justify the wrong, black folks as a people have more often than not chosen the correct path of action.

Michael Vick's criminal behavior and cruelty towards his pet dogs is one of the sites where all of those questions intersect. His resuscitation in the eyes of some parts of the public is also an opportunity to critically interrogate the role of celebrity in American public life. I would also suggest that on both counts, much of the sports viewing public has failed...and done so miserably.

There is a common error: All matters of criminality and irresponsibility are not necessarily related to "blackness" or "culture." Certainly, the latter is socially located and specific. It is also contingent on historical circumstances. I bristle when I see folks who should know better seeking to explain the inexplicable; to make sense of that which is prima facie absurd and cruel on its face.

In the barbershops and other parts of the black counter-public which I frequent, and where I have brought up my thoughts on Michael Vick, I have been met with anger and at times rage. The latter often comes from man-children who can tell you every stat on the Madden NFL video game, but not how much they have in the bank or in their IRAs--their opinion is significantly discounted in my eyes as they have not learned to grow beyond the idolization(s) of youth.

I have also met smart and wise men who would echo the following.

As Toure suggests:
Here's another question: If Vick grew up with the paternal support that white kids are more likely to have (72 percent percent of black children are born to unwed mothers compared with 29 percent of white children), would he have been involved in dogfighting? I ask this not to look for an excuse but to explore the roots of his behavior. Vick's stunningly stupid moral breakdown with respect to dogs is certainly related to the culture of the world he grew up in, which he says fully embraced dogfighting.
But it's also related to the household he grew up in.
Those smart folks I alluded to above also make claims about the "culture" of the South and how dog fighting is "acceptable" there. Or that this matter isn't about race, rather it is about "regional identity." Others offer the experiences of black folks hunted by dogs during slavery. Therefore, our historical closeness to such animals is not the same as that of whites. More well read brothers always go back to Brother Cornel West's points about cultural nihilism in (black) American life and excuse-make on the basis of neo liberalism's failings and how deindustrialization and the black culture industry made us all into "victims."

Insert finger into throat to induce vomiting.

We can grant all of those points and still be left with a puzzle: the killing, maiming, and evil treatment of sympathetic, loyal, and feeling animals by Michael Vick and others is relatively uncommon. Given the macro-level forces that drive race, class, and culture, how do we explain those poor black and brown folks in Katrina who died with their pets, doing everything to save their animal family members? How do we explain those other working class and poor black folks who would feed their pets in the time of the Great Recession before they themselves ate?

It is true that we live in a cold world where many children are born into broken homes. Street courage and toughness is prized above empathy and vulnerability. We also live in a moment where little black boys are told they are "little men" at age the of 5 or 6--"the man of the house"--and then we shake our heads when these same children commit adult crimes and get into mischief because they lack impulse control and life wisdom.

These "little men" are often abused and slapped in the faces by their caregivers when they show any weakness, vulnerability, or curiosity. Amd ultimately for these hard women and hard men who "parent" those kids, human sympathy and empathy are liabilities. Childhood is discarded when they are young. Ironically, it is cultivated and prized when they are adult "baby boys."

The racial state would have it no other way. Bad black parenting does the work of white supremacy. And yes, I did indeed say that.

The black underclass and those afflicted with ghetto related behaviors have for the most part still not found a way out of that labyrinth.

I must ask: How does sociological theory obfuscate what we actually know about the Michael Vicks of the world?
Toure continues:
So let's look at him a different way. Let's see him as someone in the third act of the epic movie that is his life, leading a team that many expect to see in the Super Bowl. Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" is playing underneath because the humbled protagonist has finally overcome his personal demons and has begun living up to his athletic promise. And to those who believe we should judge a man by how he responds when dealing with the worst life has to offer -- with how he climbs after he hits rock bottom -- Michael Vick has become heroic.And that has nothing to do with race.
Michael Vick is no hero. How did our standards for heroism fall so low such that the ill deeds of humans who kill and abuse their trusting pets, and then go to jail for their evil, is elevated as some great journey of self-discovery and reinvention?

Michael Vick is a piece of human refuse. I would say that if he were black, white, brown, yellow, green, or red. A sense of linked fate does not protect him from the consequence of his choices.

Yet sadly, the union of money ball, plus a stereotypically desperate story of underclass ghetto degeneracy is perhaps one of the few areas where Vick's race provides any defense for those whose commitments on these issues are more casual and contingent.

If a poor white country boy (or a rich white man) had done Michael Vick's horrible crimes I am unsure if there would be any redemption song. Well, I take that back. Perhaps there would be, as many who can make millions for others often find forgiveness in a culture where falls from grace and rising again are viewed as noble second acts in life.

Thus then, for Michael Vick, the soft bigotry of low expectations mates with the prime mover of greed and the capitalist bottom line. Nevertheless, the balance sheet on his personhood and soul are still a gross negative.

Animal murderers and dog fighters have a propensity for other criminal deeds. Mark my words, Michael Vick may have gotten a second act in life; he will not be able to correct the character defect which motivates his behavior. Vick will be in jail again, and perhaps next time it will be for an even greater crime.

I sharpen my knives waiting for that day.

43 comments:

Thrasher said...

CD,

Being Free Black men we can handle diverse perspectives and postures.. I welcome your opinions good, bad and even ugly..

There is nothing noble about going against the grain or offering up opinions that do not reflect the consensus of the collective it is what Free Black Men do..

To understand the politics behind the demonization of Mike Vick has nothing to do with soft bigotry but from my vantage point more to do with the pathologies of white supremacy and it's multiple incarnations and narratives.

Unlike you I share the views of my barbershop comrades as we disarm and disect the inequity of the gross over reaction of Vick's crimes against animals and not humanity..

Failed Black parenting imperils the community and more importantly the children of such parenting..It has nothing to do with white supremacy other than perhaps softens the wounds for the pathology of white racism.. A host under duress will always be fertile soil for many pathogens from racism to unethical lifestyles and behaviors..

Vick is not a dog nor a hero or a vile beast that roams the world seeking to debase the owners of mascots and animals many who have no choice but to be human pets..To define Vick as human refuge reveals judgements reflecting your ethical portfolio ..I refused to indict Vick with such a inhumane tag nor am I prepared to render my judgement on his soul. I don't have providence over the privy of one's soul or personhood..I try to avoid inserting my being into the orbit of another's essence..I refuse to be an accountant on another's soul..

The notion of predicting when a Black man will engage in a criminal act is the nonsense I protest often when white academic types offer up and create pychobable models about Blacks being super predators and genetically wired for deviant and criminality..( These race magicians no doubt inspired and butress by the bullshit of a Moynihan template).

Nor do I endorse or affirm your continued praise for the paternal contempt of Moynihan who was a white liberal bigot whose contempt for the humanity of Black families was hardly prescient nor insightful but apparently made him a darling of to many Black liberals..

The Black underclass and those contaminated with "ghetto" culture are always easy targets to express disdain for nothing progressive or new of late with that siren..

No my knives are never sharpen for the day or moment when any person especially a Black person invites a crime on another human being or animal...As a Free Black man I don't live my life forecasting negativity ..I rather do this engage in discourse, dissent and diversity of opinion without the presence of knives.. I welcome this raw and fresh chatter and I wish you would visit this place more often and free you mind so our asses can follow..lol,lol,lol

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. I see your point on being a free black man. I will indulge more often. One question though, what to do with bad black parents who reinforce the stereotypes about black degeneracy and excuse make for the worst of behaviors.

I am not just talking about equipping your children to live and lead (some could make the claim that too is doing pernicious work in favor of the status quo), but those black parents and we know who I am talking about who have abdicated responsibility and help to hand the poison that is white racism down to their own children?

You are more forgiving than I on this one. Vick's melanin count has nothing to do with his wickedness.

nomad said...

Strain at a camel. Choke on a gnat. At least Vick's wickedness just kills dogs.

nomad said...

It's still early. I mean, "Swallow a camel. Strain at a gnat."

Thrasher said...

CD,

Nor does Vick's melanin count now warrant him to be demonized and a poster boy for a number of themes..

My posture has nothing to do with forgiveness, denial, deflection etc..I think you are wrong with your extreme and over the top indictment of Vick and linking his behaviors to the urban poor, parenting, black degeneracy meme..

I have observe all classes of parents especially mothers making excuses for the evil that their children have done it is not a condition that rests with just 'po black folks' ..

With regard to the issue at hand I simply don't see the Vick saga as a platform for anything that resonates with the Black community..You have made similar talking points about urban decadence including praise for Monyihan( a true white liberal paternalistic bigot IMO) and Vick was not even a part of your discourse.. I think something else is driving this perhaps it is a your price of admission to the big time??

BTW if using Vick and appeasing white liberals, progressives and others with your worship of Moynihan and your contempt for the Black poor, underclass and the ghetto dirtbags is part of your package I am not offended..I think your genius has the capacity to even overcome such pc moves to gain celebrity..I still luv ya..

Anonymous said...

What about the culture of football/sports in America [the world] with fans acting like warring tribes. The violence inherent in the game of football, promoting mob mentality. If Vick didn't have an animal outlet for his viciousness would he be in jail for violence against his fellow man?

Once again I'm awed by how thorough you are Professor. Great article.

OC

brotherbrown said...

I don't want you to like Mike Vick because I do. Nor do I care if you don't like him because of his dog fighting. He went to prison for his crime, now he is out.

In America, going to prison is a life sentence, and I have a problem with that. Most people returning home from prison face a new kind of prison. They often have no family support, owe restitution, and depending on their crime, have no real prospects to get themselves together, so they "recitivate." There are 2 million prisoners in the US, and we've more or less banished them to a unproductive life of dependency, all at society's expense.

I sense, based on your reaction to Vick, that anyone returning home from prison is "a piece of human debris." You don't want them back walking the streets and wish they could just go away and never come back. Well, Vick is back, is able to earn a living, and has, by many accounts, become a better person and an advocate against the activity that sent him to prison.

People do change for the better, given the opportunity. Why would you deny him this chance?

nomad said...

@ Anon
Probably not. Certainly this is animal abuse. But not of the order of a sociopath. This is in the same category as cockfighting and bullfighting. Lots of otherwise decent people indulge in such admittedly wretched behavior. They don't necessarily become violent criminals.

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. Not a move for goodies. I stand by what I say. Moynihan could be all those things...and still be right. Check out the rise and fall and redemption of his thesis. It has been a very interesting ride.

I am also not suggesting that his wanton cruelty is unique to black folks. That is my point exactly, how these interventions become platforms for talking about race when they have nothing at all to do with it.

I have not contempt for the black poor. I am one step away from being one of them, and my roots are politely described as lower working class. There is much excuse making that tries to normalize certain behaviors by a small group of ign'ts as representative or indicative of millions of people. I stand against it every time I can.

@Anon. Great point. What is the mirror telling us?

@Brother Brown. Nice to hear from you. Tired of schooling Cobb? It gets tiring. Those are important and related points.

Felony disenfranchisement needs to be addressed in this country. That doesn't mean that Vick isn't human garbage. Moreover, one can be a criminal, done their time, and still be loathsome. For example, there is nothing a child molester or rapist could do to earn redemption in my eyes. Now, I am not the law giver and they should be reintegrated into society as best possible.

@Nomad. Drowning, electricuting, choking, and smashing the heads of your pets as they cry for mercy sounds sociopathological to me. That type of animal abuse is also an indicator of other psychological misalignments and diseases. The DSM IV has a great entry on it.

Would you trust Vick around your children, as a school teacher, or in a position where he is expected to have empathy for another being?

Chris Sharp said...

"Certainly this is animal abuse. But not of the order of a sociopath. This is in the same category as cockfighting and bullfighting."

Are you serious? Have you actually read any of the detailed accounts of what Vick did? He was not convicted of simply participating in dogfighting; he personally killed at least six dogs with his own hands, including by drowning. I doubt that many "otherwise decent people indulge in such admittedly wretched behavior." Can you imagine what people would say if he killed a human child the way he tortured and killed those dogs? If that was the case, I don't think we would even be having a conversation about race and he would certainly never be allowed to play in the NFL again.

Thrasher, you state that "To define Vick as human refuge reveals judgements reflecting your ethical portfolio," and that you are not "prepared to render my judgement on his soul." No one is asking you to render judgment on his soul, only to judge his actions based on objective standards of what is right and wrong, instead of engaging in some tortured racial logic. I don't think those standards are white or black. I happen to have four (rescued) dogs myself and have been involved with rescue groups for many years, so maybe I just see the gratuitous killing of them differently than you.

As I read this post, CD is simply saying that the focus should be on what Vick did, not on who he is or on the pathology of white racism.

Regardless of which side you are on, if we turn this into a race issue, we are missing the point and essentially giving Vick a free pass which he does not deserve. Sometimes an animal abuser is just a piece of shit, no matter how much lipstick we try to put on the pig.

It is beyond dispute that some black men that are unfairly vilified and persecuted for their crimes even after they pay their debt to society, but that is a discussion for another day and another post. CD's point is simply that Michael Vick is not one of them.

nomad said...

@CD
That is horrible. I admit to knowing nothing about the Vick case. Been keeping my eye on bigger psychopaths.

chaunceydevega said...

@Chris. Thanks for the co-sign. I call b.s. when I see it. Toure and others defense of that degenerate goes right under my racism chasing file. White supremacy has hurt all of us. It has created a knee jerk response in some where they have to instinctively defend or excuse make the indefensible. That occurs on both sides of the colorline. Moreover, our political discourse is so strained that many are stuck reconciling their decision making by if the "left" or "right" would agree with them. Truth is truh. Once more my pragmatism.

brotherbrown said...

I object to comparing Vick's crime to murder, rape and child molestation. Perhaps if he killed one of my dogs, I would feel differently.

I will state for the record that I like dogs generally, but I dislike certain breeds of dog, particularly the variations of pit bulls. They possess a genetic make-up that make them dangerous, and time and again we read of stories of people being mauled to death or dis-figuration.

So I would like to change the subject slightly to the breeding of animals for fighting, and the particular upsurge in the popularity of menacing dogs. In my neck of the woods, people of all ethnicities own pit bulls, and many young men draw a certain machismo from being seen publicly with their dog. I seriously doubt most of them could actually handle their animal if it went into a frenzy. Vick bought into that, and because he found wealth, he took it to the next level. And paid the price, losing everything, including for a time, his freedom.

DeVega, is there no redemption, forgiveness? Not in a religious sense, but allowing someone to rejoin the table of brotherhood after disgracing himself?

Thrasher said...

@Chris,

I disagree with a number of your talking points..I think CD is isolating and demonizing Vick beyond the pale..We can discuss race with Vick as well CD certainly did and I have no apology for inserting race either.BTW CD inserted the comments about Vick's soul of course I don't offer any apology for rejecting that perspective and pointing out my view..

I don't think none of my comments nor others are in any way an excuse for Vick's behavior nor an excercise in tortured racial logic ..It is you that is invoking the imgaine if Vick did this to human beings factor that is not revelant to this discourse..

@CD..I stand by all I have posted about Moynihan regarding the redemption of his thesis which is wrong I still don't observe any value or utility to his themes then or now.. I don't purchase victim excuses nor those who seek to explain away all one's failures as a result of racism..I have yet to observe Vick taking that path..

Yet with regard to the Vick saga race clearly has footprints all over it..

Tanya said...

I am not defending MV but I'd like to put my two cents in on the term sociopath. There is a reason clinicians don't make blanket diagnoses based on one symptom. If you called every person who hallucinated schizophrenic you risk erroneously treating the people who may be bipolar or just high on LSD.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (what sociopathy falls under) has multiple symptoms which must be evident before diagnosis; diagnosis also includes delving into childhood behavior. Is torturing an animal indicative of it? Yes. Does a psychologist stop the interview once that comes out? Of course not. Bernie Madoff is a much stronger (armchair psychologist's) example of a person with APD and he didn't touch a living being.

MV is an asshole who is in a career that awards and pays handsomely for animalistic violence. A dog is a dog and (saying this as an animal lover) not a baby. I would venture to say that he was spoiled by the rewards rendered by his football talent and narcissistically thought he was above the law just like most of our celebrities and politicians.

It is not easy for us to look at those who walk out of prison and attempt to rehabilitate themselves and consider them as having a clean slate. But if we want to better ourselves as a people and we choose to ignore the *bulk* of us who are incarcerated we'll only be dealing with the proverbial top 10% and in that case what are we doing here?

It's a very American mentality to say screw anybody who has ever been to prison but the racial component is that, in my opinion, if he didn't have a such a skill that makes certain folks temporarily ignore his blackness he would be screwed - white ex-cons being hired more than black ex-cons and what have you. What he did didn't warrant a life sentence so why should he be treated as such?

Now, if ten years later we find out he has his girlfriend buried in his backyard, I owe you all an apology.

Thrasher said...

I am not looking for any apology..I like the banter..My thoughts have not changed on the subject matter to-date..

I think CD's has an agenda with going after MV ..What's next after designating him a degenerate or even a sociopath??

What utility does it offer other than CD's venting??? Help a brother out...Please

chaunceydevega said...

@Tanya. Thanks for the point about clinical matters. But, what do we make of the profile where those who did what Vick did, and let's be clear Vick didn't just watch the fights bet on them and the like. He would personally kill animals with his bare hands that he felt didn't perform well, would drown them himself, fed puppies to his meanest dogs as bait, and electrocuted them as well.

I believe in Hammurabi's code and would have given him a little eye for an eye if the justice system allowed it.

Those are gateway behaviors for serial killers btw.

On rehabilitation that is a matter for the state. He paid his dues however little they were and can walk. But trust, a person with such deep defects will commit a crime, one far worst again. It happens all of the time. If he weren't a million dollar slave the outcome would be very different and no one would care who Michael Vick is.

@Thrasher. My point is that sometimes race has nothing to do with it. When we excuse make we legitimate foul behavior, whoever may be committing the deeds.

Thus my point if Vick were white he would still deserve to be under the jail.

Anonymous said...

@ everyone, I love how we're all basically in agreement but it seems otherwise. Just like a family gathering!

I still blame the violence and competitiveness of sports.

MV must have felt some cosmic pull [the darkside, evil] wherein his extreme deeds would carry over onto the field. Staring into the eyes of a linebacker who might well be rewarded if you don't play any more games [ever].

Me, I sometimes hit a punching bag, or a banana tree which mimics the human body better imo. Helps me walk down the street without ever been in a real fight. Just knowing if I needed to protect myself or my loved ones I pull out these skills and their emotional counterparts. Fight or Flight! We're paying you bazillion dollars per year Mr. Football guy, win at all costs. Would make for a great episode of [insert cop drama] where "higher ups" knew about it all along and are just as guilty! AND They are probably WHITE! Queue Gavel sounding music effects!



OC

Anonymous said...

I know I'm off topic but there's no arguing with CD. Dialoging in general but you can't argue with opinion, especially if it's broken down every which way imaginable. No Excuse.

OC

Improbable Joe said...

Has Michael Vick ever actually shown any real remorse for his actions? Not remorse for hurting his team or his fans, but for viciously killing dogs with his bare hands, after training them to viciously kill each other? I've read his "statement" where he says he was immature and made a mistake, and refers to himself in the third person. That just doesn't cut it.

Thrasher said...

CD,

Got that lesson many many moons ago from my parents and elders..Perhaps you should take up your beef directly with Toure...Send him your post...

Plantsmantx said...

"Black Pragmatists are so much more than that my friends. I embrace that ability to go both Left and Right at the same time."

I uh...:). The're something strange and rather hilarious about the fact that you feel the need to capitalize those words, give the concept that label, or even express it in terms of going right and left at the same time. It suggests a frantic self-consciousness about something that should be (and feel) very natural and unforced.

brotherbrown said...

CD, your are expecting another shoe to drop? I have to believe a man without a prior criminal record who lost it all and had to start over will steer clear of the people and places that lead to his demise.

You have decided, however, that he is a bad man, undeserving of a place in society ever again. He is fortunate that he has a path back, but the attitude you are expressing, when applied to anonymous parolees, forever banishes them to the periphery. Society pays a steep price for permanently locking people out.

nomad said...

@CD
"My point is that sometimes race has nothing to do with it."

Seems like a double standard to me. You can remove the racial filter from your lens in looking at Vick, who kills innocent dogs. But you can't do the same for a vicious president who kills innocent people. Many of them children.
nism

brotherbrown said...

@IJ, you seem to be asking the question rhetorically. How do you know he hasn't done those things? Does he need to apologize and show remorse every time he steps to the mike for the rest of his life? Does he need to call you personally to make an expression of remorse? His work on behalf of ASPCA has been well documented, so are you really interested, or would you just prefer to bash him?

Improbable Joe said...

@brotherbrown, I'm asking the question because I'd like an answer. I don't know whether he's given a more sincere apology at some point, which is why I asked.

Now you're stepping into strawman-land. No one is claiming that Vick has to preface every appearance with an apology or call each of us on the phone. On the other hand, doing public penance can be honest and heartfelt, or just on the advice of one's PR team.

I ask because I wonder if he's achieved real regret, unlike his initial BS insincere self-defensive statements. Or, just as importantly, has he yet pulled a "Mel Gibson" or "Chris Brown" and had a temper tantrum displaying his complete lack of regret over anything besides getting caught?

CNu said...

He would personally kill animals with his bare hands that he felt didn't perform well, would drown them himself, fed puppies to his meanest dogs as bait, and electrocuted them as well.

I believe in Hammurabi's code and would have given him a little eye for an eye if the justice system allowed it.

Those are gateway behaviors for serial killers btw.


rotflmbao

written with all the pearl-clutching hysteria of a pampered city woman.

go spend a week at a stockyard and then a slaughterhouse and stop catching the vapors over some good old-fashioned barbarian culture cruelty.

chaunceydevega said...

@Improbable. I don't feel that he has...clearly. To me this feels like a gimmick to rebuild a career. Moreover, there are some things that can't be made right with an "I'm sorry."

@Brotherbrown. He is a bad man. Sorry. Now, that is separate from felony disenfranchisement laws. There are some that are silly, i.e. related to the war on drugs. Others make sense in terms of what a felony is, a banishment from full membership in the political community. I would keep the rules in force for those who commit certain crimes.

@Plants. I capitalized Left and Right in the same why I capitalize Black when talking about politics in certain contexts. Stylistic choice. I struggle with doing so in terms of Conservative and Liberal.

Don't read too much into it.

@Nomad. Always bringing poor Obama back to it. His ears much be ringing all the time.

@Cnu. Great point. One I would not dismiss. I love animals, but I struggle with my own hypocrisy in regards to meat. I don't believe I could kill an animal to eat it, but I can lie to myself and pretend that it wasn't alive when I go to the supermarket. The power of denial.

Plantsmantx said...

Actually, I was talking about "Black Pragmatists", not "Left" and "Right".

chaunceydevega said...

Same.

Capitalizing both for effect, but the former as in the tradition where politics plus black equals Black.

Thrasher said...

CD wants me to grant some redemption for a white bigoted liberal agent( Moniyhan) whose thesis about Black families is still ripe and lethal and a ready made handle for those who wage a war aginst Black families YET he wants me engage some measure of redemption for MV who CD forecasts as the next Iceman serial killer of sort...I just can't go along to get along...But I love the banter especially directed at CD for a change a lot here is being revealed, which is good on a number of layers and levels...lol,lol,lol

Thrasher said...

"negate" instead of engaged....Sorry Yall I am cooking, drinking, talking out my arse with my crew....lol,lol,lol

brotherbrown said...

IJ and CD, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is redeemable. Clearly nothing he can do the rest of his life will suffice in your books, but I have a bigger problem with serial rapist Roethlisburger than I do with Vick.

CNu said...

I don't believe I could kill an animal to eat it, but I can lie to myself and pretend that it wasn't alive when I go to the supermarket. The power of denial.

I understand, my son had no qualms about shooting his first rabbit, but out came the crocodile tears when he had to dress it.

Thankfully, now he kills with all the trepidation of a crocodile, more concerned about how we're going to season the meat rather than the particulars involved with getting it into the refrigerator.

This fall, deer and maybe even wild boar, depending on how he handles himself with the tedium of the deer hunt and the actual work involved with dressing larger game.

Mebbe you should come kick it for half a minute with the country negroes - you'll have a good time - and - rid yourself of some of that unsustainable gentling....,

Improbable Joe said...

@brotherbrown

You're incredibly full of crap, do you know that? We can start with your mistaking "redeemable" with "redeemed". I don't think Vick couldn't ever be a good person, I question whether he's made even the tiniest step in that direction. It is clear he is sorry he hurt his reputation, and he may even be sorry that he embarrassed his friends and family and teammates. There's little indication that he understands the level of depravity of his actions. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he can change, but there's not much evidence that he has.

Secondly, why do you think the greater crimes of Roethlisburger have any bearing on Vick's own disturbing behavior? Or are you saying that we are only allowed to focus on one bad person at a time? That would be a pretty screwed up system, with just the one worst criminal in jail and all the rest walking free because brotherbrown can't multitask.

Improbable Joe said...

@brotherbrown

You're incredibly full of crap, do you know that? We can start with your mistaking "redeemable" with "redeemed". I don't think Vick couldn't ever be a good person, I question whether he's made even the tiniest step in that direction. It is clear he is sorry he hurt his reputation, and he may even be sorry that he embarrassed his friends and family and teammates. There's little indication that he understands the level of depravity of his actions. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he can change, but there's not much evidence that he has.

Secondly, why do you think the greater crimes of Roethlisburger have any bearing on Vick's own disturbing behavior? Or are you saying that we are only allowed to focus on one bad person at a time? That would be a pretty screwed up system, with just the one worst criminal in jail and all the rest walking free because brotherbrown can't multitask.

CNu said...

dogs are stupid, servile, filthy, shit and parasite factories - truly an accurate proxy for the existential standard of their human hosts. so much biological uselessness signifying nothing.

koreans have relegated the dog to its proper station in human life...,

Improbable Joe said...

@CNu

From what you've posted, every dog I've ever met is a better person than you.

CNu said...

dog meat is tasty and delicious....,

brotherbrown said...

IJ you are being presumptuous of me. Can I get the benefit of the doubt? Why do I have to be full of crap?

Trying as I do to help parolees re-enter the world, I encounter resistance of the type you are displaying all the time. It's a damn shame that this lock the door and throw away the key mentality dominates our approach to crime and punishment.

Fortunately Vick gets to prove he deserves a second chance, and I wish him success.

brotherbrown said...

P.S. Vick signs $100m deal.

chaunceydevega said...

@Brother. So he is vindicated? Please, the market cares not for ethics or morality. That million dollar slave can make 100 million--still a piece of human garbage inmao.

brotherbrown said...

Just a final comment that closes out an earlier discussion. It's a good thing the Eagles are willing to give the man a second chance. If you are right about Vick, it's the biggest mistake the Eagles will ever make, but I think you are wrong.

Tell the truth, are you hoping he jacks it up?