Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Michael Vick, Tony Dungy, and a change is gonna come, Part II

"Our circle of care should be inclusive, broad, wide. I invite everyone here to widen your circle of care and concern. Have the same care for others that you have for yourself...King and Gandhi didn’t need to wait for certain power, they didn’t need to wait for special titles. These leaders were restless in enlarging their circle of care.”

--Daniel Melhern

Listen up. A few days ago, The daddy did a piece on Michael Vick. In the post, which is re-posted below for your convenience, he said Michael Vick is scheduled get out of prison soon; that he w ill have served the time for the crime; that he should be forgiven and allowed to work for a living like every other adult American, including work as an NFL player; that some-- many of them white Americans-- can't bring themselves to forgive Vick not only for the detesting crime he committed but because it makes them feel superior not to do so.

Well, guess what? Some folks who come to visit The daddy often are continuing the discussion. Some say the brotha deserves a second chance, others say, given what he did to those animals, they despise him and will not forgive him. The Daddy feels that this blogs belongs to the "crew" who follow The daddy and others who come here. As a result, he feels their views should be heard and considered, even if they are the complete opposite of his own. So the following represents the thoughtful views of those who disagree with The daddy.

Somebodiesfriend said maybe Vick should be given a second chance but wonders if it would be sending a wrong message:

"Does giving him another contact send a message to all the other athletes that if they get in a big jam they can still come out of it smelling good in the end? I'm not hating on Vick, I'm just wondering if giving him another big money contract just re-enforces the mindset that many of the players already have."

Others, like DH, stated that they have a problem forgiving Vick because of what he did. DH said that, to her, what Vick did was like "abusing children."

"Vick showed no remorse and said that his family did this all their lives. Many of his fellows testified against him and they had live videos. This was as bad as if he was abusing children, he tortured the helpless and innocent and made money off of this."

(Note: Vick did express remorse. As to whether it was sincere or just a part of a legal strategy or both, who knows?)

Stella just came out and said she "loathes" Vick and then said something else that stuck with The daddy: that it takes a really sick mind to kill helpless animals:

"Torturing and killing animals for sport is an activity in which people must be at least, if not completely, semi-sociopathic/narcisstic. Simply, these people are vicious and ill."

Like Stella, Madmike "despises" Vick and suggests that his color, gender and former wealth has nothing to do with it. He put this way :

"I despise all people who will fight, torture, drown, shoot and electrocute helpless animals. I feel the same about Vick as I would any murderer or torturer. Regardless, should he be forgiven after serving his debt to society? I don't know. I don't forgive murderers who are released on parole. I don't forgive rapists, robbers and thieves. I could never forgive the Bernie Madoffs of the world. I guess that makes me a "bad" person but some things just cannot be put out of mind. "

These are all well- thought-out opinions of people who comment at daddyBstrong regularly. There may be differences of opinion here, but I believe those differences are expressed honestly and forthrightly. Yes, I believe Michael Vick needs to be forgiven. However, he wants to express three concerns that he shares with those who commented here:

1. He shares Somebodies concern that some NFL players might get the message that, if they get caught, they could get off easily and go right back to the NFL. I'm not sure it should be a major concern at this point. After all, I don't think players are thinking, "Yeah. I can keep on doing dog fighting, because, if I get caught, go to prison, and lose all my money, I can still get back into the NFL." That's too big a risk. But it's a legitimate concern.

2. He shares with MadMikes's, Stella's and DH's disgust at Vick's role in the dogfighting. It's debatable as to whether Vick was in on some of these killings. But what is not debatable is that he financed the dog fighting operation. In The daddy's mind, this is worst than the actual killings. It's like the torturing of prisoners at Abu Ghraib: Whom do you find to be the most disgusting, the people who performed the torture or the lawyers who wrote the memos to justify it?

3. The daddy shares with Stella the idea that it takes a sick person to commit these acts upon helpless animals. When Vick said he grew up around people who did this, including his family members, he wasn't making excuses. He was trying to explain how he got into a mindset to torture animals. People should have really listened. In some parts of the South, dog fighting occurs regularly; and, yes, it takes a sickened mind to do it.

But it also takes a sickened culture to develop and perpetuate it. In this case, The daddy is talking about an aspect of male culture that has developed and now perpetuates a violent culture for generations. Dog fighting is just one of them. What about the abuse of women? What about rape? What about the abuse of people of color? What about the abuse of men toward each other? Aren't those aspects of the culture too?

For these reasons, for this insensitive, violent culture, The daddy believes Vick needs more than fresh air from prison. He needs more help than Tony Dungy. Vick needs some type of psychotherapy. And so do the people who grow up in a southern, violent male culture that says dog fighting is okay, that, if dogs get injured from fighting, that's alright; and, if you have to put a few dogs down when they can no longer fight, that' s alright too.

Stella, MadMike, DH, Somebody, and others, thanks for all the thoughtful and honest comments. They were much appreciated.


CareyCarey said...

Looky here, I get to jump in fresh water. Let me pee in the pool before others arrive.

Here's what I don't understand. If forgiveness is the letting go of ones OWN ill feelings, then why do so many wish to hold onto that baggage. Look, forgiveness is NOT condoning anothers actions!

If it's a desire for some to champion the negative "examples", that's on them. But hopefully, a wise person will look at the consequenes of Vicks misdeed and thus go a different way. A fool is going to do what they do ...and nothing going to change that.

Lets be real about this. Anyone can look at the news or in some cases, step outside their doors and see a host of bad behavior. That being said, it would be woefully wrong to use Vick as a posters child for all the ills of the world. Besides, if Vick is not worthy of another chance - WHO is?! What crimes deserves second chances?

Is hater stew boiling to the top or are "some" placing themselves on a pedestal that few can ever achieve?!

MadMike said...

Carey I don't have much faith in the criminal justice system, perhaps because I was part of it for many, many years. The recidivism rate runs right around 80% and that is in spite of all the forgiving, hugging, and rehabilitating.

I'm not saying that Vick doesn't deserve another chance. I am just saying he doesn't deserve the same chance that he already threw out the window when he tortured innocent creatures (God's creatures if one is a believer). I don't want to see this guy back in the NFL. As to forgiveness, there are some crimes that I cannot forgive as I mentioned in my original post and the brutal torture and killing of innocent animals is one of them.

I agree that Vick has paid a debt to society but that means he can no longer be prosecuted for that crime, not necessarily forgiven. I don't forgive crimes that are heinous, and this one of those crimes. If you want to smoke dope, buy hookers, gamble, and etc. so be it. You are hurting yourself. I can forgive those transgressions, but when you start taking lives, human or otherwise, then you don't deserve forgiveness. said...

Hey there,

Should he be allowed to return? Why can't he play?

What he did was deplorable. Yes, we all agree with that.

But...if he fulfilled the terms of his punishment then I don't understand why he should be banned permanently from the League...

He should be expecting any product endorsements contracts from Purina however...

There are pro players who were arrested for beating up their own wives and didn't permanently lose their eligibility to participate in the League? Are the dogs more valued than wives?

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

MadMike said...

Those who beat up their wives should NEVER have been allowed to play again. The man that beats his wife is just as bad as Vick.

rainywalker said...

Everyone should have a second chance and have learned from the first mistake. I don't know about the NFL, but children should have people they can look up to.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I feel very very sorry for those who can not forgive. I can't imagine leading such a life.

MacDaddy said...

Everyone: Thanks. This conversation will continue. Vicks will be in the news again when he gets out of prison and as he tries to find work in the NFL or some other league.

judy said...

At the risk of pissing people off is it possible that, to some degree, the ability to forgive is absolutely tied to your feelings about the crime (or dogs)? If he'd financed abuse of children, would you forgive him? I don't think I could.

I know dogs aren't kids, but it's degrees of heinous, isn't it? I admire the amazing capacity of people like Daddy to forgive, but I don't think the people who are struggling with forgiveness here are "haters." To assume the worst of people who feel strongly about the cruelty and brutality of the crime seems pretty harsh... and pretty devoid of the understanding we're suggesting be given to Vick.

Anonymous said...

You know, I do think he and his cousins and whoever else was involved did do something terrible as far as the disregard for the dogs and the promotion of this violent "sport" -- but I don't carry that out to his whole life and the good he may have done and hopefully will do in the future, or that he would treat all humans the same way...for there are many many many people who abuse, beat, traffic, and kill women and kids every day, here and across the world, and make lots of money doing it...for them I have no sympathy, just rage...

But for people like Michael Vick or people who grew up with dog fighting and cock fighting as a way of life--doesn't mean it's right and it doesn't mean there aren't some bad people involved--I think it's not just black and white. And the reality is that he will have been punished for his crime...

Now if he came out of prison and did the same thing or worse, then of course I would feel differently, but I can't judge him today on something he may never do tomorrow.


Vigilante said...

Mad Mike says,

Those who beat up their wives should NEVER have been allowed to play again. The man that beats his wife is just as bad as Vick.Please forgive Mike. He was temporarily off his meds.