Thursday, August 13, 2009

True Racism vs Playing the Race Card

In a recent New York Times article, Reverend Jesse Jackson, has speculated about Michael Vick not yet being signed to an NFL team, wondering if it was a racist conspiracy among NFL team owners to keep him out of the league. Jackson even had the temerity to compare Vick's situation with that of Jackie Robinson, the first black American signed to play major league baseball in 1947.

Give me a break!

To even mention Vick's name in the same sentence as Robinson's does a disservice to Robinson's memory and place in history. The experiences of the two men are in no way comparable.

Robinson was a law-abiding citizen whose only "crime" was being the wrong color in a time when racial prejudice was pervasive in American society. Vick has known nothing of the racism in his sports career that was an everyday fact of life for Jackie Robinson.

Vick's current problem was caused by Michael Vick, not a racist conspiracy. They're not picking on him "just because he's black". To suggest otherwise and to compare him to Robinson just cheapens and demeans all that Robinson had to overcome to come out on top.

It's one thing to believe that Vick has paid his debt to society and to think he deserves another chance. That's fine.

But it's quite another thing to act as if he's an innocent victim in all of this by playing the race card.


1 comment:

Descartes said...

Back when Michael Vick and his dog fighting woes were all that was in the news I wrote a couple of posts about it and got a lot of hate filled comments about how poor innocent Vick was being picked on for being black.

They often went so far as to say that if a white quarterback had been caught fighting dogs nothing would have come of it.

I had a number of people defending the fine art of dog fighting-a cultural tradition in Atlanta-and remind me that it was gambling that was the problem.

There are always going to be people who cry racism anytime someone with a good tan is arrest for anything. For Jessie Jackson it's the only way he can hang onto the little celebrity that he has left.