When I first heard about the Michael Vick dog abuse case, I came out in support of Vick being punished for involvement in an illegal dogfighting setup that was found on his Virginia property. I also stated that race should not be a factor in the case, as many of Vick’s Black supporters believed Vick was being made an example of due to the harshness of the public and legal reaction against him.
Weeks later, Vick has been suspended without pay from the NFL, pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the dogfighting case, but not necessarily to the more brutal allegations, is now facing at least a year in prison, and has been the recipient of one of the most intense name-through-the-mud campaigns I have ever witnessed.
A simple perusal of the political cartoons published today across this country will give you some incite into the PR lynching of Michael Vick. Don’t get me wrong, Vick should be punished for animal abuse, but we really need to examine the racial overtones taking place in the discourse surrounding this case.
In the cartoons below, Vick is shown en route to being neutered, he’s being called an animal, and his Black supporters are being mocked and urinated upon simply for stating that he should return to the NFL after he is punished.
Would there be so much animosity toward Vick if he were white? Many have stated that there would have been less controversy had his victim been a woman rather than a dog. So why is there so much public hostility toward Michael Vick? Perhaps because actual lynching is outlawed in this country, we need to find more high tech ways of destroying this man’s life.
He should be punished for his crimes, he should be allowed to atone for his sins, and then he should be allowed to return to football. His case has raised awareness for animal abuse in such a high-profile manner; new laws protecting animals will come from this.