Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Honor Among Dogfighters - and the Typical Black Response

Without a doubt copping a plea means your back is against the wall. It means you are concerned that you are going to lose, and be found GUILTY. It also indicates to some degree that you are partially guilty or completely guilty. For Michael Vick his hand has been forced to ‘punk out’. He had no other choice - but to put his head between his legs, and bargain with those Alphabet Boys. The FBI. Who would have thought Michael Vick would construct an X’s and O’s play to get out of the self-created mess with those who are gunning to sack him? This is a sad state of affairs for the black quarterback with a rushing yards record. But, what did we expect?

Expectation. Vick expected his boys to hold out. To hang in there with him. They were supposed to be his offensive line. The blockers who stop the blitzing free safety from clocking the passer. Those big men who never get any accolades for protecting the leader, the star. In this case, Michael Vick is getting sacked. However, he is familiar with this. His linemen stopped blocking for him a long time ago. Why would they block and block – while Vick selected to run and run? Nevertheless, I bet you he never expected his dog fighting frontline would flop on him. This turn of events is not what most well-known celebrities and spectacular athletes anticipate. They self-righteously expect someone to take the heat with them or even take full responsibility.

Either we are crazy or we are na├»ve for thinking men are built like they use to be. At one time in American history the Scarface of the group would dodge all types of indictments, court cases, and prison time because his first lieutenant would willingly go to state penitentiary for the Don. The Boss. The Man. Apparently, Michael Vick does not have those Ford Tough assembled men within his former entourage of dog killers. They are tough enough to kill Bruno the pit bull, but too soft to spend a few years locked-up for Mr. Atlanta Falcons. ‘Man, we ain’t tough no mo. We, modern day gangsters, sure ain’t like Frank Lucas (one of the original American Gangsters). We be the new type of turncoats!’ This is the most accurate and revealing statement I have heard in a long time regarding the state of affairs within Thug Life.

Even with my spearing sarcasm and intense seriousness, I am certainly aware of one fact that I hope all these wanna-be thugs will learn from this soon-to-be forgotten Nike endorsing icon: Today, in this new fake gangster environment the badest of them all are not immune to ‘punking-out’. Typically, when a man’s back is against the wall he will resort to one of two things: Fight to get out or bow down. Mr. Vick has bowed down. He is humble again. He is broken. He has selected not to fight with the intentions of beating the system. And, we all know why: He is more than likely guilty. Funny. We knew this before we went running to his defense. The attention-wanting NAACP of Atlanta should have known better. Those desperate and ill-advised black folk who were out there in 100 degree heat marching around the Georgia Dome a few weeks ago should have known better. Where are the fair-weather supporters when our children get struck by bullets fired from a gun shot by Antwan? Do we protest then? No! Where are the marchers and the supporters? I will tell you where they are: Lowering their heads in humiliation while our race relations event seeking leaders are hopelessly attempting to shame the white man and make the white man the guilty party while failing to realize that we have shamed ourselves once again. Pathetic.

Calling all the supporters of Michael Vick who jumped on the ‘he is innocent until proven guilty bandwagon’ even after reading the evidence against him.

Did you come to the defense of Mr. Vick too soon? I am flabbergasted, but not lost for words of disappointment; and certainly willing to boldly and rightfully point the following out: I was hard pressed to find one white compassionate supporter of Scott Peterson after he was accused of killing his wife, Laci Peterson. I was hard pressed to find a white sympathetic supporter of Robert Blake, formerly known as Baretta, after he was accused of killing his wife. I am even harder pressed to find a white bleeding heart supporter of Phil Spector while he is on trial for killing his girlfriend. My point: We, black folk, have to stop impassionedly jumping to the defense of our brothers and sisters just because they are black. While I deeply appreciate this type of ‘unity’, and it is needed in some situations – I am disgusted with the way we implore our brotherhood allegiance and also disgusted when we, with heedless miscalculation, choose to extend a supportive hand and/or comment. Knee-jerking is always the wrong move.

Who will be with Michael Vick when he can’t get a contract to run up and down a football field next season? These ‘in his corner’ persons will be enjoying someone else running and passing that ball on Any Given Sunday. Michael Vick will be someone they ONCE cheered, conditionally loved, and wrongfully idolized. He will be alone like too many of the athletes who have left the game in disgrace. Remember, Pete Rose?

It is too bad Vick did not fully play the game of life with integrity, respect, and honor. And, this is NOT to say that I have. We all fall short. Redemption is not lost. Right? Nonetheless, it is pointed out because he like too many of us: Screwed-up a good thing to feel more machismo, and why is there a need to feel this way? Well, because he and countless others are too intellectually weak, spiritually lost, emotionally empty, and looted with a false sense of entitlement to stay away from image damaging foolishness.

Michael Vick goes down like thousands of black men in America: a victim of trusting homeboy. I would rather be taken down by that “system” we always conjure up as the reason for our demise: The Conspiracy Against the Black Man.

Tell me how I am wrong without calling me a trader, a sell-out, an Oreo, or another version of Armstrong Williams. PLEASE. I really want to be WRONG on this one!

Part of what you just read was selected to be in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on August 21, 2007. The link below will take you to the article.

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/printedition/2007/08/21/lettsadd0821.html

Written by Muata. Inspired by life, and the lessons I have learned from blindly extending trust to “my boys”. Inspired by that one thing we usually resort to doing when all else fails: Praying. Mr. Michael Dwayne Vick and those of us like him need your prayers.

36 comments:

Muata said...

Reader JS Responds to Muata:

As always, I think you did an outstanding job of making valid observations and supporting them with logic, reason, and facts. I can certainly say that I tried to remain objective on this issue, as I like many people am a fan of Mike Vick. As you recall, I lived in Hampton Roads, Va. where Vick grew up, and I was really proud of him, Aaron Brooks, Ronald Curry, Joe Smith, Dre Bly, Allen “Bubba Chuck” Iverson, and countless others brothers that came out of that environment to make it to the professional ranks in their perspective sports.

I felt really close to this story. I remember in the early 90’s when 5 police officers were murdered in “Bad News” Va., the same place that Vick called home. I felt sorry for those kids that were growing up in that environment then and Vick was one of those kids. At that time he had to be a 5th or 6th grader. So does this serve as an excuse for what he has gotten himself into now?
Hell no! But for him to commit these crimes lets me know that no matter how much of a physical specimen he may be, no matter how far he throws, or how fast he runs, this guy is not mentally well! It is also apparent that his homeboys are not either. All of Mike’s crew seem to be products of an environment that displayed poverty, illegal activity, and intense violence! Mike may have gone on to become a multi-millionaire, but money does not serve as a vaccine that prevents you from becoming mentally ill!

So it serves to ask, why didn’t all of the others that made it also become mentally ill? The answer is simple…..mental illness is not contagious! We are not talking about a virus or some other medical disorder than can be passed through direct contact, from person to person.
Mental illness in our culture, as a weak, shameful, sweep it under the carpet condition that absolutely consumes our youth because black folk are not strong enough to admit it exists! We survived slavery, segregation, so surely, the “new black man” has to be able to deal with the
ills of ghetto life!! If not, he is automatically considered a punk! He aint hard! This young man is mentally twisted and no one has attempted to focus on his mental health!! Who in their right mind would commit money, time, and any other resource to starting a business operation that focuses?
on the demise of another living thing? I mean other than sweatshops of today, sharecropping before that, and slavery before that, only white people in this country have sat back and enjoy the destruction of actual living, God creating beings while making money!! They were mentally sick
and thus, state governments are finally apologizing for the wrongs that our forefathers committed! They were to sick to enough know that they were wrong and they used religion as their excuse to not offer an apology!!!

So now, we have a sick, rich black man that needs help! No picketing by the NAACP, no grandstanding by the black community, no excuses! He needs the help of mental health professionals so that he may hopefully get his LIFE, not his football career back on track!!
He will not get this help from the black community because no one sees his real issue! No one in our community can really acknowledge what’s the real cause for our brother’s demise, his astronomical fall from grace!! No black person wants to say out loud, he is not mentally well and there are many others in our race that are suffering! A soldier in the military can witness death in combat and be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and that is totally acceptable in our society! Little black kids in the toughest streets in America can witness drive-by shootings, lose both parents to AIDS, watch crime and violence all around them, but in the end, they are not supposed to be SICK!! They are exempt from PTSD, they should not PUNK OUT!!

The crime that continues to be committed by our folks is that we are going to allow more of our kids to go uncared for, unattended, and undiagnosed!! Our community is mentally ill, and we don’t care! We won’t admit that Vick is sick, and we don’t care to help him, so we obviously should expect more of the same from the kids that are growing up in places like Bad News, Va. today as we speak!!

Keep up the good work Muata!

FREEDOM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Muata said...

Muata Responds to JS:

Thank you for providing such a POWERFUL dynamic to this on-going issue. I appreciate the insight that you have brought forth to the dialogue. Your focus on mental illness definitely stopped me in my tracks for a moment.

While mental illness has been a hush-hush topic within the black community, I am still of the belief the majority of us know right from wrong - and we certainly know that savagely killing a living species (such as a dog) is WRONG. But, this is not to say that mental illness is not real. It is!

From your standpoint, there are NUMEROUS black men and women in the world who are sick. Your standpoint also prompts me to ask this question: How did Penny Hardaway, Kevin Garnet, and others who grew-up in these harsh environments overcome the devastation within the black community? Think about OUR situation: grew-up poor, small town w/ small mentalities witnessed the behavior of drunks, no count dads (for me), abusive men, drug dealing, etc. But we some how were immune to the mental illness that is caused by the things I listed. Yes, Vick's generation has had to deal with more bad elements, but JS, some conquered the sickness.

I understand the non-contagious part of your opinion. I am just finding it hard to reconcile this tragic story with all the other excuses black folk are recklessly spitting. I am torn by this. I am upset. Not with Vick as much, but with the BLACK RESPONSE. When will we stop knee-jerking, JS? Shouldn't we be focusing on black little girl getting killed by black little boy? I’m tired.

The one thing I can do and control: my rearing of my son. I guess I should just relinquish my wants and desires to help those black folk who are lost? Or, should I continue?

One thing is for certain: we need to look at your point of view critically because no one within the black ranks is interjecting this. I heard one white psychologist mention this. One! Not one other person has come from your angle.

I thank you for the response. I am thinking about this more now. From your opinion. This is what it is all about: Learning from each other.

-Muata

Muata said...

Fellow Blogger FREEDOM input:

One of the Saddest Realities of this case is that even though these dogs have been “rescued” they are still going to be Executed. Not by Michael Vick though. But by the Humane Society. Unfortunately, these dogs as well as Michael Vick has been labeled and convicted. Their association with Mr. Vick and his dog-fighting ring is still in the end going to lead to their demise. SAD, truly sad.

No parent is going to want to adopt one of these dogs for little Monique or little Billy. In addition, the puppies that may or may not have their parent’s deadly traits may or may not survive as well. To me that is a real tragedy, being rescued only to be MURDERED!

-FREEDOM

Muata said...

Reader JS Responds:

Although some of us came out of that environment, we all don't make it! I think back to 'B' almost dying after being shot due to a bad drug deal, 'J' and 'P'spending all of their 20's in prison, D'' committing suicide; we have seen our brothers, our peers fall victim of bad choices and bad situations! Some of it has to be accredited to mental
illness and lack of awareness of self. Support systems are vitally important, but even today, I suffer from different issue due to my own environment! An addiction of any type, for an example, is a sign of an unhealthy mental state!

Many of our brothas suffer from different types of addictions...so none of us walked away unscaved! I have done crap that warranted a possible jail sentence, even if it was drinking and driving, so
again, its not as easy to me as people just making the right chioice! I think Vick is ill and what we have to do collectively is to continue helping any young
brotha that wants and needs us, and we have to start recognizing the mental health problem, and we should try to educate our people so that they can recognize signs of mental illness!

Finally, we have to know where to send them so that they can get help!

Great example: white girl busted for drug usage= rehab!Young black man, drug possesion charges= time in prison and probation! No
rehab offered!

Let's keep fighting!

-JS

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

Congratulations on another article being printed! -HJ

Great job. Good commentary! -SF

Good entertaining read. -MJ

Muata said...

Reader PM Responds:

Great input JS.

I think we all have valid insights despite conflicting views. If we did not care, we would not spend energy replying.

Muata you asked the question "how" could others survive. My answer is with a support system and people in your circle of influence. Let's keep fighting these battles and take time out to support some black kid somewhere, especially our males!

-PM

Muata said...

Muata Responds to PM:

We also have agreed that that supportive system was non-existent in our homes and community growing-up, but we have been somewhat successful at what we do. It is all about personal decisions and actions.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

I almost didn't read this one. But, I am glad I did. My hat goes off as you write!
What I believe is, for the most part, your writing is the truth to those of us that understand your writing, thinking, and knowledge.

Like your grandmother, my mother, and other elders have said time and time again, "you make your bed, you lay in it". Mike made his bed without a conscience, and I believe that he thought he was above the law, and maybe some folk as well. Now, let him deal with the consequences.

I am so sick and tired of black people with certain statue thinking that they are as white folk. They don't realize it until like you said their back is up against the wall, and they have to bow down and put their faces between their legs...another asshole that screwed up a career and let himself down. Needless to say, I found out that those you think are your friends are only friends when it's up, not down and, when you don't get caught.

I often ask myself and others, ‘when will our people wake up and understand that because you wear a jersey and make millions that it doesn't make you white and accepted.

Keep writing my brother.

Peace!

-RS

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Muata, whatever you call yourself now: Go to Hell! You have become a sell-out, and you said it right: YOU ARE AN OREO!!

-JK

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

I agree, JS did make a valid point.

-HJ

I might add that we fail to support black politicians who are fighting the cause. We don't vote. Yet we support, run behind athletes with alleged criminal
activities.

My personal position! :)
Keep writing...

-J

Muata said...

Fellow Blogger Freedom Responds with this also (as a result of Muata mentioning PRAYER):

"I'M so glad God still hears a sinners prayer".

-Freedom

Muata said...

Muata Responds to Freedom:

Really. You think and believe god hears you? I challenge you: You can't confirm that God hears and answers your prayers. All you have is a belief that you hope is true. But, continue to believe because that's all most of us have: A BELIEF. That's a start!

-Muat

Muata said...

Freedom Responds to Muata and Muata then Responds to Freedom:

Do you believe in a higher being?

-Freedom

I believe that there is a power/force NONE OF US can explain or comprehend. NONE of us. If we claim we do understand or "know it all" we made it up, we are taking what grandpa told us and applying it, or we are using our imaginations. It is absolutely arrogant and egotistical to believe we understand the workings of this force we call God. We are so small in the big scheme of things. We are weak, and totally lost in this universe. Four legged animals know more than we do.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader EJ Responds:

Congrats on your article being accepted by dem folks...but it doesn't change the fact that the
"law knows what color you are"....
This time send them a pic of you smiling real big eating some collard greens or watermelon...They will love dat! LOL!!

Muata said...

Muata Responds to EJ:

"watermelon and collard greens"

Insulting is so unbecoming of an educated man. Stop that!

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Payne, Payne, Payne, or should I say pain, pain, pain. I do not know who is worse, you or Terrence Moore. I will give you credit for showing great examples for your point of view. I have a few of my own to contradict your thought process.

Although you are from the South, you are not from the DIRTY SOUTH which consists of (GA, AL, FLA, MS, LA). It makes BIG difference. Vick had to punk out because his so called thug homies went out like bitches.

In my life time I have had several times to be a snitch against my fellow frat brothas and Masonic brothas. I refused to do it. I refuse to ever state that my frat hazes. I refuse to ever not support my brothas of the YARD. The bottom line is that there are ramifications for being a snitch against your fellow brothers. In most cases reward would be death. That is real talk!

Greg Anderson, is in the federal pen as we speak. He is taking it on the chin for Barry Bonds. He knows when he gets out; he will have about 5 or 10 million dollars waiting on him. He is loyal friend. The feds did not break him. Scooter Libby is another example, he did not break. He knew that Bush and Chaney would take of him. He has been pardoned and rewarded for not being a snitch. The United States Postal biking team did not snitch on Lance Armstrong. Everyone knew that he doped his blood. They took one for the team.

As always, black folks don't stick together. Divide and conquer, that is the motto. Willie Lynch used this theory during slavery times and it has been successful ever since.

Vick did what he did, he was wrong, no doubt. I question the manner in which the establishment went after him. They are not going after Chaney or Bush for the blood on their hands and Iraq war. Lance Armstrong is a folk hero. We know he doped his blood. Wrong or right, white folks stick together. Oh, yeah, my bad, I forgot about Al Cowans. He never snitched on O.J. Never testified, etc. O.J. is ostracized by white folks, but still has his freedom and his NFL pension.

In closing, why couldn't these jiggas take the rap for VICK. Why did they have to sell out, go out like BUSTAS! They did not fear Vick. There was no fear for the defendants. We all no they snitches usually do not survive long in the penal system. We will see what happens.

-AE

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Michael Vick got caught up in a very messy situation. The things described in the news related to dog fighting are horrifying. Hangings, drownings, forced dog rapes for breeding purposes, force feeding, food neglect, restraints, beatings. Man, that sounds terrible. Not good for the dogs...or for people.

The acts done to these dogs at a Virginia mansion seem eerily similar to things that happened to people on Virginia plantations.

Vick is a high-profile athlete who has admitted to being cruel to animals and exploiting them for game and profit. He will be charged, fined, humiliated and maybe even banned from his livelihood and jailed.

Justice, right? Perhaps, but not even close to the free passes that thousands of human beings received for doing similar acts to some of my ancestors. I have forgiven them and so have millions of others. Vick probably won't get forgiveness.

I think it's a doggone shame. At least we know that humans can be passionate about what happens to dogs. That's a start, I suppose. It is ironic that some of these same folks can watch footage of folks being attacked by dogs and sprayed with water hoses without even shedding a tear or putting down their fork. But reading about the fate of these dogs has gotten many of them out on the picket lines. Good for the dogs to have such support. I guess that's why they call their shelters "The Humane Society" Humane? Nice choice of words.

The writer suggests that he "confess" and things could begin to take a positive turn or at least a turn. Lots of people and industries are still profiting from similar exploitation of humans without confession. And that's nothing to bark at.

Peace.

-Lee

FREEDOM said...

Freedom responses to Muata’s last comment to Her about the presence of a Higher Being and Beliefs:

I AGREE with your analysis.

However, it is unfortunate that we can allow our "beliefs" to hinder us. I worry too much and THINK too much at times instead of going along with WHAT I feel is right for me. I "believe" and I am so preaching to myself, that it is pathetic how we miss opportunities because of our misguided "beliefs".

I personally put to much expectations on things and situations by thinking too much about them then the next thing I know I have talked and thought myself out of the very thing I wanted and was about to get because of my "beliefs". Beliefs that I THINK will make me look like a bad person in the eyes of others, instead of going against the grain.

I am working on trying to correct this misguided "belief" system, and yes that is a START!

I believe in God the FATHER, Jesus the SON, and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit). I also believe in what is right for me…..FREEDOM! I know without a shallow of doubt that this Higher Power that I elect to call GOD wants me to be HAPPY, and by golly, I am going to BE and DO just THAT….by applying Corinthians LOVE to others and myself.

-FREEDOM

Muata said...

Muata responds to a view of his boys from his home town: Thomasville, NC:

The FEDS may be on a witch-hunt! Is this going to become a turn-coat saga now? Ridiculous. The article indicates that Vick might be asked to tell on those (in the NFL) who may be involved in dog fighting. Juicy. Read by cutting and pasting link in web browser:

http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=130805&ran=163499&tref=de

Muata said...

One my boys responds:

Its truly amazing! Now the State of Va. wants a piece of Vick too!

The State capitol alone has at least 24 unsolved murders, the State ranked 40th in population is ranked number 20 in the nation in murder rate statistics...Newport News alone is reporting an alarming number of forcible rape crimes, but the FBI and the Va. State Police are using very valuable and limited resources to stop dogfighting!!

Black men, Vick was wrong but yall got to see what is going on!!! They want Vick and any other athlete or rapper that thought they had made it out of the ghetto!! Vick is just the poster boy!!!!

-JS

Muata said...

Another one of my boys responds:

Lets get the numbers correct, Va is 12th in population. I verified that with census figures as of 2006. If Va ranks 20 in murder rate then things are not as bad as stated before but I did not look that up. But the point is still accurate. We all know that dogs are more important that women in thiscountry. Kobe proved that. I don't recall his jersey being pulled from shelves before trial and I never heard talk of barring him from practice or lifetime banishment.

-HJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to the fellas from home:

Fellas-
I really do not think many of us truly understand the LOVE, DEVOTION, and AFFINITY many white people have towards dogs. It is a cultural issue, I believe. Think about it.

Growing up we rarely knew a black family who had a house dog. Most of the dogs I saw in T-ville were either tied to a tree, in an outdoor dog house, or roaming the neighborhoods looking malnourished. Now, there were a few black people I knew that lived outside of my environment who had dogs running around the crib. Most of these people were my college friends from the northeast and west coast. Also, in my travels I noticed that dogs were treated horribly. I recall a time in Antigua when a dog approached me, I bent down to pick-up something that I dropped and the dog took off. You know why? Because the dog was accustomed to people throwing stones at him. Even in Eastern Europe, I noticed the cruel treatment of dogs.

I expound on this because I believe in a lot of black minds dogs are not as important in the true make-up of things, but I have discovered that for white and more black people these days that dogs are significant. Very significant.

JS, you may recall my dog Sparkie. Not sure, but I was in love with this dog. He was EVERYTHING to me at the time. Everything. On that dreadful day of him being taken away by the dog catcher I remember how DEVASTATED I was. I was depressed for months, and to this day in all honesty I am still hurt that the love of my life at the time was removed from my life. Don't laugh! I loved that dog with all of my being.

I go to this length to express this because many of us are not recognizing that millions of people are really hurt by this. And, the hurt comes from the love these people have for their dogs. It is love. We should not laugh at that and we should not ridicule them, because it is still a level of love. For some black people to continue to say, "they were just dogs" indicates some level of un-concern to the masses and it actually perturbs me when I hear this from intelligent black people because one thing we should be doing is showing the entire world that we do understand LOVE on all levels.

Yeah, it appears they are trying to maliciously stick it to Vick (he deserves to be punished), and it may be because he is a black man; but it could also be their emotions driving them. The emotions that people develop when a child is harmed. Think about it.

I have included DM on this correspondence because I am sure he has some insight he can provide considering he is a veterinarian and a dog lover just like me. Well, some dogs!

I just think it could be a cultural issue. Even within the United States: among people from different parts of the US.

-Muata

Muata said...

One of the fellas responds to Muata:

Of course I have been following the Vick debacle as you can not escape it right about now. You have made very poignant observations in this and many of your e-mails. The one thing that really irks me is some people in the media trying to play up Dog Fighting as a cultural “thing” as it pertains to blacks. I disagree with this because as a Veterinarian, I have seen cases of dog fighting with whites and Hispanics. It is legal in some 3rd world countries like Cuba. I do think that it’s a cultural thing, but not isolated to blacks. It has close ties to one’s socio-economic status, mentality and to some degree the “Hip Hop” culture. It is very gender based as well. Some guys basically measure there man hood by the type of car or motorcycle they own while some do the same with the size dog and they own and how aggressive that dog is. The entire thing is pathetic to me on so many levels. For those people who say “It’s JUST a dog”, the important part to remember is- It’s a Felony in Virginia. So whether you love dogs or not is not the issue here. The issue is he broke the law. So many people, including me, feel that he is being vilified in the public eye. Some of us want to rush to say it’s because he is black. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The color green trumps the colors white or black. The bottom line is, he’s a celebrity and there is nothing the American public is obsessed with more than seeing a celebrity tumble. Yes there are more heinous crimes out there like: Child molestation, Serial killings, Police brutality but ANYTIME you get a celebrity to fall from grace it is always going to make front page news in this country. Case in point, how many weeks was Paris Hilton in the news for having to serve 2-3 weeks in jail.

Although I am a Veterinarian and like dogs (and would never condone dog fighting), I am more disappointed in Mr. Vick as a black man who could not recognize that you can’t keep doing what you used to do in the hood and protect your investment in the NFL. Playing in the NFL is a privilege. Making Millions of dollars is a privilege. At what point do you put aside the lunacy that you used to do with your “boys”? At what point do you say to yourself, “If I fuck this up, I’m not only doing so for me but for my entire family?” I can’t feel sorry for this man because he put himself in this predicament. I only hope that he AND MANY OTHERS learn from this situation that sometimes you have to grow up and move away from what you USED to do in order protect what you ARE doing now.

-DM

Muata said...

Reader EJ responds to DM and then DM responds to EJ:

Paris was being viewd as a star! Vick is being viewed as less than human.

-EJ

I don't think the man is less than human. After all we all make mistakes as humans. Again, I can't feel sorry for him because he basically did this to himself. The simple facts are: Dog fighting is a felony in VA. Not to mention the racketeering charges, and interstate travel with intent to use dogs for this sport. He had every opportunity to disassociate himself from this lunacy for years and chose not to and this is the end result.

I am so over this topic that I refuse to watch the news until it dies down.

Like I said earlier, I just hope he and many others have learned from this mistake. Me personally, I wish that he doesn't have to do jail time. The man is already suffering from this mistake and will be for years to come. I think he would be better served to do community service to educate our youth on the pitfalls of criminal behavior and where it gets you.

-DM

Muata said...

Muata responds to the NAACP President's (RL White)comments regarding Michael Vick:

Even our so called leaders are rationalizing and interjecting other 'doings' and occurrences to a 'make point'. As long as we (black folk) continue to do this we will never be taken seriously in the world. In some countries (including Africa) we, black americans, are viewed as darn fools. When I was traveling/working every where with the Peace Corps I got tired of people questioning black americans behavior on NUMEROUS fronts, but what could I say: It is the white man's fault? And, even when I hinted to this they actually laughed at me. Seriously. Now, the NAACP is comparing hunting with dog fighting. Darn idiots! Hunting is LEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A white man told me years ago that when blacks do this (rationalization) they (white men) sit back and say, 'They (blacks) are not addressing the real issues. We got them again.' I sat there and almost cried. Why? BECAUSE HE IS RIGHT!!

Will someone tell that president of the NAACP in atlanta to SHUT-up and do nothing - but condemn Michael Vick. He deserves condemnation." -Muata

I know I sound so harsh, but I am disappointed with the 'black response' on this critical issue. We have not taken a move to have this situation to be a teaching or learning moment. All we have down is responded in a way that makes black people look like they support dog fighting.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader DM responds to the following statement:

"The law sees color."

DM responds with good information for us to think about:

Queen Latifah- Possesion of Marijuana- '96 and '99- No Jail Time

Eve-DUI '07 No jail time

Vivica- DUI '07 No jail time

Kimora Simmons - DUI '06 No Jail time

Foxy Brown- Assault No Jail time, 2nd case of Assuault -2 weeks in the Klink

Tracey Morgan- DUI (Multiple counts) '06 No Jail time

Snoop- 2nd degree Murder, Possession of Marijuana, Concealed weapon at an
airport- No jail Time

Jason Williams- 2nd degree Murder- No Jail Time

Jay-Z- Built an empire of Drug Money and Raps about it- Nothing said

O.J.- No explanation needed.

These are just some of the top.

Yes, celebrities are held to a different standard but again, there is no excuse for Mike's stupidity. Please believe
that even if Mike was a white man he would be going through the same thing. As a matter of fact, a white man was given 10 years for the same thing in Winston-Salem, NC when I practiced there.

-DM

Muata said...

Reader EJ responds to DM's information:

I will assume that you are of the opinion that they were guilty
regardless of what the courts said...I'm not making excuses for
anybodys bad behavior...but when the system will allow 6 black kids to be tried as adults and sentence them to 22 years in prison for a fight and NO MAIN STREAM MEDIA covers the story...WE HAVE A PROBLEM! But im sure it has nothing to do with color.

-EJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to EJ's last comment:

mainstream media has covered it (Jena Six story) and they continue to do so. not like i would prefer though. but, now, it is up to BLACK folk to do something about it. we won't as a group, EJ. it is that simple. genarlow wilson is still in jail. we marched. i marched. and, guess what? he has not been released. part of the reason why? MOST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA DON'T CARE. that is the truth! if they did we would have had thousands in the streets marching in the rain instead of a hundreds. face it man! we are divided, sold, bought, conquered, and defeated as a group. but, we don't care as long as we are 'comfortable' and as long as we got JESUS.

all i think DM is saying to some degree is that WE NEED TO STOP MENTIONING WHAT THEY (white folk) ARE DOING TO US, and FOCUS ON OUR DEVELOPMENT because we are not.

go to a libray and count the blacks in there. ask any black parent even in your neighborhood when was the last time they went to a PTA meeting. ask them if their children are required by them to read books over the summer instead of playing video games. ask them when was the last time they took their children to a play or a symphony. ask them when was the last time they allowed their children to look through a national geographic magazine. ask them if they even know where Zimbabwe is.

we have the issues/problems. the white man and his efforts to keep us down can be defeated with EDUCATION, sound PARENTING, proper NUTRITION, and all the other things YOU received or was assisted with from your parents.

i decided a long time ago to DAMN the white man if he selects to be a hurdle. it worked for me. i don't care what they do. I CAN BEAT THEM! many of us can't because we are LAZY ON ALL FRONTS, and damn stupid like MICHAEL D. VICK.

-Muata

Muata said...

One Reader is tired of the Vick case:

I've heard enough Vick news. -PM

Another reader decides to point out this:

15 soldiers died in one day last week! -EJ

Muata responds to EJ:

perhaps, this is a war that could have been prevented if more blacks would have come out and voted during the last two presidential elections?? just maybe. with more us voting a democrat would have been in office probably. (the democrats would not have had the balls to go to war anywhere)

i will forever put the ball back in the black man/woman's court. also, perhaps black soldiers would not be getting killed if we created a system of employment support like these white folk have. no, we allow our men to go get killed because they see no other options to survive.

WE ARE THE PROBLEM! let's fix it with doing what is necessary to make a change. we can begin this process by at least voting. i detest the black person who does not vote!

-Muata

FREEDOM said...

Freedom Gives a Personal Reflection about Her Dog (BULLET) who was like a Child to Her:

The love of dogs is more than a cultural thing in my opinion. While it is true that several African Americans do not have man’s and woman’s best friend living in their homes. However, many of us do.

I had a Rottweiler named Bullet. I had Bullet every since he was three months old and he always lived in the house with me. Bullet was my child since I did not have any children. I took him to the doctor (VET) to have his yearly physicals and shots. I was protective of him. Nobody or any other dog had better not mess with my Bullet, and since he was a Rott, I did not a problem with that. Nevertheless, if they tried my baby I would be all over them and their owners about my Lil Bullet. Bullet loved me I am sure of that. I loved him and treated him with love and kindness. Teaching him right from wrong like any good parent would do their child. He was spoiled. He used to always come lay his huge doggy frame next to me, it was as if he had to touch me or be under me. I loved that about him. When I came home from work or school his happyness would exude from his playful jumping all over me, ready for me to take him outside to play.

So, you see it is more than “these are just dogs”. To many people these are their children. They have cared for their dog(s) for many years and they have become a part of them and their lives.

When my ex and I split, we were fighting (not physically) over who was going to have Bullet. I was determined I was going to take Bullet with me, to end things though I decided to let him have Bullet. With a change of heart, he allowed me to take Bullet. And guess what, when I moved in with my mother I told her that Bullet was coming too and that he was sleeping in my room. She knew he was my baby and he was not going to live outside.



Bullet died on Mother’s Day in 2004, which was one the saddest and most difficult days of my life. I wrapped his stiff body up in a quit, drove him to my family’s property in the country, and buried him. I had my uncle dig a grave for him for me. I marked his grave with a stone I found and said a few words over is body and mourned for him. I remember crying and cousins saying, “I know you ain’t crying over a dog”. Then my uncle comforted me and said, “It is going to all right, don’t get depressed”. I could not get out of bed for a few days. I took his death hard because he was my child and there was no replacing him.

I said all of that to say as well, that these dogs may not be human like you and I, but they are. We should treat ALL animals with dignity because many of them are like children to their owners and what good parent would hang, beat, electrocute, or have their child raped. NO ONE!

-FREEDOM

FREEDOM said...

Freedom Gives another Correlation:

The question might be asked, ‘Freedom, are you comparing child abuse with animal cruelty?’

My answer: Damn Skippy!

The abuse of hanging, beating, drowning, electrocuting, and raping a child is definitely unacceptable and will NEVER be ACCEPTED nor TOLARTED. The persons that have committed these horrid crimes against children are SICK and Mentally Disturbed and needs some form of HELP. However, they would still be prosecuted to highest extent of the Law, as should those whom commit brutality and cruelty against animals.

It has also been determined that those whom kill and torture animals are Highly likely to have more psychotic tendencies to commit murder against another human being or become serial killers.

-Freedom

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

WE have to be conscious of what society is saying and doing and not feed into it. Yes, Michael Vick committed a crime, but does his punishment fit the crime? No. Punishment - meaning how the media and society is treating him He was fighting Pit bulls and the such. That's pretty much what they are bread to do. These animals kill people. It wasn't like he was fighting Cocker spaniels or Chihuahuas. White "folk" - (us too) pay hundreds of dollars to see 2 black men beat the sh_ t out of each other in a boxing match. Why isn't this a crime?

We have to be held responsible for what we do - yes. I'd rather him get caught for this crime and be dealt the fitting punishment, than he be caught for a crime like child molestation, beating his wife or girlfriend, murder, etc. But he has received the treatment for these type of crimes , even though he has not committed such a crime based on who and what he is.

We, as black people, have to recognize why certain actions are taken against black people and stand up for justice. Justice, not meaning that a black person get off scott free for a crime, but that they do not receive a harsher punishment for a crime based on their skin color and status in life.

We do need to stand together. Together we stand, divided we fall. I want to make sure he, she, and they are backed/supported in times of injustice, because one day, it could be me that's needs someone to stand up say, she is being treated unjustly.

Yes, we have to be held accountable for our actions, but the punishment must fit the crime that we commit.

That's all I have to say.

-AJ

Muata said...

Reader sends letter to the NAACP. Letter below:

Hello NAACP administrators,
My name is Adrian and I am writing to express my disappointment in the NAACP's handling of the Michael Vick case. In the beginning, there was an initial plea to not "pre-judge" the case before the legal process investigated the facts. While I agree with this stance, I am perplexed by the NAACP's recent actions. I do not understand why the NAACP applied political pressure to rile people up against the Duke lacrosse players. During this fiasco, the NAACP used its clout to advance an unjust case against innocent people. When the two cases are compared, there seems to be a glaring double standard that shatters the NAACP's credibility as an institution dedicated to social justice. There was a great deal of evidence against Michael Vick, while there was a single witness accusing the Duke lacrosse players. As you now know, Michael Vick has admitted his guilt while the accusations against the Duke lacrosse team were deemed fraudulent. Has the NAACP ever apologized for its part in this debacle?
I believe that the NAACP is responding more to the rage of its constituents than the demands of justice. This casts doubt upon the foundation for the NAACP's purported reason for existence. Upon further reflection, I have come to the conclusion that "advancement" is not sufficient grounds for the existence of an organization or for the betterment of society. "Advancement" is a neutral term, which has nothing to do with justice at all. Perhaps the NAACP should change its name. The National Association for the Accountability of Colored People would be much more compelling and useful.
I recently read that Mr. R.L. White has come out with a new statement that Michael Vick should not be banned from football forever. He also stated that Vick should be given a chance to "redeem himself." In my opinion, it is premature to talk about the redemption of Michael Vick before he has fully confessed and made some kind of amends for his sins. The bottom line is that nothing Vick does will bring back the innocent dogs that he murdered. Once an animal is tortured, it cannot be un-tortured. Of course, Michael Vick can confess his sin and receive forgiveness. However, the NAACP has failed to distinguish between true spiritual redemption and the resuscitation of a lucrative career. At this point, there is no evidence that any of Michael Vick's constitutional rights have been violated. It is unfortunate that the NAACP has taken this stance. It shows a profound lack of reflection and a lack of respect for our society's established policies and procedures. Above all, it shows that the organization's current leadership is making some very bad decisions. Leaders are called to shape an organization and offer guidance to its followers. It is always dangerous when unreflective and enraged constituents are allowed to guide an organization by applying pressure to weak leaders.
I hope that the NAACP re-thinks its position on this issue and decides to focus on more productive pursuits. I never believed that this case had anything to do with race, even when the NAACP was trying to push it in this direction. I believe that the Michael Vick case has everything to do with the brutal torture and murder of innocent creatures and the flagrant disrespect of federal and state law. Now that Vick has admitted his guilt, my position has not changed. I still do not believe that this case has anything to do with race, and nothing that the NAACP says or does will make me think otherwise. Thank you for taking the time to read this email. Best wishes to your organization in all of your future endeavors. Grace and peace.

****

Muata said...

Muata responds to letter sent to the NAACP:

this white man is RIGHT! his letter to the NAACP is something i should have written years ago. get it? years ago. they have been pathetically responding like this for years and not one BLACK person of political stature has said a word. don't get me wrong i respect the association, but i have contempt for many of their tactics and actions.

i guess i will close out on this one. no more from me on michael vick. he is toast! and a poor example for all children.

i guess i (a black man) should not have publicly agreed with this white man because he is white??

right and wrong should be colorless!!

look out for the next commentary entitled, Jena 6 is News.
it will be on the blog next week.

-Muata

Exodus Mentality said...

You happen to be one of the very few people that I have disagreed with over this entire issue, that I actually feel is deserving of a final response on this matter.

Simply as clarification, I didn't really hear that many calls of support for Michael Vick's dogfighting activities. What I actually heard were more calls for some sort of perspective on this whole sordid affair that did not work so very hard to demonize the young brother, mostly because he is a young Brother. Neither I, nor any intelligent person that I spoke to or heard, ever said anything about supporting Vick in his involvement with dogfigting. But that is the way our support for the person, Michael Vick, has been spun. I supported Michael getting a fair trial, without all of the baggage of daily dogfights (none of which had anything to do with the Vick case) being shoen on the 12, 6, and 11 news. That kind of coverage and worse was designed only to intensify negative feelings about Vick. I don't see that kind of negative publicity heaped an dpiled on any of the white superstars or celebrities you mentioned. In fact, I'm hard pressed to find a recent news article about Phil Spector, much less one that intentionally demonizes him and by association all similarly situated white men. This key difference in how Black men are treated is a crucial part of why we must be that much more vigilent when it comes to one of our own who has gotten caught up in the system.

And now that we are down to the penalty and punishment phase of this debacle, I am still concerned that Michael will ultimately be punished disproportionally to the crimes he has pled guilty to. You mention that a guilty plea "indicates to some degree that you are partially guilty or completely guilty". I think it's very telling that the federal prosecutor accepted a plea and allocution that DID NOT include admission of actual personal participation in dog fighting, gambling or receiving proceeds from gambling, or torture and killing of dogs. If they actually had him, dead to rights for doing all of that stuff, why would they let him get off without admitting to any of it? Maybe because all they had was uncorroborated co-conspirator testimony from people on whom they actually had real evidence?

He pled guilty to conspiracy and admitted that he provided the money for his co-conspirators activities. In my earliest statements about this affair, I said that he probably gave his boys the money and they did everything else. I said he probobly knew all about it, but did not actually take part in any of it. I said then, and I maintain now, that his offense lay not in his actions, but in his associations. The punishment, even thus far, has far outweighed the offense. Further punishments will be even more out of line, and will not serve any positive purpose.

But I do absolutely agree with you on the sad sorry stateof psuedo gansterism these days. One could almost respect the code of the old school gangsters, even while excoriating their activities. These days, if somebody calls themselves a gangster, I take it as proof positive that they are anything but. Like Master P said a long time ago, "Real Gangsters Don't Talk". I also agree with you that we should spend significant time and resources into working in our communities and with our youth to try to keep them away from the activities and attitudes that lead to criminal behavior.

I have nothing to back down about in my statements on this issue. There is nothing wrong with demanding that a criminal defendant be given the assumption of innocence, no matter how much "evidence" you may think is against them. There is no reason to apologize for taking that stance. There is nothing to apologize for when we stand up against the total character assassination of a man, especially when it comes from fringe radicals groups that selectively pick and choose their targets, while tacitly ignoring other substantially similar targets. There is nothing to apologize for, and it's rather strange that anyone should think there is. There is nothing to apologize for if one happens to believe that there is nothing morraly wrong with dog fighting. I don't personally feel that way, but I'm not going to pretend that I am morally superior to some one who does feel that way, any more than we set ourselves up as morally superior to people who hunt, or raise and kill animals for food, or go to Barcelona to watch a bull-fight.

Vick is going to do the time as a result of his doing the crime. But this case is not as cut and dried as that. Many cases involving Black folks in the criminal justice system are not as cut and dried as they want us to believe. The "Typical" Black response is and alsways should be fisrt to insure that we are not getting the short end of the justice stick. History has shown us that we can't expect that to happen without extreme diligence and often other extreme measures.