Why We Should Apologize To Michael Vick

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IAugust 21, 2009

You read that right.  I have concluded that it is in fact the time to apologize to Michael Vick.  I have had an epiphany that the outrage against Vick is in fact, just a reflection on the paradoxical hypocrisy of white hubris.

"I'm not a racist, you're a racist, for thinking I'm a racist!"

I apologize.  It is that simple.

To demand contrition from someone like Vick is in essence a demand for submission.  To a person like Vick, that is just a call for him to once again be obsequious to a master, and you cannot spell obsequious without IOU (The Simpsons; Forrester, Brent; "Homer vs. Patty and Selma;" 1995).

Must be why some people think that the *real* message of Christ is about power.

That is why many people are unwilling to even apologize or understand the long-term ramifications and pernicious ripple-effect that slavery and segregation have had through the institutionalized hegemony over blacks by whites.  Whites are just as unwilling to concede as much through an apology.

The irony is that, someone like Vick knows that what he did was wrong.  He will even say that publicly, and want to mean it.  On another level, however, that will only erode the will power of someone like Vick. 

The more that someone like Vick has to apologize for a crime no matter how gruesome, the more it is a reminder that no one has apologized for the crimes that still affect communities created in the aftermath of slavery—the type of communities that gave birth to dog fighting.  Someone like Vick knows that his actions are wrong, but would rather bust you in the mouth than to apologize to you.

I can already hear the churlish cries of derision, and the hate mail: "bleeding heart," "what, “you’re an idiot," "this is awful," "irrelevant," "(fill in the blank)," so on and so forth.  If you do resort to such gauche responses, then I do not care about what you think.

I would hardly qualify as those things, and particularly not a, "bleeding heart."

I would rather not waste time by articulating the winnowing of my quixotic political history, but instead reduce it by bowdlerizing it.  Frankly, I no longer wish to fight the windmill: the truth I have known yet fought or ran from faster than Vick to the end zone. 

Since 1999, I have been a talk-radio fiend of the highest order, inculcated with the sublimated racism and callous that has now exploded into the histrionic, "audacity of dopes," that can actually compare a black guy to Hitler.

I used to bring Limbaugh's books to school, as well as a radio.  I would even defend his comments about Donovan McNabb back in 2003.

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly.  Yet, that is only the surface.  I like to say that I have been inside the belly of the beast.

As such, I have met quite a few bleeding brains.  I say that because their words now make me wonder if I am having an aneurysm.

Thus, I abjure.

I cannot condemn Michael Vick without considering the gruesome murder of James Byrd Jr. in 1998.

I think the thoughts that have lied beneath the Vick story are that many black people look at those acts of cruelty and think, "Hey that has been done to us."  At one time, people of African origin were treated like dogs and nothing more than property. 

That still happens.

The instance that stands out in my mind was the gruesome murder of James Byrd Jr.  There have been other instances where white people have treated non-white people as dogs, and instances where non-white people lashed back either immediately or over time.  To me, Byrd's murder in 1998 stands out the most.

I cannot conceive of a crime that is greater than the crimes committed by the institution of slavery, an institution that was in effect just codified genocide.  (On that note, other groups have been subjected to that oppression).

I cannot condemn Michael Vick without considering the destruction of countless lives through slavery and segregation and thus, the ability of a family to grow through the generations.

I cannot condemn Vick for hanging-around the misfits that collectively engaged in dog fighting, when I consider the reluctance by someone like Vick to abandon those that remain in the communities of perpetual squalor created in the aftermath of slavery and segregation.

Why though, should I apologize to Michael Vick?  After all, I never owned slaves; in fact, my family descended from the Azores Islands of Portugal, the North Country of England, and Scotland and immigrated to the US in the 20th Century.

The truth however is, slavery and segregation benefited white people, regardless of whether they owned slaves—just by the fact that those systems provided opportunities to whites to the detriment of blacks.

All you would get for being black was the knowledge that those who squandered those chances had taken them for granted.

All these blogs I have written in criticism of (fill in the blank), were just an escape from the truth: I in fact felt responsible for the behavior of Michael Vick.

I apologize.