I think this is belongs in political forum? If not, then please move to approriate forum, thanks.
NAACP is out of line in Vick case
July 31, 2007
BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
The NAACP should just remain quiet.
The civil rights organization's Atlanta chapter came to Michael Vick's defense Monday, chastising those rushing to judge the embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback before he has fully exhausted the criminal court process. But in its rush for sufficient camera time, the NAACP conveniently forgot that nobody has compromised Vick's constitutional or civil rights.
If the NAACP demands involvement in Vick's legal and career difficulties, it should concentrate on shedding more public light on the sadistic subculture of dogfighting and possibly how prominent the role of the millionaire black athlete is in this disgusting practice. It should question its own hypocrisy in having no critical complaint whatsoever with Vick and other high-profile black athletes making millions off the exploitation of financially challenged black kids who must have the right athletic shoe even if it costs 200 bucks, but then rips Nike for severing ties with Vick last week simply because Nike buckled from intense public pressure after the dogfighting charges.
There's a corporate lesson here that even the most morally vacuous business organization still has limits to its tolerance.
The NAACP should look at the Vick investigation as the impetus for looking deeper within itself and demand similar introspection from its constituency. Merely framing Vick's self-inflicted legal and career difficulties as a budding racial conflict is counterproductive.
Vick's problems involve race only from the human race perspective.
"If Mr. Vick is guilty," Atlanta NAACP chapter president R.L. Price said during a news briefing Monday morning, "he should pay for his crime. But to treat him as he's being treated now is also a crime."
The NAACP, in this regard, is guilty of that comfortable "picking on the brother" mentality that perpetuates a culture bent toward reflexively painting itself as the perpetual victim of social injustice.
Vick doesn't need the NAACP watching his back.
He's getting his due process more than the average defendant. Does every defendant have access to one of the country's premier criminal defensive attorneys, Billy Martin? Does every defendant have access to powerful public relations firms commissioned to soften a hardened national image before he faces trial in November?
The constitutional protection of "innocent until proven guilty" pertains exclusively to government criminal accusations. That's it. It has absolutely no legal bearing on a private employer, such as the NFL, Nike or Reebok, that bases its business judgments on public consumption. That requires keeping a hand on the pulse of public opinion, and that's a court where a lesser standard of character evaluation weighs heavily in the final assessment.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Feds indicted Vick and his associates on dogfighting conspiracy charges, but it's only now that the NAACP felt compelled to render its thoughts. What took it so long? I hope it's not because it was blindsided by the spreading national outrage over animal cruelty.
It's personally revolting listening to those questioning the tremendous outpouring of contempt as "they're only dogs, not people."
There's a singular distaste surrounding the alleged depravity listed in the federal indictment that separates this criminal investigation from the other high-exposure cases like Kobe Bryant and the Duke lacrosse rape allegations.
Whether or not you believe his story, Bryant's defense was that it was consensual sex with a hotel employee.
Did the pit bulls buried on Vick's property offer their consent for such perverse manipulation?
The NAACP has successfully positioned itself as a defender of the defenseless, but in this particular case, it missed the mark.
Contact DREW SHARP at 313-223-4055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.