Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pick Your Vick

Michael Vick is the anti-Obama. Both boast African roots, but one evinces HOPE (however crumbling) while the other incites hatred. To many white reactionaries, there's little if any difference between the two. To whites who fancy themselves more evolved, Vick is a godsend, a Black celeb they can despise for "decent" reasons. In America, numerous white people need someone darker to fear, hate, or scapegoat; someone on whom they may project all that is poisonous in them.

Michael Vick fills the bill.

Over the weekend, I followed anti-Vick outrage on several sports sites and threads. I joined in one particularly contentious forum, arguing that unless you're a vegetarian, or better a vegan, then you really have no moral leg to stand on when denouncing Vick. What is done to cows and pigs, also mammals, is far more brutal than what Vick did to dogs. There are several slaughterhouse fortunes, backed by corporate wealth. How much big money do dog fighting promoters make?

On top of all this, intelligent mammals are eaten after being tortured. Or worn as fashionable accessories. Good thing Vick didn't market pit bull patties or canine fur coats. Can you imagine the righteous wailing?

Well, this line of reasoning did not go over very well. First, I was accused of polluting a sports thread with politics (as if politics and sports are somehow separate), then I was grilled, so to speak, for being a moral relativist. Any good American knows the difference between slitting a pig's throat while it hangs upside down from a meat hook, and a dog strung up by a noose. The former is food, the latter a friend. That they possess roughly the same level of intelligence is immaterial. Pigs simply taste better and make for successful cook-outs. Dogs are there to eat the scraps. God sorted this out ages ago.

Attacking this tidy arrangement is a fool's errand. Americans cling to arbitrary distinctions like, well, a pit bull on a pork loin. Given what the real world delivers daily, such tenacity makes sense. I knew this going in, but tapped away regardless, trying honestly to shift someone's perception, if only to seem sane to myself. A couple of them bit. The rest acted insulted, accusing me of defending Vick's cruelty no matter how many times I denounced his violence. A dog is superior to a baked ham or leather upholstery. End of discussion.

Maybe so. Still, this doesn't fully explain the rage poured on Vick while veal calves are carved up and served to discerning diners. There's more to it than canine abuse. And what's truly hilarious are those Philadelphia Eagles fans who decried Vick's signing. Eagles fans are among the most abusive and violent in the NFL (no small feat). The amount of pig flesh they cram down their throats before and during games keeps abattoir torture functional and profitable. They're not alone, of course, but Vick's on their team. Should he help the Eagles win the Super Bowl, you can bet their concern for pups will dissipate. Winning it all helps the healing process immensely. Hasn't the man paid his debt to society?

But all that's down the proverbial road. For now, Vick serves his cultural function. If it wasn't him, it would be someone else.

Interestingly enough, the anti-Vick Obama has far more blood on his hands. Human blood. The blood of children, among unfortunate others. That reactionaries fantasize and project all manner of evil on the man doesn't make Obama's killing any less real. Where's the mass outrage about this? Why aren't evolved whites who proudly wore Obama buttons and boasted about voting for a Black man doing all they can to stop this murderous process? For if the evolved don't seriously protest, who will?

Don't tell me that Afghan children are inferior to American pit bulls -- are they?