As some of you may have read, New York Times columnist Juliet Macur wrote a ridiculously long op-ed article for the Times website in which she trashes former Eagles quarter-back Michael Vick while eulogizing several dogs who died from abuse. While it contains plenty of snide remarks, one is at a loss to find any similar amount of empathy in her columns for the endless amount of unarmed Black people gunned and clubbed down by police officers nearly every day in the same nation. Fortunately, Michael Arceneaux of NewsOne wrote the most appropriate rebuttal to the rubbish that is Macur’s column which I felt compelled to re-blog. Melissa Harris Perry also wrote an insightful piece back in 2010 detailing the troubling history many white Americans have of showing more empathy towards animals than they do for nonwhite human beings. In it she shared how “in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina dozens of people sent me a link to an image of pets being evacuated on an air conditioned bus. This image was a sickening juxtaposition to the conditions faced by tens of thousands of black residents trapped by the storm and it provoked great anger and pain for those who sent it to me.”
Consider for a moment that Michael Vick spent more time behind the brutal walls of prison than Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who murdered 22-year old Oscar Grant in cold blood in 2009, ever did. Or, more recently, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges after following and executing 17-year old Trayvon Martin just last year! These are just a few examples of many we may never even hear about, especially when considering the conclusion of a 2012 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report demonstrating that “every thirty-six hours another Black woman, man or child is killed by police or security guards and self-appointed law enforcers.”
And, while I don’t endorse dog-fighting as a sport nor do I endorse abuse of animals of any kind, the outrage that resulted in Michael Vick’s conviction always reminds of these lyrics to a Lil’ Boosie song, lyrics which ring more true every day:
“Look at Michael Vick. All that shit behind some pics.
This fuckin’ world make me sick.
When they kill deer and put ’em on the wall & glorify ’em…
We fight dogs, y’all fight chickens. What’s the fuckin’ difference?!”