Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vickkampf: the Voice of Reason is...Terrence Moore?

I'll give credit where credit is due: Terrence Moore has an outstanding column this morning regarding the Vick supporters that ESPN crammed into the Georgia World Congress Center to create as much drama and division as possible. Here's the highlight:

So, after several hundred folks on Tuesday night represented many among the “they” by embarrassing themselves and an entire city on national television with senseless booing and hissing during what was supposed to be a civil debate, they couldn’t care less.

This is beyond disgusting, and it needs to stop. Those nationally and locally who keep suggesting that Michael Vick has become a martyr around Atlanta because of the city’s legendary ties to the civil-rights movement are spitting on the graves of Martin, Malcolm, Sojourner, Rosa, W.E.B., Booker T and Frederick.

I only caught about 20 minutes of the Town Hall Meeting when I got home from work the other day, but my prevailing reaction was that the people in the audience have formed a cult of personality around Michael Vick and are completely blind to any form of rational thought on the issue. I'd like to think that the story should not be viewed through a prism of race and that it's just about one guy with remarkably poor judgment pissing away a promising career, but that's a hard position to take when he is backed by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. The people in the audience hooted at anyone who said anything remotely critical of Vick, including Terrence Moore (black), Terrence Mathis (black), and Chuck Smith (black). I won't even begin to discuss their outrage at the notion - advanced by Chuck Smith, John Kincaid, Neal Boortz, and just about anyone else with an ounce of clear thinking - that Vick should play again, but that he won't do so in Atlanta. OK, I'll say one thing about that. One of the first statements out of Vick's mouth after he pled guilty was to apologize to Arthur Blank and the Falcons for lying to them and letting them down. How in the world could Vick possibly come back to a team that he screwed, as himself acknowledges?

Overall, I'm happy that ESPN wasn't able to find our white racists to create a Geraldo atmosphere, although I'm sure that it's not for lack of trying. I'm happy that the panel of speakers was multi-racial and demonstrated agreement as to the seriousness of Vick's predicament and the future for him and the Falcons. And in a weird way, I'm happy that the extreme wing of der Vickgruppen were exposed as being totally irrational. All that said, I'm sad that the NAACP (or at least the Atlanta chapter) has stooped to this level, I'm sad that ESPN thought that this show would be a good idea, and I'm sad that I watched 20 minutes and then spent 15 minutes writing about it.


peacedog said...

If the Atlanta chapter stoops to this level, surely National has a hand in it? "Local" NAACP chapters stooping seems to be a common theme of late.

Michael said...

Supposedly, the national organization disagreed strenuously with the local chapter over its decision to support Vick.

hoodawg said...

The NAACP is one of the most decentralized interest groups around. The national organization has no control or influence over its constituent groups, and the chapters are in complete control over their message and leadership.

Thus, all you're getting when you hear the Atlanta NAACP's word on something is exactly that -- a group of folks in Atlanta who have set up and joined an NAACP chapter. Since you could argue that their membership is, to some degree, biased in the very way that Moore describes, I'd say they are among the least reliable sources for advice on the issue.

None of this explains why the racial divide on OJ continues to this day, though. That defies description.

peacedog said...

Ahhh, well good for them (The national guys, anyway).

hoodawg, isn't the same cult of personality thing at work with OJ too? Now, the fact that the prosecution were made to look so foolish certainly helped his trial and post trial preception. But weren't there people rooting for the star there too (and still doing it)?