by Kevin Franklin:
I was reading Les Bowen’s article on the Eagletarian blog on philly.com regarding Michael Vick and the racial divide and I had some thoughts of my own.
Tricky subject, this race thing. Writing about it exposes the writer’s flank to carrying his or her own racial agenda, regardless if it is a valid accusation or not. A black man and white man get into a traffic accident and before you know it, it is a racial incident in some people’s eyes. Silly, stupid people. Look, there are going to be racial apologists in every anthropological camp. There are going to be whites who defend the white guy just because he is white and blacks who defend the black guy for the very same reason. What we, the discerning public, need to do is stop being part of the public and start being individuals when it comes to dealing with yahoos like that. Facts matter little to people when it comes to protecting their own. It is a heartfelt, emotionally-charged belligerence which erupts within many the further the argument is advanced. You can’t talk logic with people who froth at the mouth, eschewing common sense or reason, which is why I refuse to talk politics or religion.
Frankly, I don’t give a damn about what “the public” thinks. The public is populated by stone-cold idiots. Have you ever looked around you at the store, a sporting event or mosh pit? Do you really feel you should care what these people think about anything? I don’t care what my fellow fans, fellow Caucasians, fellow males or fellow human beings think. A person who cares what others think on ethics, morals or justice is a gutless coward. Did Michael Vick serve enough time? Did he serve too much? Was the punishment just? Does any of that matter when I am watching the game? No. I’ll root for whatever person is wearing the Eagles uniform. I keep my personal politics away from my sports teams.
Look, people are going to divide and separate no matter how alike we are. We humans are tribal and find comfort and solace in being amongst others similar to ourselves. If we were all the same color, the divide on gender, age, religion, politics or whatever would all widen the chasm. If we even shared all those above attributes, people would STILL search for ways to have an “us and them” world view. We are all Star-Bellied Sneetches, whether we like it or not.
Looking for racial divides is a simple exercise. We all do it to some degree, either in our minds or our actions. No matter how “far” we’ve come as a society, it will never, ever go far enough. At what point can anyone logically say, “Ok, we’ve finally achieved racial equality – not just between whites and blacks, but between Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, etc., too”? Right. There will always be some element from each side which will point the finger at the other. That’s our lives, like it or not. I don’t care if Michael Vick is black or white. I don’t care if he served his time, be it too much or not enough. All I care about on Sunday is if he can convert a third and long in the fourth quarter. If he is on the field, then the powers that be in the law enforcement community, NFL offices and Philadelphia Eagles organization have allowed him to put on the shoulder pads and that is good enough for me. Call me an iconoclast, call me an idiot, call me an enigma, but that is ALL I care about at kickoff. I want to have my team win that game even if Bernie Madoff or Charles Manson is under center.
The key to all of this racial divide nonsense is to take care of your own house. Don’t worry about what the trash says about this athlete or that athlete. We already have enough stupid, overly-opinionated clowns calling into sports talk radio to last an eternity. You’re an adult so think for yourself for once and tell “the public” to go to hell. You may disagree and not care what I have to say. Good for you, because you shouldn’t have to care. You have your own thoughts, I hope. Just don’t try to make them mine.
Those are my thoughts and they are my own.
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