Are You Surprised?
By Beverly Hicks Burch
The circus continues and it has reached the point that I can no longer keep quiet. Unfortunately, this is the Michael Vick circus and not the Barnum and Bailey variety. There are no clowns in this parade as the circus marches down the main street of America as once again the dark and ugly underbelly of professional sports and its participants is revealed.
Sadly, now the NAACP is jumping in and making this a racial issue as are other leaders in the black community. The television screen was full pre-I35W Minneapolis bridge collapse of African-American “leaders” pleading the cause of Michael Vick, begging the public to give this “fine” young man a chance, pointing out there’s very little evidence against him, accusing he is being tried in the media and court of public opinion and that “everyone is innocent until proven guilty”. (It’s odd, but these very same “leaders” were on any venue that would show their face, trying the Duke Lacrosse players case in the media, castigating them, declaring their guilt and demanding justice. I guess what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander so to speak in this case.)
Michael Vick himself has been heard giving phone interviews on the radio attributing his woes to family members who “had not been doing the right thing” and were living on his property. He said it was too bad he’d have to take the heat for them. Awwww….what a guy…
He was also heard invoking God…as in God will help him, poor little persecuted Mike Vick and give him grace and see him through. I just hate it when some screw up invokes the good name of God to cover up his mistakes and try and make himself look better. I have one word for Michael Vick at the moment…poser. Of course, that’s the least of his worries. Let’s take a really good hard look at the mess Mr. Michael Vick finds himself in.
In case any of you have been living in a cave, in a coma or on the mothership the last few months and have missed the luxury of news and media hype and don’t know who Mike Vick, AKA Michael Vick is…let me oblige…
Michael Vick is/was an Atlanta Falcons professional football player. He is accused of being involved in and most likely the ringleader behind one of the biggest scandals to hit pro sports since probably the Pete Rose gambling scandal. Only this is a dark-hearted thing he’s involved in…dog fighting and abuse to animals beyond imagination for the sake of sport and betting. Right now Mr. Vick is as about as popular as herpes at a virgin convention.
You may be asking, “What is the case against him?”
Well, I don’t know what the NAACP and other leaders of the black community consider “substantial evidence”, but, I bet if I shoplifted a pack of hairpins from Wal-Mart, a 19 page indictment would nail my hide to the wall. Yep, that’s one of the things they have against Mr. Vick…19 pages of gory details…and truck loads of evidence they toted off from his property…note: I didn’t say wagon loads…I said truck loads of evidence.
Let’s take a look at the evidence and examine the Michael Vick saga:
· In June 2001 when Michael Vick was a star rookie out of Virginia Tech, he buys a property in Smithfield, VA.
· Shortly after buying the property, in early 2002, Mike Vick establishes a kennel and names it Bad Newz Kennel.
· Mike Vick and his associates buy shirts and headbands with the kennel name and logo to promote the kennel.
· The Humane Society of the United States begins to hear rumors of dog fighting and inhumane treatment of animals on the Vick property, but is unable to prove anything without getting on the property. The world of dog fighting is very closed and secretive.
·In April 2007, law enforcement officials execute a search warrant on Vick’s Surry County, VA property for a drug search in response to an arrest of Vick’s cousin who had listed Vick’s home as his address. When the house was searched, the officials found a nightmare of abused dogs and the evidence of a dog fighting operation.
· Close to 70 dogs were removed from Vick’s property. Most of these dogs were pit bulls. About 10 of the dogs were Beagles who are commonly used in dog fighting arenas as bait for training the larger pit bulls to attack.
· Also seized on Vick’s property were: suspected marijuana, guns including a semi-automatic gold metal 45 caliber weapon, illegal ammo and paperwork related to a dog fighting operation.
· Evidenced seized on the property included: treadmills used in “training” the dogs, whips, break sticks, injectable drugs, a scale with a hook used to weigh the dogs and a rape stand used on aggressive female dogs during breeding.
· Many of the dogs had scarring, wounds or eye problems.
· There was no food, water of vet care on the grounds for the dogs. They were malnourished. This was done for the purpose to keep the dogs aggressive and in fighting form.
· 3o of the dogs were tethered by large logging chains to car axles that had been buried in the ground. They were just close enough to each other to keep hostilities aroused, but far enough away from each other to not make contact.
· Witnesses have placed Vick personally at the execution of at least eight dogs who were drowned, hung, electrocuted, slammed repeatedly to the ground or shot to death after being found unsuitable for fighting or loosing a fight.
· Vick and his associates placed bets on the dog fights. Vick personally received a book bag containing $23,000 to pay off the purse of a winning fight.
· Investigators and officials have said this is one of the most elaborate and biggest dog fighting compounds they have come upon.
· Reebok has suspended its endorsement campaign with Vick and he has been suspended from the Atlanta Falcon training camp.
Well, they say the prove is in the pudding, and from what I’ve seen, I would say Mr. Vick’s pudding is as thick as thieves.
It appears one of the main points of contention the NAACP has with this case is the fact this fine young man, Michael Vick is being denied the “right” to play football this fall. The world may actually stop rotating because of that fact. They hold up the fact that Kobe Bryant was allowed to play basketball during his “rape” debacle. Well, first, how much higher of a standard can we find to measure Vick to than an accused rapist at worst and a low-life, scum sucking, cheating adulterer at best? Right…real high standards I’d want my young child to emulate.
Next, the cases are not even the same thing. Kobe Bryant’s case was a he said/she said affair. She claimed raped…he said one night stand. Once again, the 19 page indictment is pretty damning and specific…enough to make Vick pause and get his house in order before he pursues the rest of his life…there are three other defendants involved, some who have fingered Vick and some other non-named witnesses placing Vick at some pretty damning places. The last I heard Kobe Bryant had no such co-defendants dishing out such incriminating information during his run in with the law.
Next, the NAACP and Vick supporters are complaining he is being tried in the media and not given a “fair” shake…that the evidence is just not there and everyone is innocent until proven guilty and he should be tried in a court of law. Well, actually, I agree here…with a caveat. Everyone does deserve a fair trail, but some cases are pretty one sided from the start.
For example, recently there was a horrific murder in a Connecticut suburb in which a doctor was savagely beaten and his wife and two daughters were raped and then brutally murdered. It was a murder reminiscent of the killings Truman Capote chronicled in his groundbreaking book In Cold Blood. In the recent Connecticut case, the police caught the two perps red-handed so to speak, fleeing the scene of the crime in one of the family’s vehicles after they had burnt the bodies of the women and torched the house. The recently paroled cons rammed the police cruisers with their getaway car as they were attempting to flee.
Now, in NAACP-speak, these guys may have the disadvantage of being tried in the media with “very little evidence”. In my book, it looks like a pretty clear cut case, but they do deserve a fair trial…based on the evidence they left in breadcrumb style like Hansel and Gretel…kinda like Michael Vick.
People, this is not a conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, right-wing or left-wing issue. This is a humane issue, a decency issue. Violence begets violence pure and simple. Are you surprised to know that most murders and serial killers abused small animals?
And before Mr. Vick starts invoking God’s name, he better know what he’s talking about first. In other words, he better know how to walk the walk and talk the talk. You see, you might be surprised to know this East Tennessee born, Alabama raised gal was raised in a Bible believing family. In addition to being a highly intelligent man, mechanical engineer and project manager, my dad was also a Bible scholar and after retiring (the first time) from engineering he was also a pastor.
So, Michael, if you’re listening and if you believe in the God who’s name you invoke, this is what His Word has to say on the subject:
You see in the very beginning the subject was addressed in Genesis…the first chapter actually. And Michael, are you surprised to know that according to the Biblical account, God created fish of the sea and the birds of the sky first…on the 5th day of creation. Then, on the 6th day of creation maybe you would be surprised to learn that the God you invoke created the animals of the land. Guess what God created last? Yes, man. He created man last on the 6th day in His own image. I like to think He created man in His image so we could more aptly carry out with compassion, love, intelligence, kindness and care what He asked us to do in Genesis 1:28…which is to lovingly and wisely be good stewards of the earth and creatures on the planet.
Then in Genesis 2:15, God put Adam in the Garden of Eden to “keep”…translate take care of it and in Genesis 2:19-20 God has Adam to name the beasts of the earth. Nowhere in that first week did they schedule a dog fight…yeah, I know…sarcasm…touché…the Good Book just doesn’t call for animal abuse.
My point, Michael, if you’re calling down God on this one…think again…I don’t think what’s been going on at your place is considered good stewardship in anyone’s book…are you really surprised?
© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.