— The Trentonian, a 30,000-circulation daily based in Trenton, N.J., has an interesting dichotomy within today's pulpy editions. First comes the Page 1 banner head, Vicktory! Dog killer starts first game since leaving prison, leads Birds past Lions. That's rather blunt. Then comes this opinion column by L.A. Parker, in the same issue: Condemnation of Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick shows racist America placing pets before blacks. Excerpt:
The Vick description occurs because despite time served for whatever crime he committed in a dogfighting scandal, despite community service, and despite a thousand repentances, he never will receive forgiveness by PETA-peddlers (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) nor the millions of Americans who place poodles before humans, especially black homo sapiens.
America, land of the free and home to Native American genocide, slavery, gender persecution, segregation, and a litany of other indiscretions that affected millions, appears hell-bent on repeatedly lynching Vick, retelling his dogfighting connection until he screams Uncle Tom.
I'd like to point out that Mr. Parker has it exactly backwards. It was Vick and his cohorts who lynched dogs; hanging them from trees, in addition to attaching jumper cables to their ears, killing them by slamming them to the ground and crushing their skulls, drowning them (slowly) in pools, strangling them with their bare hands and shooting them. Not to mention the ones which died fighting each other for "entertainment." Because his Eagles teammates didn't witness any of this in person, they found Vick suitable for the Ed Block Courage Award in 2009 (this is true).
The reason I mention Mr. Parker's column is that when you peel away the racial hyperbole, you have something that's quite representative of the way that most Eagles fans -- and many people in general -- feel about Michael Vick; that's he's paid his debt to society, and we should just forget about the past and play some football.
"He did his time, he served his debt to society," said Malcolm Newton to the Delaware County (Pa.) Times. "At the end of they day, they're only dogs. He wasn't murdering humans."
Said Juanye Bradley: "I was never mad at him. It was a silly decision, but he went to jail for it."
OK, that's your opinion. Mine is that Vick is a borderline psychopath who was one stiff prison sentence away from possibly graduating from canines to humans. But Juanye is right: He did go to prison for it, he served his time, and now he's allowed to join society, have a driver's license and go to the movies on Friday night (although Lord hopes it's not to see Going the Distance).
But given that, it now becomes my decision as to whether I want to watch him in an NFL uniform. That's my choice, and it doesn't make me racist if the answer is no. In my opinion, it makes me human. So in conclusion, you suck, Vick, and you always will. My loathing of you is acute and colorblind. And Mr. Parker, don't cry "racist" until you've seen the contents of my CD collection, and my soul.