Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vick Kills Dogs, DL Sticks it to Sisters

Is this the new face of Free Speech?

A number of people have been asking me to use the blog to respond to a myriad of current events. Usually, I can sidestep these requests with skill and ease. However, there are two pop issues that I probably should address.

Here goes...

1) I don't really like dogs. I once owned a mixed breed (I grew up using the term "mutt" but, apparently, dogs deserve as much respect, with regard to how they're labeled, as humans) named Tank, who, somewhat ironically, was run over by a Ford Fairmont station wagon. Ever since, it's been difficult for me to bond emotionally with canines. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate them. I merely believe that they occupy far too much real estate in the American consciousness. It's as if Americans, weaned on the legend of Old Yeller and television reruns of Lassie, assume that there is a direct correlation between their patriotism and the number of times they've allowed Max to climb up on their beds and kiss them in the mouths. And when dog owners invariably compare their living property with children....don't even get me started on that.

Having made my bias crystal clear, I have to admit that I don't exactly hate Michael Vick. Am I an apologist for him? Absolutely not. The crimes for which he'll be entering a plea are both morally repulsive and prosecution-worthy. But I, like many others, have certainly noticed the, let's say complexion of the disdain for Vick and it makes me uncomfortable. It also raises another issue. I don't think many white Americans, particularly sports enthusiasts, have ever felt loose and easy with Number 7. Michael Vick's style of play - decidedly athletic and freewheeling and, let's face it, BLACK - has engendered a reaction from some whites that ranges from curiosity to outright contempt. This isn't a non-issue. I believe that if a traditional quarterback like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady had committed these atrocities, the public call for blood would be noticeably more muted. For Joe Sixpack, Vick's more significant crime might be not learning to stay his ass in the pocket. As always though, I could be wrong.

2) I think that the outrage borne out of DL Hughley's comments is deserved and righteous. After having read a combative and pointedly unremorseful interview with him, I'm even more disappointed. Let's keep in mind that Hughley chose to dog these women on the most popular late night television in the country, and did so in front of a predominately white audience. This ain't the Chitlin' Circuit to which he's accustomed. Furthermore, Hughley's "truth" - that these women are "some of the ugliest women I've ever seen" - is completely subjective and undoubtedly colored by white, racist standards of beauty. Also, his statements were fresh on the heels of the Imus debacle. Haven't these women had to endure enough public ridicule? AND, despite his poorly thought out intentions, the shit that he said wasn't even funny.

Before you Free Speech absolutists start foaming at the mouth, I'd argue that this isn't a free speech issue. No sensible person makes a Free Speech Mountain out of a Faux Pas molehill. Did DL Hughley have the right to say what he said? Damn tootin'. Should his social responsibility as a black man living in a historically and presently racist country outweigh his desire to sneak one in at the expense of black women in general and the Rutger's Women's Basketball team in particular? Hell yes.

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At 6:53 PM , Blogger Clifton said...

I hate to bring up old stuff but shouldn't we be organizing to get D.L. off of the air too? These brothers make my point everyday. As far as Vick goes, I got into him pretty good for not being responsible but I had no idea these people would get this thirsty for his blood. Kind of makes me see why we tend to support our own even when they are wrong.

At 11:15 PM , Blogger John said...

D.L. What a dumbass. He has historically been a BAD comedian. Honestly, I don't know how he has become sucessful. His attack of the Rutgers players was completely idiotic. Not to mention his "bojangling" for the white audience on the Tonight show. It reminded me of the time Cedric the Entertainer took the opportunity to degrade Condoleeza Rice with ghetto comedy at a White House function WITH the President in attendance! (no, I'm not a Rice or Bush fan, but it was black on black buffonery is my point) Back to D.L. even the show's host cut his dumbass off. Sheesh! Get a damn clue already Hughley.

I'm going to put the Vick thing to rest after this. Sure, he is being crucified and race does play a role in his pursecution. Yep, he committed a heinous crime. He should be punished without a doubt. And yes, he is still a sentient man that is responsible for his own actions. In my view his entire situation is a 3-part puzzle in which he had total control over two of the pieces. Those pieces being his own actions and the company that he chose to keep. He can't change being black and the perceptions that come with it. He should have KNOWN that whatever he did, whatever he gave them, would be blown wide open. I really don't have much sympathy for him.

At 8:47 AM , Blogger Breez said...

First and foremost, thanks for the compliment, and for visiting my spot! :-)

Not a fan of his, but I agree with him saying that he is consistent. He said years ago that he was against B.S. apologies. He's always been abrasive and insulting. That's his schtick. He's not any good, but it's what he does.

Aruguably, could one of his reasons behind saying they were some of the ugliest women he's ever seen COULD be due to a fixation with the European concept of beauty? Sure. But, it could also be because one of the women looked like Jay-Z, another looked like the Crypt Keeper, and another looked like what I imagined that tall broad on Duece Bigelow looked like from the neck up. (Let's keep in mind there are white women on that team and he didn't single out them as "some of the ugliest sistas.") Now, it was not nice, funny, those ladies had been through enough, and I just find the world a generally better place when dude keeps his mouth shut.

Side note: I'm also not beefing with his use of the word nappy. As a matter of fact I appreciate the fact that he acknowledged that HE is nappy, is a decendent of and is married to folks of the nappy variety. "Nappy" to be honest, is a "bad word" because WE made it as such. WE decided that our hair was unacceptable in its nappy state, so being nappy is our dirty little secret. I could go on and further explain, but I don't want to turn your comments section into my own personal soapbox.

That being said, I would not shed a tear if the sets of S.O.B. and all the rest of the BET travesties of entertainment spontaneously combusted.

At 9:53 AM , Blogger Changeseeker said...

Well put and right on the money. And I forgot how funny you are, ACT. I need to get over here more often. Keep up the good work.


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