ESPN has an intriguing article on the situation. It begins,
A History of Mistrust
Having trouble understanding why so many black Atlantans see the Michael Vick case as a racial conspiracy? Try walking a mile in their shoes...
I thought the article does a great job of outlining the overwhelming role race plays in peoples' reactions whenever drama such as this plays out so publicly, especially in the south. One can quickly remember how quickly blacks sought to defend OJ a decade ago.
To be honest, though, I do wonder if the reaction is greater because Vick is black. Lang Whitaker points out,
Obviously, the food we eat — and yes, I am a world class carnivore — isn’t made to fight each other before we tuck into it, but is it any worse to electrocute a dog than it is to shoot a bolt into a cow’s head? Nobody cares that Brett Favre, the NFL’s golden child, spends his off-season in the wilderness hunting unsuspecting animals?
I too, though a dogowner, wonder if this issue is being blown up more than it should be. The Sports Guy notes,
Vick could have been accused of murdering a stripper, blowing up a shopping mall or funneling his Nike money to Al Qaeda, and people wouldn't have been even 1% as outraged as they are about the dogfighting allegations. You can get away with just about anything these days; just don't tick off dog lovers.
Is the dog worthy of more moral consideration only because it's domesticated? Is the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' discarded when the defendent is black? Tough questions, but worth asking.