America’s Next Bill Clinton!

Michael Vick, race and class

If you’ve tuned in to get an opinion on how long Michael Vick should be in jail for his crimes, you’re not going to get it here. Similarly, if you’re looking for a breakdown on how the Vick-less Falcons will now how to move on with journeyman quarterback Joey Harrington at an attempt to the yet-to-start NFL season, you’re not going to get that, either. There are other news sources, blogs and radio shows to talk about that, if you’re interested.

What you’re getting here is what seems to be missing from the mainstream media – the fact that, just has Michael Vick’s hope of playing under center this season is gone, so are the dreams of many young black men who, for too long, have been denied a chance in society because of the color of their skin.

In the end, no matter how long Vick goes to jail for, he’ll still be a millionaire. In the end, no matter how well the Falcons do this season (I am calling 6-10 in a strong division), their players and fans will still be privileged. But, with the Michael Vick controversies, the lives of thousands of black men will be affected, and negatively.

The image of African-American males in the media is already lacking, and in rare instances when they are represented, such images are usually not in a positive light. This only adds to such problems. To whom will the young black man look up to as a role model? Certainly not Michael Vick. For a very long time, Vick represented the American Dream – the dream of being born to teenage parents in the projects, yet working hard enough to the icon of the sporting world. Although I assert that children ought to seek role models in other areas, Vick represented to these young men, the fact that if you work hard enough, you can make something of yourself. But for Vick – and many young men, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare. To whom now shall young African American men turn as role models?

Furthermore, Vick isn’t helping with the image of Africa-American males. To mainstream society, and we know it’s not true, African-American males are seen as foolish, heartless individuals who make extremely bad decisions in life. Like it or not, who we appear to be does matter in society. I can only imagine the backlash and negativity African-American males will receive from it.

What upsets me is the tune in to any TV channel and you’ll get expert analysis of the Falcons’ season and Vick’s jail time. But I’ve  heard nothing at all about the lack of positive image of African-American males.

Everyone else has their role models. White young males have everyone. Young women have Hillary Clinton. Young Mormons have Mitt Romney. Indian-Americans have Dr. Sanjay Gupta. African-American women have Michael Jackson, and Asian-American males have …well, me.

What of the African-American males?

Want to be president? Sorry, you’re not a black or woman enough!

In 2004, I thought I had heard the stupid reason to not vote for a candidate. In the general elections, a woman was asked for whom she voted for by a reporter, and her answer was that she voted for George W. Bush? Why? Was it because she liked George W.’s foreign policies or because she was against John Kerry’s voting records? No. Her answer was that she voted for Bush because she didn’t like the way Kerry’s wife looked. As if, somehow, a politician’s success is depended upon whether his wife is a MILF.

Oh, but it gets better. With the 2008 Primary and General Elections just around the corner, that question that’s being asked, and a silly one at that, is: can Barrak Obama get the black votes, and can Hillary Clinton get the women votes? Excuse me, but I’ve always thought that we’re supposed to vote for candidates based on policies, and not just the color of skin they have, or whether they stand up or sit down to pee. It’s a pretty novel idea, isn’t it? Voting for candidates on issues that matter, but that’s kind of lost for most Americans.

But here’s the shocker, folks: some black voters are refusing to vote for Obama and some women are refusing to vote for Clinton because they are, respectively, neither black nor women enough.

Did I miss the shortbus heading for Partriarchy-ville or Idiotville driven by the Idiot of Seville? Let me get something straight: we’re supposed to be PUNISHING Obama for not being “black enough” or Clinton for not being “woman enough?” First of all, what the hell does that even mean? I am all for common experience, but a politician needn’t live on the “bad side of town” or have to bleed every month in order to share your experiences and plight, and fight for your rights. But, of course, people seem to think different – as if there is a shared common experience for all blacks and all women.

Secondly, why are you bitching about the lack of representation now? Why all the sudden, with actual viable candidate that you’re going to bitch and complain? Surely, for the last 50 years, you’ve not complained about how old, white men aren’t black or women enough, but now that Obama and Clinton are running, you’re bitching about them? If I had any hair, I’d be pulling them all out now (note: since writing that statement, I’ve found a few strings of hair under my armpits.)

Oh, yeah, because Bob Dole was more “black” than Obama, huh? And because guys like, oh, I don’t know, GWB, are more women and concerned about women more than Sen. Clinton, huh?

Go ahead – if you don’t think Obama or Clinton are black or women enough, then vote for Romney – he should be considered woman enough for you. At least you’ll get perspectives from Romney and his 25 wives, which I am sure, will only be officially introduced after he wins the presidency. Or better yet, vote for McCain over Obama – McCain has a black, adopted son. So, yeah, he’ll be more in touch with the experiences of blacks than will Obama, right? Go ahead, do it, and see your civil rights get set back 50 years.

The point is this: when you’re voting, please vote for the positions and the policies, and not just whether a person is not “black” or “woman” enough. Obama may not know what it’s like to grow up in the ghetto, and Clinton doesn’t like to show cleavage (nice attempt, though), but that shouldn’t matter; because I guarantee you, they’re more interested in your rights than McCain and Romney ever will.