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?