ESPN undertook the valiant and much needed task of discussing the culpability and circumstances of Michael Vick's unfortunate fall from grace.
Assembling a panel consisting of Neil Boortz, Terrence Moore, Selena Roberts, and Terrence Mathis, obviously, ESPN intended a panel of the brightest and most relevant personalities available to ensure that a productive discussion would take place, and that a reasonable outcome would result. This was no exercise in futulity, to be sure.
The crowd, not surprisingly since it is Atlanta, was full of Vick supporters. And, we would assume that the pro-Vick applause are reflective of the feelings around the nation.
The discussion was led by Bob Ley and was an informed, interesting and highly necessary endeavor. Necessary, because many still haven't, in their own minds, resolved exactly what transpired. Perhaps the most telling and most pertinant aspect of the meeting was the pro-Vick crowd's response to white panelist Neil Boortz and Selena Roberts.
Both Boortz and Roberts made comments to the effect that the Falcons enabled this. The Falcons never properly took Vick aside early on and laid down the necessary groundwork to ensure he was adapting to his situation properly. Certainly, the informed and reasonable Vick supporting crowd applauded this sentiment. And, more certainly, the white panelists weren't pandering to the melanin rich audience.
It was disturbing when Negro panelists Terrence Moore and Chuck Smith made insinuations that Vick should be held accountable, that he is a grown man and is responsible for his own actions and decisions. Such blatant bojangling was an insult to not only Vick, but every Negro in the crowd.
The crowd, rightfully, scoffed at this notion and found comfort and satisfaction in Roberts' accusation that Vick would not have been treated this way if he were not Negro.
Further showing their understanding of the situation, the crowd booed and mocked a director of the Humane Society who had been invited to speak. It was uplifting to see the crowd denounce the gestapo tactics employed by the Society in publicizing the Vick case.
Terrence Mathis spoke to the value of Michael Vick to the city of Atlanta. A Negro sports icon in the Negro capital city. The crowd agreed that it was inherently wrong and it was tantamount to a slap at the Negro citizens of the city to take him away.
At this point, we stopped watching.
During a commercial, we flipped to Judge Mathis.
He was busy admonishing a young Negro male who felt that he was not required to pay back his debt of borrowed money to his cousin.
The young Negro defendant argued that he had been disadvantaged and made some bad choices. And that he just didn't think it was reasonable that he should be held to his word and forced to pay back his debt.
Judge Mathis broke into some gobbly gook about personal responsibility and that when one makes bad decisions, the person who made the bad decisions is still accountable.
We believe Judge Mathis should watch ESPN's town hall meeting.
Clearly, his outlook needs to change and get in line with the sentiments held in the Negro capital city.
If judges currently seated hold the same notions as this former judge...it's no wonder Vick plead guilty.