Claim: Open letter to the Atlanta NAACP protests the chapter president’s support of Michael Vick.
Status: Multiple — see below.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2007]
Saturday, August 18, 2007
An Open Letter To The Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP.
Dear Dr. R L White, Head of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP.
My name is Mike. I am 27, and I am neither a member of your organization nor a resident of Atlanta. Normally I wouldn’t bother you, but then I came across this article, and it compelled me to write. Since I am white, I am going to tread carefully, so as not to offend your gentle sensibilities. But,
case was not a race issue. It was about killing dogs. And if there is one thing people don’t stand for, regardless of race, it’s killing dogs. You compared it to deer hunting. Again,
Here’s the thing, Dr. White. The reason people were outraged by this was because he killed dogs. If Ben Roethlisberger or Brett Favre had done it, the reaction would have been the same, I guarantee you. The difference is, had Ben Roethlisberger or Brett Favre done this, you wouldn’t see white supporters rallying behind them, proclaiming he was innocent in the face of damning evidence, supporting him regardless of the outcome. Let me let you in on a secret about white people; when one of our own makes us look bad, we condemn him and disown him. I suggest you adopt a similar policy. If your group’s mission is truly to advance ‘colored’ people (your word, not mine) you’d best disassociate from the idiots in your race. It can’t go wrong, trust me.
Anyway, Dr. White, I don’t want this to come off as racist, because it isn’t. Michael Vick is a despicable person who happens to be black. The sooner you realize that, the less of a dumb **** you’ll look like.
Origins: When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was arrested and indicted on federal charges relating to his involvement with staged dogfights (to which he later pled guilty) in August 2007, he potentially stood to lose not only his freedom (to a prison sentence), but also his career (if the NFL should choose to permanently bar him over the issue) and up to
One such supporter was
“I think [the scrutiny of Vick is] racially influenced as well. Obviously celebrities are scrutinized, but he has attracted scrutiny prior to this case for no other reason than because of his ‘thuggish’ image. That persona may have turned some people off, and when people see that they assume you’ve done something wrong. He’s definitely getting attention because of his celebrity, but in terms of people’s judgment of his guilt, that’s essentially racial profiling. He’s been completely vilified.”
Dr. White also proclaimed to the press that:
White also said he didn’t understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable. He urged the National Football League, the Atlanta Falcons and Vick’s commercial sponsors not to dump the troubled athlete. “We feel that whatever the courts demand as a punishment for what he has done, once he has paid his debt to society, then he should be treated like any other person in the NFL,” White said.
“In some instances, I believe Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he would’ve killed a human being,” White said. “The way he is being persecuted, he wouldn’t have been persecuted that much had he killed somebody.”
White also said he didn’t understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable.
He urged the National Football League, the Atlanta Falcons and Vick’s commercial sponsors not to dump the troubled athlete.
“We feel that whatever the courts demand as a punishment for what he has done, once he has paid his debt to society, then he should be treated like any other person in the NFL,” White said.
(At the national level, however, NAACP interim president and CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes stated that the organization “did not have an official position on the case” and that he “didn’t want to speculate about whether Vick was being treated differently because he is black”).
Trying to assign any kind of truth status to the “Open Letter to the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP” reproduced above is a rather pointless exercise. Obviously someone wrote it (or we wouldn’t be reading it), but the author isn’t specifically identified in the letter, and the text has been circulated in versions featuring different given names (e.g., “Larry,” “Mike”) and ages (e.g., 27, 63, 70+) in the opening sentences. (This blogger has claimed credit for writing it.) The fact that it’s an “Open Letter” (i.e., intended as something for general readership rather than personal communication) also means it wasn’t sent to either
Last updated: 1 October 2007