The Michael Vick Situation
Issues of Race & Hypocrisy
Michael Vick was selected as the first pick in the 2001
National Football League’s (NFL) draft by the Atlanta
Falcons, an associate of mine wished they hadn’t picked
him. Both of us were residents of Atlanta and fans of
football, so I was puzzled by his statement. He
mentioned that if things went wrong, the media and
certain fans would blame the Falcons’ Black
quarterback. I disagreed. As time went on, I realized
how accurate my associate was in his prediction. Six
years later, neither of us could have predicted the
situation that Vick now finds himself in. His recent
off-the-field problems have once again uncovered this
nation’s views on race, and they underscore double
standards and our priorities.
Outsiders will think that Atlanta is the perfect place
for an African American quarterback; nothing could be
further from the truth. Atlanta, the “Gateway to the
South,” “Black Mecca,” “Hotlanta” is anything but a
progressive city. This is the city where fans severely
criticized former Atlanta Braves baseball player David
Justice for trying to motivate its fans during the 1995
World Series. He only came up with the franchise’s
biggest hit ever, which gave them its first and only
World Series title, yet some fans still hold a grudge.
Deion Sanders, the flamboyant future NFL Hall of Famer,
played for both the Falcons and the Braves a segment of
local fans and national media didn’t take kindly to his
persona. But after leaving Atlanta, Deion went on to
win three Super Bowls and
become one of the greatest ever to play his position.
In the examples of David Justice and Deion Sanders too
many times fans and media here seem to be excessively
concerned with a Black player’s image and persona, and
style of play even when it’s effective.
is true for Michael Vick but on a much larger scale. A
Black quarterback such as Vick in Atlanta was a match
made in hell. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all, the quarterback is actually the
position of leadership on a football team. He is
normally the most important factor in a team’s success
or failure and is the face of the franchise. This is
even more critical given that football is the most loved
of all sports in the nation, especially in the South.
is the most profitable ($985 million in 2005) of any
professional sports league, more than both the National
Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB)
combined in 2006. Secondly, Vick’s style of dress and
other cultural expressions rubbed some people the wrong
way. Some saw it as hip hop or urban. Some saw it as
too Black. Being the quarterback for the Falcons, there
are those who equated Vick to a representative of the
city. In doing this, people lose proper perspective on
the roles athletes play in society.
Vick’s off-the-field run-ins became the talk of the
town. An associate with him stole a watch at an
airport. He flipped off rowdy fans from an opposing
team. He allegedly gave a female friend genital herpes
without telling her he was infected. He tried to carry
a bottle through Miami International Airport which
allegedly smelled of marijuana. He missed a flight to
meet with Congress. While these occurrences were in
fact irresponsible, most of them were relatively minor
and did not call for any type of jail time.
notions that a quarterback should be a role model
off-the-field in order to properly lead a team and that
these run-ins were embarrassments to the city are
ridiculous. Professional athletes are not public
officials or spiritual leaders. They have a
responsibility to behave as mature people, not because
they are in the limelight but because they are adults.
The question of rather or not he was involved in dog
fighting is of a much more serious consequence for him,
but is actually a more telling indictment of our society
as a whole.
continuing, there are a few points to be made:
Dog fighting is wrong
Michael Vick’s punishment should fit the
Michael Vick is ultimately to blame for
the situation he finds himself in
Now that those points are clarified, let’s get to the
crux of the matter, shall we?
reaction to Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting
is indicative of our priorities and points to a society
in which is increasingly hypocritical and, yes, racist.
As I listen to and read what the public, pundits, animal
rights organizations, sports commentators, and others
are saying, I am convinced that our society is not
lacking fools. Public opinion had it that Vick was
guilty from the onset. Yes, he admitted to guilt
recently. Some would say end of story. But with his
former co-defendants turning state’s evidence and there
being reports that he could have faced up to 40 years in
prison, there is reason to wonder if he is really guilty
of everything he is accused.
African American man myself, I have a right to think
this way. In fact, it is in my best interest to
maintain a healthy distrust of our justice system. It’s
not about blaming “The Man.” African Americans should
know by now that our justice system is deeply flawed and
biased. Conversely, many White Americans tend to think
that, with the exception of OJ, the justice system as
damn near flawless and undefeated.
* * * * *
case, unlike OJ Simpson’s, is not sharply divided along
racial lines. Many Black people have gone on record to
scold the quarterback. On the other hand, there are
Whites who remain supporters of Vick and understand that
people make mistakes. While that may be the case, there
is no doubt a racial element to the way this case is
being played out in the media and the general public,
and some would say in the courts as well. Many fail to
see the connection. In a recent article about the
Michael Vick situation in an Atlanta weekly called
Sunday Paper, the author asserts that it is “not a
race issue.” To back up his claim, he quotes a Black
Atlantan as saying, “It had nothing to do with race,
because just as many white fans loved Mike Vick as black
if this statement (which is probably a guesstimate) is
true, it does nothing to support the author’s claim. If
anything, it weakens it, especially since White
Americans vastly outnumber African Americans. Too many
times statistics are used in ways to intentionally
mislead audiences without literally lying. For
instance, somewhere between 70 to 80 percent of rap
music is purchased by White Americans.
Whites are on welfare than Blacks. The two
aforementioned statements are accurate, but taken out of
context one would think that African Americans play a
very small role in hip hop and that Blacks are more
self-sufficient than Whites. It should also be
mentioned that it is an American tradition to trot out
Blacks who will publicly reject opinions challenging the
athletes and former athletes who have made strong,
non-anti-Vick statements and encouraged Vick’s due
process are mostly Black. This includes, but is not
limited to, Deion Sanders, Stephon Marbury, Emmitt
Smith, Allen Iverson, Roy Jones, Jr., Joe Horn, Clinton
Portis, Fred McCrary, and Donovan McNabb. It is
therefore no coincidence that Whites in the media and
elsewhere have thus criticized most of these men for
either supporting Michael Vick or cautioning us about
rushing to judgment.
Sanders wrote an op-ed piece called “Don’t Be Too Quick
to Judge” in The News-Press of his hometown of
Fort Myers, Florida. In my opinion, the column contains
four highlights. First, Vick is being used to end dog
fighting or bring down the true masterminds behind the
illegal sport. Deion could not believe that Vick was
the ringleader of the operation. Secondly, dogs are not
every man’s best friend; what they mean to some people
may not be consistent with the views of others.
Thirdly, to many dog-fighting enthusiasts, having the
toughest dog is a status symbol.
and most important, as human beings we should care as
much or more for humans who are victims of violence.
Here, he writes, “Who shot Darrant Williams [the Denver
Bronco cornerback]? I’m just more concerned about
bringing to justice someone who killed a human.” He
rightfully asserts that, “We should have the same
passion for man that we have for man’s best friend.”
coming under fire for this essay from ESPN commentators,
as well as other sports talk people, and dog lovers
across the country, the NFL Network, who Deion is an
analyst for, stopped him from writing and commenting
further on the Vick situation which included his planned
response to the uproar to clarify his statements.
Apparently, the network has the exclusive right to
Deion’s image and opinions regarding NFL matters (kind
of like “Forty Million Dollar Slave”).
there is absolutely nothing offensive about what he said
nor did he justify dog fighting. He explained what he
thought goes on in the mind of dog-fighting enthusiasts
and more importantly he called into question the
priorities of American people. People are so geeked up
about dogs that any voice of reason from a high-profile
Black man is misconstrued in the worse way.
Atlanta, most of the radio sports talk shows (on 790 The
Zone and 680 The Fan) are a joke. With the exception of
the two brothers (literally and figuratively) “The 2
Live Stews,” callers wanting to discuss the
possibilities of racial bias are dismissed as Vick
apologists, shouted over, and disconnected. These White
boys want no part of that. Many of them have wondered
out loud about Vick’s mental state and question his
humanity. Mind you, these are the same people who
descended from those who have in the past and continue
to commit atrocities against human beings all over the
globe. Balanced reporting doesn’t exist. Athletes
committing far worse crimes than dog fighting receive
less criticism than Vick.
years back former hockey player for the Atlanta
Thrashers, Danny Heatley, committed vehicular homicide.
While excessively speeding in his Ferrari on Lenox Road
in Atlanta, he lost control and crashed, suffering a
broken jaw, injuries to his kidney, knee, and lung. The
passenger, his teammate and friend Dan Snyder, however,
wasn’t as lucky. After suffering from a skull fracture,
he died a few days later. Heatley had been drinking,
but was not over the legal limit of alcohol. Snyder’s
family forgave Heatley and it was reported that they did
not want him to do time in jail. He
pleaded guilty to four of six charges and was sentenced
to three years probation.
Heatley killed a man; Vick was involved
in the fighting and killing of dogs. Heatley got
probation; Vick is expected to do 12 to 18 months in
jail. The attention paid to Heatley’s case as compared
to Vick’s is like a summer breeze to a hurricane. Yes,
Vick was a bigger star, playing a bigger sport. But
Heatley was no slouch either; he was one of hockey’s
best players and a star. Heatley, a White player, got
off with probation, essentially a slap on the wrist.
Actually, a swift and firm slap on the wrist would have
indeed a factor. Typically, Whites in the media blow
off any talk of race implications. Black opponents of
this notion claim they are tired of blaming the White
man for all of our problems. Obviously, every case
involving Black men does not involve racial
discrimination. But it is not counter-productive or
dismissive for African Americans to reflect on its
possibility. Is it a coincidence that Vick got rid of
his cornrows hairstyle before court proceedings were to
begin? No. People are ignorant and racist enough to
equate a particular hairstyle with criminality.
Conspiracy theories involving Black men being brought
down in this country are too numerous to mention here.
Many are documented, some are part of lore and haven’t
received as much print or discussion. As a
high-profile, Black, millionaire athlete, Michael Vick
did not take this possibility into consideration. Don’t
get it twisted. Michael Vick is a football player and
is no threat to the Establishment. But the fallout of
this situation with Vick is clearly racially motivated.
* * * * *
admitted crimes of Michael Vick are awful, but it is
amazing to witness people arguing the rights of animals
above their fellow humans. People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA) have taken the Michael Vick
situation and run with it for the sake of exposure.
They didn’t give a hoot whether Vick really committed
those crimes or not. Now, of course, PETA and the
general public could come with the I-told-you-so’s now
that Vick has admitted to guilt, but suffice it to say
that had Vick gone to trial and was ultimately found not
guilty of the charges most of his detractors would hold
steadfast to their belief that he was nonetheless
that humans have domesticated “man’s best friend” does
not justify senseless killings of those that aren’t. It
is shortsighted to state that we should not kill dogs
simply because it’s the law. If it wasn’t against the
law would that make it okay? Here in Atlanta, Genarlow
Wilson, an African American male, was sentenced to ten
years in prison for having consensual sexual relations
while he was 17 years old with a White, 15-year old
girl. Aggravated child molestation, they called it. It
was against the law. The law has since been changed
(although Wilson still sits behind bars), but whether it
had or not it was still unjust and its application in
Wilson’s case was clearly racist.
breaking laws has it consequences and should be avoided
unless it is morally correct to do so. But, again, laws
by themselves do not justify their existence. Still,
there are those who rest solely on the facts that laws
exist or do not exist, no matter how archaic and
useless, in the same way fundamentalists justify or
condemn acts strictly based on religious doctrine. I
for one am not for the killing of any animals, unless it
is for survival—defense or food. I wouldn’t harm an
animal, nor would I consume any.
up in South Georgia, my family had pets and other types
of animals. Where I’m from, dogs were seen for what
they were . . . dogs. We would never consider kissing
dogs or allowing them to lick your face. Dogs were not
included in family portraits. Rain, sleet, hail, or
whatever, they lived outside. In plenty of instances
they were fed leftovers instead of fancy dog food. And
they were happy and survived just fine. With that said,
the uproar over Vick’s involvement in dog fighting and
killing dogs is inconsistent with the so-called values
of American citizens and our treatment of other
animals. No doubt some of his strongest critics are
genuine in their approach and concern, but there is a
large segment of those who are nuts.
the head off a deer and hanging it on the wall just for
show is much worse than fighting dogs. Yes, it’s legal
to kill deer, but killing wild animals for sporting
purposes is barbaric and unjust. What America has done
is elevate dogs to the level of human beings. A few
years back there was a news story about a man who was
evicted from his house. That’s nothing unusual. But it
was said that the cops were looking for him. His
offense: he abandoned a few dogs. The man was unable to
take care of himself, yet the concern was about dogs.
How crazy is this?
also take a look at the language being used in the Vick
situation. The media and bloggers talk about the pit
bulls as being “defenseless,” “innocent,” and even
“sweet.” Some commentators have even said Vick is
responsible for the “murder” of dogs. Murder? Dogs
aren’t murdered; they are killed! Human beings are
murdered! No, we are not talking about semantics. This
type of language is irresponsible and it shows a level
of exaggeration and lies. And claiming that pit bulls
are innocent and defenseless is nonsense. Dogs of
varying breeds tend to have different temperaments, and
it is not unusual that many pit bulls are aggressive.
Furthermore, it is incorrect to blame a dog’s behavior
strictly on its owner as it is wrong to fault parents
every time a kid (or an adult) goes astray. Hell, pit
bulls and other aggressive dogs attack human beings all
the time. Not all of them are destined to be killers,
but how many of us have ever heard of a pack of cocker
spaniels mauling children? Here’s a reminder: pit bulls
descended from wild animals. Their behavior is
unpredictable and sometimes aggressive.
Zeise, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
made a valid point on a sports television show. He is
quoted as saying, “It’s really a sad day in this country
Michael Vick would have been better off
raping a woman if you look at the outcry. . . .” Zeise
apologized later for what he said was a poor analogy.
But was it really? He was not advocating or
marginalizing rape and people knew it. What he in fact
did was shame Americans for blowing the dog fighting
issue out of proportion in relation to other pressing
issues, particularly crimes against human beings.
continue to hear from dog lovers that the reason this
issue hits home for them is because they have dogs
themselves and shudder at the thought of Rover being
tortured or killed. Does it bother them the thought of
their wives, sisters, mothers, brothers, husbands,
fathers, uncles, aunts, sons, daughters, nieces,
nephews, cousins, best friends, in-laws, or associates
being the victims of violent crimes? If so, where is
the outcry these crimes?
* * * * *
adults we are all ultimately responsible for our own
behavior. By way of financial backing and family
structure, certain backgrounds can factor on how an
individual turns out in life. It can help or hinder.
But these factors do not alone determine a person’s
future. Many rich kids who grow up in ideal households
turn out to be underachievers, drug addicts, or
criminals. And we have all heard of the stories of
those rising out of poverty or broken homes to become
famous and successful. Although lives are often shaped
by one’s background, it goes back to the choices an
individual makes as an adult.
situation that Michael Vick finds himself in is of his
own doing, regardless of whether he actually killed any
of the dogs or even attended dog fights. One would have
to reasonably think that he at least knew what was going
on. The fact that he associated with and even provided
for friends who were about nothing was probably the key
ingredient to his downfall.
do not recall ever feeling sorry for a millionaire, the
Michael Vick predicament somehow manages to find me with
a heavy heart. It is not because of football reasons.
If the Falcons don’t win a game this year it would not
concern me. Over the past two months or so, since the
dog-fighting operation at Vick’s property was
discovered, I have watched with my eyes (and ears) as
the media and general public relentlessly hurled insults
and accusations at the man, vengefully calling for his
head and finally rejoicing over his admission.
estranged, biological father (who Vick provided for
financially and paid for his housing) did a disparaging
interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
more appropriate for National Enquirer. Before
being able to digest that, I watched on the Net as
Vick’s paternal grandfather criticized him in a
television interview. Something is awry when family
members air dirty laundry against an embattled young man
for the world to see. I am saddened to witness the fall
from grace of a young and promising Black man.
so, there is a possibility that he will not be allowed
to play again in the NFL after he serves his time.
Whatever the case, Vick’s image is tarnished for life.
The suits at Enron, HealthSouth, and a host of other
American corporations who cheated thousands of people
out of millions of dollars will not have it as hard.
This is not the first time a Black athlete has been
taken down and surely it will not be the last.
my feelings are different for Vick because it hit closer
to home in several ways. I am a resident of Atlanta and
have followed his professional career closely. But
mostly I see a part of his personality in my own (which
is no crime), and he is a young Black man in America
(usually a crime).
suppose I should end with an obligatory lessons learned
statement. By now, most have already been offered in
print, barbershop discussions, family talks, progressive
radio debates, man-to-man conversations, etc. There are
many and all are important and should be heeded. Well,
without rehashing any, I would like to offer another.
To all of the young Black men and rappers who refer to
themselves and their female counterparts as “dogs,” the
Michael Vick situation makes one thing apparent: YOU ARE
NOT! There has yet to be this type of outcry over
* * *
Semafumu Kimathi is
a freelance writer, and publisher and co-owner of Sene
Press, based out of Atlanta. The company’s latest book
is called Georgia’s Corrupt Prison System: As Told By
An Insider, available in stores now.
* * *
Michael Vick Finds Jesus
Disgraced QB Still Needs Serious Help
By Kam Williams
"This is going to be a hard-fought trial…
Michael Vick is innocent."
Billy Martin, July 26th
“He would not have been persecuted that much
if he had killed somebody… Yes, there are
many dog lovers...but there are also many,
many other people who just love Mike Vick
and these people, too, are significant in
NAACP President R.L. White, August 22nd
“I’ve found Jesus and asked him for
forgiveness and turned my life over to God,
and I think that's the right thing to do as
of right now."
Vick after entering a guilty plea
After he was named in a very-detailed, 84-count Federal
indictment for hosting dogfights in his home, for
funding the entire operation, and for executing losing
pit bulls by means of lynching, drowning, electrocution
and body slams, MichaeI Vick retained a Dream Team of
five, very high-priced attorneys, masterminded by Billy
Martin, the same hired gun who recently represented
former Dick Cheney hatchet man Scooter Libby.
What else would you expect the highest paid football
player in the NFL to do, other than mount a
million-dollar defense with his liberty, his reputation,
his assets, his job and his endorsement deals on the
line? And not until after all his co-defendants had
already cooperated with the prosecutor and agreed to
testify against him, did Vick even consider copping a
Then, immediately after admitting to just one count of
gambling on dogfights, he staged a well-orchestrated
press conference to announce that he’d asked Jesus for
forgiveness. Anybody buying this? I hope not. Just as
Libby successfully lobbied his Republican base to
pressure the President to have his sentence commuted,
Michael’s Born-Again gambit is clearly designed to
appeal to the African-American soft spot for
Personally, I resent the suggestion being circulated by
the mainstream press that the black and white
communities are monolithic entities which feel very
differently about this case. The subtle implication,
here, is that African-Americans are feeble-minded and
inclined to forgive the mistreatment of man’s best
friend, since that’s supposedly not as bad as harming
But it’s obvious that Michael Vick is a very mentally
disturbed sadist who got his kicks from killing
completely defenseless creatures unable to reason with
their master and too innocent to comprehend the reason
for his sudden inexplicable cruelty. The only people I
can think of who share this kinky inclination are on the
long list of serial killers who started out torturing
animals, psychopaths with names like Jeffrey Dahmer,
David Berkowitz and John Wayne Gacy.
Now that the disgraced Atlanta Falcon QB has confessed,
the focus has erroneously shifted to how soon he ought
to be allowed to return to the league after paying his
debt to society. Maybe we all instead ought to pause for
a moment of sanity, because the sobering truth is that
Michael Vick is still sorely in need of some serious
counseling and rehabilitation, not a slick PR campaign
selling the notion that his shedding crocodile tears and
converting to Christianity on the courthouse steps means
that his high crimes and misdemeanors are already behind
Forget football and fame, Mike, just focus on trying to
save your soul before it’s too late.
Lloyd Kam Williams is an animal lover,
syndicated film critic, attorney, and a member of the
bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars.
posted 1 September 2007
* * * * *
Like dogfighting and I think
that Black people have much to do better and more important than
dogfighting—especially our millionaires—but White people have gone
mad over this issue.
1) The reaction to Bush's continuing destruction of the innocent
civilians in Iraq (long after EVERYONE acknowledges the lie that
started it) has not generated so much anger or even concern among
Whites and most negro sports journalists have not pointed out this
obvious and distressing reality.
2) Even those White dog lovers—since they seem to love dogs more
than the children and babies of Arabs—ought to be screaming over
how many innocent Iraqi dogs Bush has killed! There is no bigger
dog/cat/ animal murderer in the world than Pres. George Bush.
3) How many players in the NFL supported this war? They and their
twisted, hateful minds are FAR more dangerous to me than Michael
Vick and his dogfighting obsession. They should all be put in
prison—Abu Grahib next to Bush and Cheney would be nice—if a
dogfighter must do time.
4) Whites were far more interested in the sordid details of Michael
Vick's crime than in the massive amounts of evidence that have been
collected about Bush's role and foreknowledge of the 911 attacks.
(See the amazing documentary Loose Change 911 at
5) Dogfighting is a White man's sport that has its origins in
ancient Rome. Emperor Lucullus was reputedly the first to initiate
the practice of pitting dogs against other animals: a group of dogs
would be thrown into the Coliseum, doomed to be trampled to death
by wild elephants. The practice appeared in medieval England and in
America it was used to train dogs to run down runaway slaves. Men
who owned packs of these beasts were called into service in the
South against escaped Africans in much the same way as one would
call 911 today.
6) The richest of the rich British White folks don silly outfits
and jump on horses to chase a single, desperate, frightened fox.
Well, really they follow their dogs which are chasing the fox after
which they (the dogs) tear the little creature from limb to limb.
Bullfighting ends in the cruel torture and death of an innocent
bull. Both are European obsessions.
7) Vice President Cheney loads up his rifle and shoots innocent,
seed- eating, quails that are scared into flight by dogs—Whites
don't bat an eye.
I, personally, don't want to be around such people. If Michael
Vick wants to adopt their behaviors and cherished hobbies he must
suffer the consequences, but these hyper-hypocritical Whites aren't
fooling anyone—they're just racists.—Darryl
* * * * *
Most African Americans are "feebleminded and inclined to
forgive." And most Americans don't care about animals or
any damn thing else for that matter, except maybe their
own. Certainly not about the half million Iraqis killed
to save them from a tyrant and a lack of democracy, and
certainly not about torture (Abu Ghraib
The Dark Side of Obedience), either.
White Americans do care about persecuting and
Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? That has been
good sport for centuries. Too bad Vick got fooled on
that account over there at the Virginia university that Nikki G
loves. My problem is not with Vick killing or torturing
dogs. My problem is his youthful racial stupidity (because of its
ubiquity): money does not make you white in America,
whether it is 300 million or 300 billion.
behave as if everything is everything and thus do
not monitor their behavior. We seemed to forget they watch
us closely and await that moment to pounce and bring us
down and keep us in our place. This Vick criminality is
a mere distraction for the unread and the unreading—something
they can sink their teeth in like so much fast food or
soap opera rubbish.
Vick's smart enough to know that, at least smart enough
to cry those Jesus tears that politicians and
other celebrities have cried to get back into the good graces
of the low life culture of American professional sports
When will we learn? If you gonna be brought down, be
brought down for something worthwhile, be for people
(like King & Malcolm) not for crazy bullshit, for and
about nothing. For his real crimes he probably should be
whipped as a racial embarrassment. But that's a white man's
Negro and we can do nothing to alter his behavior or
those like him.
He'll be back quarterbacking in the NFL, like the good
buck that he is. He's worth a lot of money to some white
folks. And when there's a chance to make money on a
Negro, some white man will fight for that right, because
sure as lynching that black boy's got skills.
* * * * *
Life on Mars
By Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection.
* * * * *
The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story
of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
By Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer
American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest.
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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update 10 May 2012