Don’t get me wrong. I have strong feelings about a lot of things, and I tend to get emotional. But am I willing to throw myself into the fray for an issue that I cannot possibly change on my own? Not really.
Well, only once. And it had the effect I hoped for.
Do you remember back in the spring, when football player, Michael Vick was released from prison for maiming and killing dogs in fights? And do you remember what he did to the survivors? In case you forgot, he maimed them further with terrible torture before he killed them and threw them in a pit….ironically, they were Pit Bulls.
I, for one, cannot bear the mistreatment of children and animals, but like most of us who feel this way, it’s been easier to look away and hope that someone does something about it.
In the case of Michael Vick, not enough people were doing anything but allowing him to continue his career as a football player, and the NFL teams started to consider him for a slot. That was bad enough, but what felt worse was that his hometown of Newport News, Virginia, was going to give him a “Welcome Home” parade and perhaps a key to the city.
That’s when my blood pressure rose to such an extreme that I felt compelled to do SOMETHING, even if it amounted to NOTHING. I read about the upcoming celebration on the ‘net and decided to contact the mayor, his deputies and all the other luminaries in Newport News to protest this outrageous spectacle to applaud a terrible man…a felon…a killer.
So, I started with the following e-mail to the Mayor (I have left his name out for obvious reasons):
Why in heaven's name would any civilized society "rejoice" in the merits of Michael Vick? PLEASE DO NO ANYTHING IN HONOR OF THAT SOCIOPATH! You harm all of the compassionate public and draw wrath in your direction than you didn't consider beforehand.
You have a week to cancel this abomination. DO IT! I'm NOT a member of PETA--in fact I don't belong to any extremist group. I'm just a compassionate human who recognizes Michael Vick as inhumane and someone who is NOT able to be rehabilitated—please recognize the REAL!
The Mayor did not reply but he sent my message to the City Clerk, who sent my e-mail to the members of the City Council:
Please find below an e-mail message from Ms. Linda Spear regarding the SCLC Community Celebration for Michael Vick scheduled for August 8th. She suggests that the event be cancelled.
City Clerk, City of Newport News
2400 Washington Avenue
Newport News, Virginia 23607
If you notice, I erased the name of the City Clerk, as her reply was “chicken livered,” as far as I was concerned. But I did get the copies of my initial traveling note, and awaited a reply from the City Council.Have you learned that watchful waiting is almost always a plus in communications? I did when this came back to me:
Good Morning Ms. Spear:
Please find below an e-mail message from Councilwoman Woodbury in response to your August 1st message about the proposed Michael Vick Celebration.
City Clerk, City of Newport News
2400 Washington AvenueNewport News, Virginia 23607
From: Woodbury, Dr. Pat
Dear Ms. Spear,
Thank you for your email. I agree with you and am very
delighted that it was cancelled. I sincerely hope Mr. Vickmeans what he says when he says he is remorseful and haschanged. Only time will tell.
Now you know why I waited to include a name in my communication with the good people of Newport News. Dr. Pat Woodbury’s note gave me faith in what one person here and another in Newport News can do, in the face of such cruelty. With tremendous happiness, I sent her the following note of appreciation:
Dear Dr. Woodbury,
Thank you SO much for your note. It means a lot to me to know that the people I spoke to regarding Michael Vick reflected my concerns to you, and you took the time to tell me that you and the board agreed. Michael Vick is a dangerous man, and you as a doctor, know full well of what I speak. No normal human being would go out of his or her way to destroy animals for sport. What he has already done will likely be done again, and it's also likely that his next prey could be humans, as well. Just because he can perform in a collision sport, doesn't mean that he will act like a reasonable human being, off the field. I wish I could do more to reflect my concerns about him, but money talks and "human detritus," like Vick, walk. You know the drill. But I am so grateful the “celebration” of Michael Vick was cancelled. Please accept my sincere appreciation to you and any other members of the board who feel the same way, and did the right thing.
So, the event was cancelled and Vick went on to become a member of the NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles. But if you pay attention to football, this season, you will note that he is on the bench, not the field. The team gave him a paycheck, but not a chance to recreate his former fame as a football hero. He lost that chance when he terrorized and tortured living creatures. Maybe he belonged in the middle ages, but since he is among us in modern day society, I’m glad there are people who recognize his primitive state and renounce his worth as a human.
And that was the end of my revolution.