by Barbara D'Amato
I used to like Whoopi Goldberg. I liked her irreverent sense of humor, her smart take on politics, and I liked her movies, even the dopey ones. I don’t like her so much any more, since she defended Michael Vick.
Vick, of course, is the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback who recently pled guilty to conspiracy in an illegal interstate dogfighting enterprise. Losing dogs were drowned, strangled, electrocuted, or slammed to the floor enough times to kill them.
On The View Whoopi said, “Where he comes from . . . it’s like cockfighting in Puerto Rico. There are certain things that are indicative [sic] to certain parts of the country.”
Joy Behar responded, “Oh, really? What part of the country is this?”
Goldberg said, “I just thought it was interesting, because it seemed like a light went off in his head when he realized this was something the whole country didn’t appreciate.”
He thought it wasn’t wrong? Oh, yeah, Whoopi? Then why did he claim at first he didn’t know about it and had never been involved in any such thing? He didn’t fess up until three of his co-defendants had agreed to testify.
And by the way, there was a photo of him and some of his co-defendants with a pit bull just prior to a fight. Maybe that helped convince him to cop a plea, too.
Bad Newz Kennels? They named it that, even though they meant it to be Fun on the Farm with Fido?
The President of the Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, called dogfighting “a sickening, barbaric, and criminal action.”
Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, spoke with Goldberg. The PETA blog mentions that Goldberg supports the Humane Society’s First Strike campaign, a group that links human violence with animal cruelty and educates young people in humane behavior. Does Whoopi put this together with the Bad Newz guys standing around as they drown the losing dog? Imagine this:
“Wow! Look at him struggle!”
“Yeah. Look at him fight.”
“Yeah. If he fought like that in the pit we wouldn’t have to be doing this.”
Ha, ha, ha.
That will surely turn them into humane citizens.
And for the dogs, it’s not just the fighting and dying, as if that weren’t enough. The dogs are treated cruelly from puppyhood, to make them permanently angry and willing to attack anything that moves. As Sara Paretsky mentioned in an earlier post here, most can’t be saved and have to be euthanized.
Dogfighting is illegal in all states of the U.S. and a felony in forty-eight. Vick didn’t know this? Vick had no idea animal cruelty was not nice? Its one thing to ask people to be more sympathetic than their peers. You can’t really ask a person to be far ahead of his time in sensitivity. In the 1700s, people caught stray cats, dumped them in bags, hung the bags from a tree and built fires under them, because the yowls and screams were amusing. People a little ahead of their time considered this inhumane.
Vick faces a maximum of five years in prison but isn’t likely to serve that much time.
He says he’s sorry. I say prove it.