As has been widely reported, President Obama called the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles this week and they talked about, among other things, Michael Vick, his amazing season, and second chances. President Obama thinks they’re good, those second chances, and he thinks it’s good that after serving a 19 month prison term for dog fighting Vick was able to leave prison and get a job. After all, a lot of African American men leaving our prisons can’t.
Well, Tucker Carlson has made it known that he’s for second chances, except when he’s against them. In Michael Vick’s case, he’s against them. Because, he says, Vick sentenced dogs to death.
But wait: Is Carlson a vegan? A big animal rights activist? But more than that little bit of philosophical inconsistency on Carlson’s part (which goes hand in glove with being anti abortion and pro-death penalty, I might add). I wonder what he teaches his kids — that you only get a second chance if what you’ve done isn’t so bad? That once you’ve done something bad you can never do anything good again?
Full disclosure: When I used to like watching football (before the head injury situation), I used to be an Eagles fan. My husband still is. We will not discuss last night’s game during which the Eagles lost to Minnesota. Also, I love dogs. I think dog fighting should be illegal. But Vick served his time and now he’s playing football, which he does remarkably well.
That he’s playing so well shows great discipline and determination. (I know this from listening to Chris Colingsworth’s commentary while knitting during Eagles games.) It shows that he’s working hard at something after making a terrible mistake. And as long as he’s not participating in dog fighting now, then there’s nothing more to say about that.
Here’s what Tucker Carlson said when he was filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News last night:
“Now I’m a Christian, I make mistakes myself, and I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way, and I think personally he should have been executed.”
Seriously? If I were to set back from what Carlson said and consider it a teachable moment for me as a parent, if I were to ask myself what I’d say to my kids about what it really means to give someone a second chance, I would say that it’s hardest to allow for second chances when you despise the crime. I might suggest that you don’t need to forgive someone their crimes personally, but you can still respect their hard work at trying to do better, particularly after they’ve served time. I’d also talk to them about the deep and profound hypocrisy embedded in Carlson’s statement. Yes, what Vick did was cruel, that doesn’t mean he should be executed. And if I were feeling brave, I’d start to talk about racism.
That’s what I’d talk about with my kids if I were to talk about Tucker Carlson and Michael Vick. What would you? Was Tucker Carlson “just” being provocative in calling out Michael Vick? Do you agree with Carlson?
By the way, here’s the video: