Category Archives: Redemption

This is What People like Michale Berry Do Not Get

Today, Michale Berry spent his time on the radio crying about how President Obama didn’t go speak to the homophobic Boy Scouts organization.  (The fact that Berry supports Perry for gov and Perry “wrote” a book about the Scouts might have something to do with that.)  Of course he got a dig in at Sheila Jackson Lee and Bill White, but most of the time he was mocking black people.  You can get a pretty good idea of how Berry feels about black people from how he tries to mock the way he THINKS they all talk.

(I has  a SAD.  I couldn’t get my audios file up.  Just listen here and see if you don’t get what I’m talking about.)

(Curious how few callers he had) — Michale hopes that his listeners accept his excuse that he had so many things to talk about.  But really, Michale is just filling time.  Nobody really calls anymore.  Not even me.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Today a man who was wrongly convicted of rape TWENTY SEVEN YEARS AGO was not released (on bond?  why is there any bond or anything?) as scheduled.  Why?  He got a little pissed off at being shackled hand and foot, so he spends yet another night in jail for nothing.  This is how black Americans have been treated for years.  You behave — even if all of us were wrong and you were right — you BEHAVE!  It’s disgusting.  I’m pretty sure my choice for the inevitable Republican for District Attorney (Jim Leitner) wouldn’t have made this mistake.

It’s a well known, though little talked about fact that the “law and order” Republicans see the justice system as a way to reduce the number of black Americans able to vote.  Their thinking goes along the lines of hit black Americans with everything available and legislate even more ways to make sure a good percentage of blacks get caught up in the penal system.  If a few whites do too, well they represent a larger group and their punishment can be reduced based on the offense.

Just look at how long it took to black farmers to finally (maybe not, sadly, again) to get a settlement from the USDA.  Show me the white farmers with the same grievances.  Oh yeah, they are all of the wealthy farmers living of of government subsidies and bellyaching about the Bush tax cuts expiring.  Right.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before, but not nearly as much as I should have.

This makes me very angry and very sad at the same time.  Listening to Michale Berry today mock black people — while claiming that he didn’t have enough time to get to all of his supposed topics — just made me mad.

And then I realized something.  Michale Berry doesn’t care about black people singularly or in general.  Michale Berry cares about Michale Berry.  Anything he says will not reflect badly on the Republican party because he’s no longer a real player — except to be a handmaiden to Glenn Beck.  In other words, he’s just a tool.  A means to an end.

And so, I don’t feel so angry or mad because you know what?  I can mock him here on my little blog and he links to it and Kevin Whited links to it and every one of their readers turn out to be lame numskull cowards — or paid lackeys.

Here I am.  I support the Innocence Project.  I support the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I support LULAC and La Raza.  And the NAACP.  And Amnesty International and UNICEF.

I don’t support Texas Direct Auto, Gulf Coast Siding, and now IKEA (learn something new every day), or Houston Siding, nor any of the other people who peddle in the hope of making a buck off of the racist audience of Michale Berry.

Gah (vomit) in listening to him to capture the audio I forgot how he falsely accused a Spanish speaker of focusing on Spanish pronunciation.

Michael Vick

First, let me state that I hate American football.  Until the GWB administration, I was a huge baseball fan.  Now, not so much.

I am an emotional person and have had trouble in the past with movies that have pups dying, even in the most humane ways.  One movie out of Mexico that got great reviews will never be on my Netflix list.

I watched Michael Vick on 60 Minutes last night.  There was something in his eyes.

I also saw something in the eyes of my beloved Dora the night she attacked both me and Tammy, with Murphy looking on in fear.

As a boy, Michael Vick learned that dog fighting was normal.  The police ignored it, and as everyone knows, it’s not a new thing.  Take the time to look back at the breeding of American Staffordshire dogs and you will see what they were bred for, a very long time ago.

Dora, as a bird dog, or German Pointer, was bred to kill small animals.  She killed a possum in the house, but she also mortally wounded a neighbor’s dog that got in the yard and very nearly killed Braveheart.  It’s what she was programmed for and trained for before I adopted her.

Michael Vick still hasn’t reconciled, but he deserves a chance.  I still don’t trust Dora around Tammy and I never will, but she deserves a chance.

Vick needs to stay away from dogs, just like Dora needs to stay away from Tammy and any small creatures in the ‘hood (though I give her props for minding me when the little feral kitten was in the house — progress?).

I don’t know if Vick and the Humane Society can pull off the end of dog fighting or any animal fighting — there is a strong culture of violence in our country, but if he can make a dent, good for him.

The most important point I want to make is that felons should be able to go back to work.  Making it impossible for people who made terrible terrible mistakes in life from ever being able to contribute is wrong.  Sure there are people who can never be trusted with living among us, but like Dora and Michael Vick, there is a vast majority who could come back into the fold and live meaningful lives.

That look I saw in Dora’s eyes — she was confused and didn’t understand.  I lashed out at her that night.  But she was confused and afraid.  It’s much what Vick said he felt.  He admitted that he cried.  He knew he could have stopped it.

I gave Dora probation.  I figured out how to deal with her aggression.  As a society, I hope we can look on Michael Vick’s redemption and think that it could work for the less famous, for the everyday people who get caught up in their environment.

Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace

I missed this on 60 Minutes when it first air in March of this year.  While most of the focus is on the methods used for working with eyewitness (which of course this case revolutionized), what struck me was the end of the first segment.  When the victim, Jennifer, realizes that the man she thought had raped her had not, based on DNA evidence, she couldn’t really deal with it.  She blamed herself for his loosing 11 years of his life.  She felt guilty for praying that he would get raped in prison and die.  She asked to meet him, Ronald Cotton, and he forgave her.  She described his mercy and his grace.

This reminded me of how the Amish community forgave the mass murder who killed their young children and of the father, here in Houston, who forgave his son for the murder of his wife and second son.

If only we could have a little bit more of that mercy and grace in the world and a little less of the eye-for-an-eye attitude that seems to prevail.