While roaming the streets of Twitter recently, I came across a debate between sports commentator Bomani Jones and a collection of his followers and his trolls. The discussion was sparked by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Aug 26th signing of Michael Vick, the former Falcons, Eagles, and Jets quarterback.
Apparently, some members of Steeler Nation were less than pleased with the addition of the former college phenom and Pro Bowler as the backup to the Steelers’ star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The main objection from the loudest critics of Vick’s signing seem to be that he has permanently forfeited his right to make money from playing football after his 2007 conviction for his role in running an illegal dogfighting ring.
I have no interest in re-litigating Vick’s case…or in arguing with Steelers fans about which poor choices from their players should or should not be forgiven.
I certainly have no interest in starting any beef with dog owners/lovers! Although I’m not a pet owner, some of my best friends have dogs and I’m all for whatever brings joy into their lives. I like dogs…and cats…and rabbits…and just about all members of the animal kingdom (except roaches and rats…I just can’t). In fact, I like dogs so much that I enlisted a few of the cuter members from their ranks to help me talk to people about their money.
So I get it…Dogs Rock.
What I don’t get – and would like to understand – is the ethical calculus of people who are moved to passionate action by the sight of suffering canines…yet find themselves in a state of paralyzed ambivalence when the topic of suffering humans comes up.
As I thought about some of the national news skirmishes we’ve seen this summer around Cecil the Lion, Planned Parenthood’s employee dinner conversations, an NYC businessman’s plan for shipping millions of people south of Texas, and those three words that keep getting in the way of politics as usual…I think it may be helpful to get a better idea about just what kind of lives the American people are willing to care for and care about.
And so, Part 1 of my research is the poll below. Please take 30 seconds out of your life to read the question, think about your honest response, and select the option that is closest to your honest response. You’ll get a chance to see the percentage results once you cast your vote, which should give you more than enough material to kick around with friends and family this week!
– Day G.
Host, Class of Hope & Change