A few months ago when the Philadelphia Eagles signed convicted dog killer/fighter and quarterback Michael Vick, it opened a firestorm of controversy. After Roman Polanksi was arrested in Switzerland, I wondered where was the same outrage. Among the arguments we heard about Michael Vick were as follows:
- Animals are defenseless – Polanski’s victim was a 13 year-old girl who he plied with alcohol and quaaludes
- Michael Vick didn’t serve enough time – Polanski hasn’t served any. Instead he’s been living high on the hog in France, making movies, winning Oscars, and making money
- Michael Vick doesn’t deserve a job like NFL quarterback – again, Polanski has been making major motion pictures for the past 31 years
- Michael Vick’s crimes were especially heinous – according to testimony and interviews from the victim, we know this “despite her protests, he performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on her”. She said no repeatedly and Polanski raped her over and over again
- Vick apologists will say that he grew up in an environment where dog fighting was accepted; that argument is appropriately denied. Anyone who dismisses Polanski’s crime as not real rape, or as Whoopi Goldberg stated “rape-rape” should be ashamed of themselves
“Come on, man, she’s 13. Thirteen! I’ve seen some hot 16-year-olds that look 18, 17[-year-olds] that look 18…Thirteen is 13. Nobody gets away with having sex with a 13-year-old.” Chris Rock
One wonders why Polanski has scores of defenders and Vick none. It’s something that always bothered me about the Vick outrage was that it was disproportionate with the crime in relation to reaction to other crimes. The reaction to Vick was part in response to his stature and visibility as an NFL quarterback, but I believe also a response to the person. Poor, not highly educated, black – none of these things work in his favor.
“In the United States, we want to capture Osama Bin Laden and murder him. We’re not gonna rape him. That would be barbaric!” Chris Rock
If anything deserves your outrage, it’s the Polanski crime and the support he has received since being arrested. Thank goodness for the common sense responses by Chris Rock, Jay Leno, and Kirstie Alley.
What do you think?