It would make sense that a football fan and a writer of a blog about fatherhood would comments on the Adrian Peterson child abuse story. First I would let to say that neither African Americans nor Southerners have exclusive rights to physical discipline. My northern white father gave me some beat downs that could compare to any of theirs, he just used a paddle, not a switch. However, like many of those who have commented on this story I’m not here to give my “I got hit and it made me the person I am” story. I’m not also getting into the corporal punishment argument and debating if it is right or wrong. I will say for full disclosure I have spanked my kids but nothing even close to ferocity or frequency in which I received them.
I’m not also going to judge my father’s use of corporal punishment and I hold no ill will towards him for using it. Did I turn out to be the person I am because of it? I’m not sure. I may have turned out the same with another form of punishment but I would not have turned out the same without coming from a strict house who instilled having respect for authority.
What I will say is that there is a difference between corporal punishment and out and out abuse. Below is abuse, there are no two ways about it.
When you hit your and leave welts and admit you can’t even remember how many times you hit your child, it is not love. To me that is not someone punishing out of love, but instead they are taking out their frustrations on a child. I don’t believe Adrian Peterson is trying to make his child a better person but instead is insisting on their fear and respect.
What makes everything worse is that Peterson had previously lost a child to child abuse. A man who lives with one of the woman Peterson had a child with beat that child into a coma. That child would eventually die. We have found out Peterson didn’t know about the child for a time and wasn’t really involved in the child’s life but you would think it would be a wake up call. You would think that while grabbing the switch he would think of his dead two year old son. No matter how close or involved he was with that child, he was still his flesh and blood and you would hope it would have had an effect on him.
To try and excuse his behavior by claiming “That is how I was raised” is not valid. Ignorance does not excuse you from the law. Just because that behavior was part of the environment you grew up in doesn’t mean you should continue it. This country would have not made any strides in civil rights or socially if it held to that reasoning. Hell the human race wouldn’t have made any strides if it held to that mantra. I think Chris Carter made a very eloquent and passionate response to that argument.