Saturday, November 29, 2014

4 comments Luther Campbell Says Adrian Peterson Is Not an Evil Dad, He Was Just Raised To Be One

Some people spank and punish their human babies with violence and other people do not spank and punish their human babies with physical violence. My feeling is if parents want to use corporal punishment on their children, that is their right as a parent to do. If a parent doesn't want to use corporal punishment on their children, that is their right as a parent not to do. There is a line though. For example, anyone who harshly disciplines a one-year old is a fucking moron who deserves to be hit in the head with a 2x4 repeatedly. One-year old children do not understand anything about the world. They shit their pants, they drool everywhere, and think anything they see, including potentially a cat or a remote control, is best served to go into their mouth if they can only find a way to get to it. Harshly disciplining a one-year old is like smacking around your 95-year old grandfather because he won't stop talking about Larry King WHEN EVERYONE KNOWS LARRY KING ISN'T ON TELEVISION ANYMORE!

There is also a limit to how much a child should be punished or spanked. I got the belt once and spanked a few times. I was not one-year old, so I got the point. Anything more than that and you are probably just taking your aggression or frustration out on your child. What Adrian Peterson did went beyond punishing his child and seemed to make him guilty on the charges of child abuse that were brought against him. I understand not everyone likes it, but there's a different lesson being given when a child has welts all over his/her body and genitals. That lesson is "Daddy/Mommy are pissed off about what you did and have no idea how to parent you to stop doing it so they hope to beat it out of you." Again, there is a line and I think Adrian Peterson crossed it. Welts on multiple parts of the body is crossing that line.

So anyway, Luther Campbell says Adrian Peterson isn't evil (which I agree with, though what kind of moron harshly punishes a one-year old? Reggie Bush is evil if you ask me), it's just how he was raised. Fantastic. I get it. I understand. Say I was raised to hit women when they wouldn't agree with me and take pleasure in having sex with farm animals. Does that excuse that behavior? It sounds extreme, but it's really not. Peterson was raised to get whupped and so that's how he treats his children. Fine, I get it. It doesn't excuse what he did to his son and doesn't make him evil. It makes someone who doesn't understand what child abuse is. Now he does. The justice system works. But still, Luther Campbell has some thoughts on the issue.

Many people are shocked and disgusted by the alleged abuse Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson inflicted on his 4-year-old son.

Roger Goodell was originally not disgusted, but then he saw the picture of the welts, and realized it was in his best interest to be disgusted.

He's been indicted in Montgomery, Texas, for reckless and negligent injury to a child because he whupped his son's backside with a switch, leaving the boy with open wounds and large welts on the back of his legs.

It seemed excessive. It seemed especially excessive in my opinion considering that Adrian Peterson had a son pass away from being assaulted by an adult. One would think Peterson might go a little easier on his son for not turning off "Max and Ruby" since he had a son die from being hit repeatedly. One would think wrong.

But before he's convicted in the court of public opinion, folks need to understand how Peterson was raised.

Before you say, "here's how he was raised," you need to understand the laws about child abuse. Laws >how Peterson was raised. 

I don't know many African-Americans who grew up without ever being disciplined with a switch or a belt.

No, no, no, no. You are not taking ownership of this as a "black thing." It is not. I got hit with a belt and my friends got hit with a belt. I had a friend whose parent ripped off his belt so hard to spank him that the clip of the belt caught my friend right above the eye and opened up a gash. It is not a "African-American issue" that Luther Campbell can take sole ownership off, squeeze tight and then claim "you all don't understand." It is more of a Southern thing than an African-American thing anyway.

Peterson's own mother, Bonita Jackson, admitted in a recent interview with the Houston Chronicle that she was a tough parent. "Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes," she said. "But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world."

Well, I guess we can consider Adrian Peterson well-prepared then.

I grew up in a household with four brothers. We all got our butts whupped when we acted up. The switch and the belt were used many times. Guess what? We turned out OK.

Okay, great. That's not the point. I know a girl who was sexually assaulted as a teenager and she turned out fine. So does that mean sexual assault is perfectly okay in some cases? You know, as long as the person turns out fine? I know people who had other childhood traumas and most of them seemingly turned out fine. It doesn't mean the act behind the trauma is fine or isn't a crime.

The whole "We turned out OK" reasoning sounds a lot like "That's how we have always done it" reasoning in that they are both used to justify future actions based entirely on the assumptions that past actions were the correct ones. It avoids the attempt at change in favor of clinging to how it used to be, as if there were no other way.

Once when I was a teenager, I sassed my mother after she asked me to open a bathroom window to let out the steam from the shower. At the time, she was on crutches from a leg injury.

Luke's father had hit his mom in the leg with a baseball bat because dinner wasn't ready when he got home. But hey, that's how Luke's father was raised, so who can argue with that reasoning? Because Luke's father was raised that way, this is definitely not a crime.

As soon as I snapped at her, she bopped me upside the head with one of her crutches. After that, I always thought twice before talking back to her

A "bop upside the head with one of her crutches" doesn't sound like anything close to the type of whupping that Adrian Peterson's son got with the switch. Not only was Adrian Peterson's son whupped (it's not "whipped" but "whupped") in several spots on his body, he was hit enough to cause multiple welts.

Time-out doesn't work in the African-American community. If kids were disrespectful, got suspended from school, or were caught stealing, they got the belt as soon as dad got home.

I don't think this is just an African-American thing, but I do think Luther Campbell wants to claim it is so that he can state he has some sort of insight others don't have and his point about Adrian Peterson not being evil will be supported.

Corporal punishment kept us on the straight-and-narrow path.

Maybe, but this is assuming not using corporal punishment wouldn't have kept you on the straight-and-narrow path. I don't know if that is a safe assumption. Again, "We turned out fine" isn't a reason to excuse Adrian Peterson for striking his child like he did with a switch.

But by the time I became a father, laws had changed. I never hit any of my four children,

Exactly. Times have changed and though Luther Campbell grew up getting hit, he chose not to hit his children. It was his choice and Adrian Peterson had a choice as well. He made his choice and now he is under indictment for child abuse. Luther Campbell is an example of someone who broke out of how he was raised and there is no reason Adrian Peterson could not have done the same. It was Luther's choice and he made it. There is no reason Peterson could not have just spanked his son.

but when one of my daughters didn't go to school and was disrespectful, I sent her back to live with her mother.

And really, if the world can't take parenting advice from someone who states when things got tough and his child became disrespectful then he just sent the child away rather than parent, who in the heck can advice come from?

I like how Luther Campbell is like, "I didn't hit my kids, I just got rid of them as opposed to taking the time to discipline them."

Corporal punishment is a cultural norm in the black community based on their Christian beliefs. They take to heart biblical passages like Proverbs 13:24: "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."

So Luther Campbell has chosen to stereotype the entire black community by stating not only are they all Christian, they all base their belief in corporal punishment on Christianity, and they all base that belief of corporal punishment on a specific Bible verse. So of course Adrian Peterson can't be wrong or evil, he's basing his actions on the Bible!

(Bengoodfella sees someone who has stolen from a store, then stones him to death and expects to not be charged with murder)

They use a switch to inflict enough physical pain so a child thinks twice about behaving badly, but it is not done with malice.

A good spanking can inflict enough physical pain to force a child to think twice about behaving badly. And get this, there are other non-violent ways to parent a child. I KNOW! Who knew? I don't think Adrian Peterson is evil, but I would have more sympathy for him if parents had not found a way to discipline or punish their child without causing multiple welts on the child's body. But there are other means to reach the ends of punishing a child, and what Peterson did seems to be against the law, so I find it harder to defend him like Luther Campbell is trying to do.

And yes, what Adrian Peterson did to his son was done with malice. Others may disagree, but I find it hard to justify the lengths with which Peterson seems to have struck his son. Let's just say if a police officer did that to a grown adult suspect then there could be a case for police brutality. Instead it was a very strong NFL player who did it to a four-year old child. So.............yes, it was done with malice. Peterson could have gotten his point across with a few spankings or another non-violent way of punishment.

Peterson can use freedom of religion as a defense.

Oh, it turns out that Luther Campbell is an attorney now. He knows what kind of defense Adrian Peterson can use. I don't know why Adrian Peterson hired a white attorney like Rusty Hardin when he could have hired someone smarter than an attorney who knows the exact Bible verse the black community uses to justify corporal punishment. That person is Luther Campbell. Luther won't even charge Adrian Peterson. But can he get a table dance?

His lawyer will put the Bible on the stand.

Now granted, I don't have the legal expertise that Luther Campbell seems to have. I'm pretty sure you can't put an inanimate object like the Bible on the stand to testify though. Only humans can be on the stand during a trial. Perhaps dogs, but it would have to be a really smart dog. Like Lassie. Yes, Lassie could be on the stand. I don't know, maybe Mr. Ed too. He seems like he could have testified if necessary. But neither of them are inanimate objects and I know inanimate objects can not be placed under oath, be on the stand and testify in a trial.

And in a state like Texas, it will be difficult to find a jury that will convict him.

Will it be difficult to find a jury to convict Peterson if freedom of religion is used as a defense? I'm asking because clearly Luther Campbell has a diverse knowledge of the legal system in Texas and I don't live in Texas. It sounds to me like freedom of religion is not going to be a defense to child abuse. If freedom of religion were to be a defense for crimes then a lot of defendants would go unconvicted (not a word), because the Bible contains some violent stuff in it.

So in summary, Adrian Peterson is not evil (didn't say he was). Peterson isn't necessarily innocent of child abuse because he was physically punished as a child, because there are other ways to punish a child without physically harming the child. And because there is a Bible verse that says it's fine to hit your kid, it doesn't mean Texas' child abuse laws have nothing on the Biblical laws that Peterson follows and a court in Texas will definitely fail to convict Peterson. So basically Luther Campbell thinks Peterson's solid defense is "That's how my mama raised me" and "God said it was okay." I can't imagine what could go wrong.

Of course it doesn't matter because Peterson pleaded and now he won't have to worry about going to a jury. 


Frank said...

Happy Thanksgiving. I loved the points you made here, nothing to add other than job well done, as usual. I get a kick out of the TMQ/Easterbrook stuff but this is a serious issue to me as I have two young kids and I thought you did a great job dissecting the BS that the author conjured up in Peterson's defense.

Chris said...

I'd go a step further and say the whole "we turned out ok" defense is a little arrogant as well because it sounds like Campbell is saying well why isn't Adrian Peterson more like me?

Like you said AP isn't evil but he sure isn't all that bright. To tread very lightly, you would think that a guy who went through another child dying due to excessive physical violence would maybe take a hard look and think before beating the crap out of his kid.

I don't want to make this a massive racial issue cuz I'm normally not that guy but I do have to wonder how Luther Campbell would react if say JJ Watt were charged with what Peterson was charged with, especially since Campbell insists on seeing this as a uniquely African-American issue.

Bengoodfella said...

Frank, thanks. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving as well. I try not to tackle too many serious issues. I leave that to better writers like Peter King and Luther Campbell to tackle.

Chris, to be honest I don't see a reason to tread lightly over that issue. Peterson had a child beaten to death (essentially) and then he hit his child with a switch. I understand that's how children get punished by some parents. I also understand that if my child was beaten to death I probably would change punishments.

Yeah, I don't see it as a racial issue honestly. I see it as a regional issue. I know of these things happening down here below the Mason-Dixon line, at least with a switch. If Luther Campbell thinks it's a racial issue then he is less informed then he makes himself out to be.

Chris said...

As you said there is a very fine line between disciplining a child with a switch and beating them and leaving marks and welts. My fiance is from Texas and she was once told to"cut a swith" for disciplining but that was no where near the kind of punishment that Peterson inflicted on his child.

I think what annoys me is the sheer laziness of the whole argument in general. Where exactly does he get off deciding he inherently knows how all black parents prefer to discipline their children. Or the "time out doesn't work in the African-American community" statement. What data does he have to back up that assertion? Finally the whole richness of basically lecturing the public on the merits of beating your children, then admitting he didn't even bother disciplining his kid, he just passed that responsibility on to Mom.