Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Whooped" with a "switch"

As a matter of personal testimony, I was raised in country-ass East Texas just like Adrian Peterson, and was also whooped -- I think it would be more correct to both spell and pronounce the word 'whupped' -- with a switch when I was a kid.  I was hit with a belt a few times by my dad (RIP).  And that is no excuse for what Adrian Peterson did to his son.  Of all the things I have read that have been written so far, this is the best.

Imagine looking up at Adrian Peterson through the eyes of a four-year-old child.

The easy smile that helped make him famous is not there. He's holding a switch. You are a little boy with your pants down and leaves in your mouth.

The police report of what happened to one of Peterson's sons is sickening. The photos, which reportedly show week-old lacerations, are more so.

The act of what happened in Texas to that little boy, if true, is worst of all. Peterson has been indicted for whipping a child repeatedly with a tree branch. There were injuries all over his body, including on his scrotum. There is a warrant for Peterson's arrest.

Through his lawyer, Peterson has stated that he did not mean to inflict such serious harm. It is possible he meant only to teach the child a lesson. That, however, doesn't absolve the Minnesota Vikings star. 

Rusty Hardin, legal savior to the sports stars, is his counsel.  Natch.

The team deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, and to say they had no choice is both too obvious to suggest and too important to dismiss. This entire wretched week has been given over to whether NFL teams should let the legal process take its course in a case of an arrest for abuse. Yes, there are times when the evidence is not enough to override due process. But domestic violence is not often fabricated. And on occasion the details of a police report are so graphic and so heinous that a decision needs to be made for the benefit of the league and the general public. This is not a football decision or a business decision, but a moral decision. The Vikings made that decision quickly and correctly.

They did not rely on Peterson's popularity or his role in the community. They did not hesitate because Peterson has always been considered a nice guy. These were mistakes the Ravens made with Ray Rice, who was also beloved before he punched his fiancé. In some cases, he was beloved after punching out his fiancé.

The Vikings did not think of this as an isolated incident, because the severity of this incident isolates it from anything else. Peterson is an adult who was indicted for inflicting torturous pain on a small child, and there are not two sides to that story.

There seems to be some upheaval in our social morés of late, some of them football-related.  In the exalted New National Pastime, which is steadily encroaching on our autumn leisure weekends that now stretch from Thursday night to Monday night, with gladiators falling from inflicted blows both in the short term and the long one, while some of the our nation's wealthiest Republicans exploit a socialist experiment in ways even the Chinese haven't considered... some Americans on the fringe, so to speak, are starting to question the obsession.

Since Peterson was charged with child abuse in Montgomery County -- about a 75-25 split on the low end, Republicans to Democrats -- at least we won't have to hear any whining about "liberals on the grand jury", as we did when Rick Perry was indicted.

But back to All Day.

Details spilled out in the press and in social media, and still it was easy to give Peterson the benefit of the doubt. It was a spanking. It's a parental matter. It's different in Texas.

Then the photos and police report emerged, and the revulsion was inescapable.

You will be “mad at me about his leg,” (Peterson) texted, adding that he “felt bad after the fact.”

Peterson also told the boy’s mother about his son’s injury to his privates, CBS reported.

“Got him in the nuts once I noticed,” he texted.


“Never do I go overboard!” he texted. “But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”

Police reports obtained by the Houston station show the 4-year-old boy feared his father would punch him in the face if he reported the beating. He said his father had previously beaten him with belts.

Yeah, East Texas.  And lousy upbringings, despite all the discipline.  At least none of the good ol' boys 'round these parts (comments; force yourself)  are calling AP a thug.  Yet.  And I suppose some people -- even NFL players -- will still bitch about their fantasy football team's season being ruined.  We'll have to dismiss that callousness as well.  It's just a violent game, played by men with violent tendencies, in a nation that worships violence.  If guns and bombs could be involved, it would be even better.

Which part are we having trouble understanding?

We're in another war, the American people are all in, and there's no acceptable outcome other than total annihilation.  If we get tired of watching people get bombed in reality then we'll plug in a video game and bomb some people ourselves, virtually.  Or maybe we'll just hope that our favorite team's offensive coordinator has a game plan that includes long bombs.  You know, repetitive explosive concussions.

We're so desensitized that we don't even care if it's us that gets blown up so that our politicians -- our most powerful politicians -- don't have to inconvenience their corporate buddies.

Who's got a problem with any of this?  You're in the minority.  Shut up.


Gadfly said...

But, but ...

To complete the trifecta ...

AP says God is OK with him being a thug.

Gadfly said...

And, to be kind of blunt, you know many blacks (especially ones that retain more of their rural Southern roots) are more "down with this" than most whites, as NFL players are also showing:

PDiddie said...

Ennnhhnnnhh... can't agree.

The comments at are evidence enough to the contrary, but the point of my disclosure was to establish that this kind of 'discipline' was evident in every Southern household of my generation... and still is in some today.

Irrespective of whether it is a black or white household.

Gadfly said...

Well, where I'm coming from is actual, or alleged, black religiosity, and how this somewhat ties to gay black men being less likely than whites to come out of the closet, etc. Some of this may be generic Southern (or generic rural/red state, from my own childhood), but I think some is more narrowly cultural.

And, I'm diving into that head-on tomorrow.