Adrian Peterson’s indictment exposes the changing views on child abuse.
Peterson, a running back with the Minnesota Vikings, was charged last week with “negligent injury to a child” for an incident in which he beat his 4-year-old son with a switch.
Because of the charges, Peterson was forced to sit out last Sunday’s game. He was reinstated on Monday after the Vikings owners decided to let Peterson play while he goes through the legal system.
If Peterson is convicted, he could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
But Peterson, who acknowledged his father whupped him as a child, is being punished for a behavior that was widely accepted in black culture.
According to Peterson, he disciplined his son for fighting by getting a branch from a tree, pulling off the leaves, and striking the child on his legs, arms and behind.
That’s a whupping all right.
I grew up not only getting whuppings, but also hearing about how my parents got whuppings down South.
They would have to actually pluck the branch, strip the leaves and bring the switch to the person who administered the punishment.
When black families migrated to the North, the switch was replaced with the belt.
Working-class parents didn’t hesitate to use that belt to discipline their children.