Nobody asked me, but I’m getting sick and tired of reading Joe Soucheray’s painting Adrian Peterson as a “savage child beater.”
Peterson flew his son to Texas for a summer vacation. AP appears to have been trying to foster a relationship between half siblings. AP disciplined his son for pushing his younger half brother off a bike. I applaud AP for his attempt to build family and establish behavioral parameters.
I don’t really wonder how Soucheray would describe the actions of Dylan Roof in Charleston, Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn., this new guy in Louisiana or any of the many American mass shooters we’ve seen over the years. I expect he’d dismiss them as “head cases” and head for the buffet table at Winter Park.
Here’s the problem. If Muslims were killing large numbers of Americans, we would be encouraged to be suspicious of all Muslims. We would be wary of their dress, their religion and even their food choices.
If African-Americans were mass murderers, we would be told to ascribe the behavior to innate, cultural criminality and inferiority.
Since these are white folk, each is viewed as an individual, flawed person. The public is led away from connecting the dots. I submit that the foundation of this mass killing mentality is rooted in the myth of American superiority. America needs to face up to the fact that something is woven into the fabric of the American psyche that breeds “God complexes.”
You can start with the revered “Founding Fathers.” Our Declaration of Independence speaks of “All men being created equal” when they unapologetically meant “white, male property owners … not “all” men … not even “all white men.” Not any white women. If you write “all” and mean “we few”, you have a God complex. Today, whites with a gripe cheerfully take the lives of strangers to vent their anger, disappointment, failure; whatever. God complex out of control.
At the end of the “Reconstruction” that followed the Civil War, northern politicians gave the South free rein to act as “God” toward Blacks. Judges, “men of the cloth,” store owners and housewives treated Black folk like sub humans … like they were gods, and we were mere pets; to be “put down” on a whim. There have been decades in this country’s history where white, private citizens publicly murdered at least one brother a day – on average, one brother a day for decades. God complex out of control.
America’s treatment of its Native, slave, Japanese and Latin-American citizens has been barbaric, savage. It has been all the things it ascribes to those peoples. White America acts the barbarian while hyping its love of freedom and fairness. Free and fair to and for the “we few” only. For more than a century, Black folk have had to take their child discipline very seriously. The suspicion that you’re going to get a “time out” could land a young brother at the end of a rope. Lynchers have since evolved to using bullets and garbage bags, but the results and the motivation are the same. The “official” reaction hasn’t changed much either.
The spankings I got as a child helped me come to understand that I was not the center of the universe and that what I wanted was not priority one. I remember when a popular phrase across America was, “spare the rod, spoil the child.”
I believe that if Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza and a few folk in Aurora, Colo., Virginia Tech University, Lafayette and an ever growing set of dots from sea to shining sea had had Adrian Peterson as their father there’d be less blood in our streets.