The US National Football League (NFL) is a brutal organization. Football players make obscene amounts of money beating up on opponent football players in front of massive live audiences and millions of of television watchers who love the mayhem.
In the USA, football, boxing and to lesser extent hockey represent the acceptability of violence in the greater US society.
It is therefore no great surprise that participants in these sports often come from violent backgrounds. Their personal experience with being on the receiving end of violence, especially as defenseless children, shows up like a lighthouse in a fog.
NFL Minnesota Vikings (football team) running back Adrian Peterson had made that fact come to the forefront this week. He is charged with felony abuse of his child after a discipline incident. Following the “discipline incident” his son’s leg was covered with visible injuries, including broken skin, that could have come from a switch (thin tree branch).
Fellow NFL Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush came out in support of Peterson by stating publicly that, as a child, he had been beaten with straps and he thought that was “normal”. He went on to say that he has a one-year-old daughter that he won’t hesitate to beat the same way depending upon her offense (like being a one-year-old??) and he will “try not to leave bruises”…
in the USA and every other advanced western industrialized nation on Earth, it is a crime to hit (assault) an adult. One can actually be sentenced to prison time for such an offense. it is NOT permitted to hit a spouse or other adult, except in a provable act of self-defense/survival.
So why is it legal to hit (assault) a small, defenseless child?
Actually, in 33 nations on Earth, it is not. if you assault (hit, spank, slap, etc.) a child in any of those countries, you can be arrested and convicted of assault and serve jail time.
The USA is NOT among those 33 advanced nations. And many US citizens would oppose such a law in the USA. Why is that?
First off, most American parents today were hit, spanked, slapped, and/or otherwise beaten by their own parents. They know nothing else and have never given any thought to this barbaric and brutal practice of physically assaulting a defenseless and fearful child who weighs less than half of what their parent might weigh.
Non-premeditated violence in any form usually occurs as a result of spontaneous anger on the part of one person, caused by the unanticipated action of another person. In the case of violence against a child, this means that a parent or guardian has lost his or her temper as a result of something the child did. However, If the child had been an adult, in all probability the offended person would have found a different (and most likely, verbal) way to deal with the issue.
So why don’t parents deal the same way with children? The reason is as clear as they are timeless: People do what they learned.
Adults who commits acts of violence (including spanking, hitting, slapping, etc.) against a child were once children themselves. They were also subjected to physical punishment by their own parents or guardians. 30-50 years ago no one thought too much about spanking or hitting children. Today, in some states it is considered child abuse, especially if marks or bruises are evident.
However, what most people do not consider even for a moment is the fact that until a child enters the public school system, parents are their primary teachers, so when parents hit their kids, they are teaching these kids that sometimes violence is an acceptable human behavior. In other words, sometimes it’s okay to offensively hit another person especially one who is smaller and weaker than you.
Kids then grow into adults, and what they carry this learned behavior into their adulthood. They often grow up believing that offensive violence is okay if the the ends justify the means, and that equation is different for everyone. It is thus no wonder that so many adults are potentially violent and/or are subjected to violence.
Humans are not born with this offensive violence concept written on their brains. They learn this behavior early on from their parents. Instead of utilizing creative, non-violent, non-abusive means of discipline and positive reinforcement with their children, parents perpetrate what was done to them as children…the truest form of self-propagating ignorance.
Thus, it should be no surprise that in the USA, with its roots in the deeply religious past, is one for the few “advanced” (maybe not so much…) western industrialized nations on Earth that outlaws offensive violence against anyone and everyone…except defenseless children. The USA is also the only “advanced” (maybe even less) western industrialized nation that doesn’t yet have universal health care for all.
What’s wrong with this picture??