The Minnesota Vikings recently placed running back Adrian Peterson on the NFL’s ‘exempt’ list – forbidding him from playing or practicing with the team – while he faces child abuse charges. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens cut ties with running back Ray Rice last week following the release of surveillance video showing him knocking out his then-fiancé Janay Palmer.
While many have taken to questioning and criticizing the ethics of the NFL, CNN’s Don Lemon surprised his cohosts when he attempted to use slavery as a justification for spanking and abuse. During a panel discussion with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerot on Wednesday, Lemon questioned if blacks learned abusive behavior from “slave masters.”
“For me as an African-American, the question is where did you learn that from,” Lemon asked. “Is that learned from the slave master? Getting the switch? Being beaten?”
Cuomo and Camerot were quick to call Lemon out for the comparison.
“How is that a rationale,” Cuomo responded. “I keep hearing this. ‘Well, maybe it was passed down from slave culture.’ Why would that be a rationale to continue a practice like this? Isn’t that the last thing you would want to continue?”
“Why not break that cycle,” Camerota added.
On radio this morning, Glenn took issue with Lemon’s rationale that seems to be void of any and all personal responsibility. But he also took issue with those who are defending Peterson by minimizing the scope of his actions.
“The number of people who are defending [Adrian Peterson] and saying, ‘Well, that's spanking.’ That's not spanking… That's child abuse,” Glenn said. “What is wrong with Americans? What is wrong with so many people? They are defending this guy. Now, here's Don Lemon making an excuse for him.”
Glenn believes Lemon’s argument strips any and all responsibility from the situation and takes the onus off the perpetrator. As both Cuomo and Camerota pointed out, Glenn wondered when such an excuse will run its course.
“Abuse is abuse. It is wrong,” Glenn said emphatically. “[You’re doing] it because [you] learned it through slavery? First of all, that's not true. Second of is all, if it was true, how many generations is it going to take before you say, ‘This is nuts’?”
“Courage and personal responsibility are the two biggest things we lack as a people now,” he concluded. “We restore personal responsibility and courage and we fix 90% of our problems.”