The central problem that Ray Rice had was that he is a football player and not a rapper. The central problem that Adrian Peterson had was that he is a father and not a rolling stone. The central problem that white liberal America has is that of being white liberal America, which is sadly showing no signs of getting any better.
This latter problem is a profound intellectual schizophrenia. We lionize and honor certain behaviors when there is a strong bass line and red carpet swagger, but then are shocked and horrified when someone actually does what we have been busy honoring. If Ray Rice had been more musical, and had treated his bitch like they all sing about, and stayed away from elevator cameras, he could making his reservations for a glitzy Hollywood awards banquet now. He could be a major Democratic donor.
C.S. Lewis was being a prophet, not simply a pundit, when in The Abolition of Man he said:
“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
Lecrae was pointing to this same central screaming hypocrisy — for that is what it is — when in the middle of the Ferguson tumult, he tweeted this: “Dear Hip Hop, we can’t scream “murder, misogyny, lawlessness” in our music & then turn around and ask for equality & justice.” That is a prophetic word, and it has the additional advantage of being self-evidently true. It is the voice of righteousness and reason.
But a large part of the entertainment industry is dedicated to honoring the dishonorable, praising the despicable, and glorifying the inglorious. And then, when their tragicomic inversions have all gotten to a quivering pitch, ready to sproing, somebody comes along and actually does what they have all been giving awards to. The reason everybody was so furious with Ray Rice was not because he struck Janay, but rather because he cold-cocked their hypocrisy, which is still lying there on the elevator floor in a puddle of insufferable whiteness.
And Adrian Peterson switched his boy on the back of his legs and left some nasty welts. As a result of this, the sports establishment went nuts. Now the point here is not that Peterson is the wisest father ever, but I would like to point out that he was actually being a father. Just curious. How many African-American boys, biologically fathered by professional athletes, are growing up without any father at all? And how many news conferences have you seen addressing that crisis? I am talking about a news conference with the head of whichever sports league it was solemnly denouncing fatherlessness as the real crisis, the real disaster, the real abuse. Because it is.
But don’t hold your breath, because they are all kind of cool with that sort of thing. If you are a small black boy, white liberal America will continue to approve and subsidize the kind of welts — the welts of fatherlessness — that never stop bleeding. But if you ever get a switching, they will descend upon the man who did it in a self-righteous fury
But here is Lewis again:
“A great many of those who ‘debunk’ traditional…values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process.”
This is why white liberal America is standing on the verge of an epic reality drubbing. They have wrapped themselves in the soft cotton batting of their own ephemeral core values, believing it to be heavy armor for some reason. And the gods of the copybook headings are walking toward them, all armed with baseball bats, and with stern looks on their faces.
Important post script for those critics who don’t know how to read: if you read any of the above as a defense of punching a woman, or of abusing a child, please read over it again.