By now most of you have probably seen the video. Allegedly a Texas Judge beating his then 16 year old daughter with a belt. It is not a friendly “spanking” so you might not want to, but if you haven’t seen it… here it is.
Much like yesterday I’m going to skip the formalities of talking about how obviously offensive and unfortunate this incident is. I’m quite sure there is nothing I can say that will add any value, understanding, or positive influence to any of the parties directly involved; and if I can’t help ‘em… I probably should leave ‘em alone to work it out (along with the help of the fine Texas justice system).
However, what I am feeling inclined to talk about is this. I have heard, over and over again today, how he deserves to get beaten down himself, how he should be taken out behind the woodshed, and how he should receive a blanket party. Further, I have heard he should be put to death (legally or illegally if necessary).
I have a serious problem with this. That type of thinking, responding to bad behavior with violence is exactly what he was doing that has all of us so upset… to coin the old phrase… an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
The scale is clearly different, and the victim far less vulnerable, but the action is essentially the same. As such, I cannot condone any retribution against him without, in doing so, condone his actions in the first place… which is not something I am ever going to do.
Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying he is, was, or ever should be justified or vindicated for his actions. However vigilante justice went away for a reason and there is absolutely no reason to stage a come back now, over this.
We have a criminal system to handle this, a system that, as its stewards, we need to either trust or change. What we are not entitled to do is attempt to supplant it with our own individual notions of what should be done. they have a word for that… anarchy.
More importantly though, if we take this approach – advocating violence as a result of this (or any other) transgression, even by just talking about it… we are modeling the same behavior that we are sickened by in this video. There’s a word for that also… hypocrisy.
I prefer “Hillary’s” twitter position on the matter, pleading for help and justice for him and repentance from him… but no revenge toward him (other than the re-election barb… which, I think probably is a logical outcome from all of this). It’s nice to think that someone who grew up in such an apparently troubled environment might have overcome that and that they at least appear to have a constructive, balanced, and healthy view on the big picture.
We create and recreate the culture that we live in by our words and actions… a call for non-violent justice seems like as good a place as any to effect change.