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Adrian Peterson arrest raises questions about child discipline, race




Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field against Chicago Bears on December 1, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field against Chicago Bears on December 1, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

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NFL star Adrian Peterson turned himself in to Texas authorities Saturday on charges of child abuse. The Minnesota Viking's running back is accused of disciplining his 4-year-old son with a small tree branch, or "switch," causing injuries to his arms, legs, back, scrotum, hands, and buttocks.

The situation raises questions about child discipline and, for some, race. Journalist DeNeen Brown wrote about the debate around spanking, especially within the African American community, for the Washington Post back in 1998. And Peterson's arrest prompted the Post to republish it.

Brown joined Take Two on Monday to continue the conversation. According to Brown, experts she spoke to in her reporting said that spanking is seen by some within the Black community as a cultural tradition thought to prepare children for "a world that will be mean to them because of the color of their skin." But, she points out, most of her African American friends have chosen not to discipline their children in the same manner, choosing to raise their children differently than the way they were raised.