State Senator Rod Wright is going to jail. At least, that was the sentence meted out to him by L.A. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy this week. Wright is to begin a three-month term in the county jail on Oct. 31, although he is appealing again.

Wright was convicted on eight counts of perjury and voter fraud a few months ago. He had requested that Judge Kennedy vacate that conviction, but she denied that request and cited the state senator for arrogance and a failure to do the job he had been elected to do. He was also barred from ever seeking office in California again, and fined $2,000.

Of course he and some of his supporters deny that he did anything wrong, or at least nothing that virtually every other elected politician does not also do—fudge the truth about his/her voting residence. And of course, the logical extension of that position is that he should not have been punished, since none of the others were, and that he is being singled out because he is a Black man. The first point is a logical fallacy called tu quoque—that is, the State Senator is not excused from wrongdoing because others are doing the same thing and have not been caught. Whether the county’s integrity unit investigated him for the crimes because he is Black was never proven, so it has to be called what it is, speculation.

He still has not resigned his office (but just reportedly said he will on Sept. 21), so his Inglewood constituents still have not had a functioning state senate representative for more than a year. His senate colleagues permanently suspended him in March after his conviction in February but they have not expelled him, which they must do to vacate the seat if he continues to refuse resignation and appealing his case. He still has nearly three years left on his current term. Thus, the citizens he misled and lied to still have not gotten justice—they don’t have a state senate representative presently, and they are not about to get one any time soon.

Even with expulsion or Wright’s resignation, there would have to be a special, expensive election to replace him and that would take several months well into 2015. Or the relevant state officials could just decide to wait for the regular 2016 election cycle.

Either way, for someone else’s wrongdoing, thousands of citizens are being politically gouged.

Comparatively, Adrian Peterson, the superlative running back for the NFL Minnesota Vikings, has recently been indicted in Texas for felony child abuse. Peterson, by his own admission, used a switch to punish his 4-year-old son for disobedience. The punishment left several welts, naturally, and local school officials reported Peterson to the police.

To his credit, Peterson turned himself in and apologized for “harming” his son. Charles Barkley, former NBA superstar and current color analyst, said in response to the charges that every Black parent in the South would have to be arrested if Peterson is legally punished for disciplining his child that way. Peterson even said he was treating his son the way he had been raised.

I can certainly understand that point. I was corporally punished liberally in my youth for various bouts of misbehaving. The switch was a tactic meant to sting for a few days so that I would remember my misconduct. Such direct physical contact was always connected in my case to a lesson in right and wrong. Any punishment was clearly explained and put in context. I have to credit such discipline with keeping me on the straight and narrow for most of my life, and for instilling a moral code that I still adhere to daily. Adrian Peterson credits the strong disciplinary hand of his father and mother to the man he is today.

The problem is not Peterson, who clearly was not trying to do serious harm to his son. He was trying to “raise him right,” a process which does not seem to be working well in the dominant White society. People who are not raising many of their own children to respect adults, to be honest, and to stand up for what’s right, should not be in judgment of those who are maintaining a tried and true method from Black culture.

I was spanked a lot—and not usually by hand—but I was never abused by my parents. I, and a great many of us, turned out fine. Peterson should be lauded, not castigated for trying to “raise his son right,” and those merely intent on imposing an artificial and ineffectual one-size fits all standard for parenting, need to get a life.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute. DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.