Don Lemon is back at it. After embracing the idea of how respectability politics could have saved Trayvon Martin's life, Lemon has set his sights on the moral failings of unwed parents. In a piece published at Black America Web, the CNN anchor wrote about the tragic beating and ultimate death of the two-year-old son of NFL superstar Adrian Peterson at the hands of a man who was not the boy's father:
"This Adrian Peterson secret love child beating death story has been really bothering me," Lemon said. "Bothering me obviously because the boy was just two years old and was allegedly beaten to death by his mom's boyfriend who was not the child's father.
Bothering me also because the dead boy's father is Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson, an NFL MVP, who appears to be more MIA, than MVP."
This time, Lemon has joined the growing public discourse (it so polite a word as discourse can be used) that wants to find some moral failing in Adrian Peterson to help us understand the tragedy of his murdered child.
This critique all hinges on the assumption that without such guidance we would all make the mistake of simply mourning a tragic crime when we should instead be finding someone to blame. The driving need to find a villain is a condition of the American psyche, perhaps even of the human psyche. But American culture seems particularly fond of turning messy human interactions into a clear morality tales with bad guys and good guys. Some people even come close to making these morality tales an art form. Don Lemon is not one of them.
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