child*NFL Superstar tailback Adrian Peterson will be playing with a heavy heart this Sunday, even though his 2-year-old son died on Friday in South Dakota.

RELATED CONTENT: Adrian Peterson’s 2-Year-Old Son Dies After Assault by Mother’s Boyfriend

When I first got wind of this tragic event, my mind went numb, and my blood began to boil with anger and contempt. “If the reports are accurate, I thought to myself, “this cowardly-fool Negro should rot in jail, and wake up daily to a good ass-whipping by every inmate with a child on the outside.” I’m not a father, but to imagine my younger siblings (5 and 15) being knocked around by a fully-grown, fully-functioning adult male makes my skin crawl.

After reading Peterson’s story, I wanted immediate justice for his young boy, and a speedy trail and conviction against the alleged assailant (who I would bet big money is guilty). Then, suddenly, I was hit with a new thought–the mother of Peterson’s battered child is equally responsible, or perhaps more blameworthy, for the incident than her spineless lover.

I’m speculating, but there must have been prior signs of this man’s abusiveness that were ignored or tolerated by the ex. Then again, I may be jumping the gun. Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens says the relationship between the mother and Patterson was “fairly new.” The child was alone with Patterson at an apartment complex when the 911 call was made. In other words, this ignorant fool of a woman left her son with a Negro she has probably known all of a couple months–that’s beyond senseless.

This poor excuse for a parent put her innocent baby-boy in harms way by willingly leaving him with a certifiable maniac, and should be required to suffer the appropriate consequences–whatever they may be–as a result of unquestionable negligence, simple and plain. It’s cliche to say, but she should’ve known better (assuming she wasn’t complicit in the wrongdoing)

AP photo

Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)

Needless to say, abuse comes in many forms (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.) and often goes unreported by the victims for a variety of reasons. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System NCANDS, whose latest statistics are for 2011, an estimated 3.3 million referrals of child abuse or neglect were received by public social service or CPS agencies. Of these referrals, 899,000 children were confirmed to be victims of abuse or neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). That means about 12 out of every 1,000 children up to age 18 in the United States were found to be victims of maltreatment in 2011.

That same year, an estimated 1,460 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. The majority almost 76.6 percent of these children were 3 years of age or younger. Most child fatalities, 76.6 percent, happened at the hands of parents. Not all fatalities were the result of the physical trauma of abuse. Neglect accounted for almost half –32.2 percent–of all fatality cases (knock on wood).

Also in 2011, 49.7 percent of children who were maltreated were white (no surprise there), 23.1 percent were African American, and 17.4 percent were Hispanic. American Indians and Alaska Natives accounted for 1.2 percent of victims, and Asian-Pacific Islanders accounted for less than 1 percent of victims. It’s imperative to remember that, still, whites outnumber blacks by a significant margin in the US. Therefore, don’t be fooled by the numbers–sure, the percentage of white child abuse victims in this country is more than double that of  black victims, but the rate in which abuse occurs for both demographics is far less disproportionate. Additionally, there is a thin line between “suitable” physical punishment and child abuse among parents in the black community, many of whom abide by the bible’s “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy. This intergenerational mindset has surely trickled down into the parenting methods (or lack thereof) of young adults today, which may explain, in small part, the actions of Patterson. However, I am, by no means, giving him a pass (throw that nigga in jail).

Sisters, this should be a cautionary tale for all of you who are single with little ones. After a break-up or divorce, especially if you’re left with mouths to feed, it’s never easy dealing with the loneliness. That doesn’t mean you run into the arms of any willing partner. This also applies to you fathers. Don’t get romantically involved with just anyone without taking inventory of that person’s character first. Be even more cautious before introducing someone new to your children. And if your baby’s mother/father has some screws loose, stay away (crazy is crazy no matter how you slice it or who it is). Let’s put our youngins first–be careful who you bring to the dinner table.

The Black Hat column is written by Southern California based Cory A. Haywood who is also a certified personal fitness trainer. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his websites: www.coryhaywood.webs.com or CoryTheWriter.blogspot.com.