Yesterday the world might have been willing to give Texas Judge William Adams the benefit of the doubt that he might not really be the dad caught on camera beating his special needs daughter. Today, the judge himself has removed all doubt. He admits it was him taking a belt to teenage Hillary, but he's not letting it end his campaign for re-election as a judge in Aransas County. He doesn't think he did anything wrong!
Now I'm convinced he has no business banging a gavel. Adams' hubris has no place in a courtroom making important decisions about other families' futures.
The video of Adams was disgusting to the point where I had to turn it off, but even a few minutes revealed extensive physical and emotional abuse. By his own admission (now), Adams used a belt to whip his child repeatedly, dropped the f-bomb several times over, and told her he'd beat her "into submission." The video includes threats of further violence if Hillary so much as looked at him wrong, casting an air of fear over the child's entire life.
And the way Adams sees it, that's just parenting. As he told a TV station in Texas:
In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized. It looks worse than it is.
Apology to his kid or not, Adams' lack of public apology is pretty damning to his credibility as a judge. It's simply not enough to say "this is in the past" when you're a judge whose daily routine requires you to pass judgment on family court and juvenile court matters. Adams is asking for people to trust that he can make rational decisions about family matters at the same time that he's showing a complete inability to weigh good vs. bad.
In beating his daughter, Adams executed poor judgment, but people can reform. Where there's remorse, there's a path to bettering oneself.
It's in refusing to admit he was wrong that Adams continues to prove he lacks the ability to "judge" right from wrong. And if he can't do that in his own life, how can he possibly be trusted to do it with anyone else's?
Does this man deserve a spot on the bench?
Image via Aransas County