Spanking was the topic of Wednesday night's episode of Black-ish, titled "Crime and Punishment." It's a debate that never really ends, and one that boiled over last month after disturbing news that Adrian Peterson beat and left bruises on his son and called it a "whooping." Instead of implying that there's a morally superior approach to the issue of spanking, this episode of Black-ish revolved around the thought process and the confusion around the decision to do it or not.
The decision at hand is whether Dre (Anthony Anderson) should spank his youngest son Jack as punishment for hiding from his mother Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) while shopping, so that he understands the severity of his actions. In the process of figuring out whether they'll spank him or not, Dre and Rainbow manage to address a bunch of themes: the procedural aspect of whoopings, the fear, the purpose, the long-term consequences and even the dilemma of which parent takes on the responsibility.