Ah the Internet, hailed by many to be one of man’s greatest inventions which has opened up and connected people and ideas from virtually ever corner of the world with one another. Indeed, one of the greatest benefits of the Internet are all of the different ways social networking websites have connected, and in some instances, reconnected people with family members and friends. Another benefit of the Internet are websites like You Tube which have created a forum for people to upload and share videos highlighting everything from how to videos, gadget reviews, performances, and clips form TV shows and movies. The Internet, however, is far from perfect which anyone who has gotten a computer virus, had their identity stolen and/or had their reputation tarnished via the web can testify to. Interspersed with all of the positive and sometimes life- changing videos uploaded onto You Tube, there are the videos you wish were never uploaded to begin with, let alone existed. For me, the video of the then 16 year old Hillary Adams being whipped by with a belt by her father and mother is one such video.
Nearly 7 years after she covertly tapped her father and mother whipping her with a belt in her bedroom, Hillary Adams posted this video on You Tube, quickly stirring some outrage among viewers of the video, especially considering that Hillary’s father is now a judge whom presides over cases involving children. Having watched the profanity laced video myself, it is not a video I care to watch again, nor a video that I’d recommend anyone searching to watch on You Tube. Having witnessed those types of whippings both on the Internet and in person, it is not an image I care to continue burning into my psyche. Outside of the disciplining children issue, my question is why, why upload this video now. Hillary has stated that her intention for posting the video onto You Tube was not so that her father would lose his job but rather so that her father could get help. Mr. Adams says that the video is retaliation for him cutting financial support to Hillary as well as threatening to take the Mercedes Benz he gave to her away. Because the statute of limitations to pursue any sort of criminal action against Mr. Adams has long since expired, Mr. Adams is no danger of having any sort of criminal charges filed against him related to the video, although he is being investigated by local authorities and has been asked to temporarily step down from presiding over any cases involving children. Whether the impetus for posting this video be a daughter’s sincere hope that her father get help, or if this has to do with some sort of retaliatory knee- jerk reaction from being cut off financially, this apparent lack of communication between father and daughter will most likely remain unchanged.
One of the cold, hard realities about the Internet is that once something gets put onto the Internet, it can never truly disappear. Sure, you can go back and delete a Facebook status, a tweet, and delete a video that you uploaded to You Tube, but all it takes it just one view, one cut and paste, one forward and that is all she wrote. Similar to clicking the “Send” button on an e-mail, once an Internet communication is sent, it can never usually be unsent, especially nowadays when there are a multitude of devices that keep people connected to the Internet on a 24 hour basis. By the time you think to go back and delete your message, video and/or picture, depending upon ones visibility, probably a handful to a dozen or more people have checked the post. Hillary’s video has received over 5 million views, the story is still getting some traction in the news and Hillary continues to circle the TV talk show circuit. Hillary’s father remains in hiding, is still being investigated by local authorities and there is no word when, or if, he will be allowed to preside over any cases involving children. When taken as a whole, it doesn’t appear that the release of this video has had any positive effect on a clearly fractured father and daughter relationship. I can’t imagine that there will be any conversations between father and daughter that aren’t in the form of official statements released by lawyers and/or PR representatives, at least not any time soon. For what will remain after the dust eventually settles on this story is a fractured father and daughter relationship in need of serious repair.
If realistic and healthy, it would be great if Hillary and her father can individually and jointly get the help that they both need to mend the broken fences between them. And while I don’t think that uploading this video at this time on You Tube was the best decision, I believe Hillary had every right to do so. More than anything, I hope that the focus presently being placed on this story serves as a catalyst for responsible discussion and advice from professionals trained in assisting abused individuals. May this story ultimately serve as a vehicle to help encourage abused children, women, and men, as well as the people around them, to seek assistance in breaking these abusive chains.