By Dan Bernstein- senior columnist

Editor’s note: Once a week now, Bernstein will be writing a nationally syndicated column on that focuses on national issues. He will continue writing on local topics as well. This is a primer to his column for this week. Click the link below to read in full.

(CBS) The pictures of Adrian Peterson’s toddler, tortured by the very hand of what should be his most loving trusted protector, were horrifying.

What has been said in the aftermath, however, has been stunning.

First it was Charles Barkley, opening a window to a subculture in which beating children with tree branches remains acceptable and commonplace. While a stark jolt of news for many of us, for others it was the public exposure of long-known truth.

“Whipping – we do that all the time,” Barkley said on CBS. “Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances. We called it spanking, or whipping our kids.”

Sadly, it’s not difficult to corroborate what would seem to be a typically inflammatory overreach by a professional provocateur. In this case, it turns out he’s more right than I wanted him to be, with all kinds of data available that indicate widespread approval of whipping children along both lines he describes – regional and racial.

Barkley wasn’t alone, with other NFL players among those recalling their experiences with corporal punishment.

Click here to read Bernstein’s full column.