I Stand With Bean Daughter

Illustration for article titled I Stand With Bean Daughter
Image: LightField Studios (Shutterstock)

The new year is off to a pretty solid start—unless, of course, you are the nine-year-old child of Bean Dad, nee John Roderick, musician and podcaster who experienced a meteoric rise and fall on Twitter over the weekend after sharing a story of the trials of parenting. Roderick shared a “teaching moment” he had with his kid, aka Bean Daughter. The child told her father she was hungry, as children do, and instead of simply providing her with sustenance Roderick gave her a can of baked beans and told her to open it. For six hours, according to Roderick, the child could not figure out how to operate the can opener and went hungry. When she finally figured it out, Roderick was “overjoyed,” he wrote in one tweet according to the BBC.

Roderick deleted his Twitter account after being criticized for his parenting style, which some might and did call abusive. But perhaps his parents forgot to teach him a six-hour-long lesson about screenshots being forever. Roderick is certainly learning that lesson now that some of his old tweets, including some that include racist and sexist comments, have surfaced. In the alleged tweets written by Roderick, he uses terms like “mud people” and even uses the N-word to prove a point about the use of other slurs like “retarded.”

If, like most people, you’ve never heard of this man prior to this moment, then you probably didn’t know he hosted a podcast with his good pal Ken Jennings. You know, Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame who also appears to be a notorious asshole. (Two assholes converge on a podcast.) Naturally, Jennings came to the defense of his podcast co-host because those podcast checks need to keep rolling in until Jennings secures a hosting position on Jeopardy! or a hellish quiz show of his own making.

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While Jennings defended the Bean Family’s personal bean practices he was notably tweetless when accusations started flying that Roderick had tweeted racist and anti-semitic statements in the past. As usual, some of the tweets allegedly written by Roderick were preserved as screenshots and passed around the internet like a freshly opened can of pigeon peas (the superior bean, challenge me I dare you). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennings eventually did semi-defend his co-host by referring to him as “pro-Israel” which is, you guessed it, an entirely different can of beans.

As someone who was a child raised with the general ethos that nothing was really child abuse and all of it was just character building, I find myself extremely sympathetic toward the Bean Daughter. Granted, my parents never bragged about letting me go hungry because my motor skills weren’t up to par, but the general rule in my house was always if you didn’t like what was being served at mealtime, you simply did not eat. Even casting aside his bean lessons (Roderick’s defense is that going six hours between meals is standard) considering Roderick’s past racist and anti-semitic tweets, one wonders what else he might be feeding Bean Daughter.

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DISCUSSION

Teaching her how to do something can simply mean, you know, just showing her how to use a can opener. It takes 10 seconds and is a great lesson. In fact, no joke, I remember when my own dad showed me how to open a can of diced tomatoes. Guess what, it worked, because afterwards I always could open cans and am now a functioning adult with a positive father/daughter relationship.

I am a teacher and this would be like if I told my students “try to imagine how this equation would like to be solved” instead of explaining HOW TO SOLVE THE EQUATION.