Stop Beating Black Children

Discussion in 'Mental, Medical and Sexual Health' started by Ockydub, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Ockydub

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    “This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you.”

    My black, middle-class adoptive mother often grumbled these words as she prepared to whup me for getting dirty, mouthing off, rolling my eyes, telling lies or any number of other childhood misbehaviors.

    I still see myself standing naked in the living room of our suburban New Jersey house, my heart thundering as I watched her through the screen door, rustling through the thicket of shrubbery that girdled the front porch.

    The switches she pulled smelled sweet and damp like the earth. Sometimes they whistled when she swung them. Other times they cut through the air like knives. They left long, red welts against the skin of my butt, back, arms and legs. If I tried to shield my head and face, she grabbed one of my arms, raised it over my head and whupped me as I bucked in a circle.

    When the beating was over, we stood within reach of each other, out of breath, our hair a mess. Her first words were always the same: “Stop that crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

    I wouldn’t look at her as I slid my clothes over my stinging skin and bent to pick up the broken branches.

    By the time I was 12, I was in the state foster care system: case #KC114343. I still carry the scars — fleshy Braille that narrates the story of my childhood. It is a common one, unfortunately. My adoptive mother, and generations of black parents like her, honestly believed that whupping children was a pillar of responsible black parenting.

    Today, black parents are still about twice as likely as white and Latino families to use corporal punishment on their children. I’ve heard many black people attribute their successes, or the fact that they weren’t in jail, on drugs or dead, to the beatings they received as children.

    But if whupping children kept black people out of prison or safe from abusive cops, there would be no mass incarceration or police brutality. If beatings were a prerequisite for success, black people would be ruling the world.

    After spending years in therapy, studying the history of corporal punishment and writing a doctoral dissertation on the well-orchestrated matrix of Jim Crow oppression that trapped black children at every developmental milestone, I now have a better understanding of why my adoptive mother punished me the way she did.

    Before white America enslaved millions of Africans, whuppings were not a parenting tool embraced by my ancestors. In fact, there is no evidence that ritualistic physical punishment of children existed in pre-colonial West African cultures, where children were viewed as sacred and purer than adults, and sometimes even as reincarnated ancestors or gods.

    It is a European idea that children are “born in sin” and should have the devil beaten out of them with a “rod of correction.” That brutality cascaded across other cultures through slavery, colonialism and religious indoctrination.

    It should not be surprising, then, that black American slaves, who endured the trauma of their own beatings, inherited their oppressors’ violence and, for centuries, passed down these parenting beliefs. This is one of the saddest untold stories in American history — the way in which the victims of racist oppression and violence have hurt the bodies of their own children in an effort to protect them from a hostile society.

    Today, despite 50 years’ worth of research on the harms of “tough love” parenting, many black parents still see a slap across the behind or a firm pop on the hand as within bounds. But it doesn’t stop there: Statistics gathered by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System consistently show that black children are mistreated and killed by their family members at significantly higher rates than children of any other group.

    Between 2006 and 2015, more than 3,600 black children were killed as a result of maltreatment, according to the Administration for Children and Families. That’s an average of 360 children a year, three times higher than for other racial and ethnic groups. Many social workers and district attorneys I have talked to say it is not malicious parents intentionally hurting their kids who end up with convictions for child abuse or homicide; it is those who started spanking and escalated as the child got bigger.

    Too many black leaders continue to support hitting children. A few years ago, our first black president joked nostalgically at the 100th anniversary of the N.A.A.C.P. about the days when the community was empowered to publicly whup misbehaving children. Black clergy preach a “spare the rod, spoil the child” gospel. Black comedians make fun of white parents who do timeouts. And the latest trend is parents uploading videos to social media of them screaming at, shaming and hitting their kids, for millions of people to view and “like.”

    The truth is that white supremacy has done a masterful job of getting black people to continue its trauma work and call it “love.” That is how, in some 19 states, mostly in the South, you can get so many black parents to sign opt-in forms giving public schoolteachers permission to paddle their kids with wooden boards, even though black students are five times more likely to be hit than white students for committing the same offenses.

    Black children are also more at risk of being assaulted, seriously injured or killed by a parent than by a police officer, a neighborhood watchman or an irritated racist who hates rap music. We have to stop hurting our children to protect them. It is not working. And worse, it erodes our children’s humanity and co-signs the slave master’s logic that you have to hit a black body to make it comply.

    We need to stop teaching children that obedience is their greatest virtue. Especially as we brace for the possibility of more systemic racial devastation, we need young people who push boundaries and become the kinds of adults who will not let themselves be victimized.

    The violence that black children experience from trigger-happy cops, in the streets of cities like Baltimore and Chicago, in schools and at home is all interconnected. It is all strange and bitter fruit from the same tree. I am asking that black parents stop assisting in the devaluation of our children.

    Instead, we must make black childhood the antidote to centuries of racism.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/opinion/sunday/stop-beating-black-children.html?_r=0
     
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  2. RolandG

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    Spanking is not the sole domain of black people. First point. Second point is this debate will never end as there are plenty of people who got spankings growing up and have turned out fine. I'm one of them. Would I spank my kids? I'm not sure that I can say I would never swat them on the behind if they did something disrespectful or dangerous. Would I take a belt or switch and just whip them over and over? Probably not.
     
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  3. Rico

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    Same experience as you. When my nephews came along, however, I felt spanking was just and their form of lunching for black kids, so I didn't spank them, I made them do military PT when they acted up (mostly push-ups).

    Dr. Alvin Pouissant, the black psychiatrist who worked as a consultant for the Cosby Show, was one of the first major black figures to down talk corporal punishment for children of color:
    Corporal Punishments Hidden Costs

    But as the thread author points out spanking in th hands of crazy people is nothing more than childhood terrorism.
     
  4. RolandG

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    I just hate when people go overboard and start using terms like "beating" when referring to swatting a child on the back end for doing something that could possibly kill them. It's almost a conversation ending accusation which prevents any meaningful dialogue.
     
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  5. GNerd2012

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    I plan to adopt children in the future, or have biological children if the opportunity presents itself. I vowed to never spank my children. Spanking, or should I say popping, is only necessary for infants and toddlers to keep them away from dangerous materials. However, with proper parenting, once the child reaches the age to communicate with language, there should be no need for spanking.
    Go on YouTube and look up Conscious Discipline on the different ways you handle child misbehavior, and approach them from a position of loving authority versus the domineering, borderline abusive parent.
    Also, look up Stefan Molyneux, and search his videos where he presents research-based lectures on the harmful effects of physical punishment on children.
    I challenge black parents to not only stop beating their children like they're animals, but to stop yelling, screaming, and putting down their children just because the little ones "irritated" you. I can rant about this subject for like three more paragraphs because my family and other families I've witnessed were guilty of verbal abuse and constant put-downs.
     
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  6. Ockydub

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    Who said it was? Why is it that many times when the focus is what Black people, a potential problem that impacts us based on our actions and mindset , the initial reaction is to divert away from that focus?

    Are we going to pretend that Black people historically have not scoffed and laughed at "time out" for children as something that "white people do", which is a reason as to why "they" are so crazy.

    Other than that, I agree with your statement.
     
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  7. RolandG

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    The title was "Stop Beating Black Children" as if white children aren't getting beat and as if popping a child on the behind is actually beating to begin with. I'm just questioning the focus of the article which implies that we beat our children like dirty rugs. That's all.
     
  8. Ockydub

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    "February is call Black History month, as if White people don't have history." That's what you sound like.

    This article stated:

    "Statistics gathered by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System consistently show that black children are mistreated and killed by their family members at significantly higher rates than children of any other group.

    Between 2006 and 2015, more than 3,600 black children were killed as a result of maltreatment, according to the Administration for Children and Families. That’s an average of 360 children a year, three times higher than for other racial and ethnic groups. "​

    ...and you talking about what other people are doing...who cares...its not the topic nor focus of the essay.
     
  9. RolandG

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    Sir, 3,600 children being killed as a result of maltreatment has nothing to do with a parent spanking their children. Killing and spanking are two different things. Why muddy the water to try and make the point that spanking is not the best option to discipline children? I know a lot of my friends and other kids who receiving spankings. I don't know anyone that died from a spanking. Not saying that spanking is the best option. I just hate when people, regardless of their skin color, suggest that black parents are these savage beasts that walk around beating the hell out of their children all the time. Again, I wouldn't characterize my parents or the parents of my friends as unloving, cold creatures nor do i think that black kids are in danger because their black parents chose to spank them from time to time. Perhaps there should be more articles about parenting and different/better options to discipline kids in order to raise them as respectful and productive members of society.
     
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  10. Ockydub

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    Yet...you didn't think talking about what "white people do" is muddying the waters when reading and discussing an article/essay about Black childhood discipline?

    I would bet you if the article was about White people spanking their children, your response wouldn't be "but Black people do it to."

    Did the author say this? Can you point me to the sentence / paragraph where this was stated or implied? I know who do say things like this...Black people. Because we have witnessed this concerning other Black people beating the hell outta their children.

    Should things that impact Black people culturally not be discussed in public forums because White people may be looking and listening?

    Should threads in the forums that specifically focus on Black people be private or password protected so non-Black people will not see our dirty laundry?

    I'm just trying to understand the parameters that are in place for when we can specifically dive into discussing Black people stuff without talking about what "White people do" as if they're the gold standard benchmark that everything should be modeled after.
     
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  11. RolandG

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    Somebody's on a soapbox. I never said we couldn't discuss it. I brought up white people not to muddy the water but to suggest that it has nothing to do with skin color at all. What i'm saying is that there are other factors that may contribute to these 3600 black kids being killed. Were they kids from broken homes? Where they killed by single teenage mothers who were overwhelmed? How many were killed by black parents who were gainfully employed with plenty of food and shelter? If we want to talk about why we're killing our kids disproportionately, we have to dig deeper than just saying all black parents should stop beating black children. The title is provocative to draw people in, i'm sure, but nothing in the article states or proves that parents who spank their kids are also going to kill them. Also, if any number of white parents are killing their kids, maybe its for the same reason that a black parent would kill theirs so why focus on the skin color and not the socioeconomic or mental problems instead of the blackness.
     
  12. Ockydub

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    Because the author decided to based off of their own experiences as a member of the Black community...seriously????

    I do think its fucked up that the Black author decided to do this instead of talking about what you wanted them to talk about. The audacity of some authors.
     
  13. Ockydub

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    Yes; its continuing to call out Black people and their typical diversionary tactics.

    As I discussed in:

    "But White People Do It Too"
    But White People Do It Too
     
  14. BlackguyExecutive

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    I don't necessarily see a problem with discipline and spanking. However, I do think there is a clear difference in beating your kids. I absolutely hate when I come across people who beat and cuss out their kids in public settings. In many ways, the beating is not that being of a deal, it's the humiliation that has lasting effects. I was spanked as a kid a few times and it didn't faze me any. But I do know people and have friends who were borderline abused by their heavy handed parents and they have issued today. I also have a few cousins who beat his kids in the same way his mother and father beat him. It is very circular.

    With that being said, I have a brother who is 15 years younger than me and has never been beaten a day in his life. My mom says its just a different time.

    Would I beat my kid(s), probably not...I just don't know how effective it really is, over teaching kids proper values so they don't get in situations warranting a spanking...
     
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  15. RolandG

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    I can detect a little sarcasam in your comment but I would've thought that he would've delved deeper if he really cared about the plight of these kids and wanted to discuss solutions. Instead he only pointed out a problem, like a lot of people, and then left the table. But he is the author so he can write about whatever he wants as you said.
     
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  16. Dante

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    I remember hearing stories about the childhood days of my mother and father and the "beatings" they got, which would warrant CPS to get involved in present day parenting.
    My childhood only involved a spanking a few times, a few broom chases and one hip toss across the room by my mother. And I turned out fine...lol
     
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  17. Rico

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    Don't you hate that? Lol parents work it out on the oldest/first born child then the younger siblings get Chill City. The way I see it I got all the whuppins and my younger brother and sister didn't get enough.
     
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