A few days ago I came across an article which made it’s way to Facebook by way of New York Times. While the title was interesting, “Stop Beating Black Children,” by Stacey Patton. As I suspectd that the title was to catch attention of those who would normally bypass said post. I wanted to see what it was all about. While I am usually one to support many narratives about African American expereience that serve to educate others of our culture. This one seemed more negative and biased. It generalized and used skewed information to highlight a point that really was not totally factual. I was so surprised.(insert straight face emoji)
I am an African American woman…I was raised by my mother who is also African American and a former Marine. What this means is that my experience is my own. When I talk about who I am and how I got to be who I am I try very hard to do it in a nuetral fashion as possible (a lot of editing goes into what I write to maintain the netruality while telling my story). I digress …
While it is true that the discipline form of spanking in many ways that is perceived as a norm in the black community is a large part of what has been recognized as Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, it is not 100% due in part to slavery. Many other cultures embrace spanking from long before colonoialism. Africa’s form of corporal punshment made colonial “spanking” look like a literal slap on the wrist. It is more severe and handled swiftly and painfully. It also entails having other ways of correcting things such as taking away privleges which many seem to have forgotten are not compulsory needs for kids. I worked in the field of Foster Care at some point and while the abuse that children of color endure is greater in the inner city more than any other demographic, much of the abuse is not physical. The children do not end up in under the care and jurisdiction of DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) by accident due to “spanking.” Many of them end up there via their parents being addicted to drugs, alcohol, victims of abuse whom is not getting the assistance they need for their own issues while trying to raise children usually in a single parent household.
Many of those families whom she refers to that are engaged in said PTSS “whuppins” and caught up in the CPS (Child Protective Services) DYFS (Divisivion of Youth and Family Services) systems are not black american middle class families either. A large majority of them if not all are lower class, single parents, older siblings charged with the care of younger siblings before they have attained the wisdom necessary to raise a family successfully or otherwise. Caught up in a system which is based more on color than absolute guilt. Please note the same happens to single families living within and under the same economic situations and education levels. However she makes her sole argument about Black American parents. There are folks who engage in the “whuppins” out of frustration, anger and the like, but not every single one of them.
I grow weary of those who have been abused making excuses and broad generalizations and explanations about their abusers. Not every one handing out spankings as a form of discipline are abusing their children. That is the reason many can say “I turned out fine”. What is clear is that the level of spanking is based on culture, African American, African, White American and the like have broad levels from disciplinary to corporal punishment extreme. All based on individuals who dole it out. I would appreciate greatly if people would stop skewing facts and making African Americans look as though all we know is violence mixed with weak parenting, After all during the age of Slavery the nannies, wet nurses and folks charged withe responsibility of day care were black women (slaves who were beaten regulalrly by master) as they doted on master’s children by misteress and them. There is nothing weak about us or our past.
Not every person with ability to procreate is capable of being a good parent, which is to say honestly the ability to reproduce does not change young ladies into mothers like the knoweledge wisdom understanding and maturity one would have does. Many have been abused in the name of discipline and many have been saved by the same form. To condem what works for some and not all is partaking in fruit of the poisonous tree. Live and let live.