Let me make it perfectly clear that there is no…I’ll say that again…NO correlation between my disciplining my children and an officer of the law physically assaulting a child…excuse me….a BLACK child. For those who are trying to, once again, find a connection between parents who discipline their children by spanking, popping the butt or legs, tapping a hand, or what have you, to society feeling like it is okay to drag a 16 year old girl out of her chair and across the floor, may as well try to harness the wind or catch oil in your grasp. Yes, I used spanking as a form of discipline with my children because I wanted them to know that spanking was “a” not “the” form of consequence for their actions. They also received time-outs, punishments of being in the house, no tv, no toys, and very stern talks. However, just because I spanked…not BEAT…spanked my children, I was not diminishing who or what they were to become, neither was I telling them that this was the expectation that they should have from society. I agree that corporal punishment in and of itself may not produce a positive outcome, but it can be effective when used along with consistency, admonishing, love, and support. A spanking, punishment, discipline from a place of love, boundaries, and correction is very different from a beating from anger, hatred, and abuse! The Baltimore mom who was seen on television hitting her son because she was so appalled and afraid at what she witnessed her child doing was both applauded and criticized. Applauded by media saying they were glad to see a mom who was taking control of a young black man in the wrong. Criticized by others (you know who you are) because of “How” she was taking control of a young black man in the wrong. Black mothers, especially, are in a no win situation. If we correct our children physically, we are being abusive, if we don’t correct them physically, we are being punks or irresponsible. My children learned that if they displayed unacceptable forms of behavior that there would be age appropriate consequences. That did not make them perfect children, but it made them adults with a conscious and a knowledge that for every action there is a counter action. That being said, they also knew that they had every right to feel safe and protected by me and their father. That they did not have to relinquish their rights as a person just because they grew up in a household where discipline was enforced. Because I spanked my children, also did not send a message to society that it was okay for anyone to treat them as if they were less than human. My children have been taught to respect authority but to also feel that they have the right to question authority when they feel they are being treated outside of the dignity and respect of being a human being. What the officer did, and also the school administration did, was to strip this 16 year old girl of her dignity and respect and treated her as if she was less than human. I fault the teacher and administrator for not having the classroom management skills to handle the situation because this was clearly not a law enforcement level incident. In turn, the officer took it to a level of wrestling down a 200 lb man who was tearing up a bar or robbing a liquor store. The officer’s response is sickening, but the fact that there are those who now want to blame parents who spanked their children as the reason why this officer or any other law enforcement representative feels it is okay to physically assault this young lady or any other black child is as bad as blaming the victim for being assaulted.
October 28, 2015