Beating Children is Technically an American Tradition

When I was in public Elementary school in Oklahoma, bad students got paddled (by the male gym teacher). I don't think they were abused.

I've never been hit with a switch, but most of the black adults I know recieved this type of discipline when they were young. 

Beatings are embedded in our history as much as chitterlings are. I'm not saying all black people beat their kids, or that we all eat chitterlings. I'm saying that during slavery we endured things generation after generation and these things became our way of life.

Slaves would often beat their children in order to prevent a worse lashing from master. Many times when slaves were beat themselves, either them, or another slave was told to get the whip. If a slave got out of line a beating was the most common way of punishing him. Our belief that beatings are an acceptable form of punishment is a direct result of how we were treated as slaves. Slavery changed our way of life, our culture and our future.

This is because generation after generation has grown up with bits and pieces of slave traditions passed along to them from the people before them.

For example, both my grandma and great-grandma told me stories of having to go out and pick a switch so they could get beat (by their parents). Sometimes with clothes on and sometimes naked. My mother has told me stories of having to get the belt to get beat and how she and her siblings were paddled, smacked, and dragged. 

Although, I've never been hit with a switch, or dragged or paddled as the generations before me, my mom sent me to get the belt on more than one occassion. 

I do not personally know a single black person who did not get a beating/spanking at least once in their life. I got "beat" when I was small. I got "slapped" & I got "popped." (For the most part, my mother hit me with her open hand). Not all the time, and not  for everything I did wrong. 
I've was an honor student all through school. I have no criminal record. I have no points on my driver's license. I volunteer from time to time. I work. I vote. I don't think that getting beat had any negative affects on me. My parents knew the difference between discipline and abuse.

In 2001 I took parenting classes as part of a women's support program that I was in at the time (for domestic abuse, but that's another story). I don't know the last time I hit one of my children. I don't have to. I can just take away something they like, or ban them from things. In some cases, I can make them cry just by telling them how disappointed I am in their behavior (i.e. a lecture).

But here's how psychologically damaging our past can be to our present. When the news about Adrian Peterson came out, the first thing I said was, "Really? He's so stupid! Why didn't he just have the mom beat the kid? He's too big to be doing that." My dad did not beat me as a child. My mom did it, because I was a  girl & my parents felt my dad's strength could cause him to go too far. I never thought Adrian Peterson was wrong, or cared to find out how severe the child was beat. In my mind, he was a parent disciplining his child and the media was freaking out for nothing. 
Blacks aren't the only people who beat their children. Practically everyone I know has been struck by their parents at least once in their Iife.

There's been alot of stuff about spanking posted on the internet lately. I think this one of Kermit is pretty funny. But on a serious note, people have to know how to draw a line between abuse and discipline. 

Nita Michelle

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.