Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Spanking and Slavery
a while back, on a blogi follow, there was som discussion about spanking and people of color, more particularly, blacks. and someone raised what they thought was a correlation (or causation..either/or or possibly both/and) between slavery and black parents spanking their children. i found an article on thegrio.com- 'For blacks, spanking has ties to slavery'. and also one from a mother's view on salon.com- 'Spanking'.
theres many things that have their roots in slavery that blacks (and non-blacks) continue to perpetuate, either habitually or because they believe it is a part of "black culture". food, for example, is something whose influence from slavery can be seen in the black community-what is euphemistically called "soul food" is really just "slave food". many of us have gained a taste for anything deep fried and the parts of the animals masters tossed away because that is what enslaved people had to eat to survive. and now its labeled "part of our culture"....i guess its beside the fact that its the main factor why the black community has more individuals with diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, obesity, and a slew of other ailments and fatal diseases than any other group of people in the US. but thats another topic...
what exactly is the (if any) tie between blacks spanking their children and slavery? we all know that blacks were whipped, flogged, and beaten for some of the slightest infractions, sometimes to death. and i think its well known that blacks were considered intellectually infantile, in need of supervision and control from whites. in that sense, the relationship between the parent and the master is similar...let these journalists tell it. however, i don't think white slave masters thought they were doing blacks any help. they were more focused on their own supposed superiority and economic gains, while many parents that spank their children are doing so because they truly believe it will help them learn discipline. although, many of the newest studies on spanking have shown that they cause more problems later in life than the "time-out" alternative.
is there some part of the slave descendant's psyche that says if you don't spank your children, someone else will....possibly to death? or is it possible many blacks spank because there is a corrrelation between Christianity and spanking? many christians often cite the verse "spare the rod, not the child" that supports their disciplining methods, and blacks are overwhelmingly members of the Christian faith more than any other religion (on a side note, i liked that thegrio.com columnist raised the support...if not blatant encouragement...of slavery in the bible. but, like the "slave food", thats another topic...). doesn't the fact that whites that have not had a history of slavery like that of blacks in America spank their children a problem for this argument?
comment. think. read.