Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 11.15.10 AMAnother horrific video surfaced this weekend showing a father “disciplining” his daughter who allegedly took off for three days to “mess around” with boys.

The video, which many continue to mislabel as “discipline,” is a 19-second clip of a father holding his daughter by the hair and pummeling her with lashes from a belt, while the person filming (her mother?) calls the girl a “bitch” and yells, “You 13 hoe!”

The girl, whose on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction, struggles to get away from her father and block the stinging blows as he continues to attack her.

The entire scene is jarring, difficult to watch, and speaks to a failure of parenting.

But let’s get one thing straight:

IT IS NOT DISCIPLINE. IT IS ABUSE.

While many have given the father “props” for stepping in to straighten his daughter out, the entire brutal scene speaks to his fundamental failure in the first place.

After all, had this man been a constant, positive force in his daughter’s life I doubt she’d run away for three days. Moreover, had this dad (and this girl’s mother) been on the job from the beginning, beating her like a damn slave wouldn’t even be necessary.

I’ll reiterate: If you’re still BEATING your child as a teenager, something went drastically awry.  All of the “whoopings” handed out over the years were for naught, and it’s clear you need some different parenting strategies to raise a healthy, positive child.

Growing up, my mother whooped me, mostly for things like lying, failing to listen, or some other minor, fairly standard childhood offense. Though my brother and I grew up under the watchful eye of “Mr. Leather,” my mother abided by certain rules: she never hit me out of anger, never called me names, never hit me with random objects, and always explained why I was in trouble (and my father never  hit me at all). But by the time I was a teenager, the whoopings stopped. Why? It would have been too late.

If a parent fails to lay the proper foundation with their child while they’re young, beating them as a teen after they’ve done something stupid isn’t going to help either.

Raising a child is not easy. Trying to mold them into the best person possible is extremely difficult, particularly because they have their own thoughts, feelings, and personalities. Moreover, raising Black children can be fraught with even more complications given the challenges our communities face.

But beating a young girl in the street doesn’t teach her about respect, it doesn’t teach her to listen to her parents, and it does not teach her to value herself. If anything, getting beat down by your parents who then post the video to Facebook teaches her that she is nothing at all and can allow herself to be abused by those who “love” her when she doesn’t listen to what they say (which can be extremely problematic when it comes to dating.)

I’m not here to argue about the effectiveness of corporal punishment (though notice how it’s not called “corporal discipline”), my stance on that is very clear (and I’ve chosen not to spank my son). However, there’s a difference between spanking your child when you’re levelheaded and rational, and beating them in the street like you’re a pimp “curbing” his whore.

When I saw the video shared by a friend who asked, “Did the dad cross the line,” I had to shake my head.

Seriously?!

Even posing the question minimizes the damage whipping children can cause, and only furthers this horrible tradition that is far too often the only form of “discipline” in our community. I mean, what’s the difference between this video and the gut-wrenching scene in 12 Years A Slave where Epps beats Patsey—other than the lash wounds?

How anyone can look at this video and see “good dad!” or “effective discipline!” is beyond me, when it clearly shows a lack of respect by everyone involved.

Though many cheer this dad on, I’m hoping he gets arrested, not for “disciplining” his daughter but for beating her like she is subhuman and unworthy of even the slightest bit of dignity.

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  • Lilly

    I think beating up children is an easy way out for the parents. There are always roots to problems and if you follow certain patterns you will get to the root of the problem. I rebelled as a teen, I grew up with my grandmother because my dad was wandering the earth and my mom committed suicide. I rebelled because from the time my grandmother and aunts took me in I was continually told that I must try not to be like my mother or my father. That is confusing to a child because despite their faults they are you parents and you yearn for their love and acceptance…so my grandmother and aunts beat me up sometimes for mundane things like fetching aunties children from school. I grew up wondering what I had done wrong and even today I struggle with worth and I let people treat me badly. I stayed on the right path and finished varsity and I have turned out all right (I’m no menace to society) but internally I am a very damaged person…I still am looking for a place where I can be accepted and loved. I think all children need to find that at home…boundaries and love led discipline…then they would search for nothing outside…

    • MARIE

      Beating children is a form of undisciplined discipline. It makes a statement about the parent more than the child every time. It is a physiological fact that teenagers are “on dope”; chemically, they are stupid when it comes to making long-term decisions or drawing a line of correlation between their current behaviors and negative consequences that follow, this is basic knowledge for any parent to have and to make accommodations in their parenting style accordingly.

  • MARIE

    He’s teaching her to hate Black Men. Dumb Ass behavior like this.

  • Stephen Chang

    This type of behavior disgusts me. Even if the child did something bad, never beat that kid because he or she will be more resentful and rebellious. I have been abused by my mom and dad for many years. It is time for the younger generation to put a stop to this because it shows that hitting your child is not love at all.