To Beat or Not to Beat, White Paternalism Will Not Work when Disciplining Black Kids


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By Walter L. Hilliard III



I’m sure many of you are overwhelmed and disgusted with all of these “Biff White Guy” and “Buffy White Girl” talking heads endlessly pontificating on how bad Black NFL players are, day after day on TV.

Whether it’s a cop or a judge in the criminal justice system, your White boss at work or a White female teacher considering your Black child for detention, when White folks “gots decisions to make” about Black lives, we know we’re about to be in BiiiiiiiiG, Big Trouble!

The reality is that Black people are “behind enemy lines,” at war in America with racism, under a system of White Supremacy, and they are 400-year-old survivors because most do sternly discipline their kids under great duress from the system. If a Black child doesn’t learn discipline and doesn’t have a parent that will “whip dat a#* or fight his or her teenage child on the spot, if necessary, that parent knows that child will be out of control, killed by the police or destroyed in so many other ways by mainstream America.  Black parents know that it’s hard enough surviving just being Black, so when you’re Black and causing trouble, America is definitely going to come after you.

Maybe the Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson went too far in beating his son, but most Black parents would be in jail for the beatings they’ve dished out over the years, when we know they shouldn’t be. Bonita Jackson, Peterson’s mother told the Houston Chronicle, “I don’t care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes . . . . but we were only trying to prepare them for the real world . . . . When you whip those you love, it’s not about abuse, but love.”

Black people live in a different culture than Whites – most of us cannot afford to send bad kids to psychotherapist or child psychologist. So it was funny to listen to White Bread Attorney Lisa Bloom telling a southern Black female attorney during Roland Martin’s “NewsOne Now” show that beating Black kids is wrong, quoting research on beating and/or discipline. And I say let Ms. Bloom march down to her local hood or “one pay check away” Black suburb to discipline a Black child by threatening to sit him in a corner or trying to talk to or lecture him or her about bad behavior – and they’ll drag her a#% into the street after they’re done laughing at her and talking back.

And this is the problem with the media’s current chastising of Black athletes like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and others – they’re rampant White paternalism is moot. They have racial issues with how they perceive Black people, and not only do the statistics show that most Whites are biased, at best, racist, at worst, regarding their relationship with Blacks, but a 400 year history of abusing Blacks reveals they have no credibility to judge our behavior.

So to Lisa Bloom and all of the other TV Talking Heads lecturing Black folks about beating their children – shut up and work on your race problem. With yaws record, it will be at least another 400 years before you can tell Black folks anything.