Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Spare the rod: Discipline and our Black children

White supremacy will have us all replicating acts of state sanctioned violence on our own children.

My Dad once yelled at me, told me how disappointed he was in my actions (staying out overnight with my Brother and his friends) 
 His words, tone and the look on his face made me want to dole out lashes on myself in his honor. Even as an adult his words still linger within me.

I've largely been disciplined using words, kind, harsh, truthful, honest words that are forever etched in my psyche.  Once my aunt once tried to physically discipline me, its a moment in our history where she saw me for who I am as an individual with agency; this forever changed our relationship for the better. 

I once threatened to spank my daughter and she put me to my paces, explaining to me how it made her feel in words that made me ashamed, and forced me reflect on: how my own Caribbean upbringing impacted my parenting, the historical significance of how my race, gender and the cultural expectations of how my child should be, act or think based on my parenting.

I've learnt the hard way how to individually parent this child, mostly by fumbling through the dark with her, listening to her and loving myself enough to give her only the best of me. 

Even as a single parent I feel privileged to call her my daughter, to provide a safe place for her to be heard, to be seen, for her to learn, for her to feel loved. 

And when we discuss violence, it's usually within the context of defence of self, community and each other. I am excited to discuss the importance and impact violence had and continues to have within the context of the revolution. 

As for me, I won't shame, shun or applaud the mother seen beating her son who was protesting. He was moved to act for a greater cause and his mother, well she acted out of fear for the life of her son in the only way she knew how. 

But in the vicious never ending cycle of violence on our Black bodies who truly wins when we regurgitate the actions of massa and now sanctioned by a militarized state on our young. 

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