All Summer16

The Summer of 2016 started off with a bang in more ways than one.

April left us reeling from the death of Prince. And, the May offered no condolences, dealing blow after blow, in no particular order but each one equally horrendous:

A shooter killed more than 40 people and injured even more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

(http://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482322488/orlando-shooting-what-happened-update)

Actor and activist Jesse Williams gave a riveting speech at the BET awards that was so relevant, it prompted some to petition for him to be fired from his job on the hit TV Drama Grey’s Anatomy.

(https://www.change.org/p/boycott-abc-network-and-sign-petition-to-fire-jesse-williams-from-grey-s-anatomy-for-racist-rant)

The nation learned that the #FreddieGray trials were resulting in no convictions against the law enforcement officers that were involved in his arrest; the arrest that resulted in his death which was subsequently ruled a homicide. The lack of convictions was just the continuation of many shocking results of the matter as the remaining charges were dropped against the other officers who where involved.

(http://www.blackreport.com/archives/2016/07/27/remaining-charges-dropped-against-police-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/)

The bones of the #SandraBland case continue to fall from the closet after her death was ruled a suicide last year. Officer Michael Kelley has recently admitted that he was warned not to speak out about some very important facts regarding Sandra Bland’s case. He also revealed that his career was threatened and was told that he would face repercussions if he spoke to Bland’s family attorney.

(http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-officer-in-sandra-bland-case-20160729-story.html)

We also learned–that police officer Eric Casebolt of McKinney Texas would not face assault charges for his behavior towards a 15 year old teen at a pool party in June of 2015. Officer Eric Casebolt was recorded behaving recklessly while responding to a disturbance at the pool party. He is seen waving his weapon around at the crowd of people and then slamming a black teenager to the ground while subduing her with his knee in her back under his body weight.

(http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/grand-jury-declines-to-indict-ex-cop-involved-in-mckinney-pool-party.html/)

During a protest in response to the continued racial tensions and police brutality across the nation in Dallas, Texas, a man opened fire on police officers killing 5 and wounding others, including a protester. A brief standoff ensued however it was quickly ended when the suspect was disarmed and killed by an explosive detonation by Dallas SWAT. The media was intent on blaming the outcome of the protest on the #BlackLivesMatter movement while ignoring the very reason someone saw fit that such a movement needed to take place.

(http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-county/breaking-shots-fired-and-officers-down-at-downtown-dallas-protest/266881573)

As a Dallas native I can say this was very much so a sad, horrific, and tense time. My twitter feed was on fire, the text messages wouldn’t stop coming, and my spirit was on the ropes.

Trying not to give in to my emotions, I left for work the following morning with an intent to maintain a silent protest in hopes that I would be able to get through the day with my office door closed while never speaking a word of the incident to my coworkers. I wanted to just close off and lament the catalyst that started it all: the unresponsiveness of State and Federal Government in cases involving blatant police brutality, racism, and racial profiling. Not to mention the casual feigns of ignorance when it comes to identifying #whiteprivledge

No less than 30 days after the shooting involving Dallas Police officers, two black men #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastilewere were shot and killed (roughly 24 hours apart) by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St Anthony, Minnesota.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/07/06/alton-sterlings-death-appears-to-be-another-police-shooting-that-was-both-legal-and-preventable/)

(http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/7/you_shot_four_bullets_into_him)

Needless to say, the pattern is more than obvious but the powers that be seem to be blind and deaf. As both are being argued as legal, justified, as well as preventable.

To make an already outrageous and genocide-eque situation worse, another black man, Charles Kinsley was shot by police in Florida while unarmed, with his hands up.

(http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/07/black-fla-therapist-who-was-shot-by-police-reunited-with-autistic-patient/)

For my entire life, as long as I can remember, Black People have been fighting to receive equality of the most basic means and this struggle has only gotten more intense, more severe, more life threatening, more bloody, and has encouraged groups on either side to rise up their bands to do something about it.

The Black Community has responded with strategic action plans that have gotten the attention of celebrities and professional athletes and resulted in thousands of groups forming to promote and influence change in their communities.

Social media has been flooded with black posters sharing their ideas on resolving the issues and affecting change. There have even been suggestions of boycotts, all black market co-operatives, legal action committees, protests against specific businesses and politicians, and well as the encouragement of more black to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms to protect themselves and their homes.

To paraphrase a quote by one of my favorite singers, Sam Cooke. A Chang Has Come…

 

 

 

 

Blogging 101: Be Inspired By the Community

http://modernblackdad.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/to-beat-or-not-to-beat-your-kids/

I commented on the above blog the other day. Its ironic that after having just spanked my 9 year old for being disruptive and disrespectful in music class, I clicked on it and thus my thoughts began to churn.

Let me preface the following by clarifying my position. All children do not respond the same to certain forms discipline. Spankings are not my first response to an issue. I make a stern personal effort to explore other options with my daughter before spanking. I believe in the learning process for children. Ultimately they need to be taught.

A few months ago I started thinking about the affects of spanking at the hands of a out-of-control parent. I thought about how damaging it can be to a child. I thought about myself and how I consider myself a fighter and how thats likely because Im not stranger to pain. I thought about how maybe…just maybe my having been spanked as a child made me tougher and less fearful of the world around me and how this attitude could be detrimental if I failed to be a balance person. The thoughts kept coming. I thought about my child and how meek and passive she is. I thought about her personality and how I want her to be well-rounded. I thought about how I raise her and could I be doing a better job. Those thought ended with my promising myself that I would see how much more effective I can be with other measures outside of spanking. Not because I fear what people think of me or my child but because I want to teach her more and use pain as a deterrent less

Before I became a parent I was a GO for corporal punishment. Why? Because I was and still am (but not as much as before I became a parent and received a new set of emotions and attitudes ) influenced by the way  my parents raised me. As parents ourselves, we inadvertently parent the way we were parented. Along the way we begin to develop our own standards but largely, our roots start with our parents.

I was spanked. I cant recall a time in which I felt as though my parents didn’t love me or that they were punishing me unjustly or abusively. Of course it hurt. Thats the point.Pain as a deterrent. Even as an adult looking back I don’t feel negatively affected by it. Which by the way, further illustrates why I have few qualms about it today…at least temporarily.

Times have changed drastically since the 1970s and 1980s. Our parents didnt have to combat the same type of issues and pressures that we have today as parents. On that same vein, our children arent the children that we were. We grew up in a different and more innocent era. Basically the parent v. child positioning has changed and I cannot say this change is for the better. These changes shape us and determine how we will respond to disciplining our kids. Im sure that we all can agree regardless of age or nationality that children as well as adults need discipline and structure in their lives. For some of us this involves spanking, whoppings, corporal punishment etc.

Lets BLine back to the changes that have occurred between the generations and how those changes affect the growing trend of parents that refuse to incorporate spanking in their parenting process and those that do.

Facebook didnt exist 18-30 years ago. There was no TMZ, YouTube, Reddit, etc. There were no mass outlets to report your family’s shortcomings. Our parents didnt have the nuisance of raising us on center stage and we werent growing up under the watchful eye of the internet, cell phone cameras, and overzelous neighbors.

Today nearly everything we do is exposed. We live in a READY JUDGE society.

When our children are unruly, violent, low performing, disruptive, disrespectful and dare I say it, imperfect…we want to, we need to, and must correct them before we are JUDGED.

Lets be honest, outside opinions influence what we do on the inside. Those of us that care what our peers think of us do not want them to formulate negative opinions of us. In this case, we don’t want people talking badly about us and our children so we do our best to make sure they behave and give a positive impression of us and our families. If/when they dont, we have to do something. We have to correct them. This translates into spankings for some parents. Time outs for others, deprivation of privileged, etc.

Parents spank for many reasons but if we put the pieces on a table…order them properly, they are all cause and effect.
Bad children attract negative perceptions, negative perceptions are unwanted…this leads to damage control…control the children that are causing the negative perception. control entails corporal punishment (optional).

Unfortunately…too many people have leaped completely over the line that divides corporal punishment and physical abuse. Children are being severely beaten and some are just being slowly murdered by the hands of their parents. Discipline is a process not a one swipe resolution. And when parents dont know what discipline is, dont know how to administer it.

Its not surprising that many people have began to look at themselves in the mirror and decide that corporal punishment has no place in their home. No loving and well-meaning parent wants to look into the mirror and see themselves as a chronic abuser. And sometimes this is the misinterpreted view that we have of ourselves because corporal punishment has developed a stigma.

This stigma can be attributed to both abusive parents, media sensationalism, and the invasion of privacy by outsiders. What is viewed as excessive by one person can be viewed as slight by another. Who gets to make the determination? Here is where the friction starts.

This is what has parents on the side of “I dont know what I can and cant do to discipline my child so I’ll do nothing” and others on the side of “Im going to report anyone who is disciplining their child in a way that I deem excessive.”

Its a CATCH 22 perhaps.

As a parent you’re damned if you do discipline your kids (and that way is disagreed upon by the masses) and you’re damned if you dont discipline your child because without discipline (and structure…children, like most things, will fall apart and run a muck.)

Whats a parent to do? Where is the happy medium here?
Do parents yield to the judgement and not discipline their kids the way they see fit?
Does corporal punishment need to be outlawed?
Does law enforcement need to provide better support and assistance with problem children if they are going to interfere with parents rights?

Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed.