While walking to the train, in my local Jersey City, NJ neighborhood, I overheard two young girls conversing.
“She got her ass whooped!” one of the girls exclaimed and her friend chuckled loudly in response.
“Yeah, I whooped her ass,” the other announced proudly, “I mean, after my momma told me to fight her, I knew I had to beat her ass. Otherwise, my momma woulda beat mine.”
They both continued to go back and forth speaking about the alleged fight and I just couldn’t help but wonder if I was living in some sort of twilight zone. Why the heck did these girls, barely even 15 or 16, believe it necessary to perpetuate and participate in violence? Why the heck would the mother of any child instigate a fight between her own and some other adolescent?
Barely a few moments into the questions ruminating in my mind, I opened Facebook for a brief distraction and stumbled upon a video posted by Mediatakeout.com, that has been viewed millions of times, captioned: “Mom ‘DISCIPLINES’ Her Daughter On Facebook Live . . . The Mother Is Upset By Some Of The THINGS . . . Her SIXTEEN YEAR OLD Was Posting On Social Media!! (Did The Mom Go TOO FAR . . . Is That CRIMINAL??)”
In the video, a mother angrily launches punches and slaps at her daughter, as she cowers and cries excessively and another unidentified individual records the “discipline”.
“You wanna be a thot!?” the mother can be heard questioning the daughter, who allegedly posted some questionable videos on Facebook.
The video lasts for a full five plus minutes, the mother yelling, screaming, punching and slapping her child the entire way through. And of course, this is not the first of its kind. Many Black parents have uploaded similar videos of them brutally disciplining their children and shared them on social media.
It is time that the Black community collectively shuns violence, instead of embracing it as some form of “discipline” and spreading it all over social media for the entertainment of others. No child should be forced to endure violence at the hands of their own parents, or inflict it upon another at the whims of a parent. It is just absurdly surreal that in the year 2016, we have not come to collectively agree to this yet.
Studies have shown, time and time again, that physical violence does not work as discipline. It is ineffective at best, and harmful to development, at worst. Yet, more African-Americans still disproportionately use corporal punishment to “discipline” their children compared to parents of other ethnicities. That is because generation after generation, we continue to teach children that it violence is not only permissible, but necessary.
With the constant abuse of Black women and girls at the hands of the state, the male members of our own communities and even one another one thing these girls certainly do not need more of is violence. Too many young girls have lost their lives to violence, even while being recorded like Amy Joyner and Ta’Jae Warner, who lost their lives during unnecessary fights with other Black.
We should not be surprised that Black girls would viciously attack one another, to the point of death, when brutal corporal punishment continues to be condoned as discipline and we even push for our girls to fight one another. Violence only begets violence. How many more lives much be lost before we collectively agree we have had enough?