Thanks for reading. I have shadow work to do, as do we all. This article was an attempt to delve into some of that work — the tough inner work of going beyond simply saying 'spanking is bad' and into understanding how to have that conversation as a call-in instead of a call out.
I didn’t have the language to say that when I was writing this article. The closest I knew how to say was this:
“Some might say that past trauma doesn’t excuse parental behavior that contributes to more trauma, and they are right. I’m not excusing Black women who spank their kids, but I do empathize with the need to discipline your child in a way you feel will keep them safe and alive.”
I think there are in-community conversations we (as Black people) have to learn how to have with each other, conversations about internalized anti-blackness, heterosexism, spanking, transphobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, sexism, elitism, colorism, just to name a few. Lord knows I am no expert at having these conversations myself, but I’m trying to find the language, and I choose to do that publicly.
Please know that I agree with you, but I acknowledge publicly here as well as in the article that spanking is part of post-traumatic slave syndrome. The point of this article, and clearly it was poorly made, is an attempt to say that this is an “in-community” conversation for Black mothers to have with each other, not an “outside-in” conversation where white mothers who don’t have to worry about their children’s safety in the same way as their Black counterparts get to stand on the sidelines and wag their fingers at traumatized people doing the best they know how to to keep their children alive.
Thank you for pushing me to find more precise language to express myself.