Powerless parent: The struggle of surviving the “system”
No one wants to be labled a powerless parent, and being a mother and raising a child in today’s society is tough. However, when you add the adjectives like son, black and single to the mix now you go from tough to laborious. The debate whether to whip, whup, or spank a child has been debatable for many years. At one point at time there was no debate to be had, if a child did something inappropriate you got a whipping from the teacher, neighbor, babysitter, or family member that witnessed the initial infraction and then you got it again when your parents found out about it. That definitely is not the case today and this form of discipline has been as seen more controversial lately. Many critics have added their two cents in the disciplinary practices of mothers from the Baltimore mom who was caught on camera hitting her son for participating in rioting against her instructions to a variety of video posts of parents whipping their kids on social media outlets.
It baffles me of how critical society is of the single black mother. I was appalled when I read an article from The Advocate about a mother, Schaquana Spears, who caught her three pre-adolescent sons, ranging from ages 10 to 13, burglarizing a neighbor’s home. As a punishment she allegedly whipped them with a RCA cord, thus landing herself in jail on two counts of cruelty to juveniles. They stole but she ended up in jail for disciplining them. Now released on bond, this case has stirred up the debate over the difference between discipline versus abuse. But could it be argued that the real debate here is how society conveniently strips the power of parents?
Had she done nothing then she would be labeled a horrible mother who let her kids run wild terrorizing the neighborhood. Yet, she did what she probably thought was the best thing to do at the moment and received the punishment instead. In the wake of all the continued senseless killings of Black men and women in American society, not to mention the astronomical incarceration rates, there is a subconsciously embedded fear in minds of many Black mothers and even now some fathers that this same justice system would one day get a hold of their children and do far worse. So what are parents left to do?
Are parents becoming powerless to the “system”? Was Spears right to whip her kids or was it abuse? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
Related Article: 5 Reasons You Need to Let Go of Single Mom Shame
Until next time, Live Shamelessly!
Update: A few days after I initially wrote about this incident Ms. Spears was released from jail and all charges were dropped.