September 18, 2014

A black sociology professor's take on child abuse

Michael Eric Dyson has an opinion piece at the NY Times this morning about the rampant child abuse that takes place in many African American homes. The article was occasioned by Adrian Peterson's physical abuse of his four-year-old child and his reliance on religious excuses for this behavior.
If beating children began, paradoxically, as a violent preventive of even greater violence, it was enthusiastically embraced in black culture, especially when God was recruited. As an ordained Baptist minister with a doctorate in religion, I have heard all sorts of religious excuses for whippings.
It's good to see light thrown on this shady practice. To be clear, this also happens in white families. And the abusive white parents often cite the same "religious" excuses for their behavior. God is such a convenient fall-back position. But of course, there is no god. These folks are simply evil for beating their children.

Beating a child is never okay. All parents who engage in such abuse perpetuate a cycle of violence, guaranteeing that their children will grow up to beat their children. This makes no sense. And bringing god into it doesn't help at all. The mass murders being committed by ISIS are the final, logical extension of this way of thinking. God made them do it. Sorry, but that doesn't fly.

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