Clutch magazine's Kirsten West Savali presents a provocative theory about why African-American parents resist the science that says hitting children is ill-advised.

… I have been waiting, patiently, for someone to give me one reason — other than the immediate gratification of getting a child to stop in that moment and "police won't beat them" — that proves hitting children as a form of discipline is effective. What lesson is learned other than fear and submission to authority — when in their presence? I have heard horror stories from parents with children that they "have to" lay out with belts to get them to listen, and then lay them out again when they don't listen again. Of course, as parents, we have to do what's best for our children and there is no universally accepted blueprint, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. All that I want is for people, specifically in the black community, to consider that hitting children might not be all we've been been trained to believe that it is.

Yes, trained.

When we were on plantations in the antebellum South, and massa wanted us to behave, what did he do?

He whipped us.

When we attempted to read and think for ourselves, what did he do?

He whipped us.

When we tried to run away and assert our autonomy, and massa's overseer caught us, what did he do?

He whipped us.

When massa said we were being “disrespectful,” what did he do?

He whipped us.

To keep us in line, working hard and obedient, he whipped us, and that is the exact same thing that we do to our children.

Read Kirsten West Savali's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

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