Monday, December 29, 2008

Tyler Perry: Stop Letting Medea Spank Children As A Comedic Routine.

Please watch the first minute and eleven seconds of this clip.

Even though there are many issues with Mr.Perry and how he treats his writers, I must admit to a continuing fascination with Medea.  As I was watching some youtube clips the other day, I noticed one reoccurring theme that has brought an abrupt end to my love of this character.  Medea routinely beats children as part of comic relief.  This is child abuse.  Hitting children with belts is no way amusing, or funny. 

The rate of spanking in the black community is extremely high.  It is my belief that this is a legacy from slavery.  It is believed that unless "you wear a child out" they will not grow to respect their elders. or walk with a sense of personal decency.  The opposite is in fact true.

What are you teaching a child but that a bigger person may hit a smaller person when you resort to spanking?  It creates anger and resentment in the child as they quickly learn that their physical bodies are not valued. Spanking does not teach a child to respect an elder, rather it breaks down trust and creates an element of fear in the relationship.  Fear and respect are two very different things. 

If we are too teach our children respect, we first need to respect them and their right to grow in a home devoid of violence.  Parenting is not an easy job but just as we have off days so to do children.  No one advocates beating an adult for the mistakes that they make; and therefore beating a child based in age is equally wrong. 

The above clip in particular angered me. As I watched this child being beaten and listened to the laugher in the background, I realized that Perry and his writers gave no consideration to how triggering this might be to someone who has danced with the belt.  Perry himself is a survivor of abuse and I find this reprehensible.  To them this is just some kind of schtick that can be used for comedy relief despite the fact that it often leads to a lifetime of pain and anger. Though the welts and the bruises have long since faded from my body the anger lingers on.  By presenting this as a joke, all that Perry has done is legitimize child abuse. 

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