Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Uncle Takes Belt to Nephew To Stop Gang Affiliation

Trigger warning for violence.

A young man posted false information on his facebook page regarding gang affiliation and this is how his uncle dealt with it.

 
I fully understand why the uncle was concerned to find his nephew talking about being a part of a gang on his facebook page, but violence and humiliation was not the way to handle it.  I found this story at Clutch magazine and a lot of the commenters were congratulating the uncle for his intervention, without thinking of how violence and humiliation probably hurt this child.

Beating someone with a belt is not a sign of love or concern.  What I want to know, is since this video has gone viral, why have the police not arrested this uncle for assault or child abuse?   Children, much like women, are assumed not to have the right to physical safety.  Because they do not have the ability to defend themselves and earn no money, society does not see the safety of children as worthy of concern.  

I watched this video and was incredibly triggered, because it reminded me of my own dances with the belt.  Though this child may not have cried after being whipped with the belt, there is no doubt in my mind the psychological damage was immense.  Not only was he beaten by a member of the family and told that it was an act of love, it was broadcast on the internet for everyone to share in his humiliation.  When he attempted to defend himself, he was threatened with even more violence. Why would hitting the uncle in an act of self defense be terrible, but yet the uncle whipping the nephew with a belt was supposedly righteous?

The issue of people being involved in gang activity is serious and far more involved than a lack of discipline in the home.  The nephew wasn't even a real gang member, he simply believed that it was a cool thing to pretend.  With all of the negative images of Black masculinity in society, is it any wonder that this child believed that this was a positive representation?  This is a social issue and it cannot be solved by beating our children into submission.