Parents who use corporal punishment against their children when they misbehave often use the “Spare the rod, spoil the child” biblical reference when justifying their disciplinary decisions.
Traditionally raised black families who have deep-seated roots in the church often live by this disciplinary style and have been doing so for generations. However, a new book written by a progressive black female journalism professor is seeking to undo the tradition of “whupping” black children who misbehave.
This book is titled “Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America” and it is written by Dr. Stacey Patton (pictured). Dr. Patton teaches at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
She’s appeared on national cable news channels as a guest commentator and is a nationally-known social justice advocate.
A book review of “Spare the Kids” was recently published on the website of The Chronicle of Social Change. This book review was written by Marie K. Cohen, a senior contributor to The Chronicle’s blog. Cohen called Dr. Patton’s latest literary offering “an important new book.”
“Patton argues that the use of ‘whupping’ by black parents is a legacy of slavery. She found no evidence that West African civilizations employed the type of ‘ritualistic physical punishment’ that is practiced by some black parents today,'” Cohen wrote about Dr. Patton’s philosophy.
However, Cohen pokes holes in Dr. Patton’s philosophy by pointing out some vital misinformation about data, which was published in “Spare the Kids.”
“Patton draws a direct link between corporal punishment and child abuse, but her discussion of federal data on this issue is rather weak,” Cohen reveals.
“[Dr. Patton] reports that federal statistics ‘consistently show that black children are mistreated and killed by their family members at significantly higher rates than children of any other group.’ But the majority of these maltreated children were found to be neglected rather than abused,'” Cohen continued.
Dr. Patton’s argument could be further legitimized had her own children (if she has any) given testimony about their experience being raised in her household correctly without experiencing a single incident of corporal punishment. A childless advocate of children has limited credibility when making prescriptions about raising them when they haven’t done so themselves.
You can buy a copy of Dr. Stacey Patton’s new book here.