28 Signs Of A Domestically Violent African-American Male

Many Black Women Treat Probable Black Male Predators Like Normal People

When watching online interactions, I’m often mystified by watching women repeatedly try to dialogue with Internet Ike Turners™ (a descriptive and handy phrase coined by Gina, blog host of What About Our Daughters) as if they are normal men. I often have to remind myself that other women haven’t had the mass exposure to abusive men that I’ve had while defending them in the court system. Women aren’t catching the warning signals these men are giving off because they don’t recognize them. I worry that women are most likely carrying over this same behavior into their offline lives.

Most Domestically Violent African-American Males Are Not Subtle In Their Hatred of Women

Over the years, I’ve represented hundreds of domestically violent men. [Like many law firms, my firm cynically knows that it sometimes helps to assign women attorneys to defend accused male defendants in domestic battery and rape cases. It can sometimes help these men look somewhat less menacing to jurors.] Unlike wife beaters from other ethnic groups, most of the domestically violent African-American men that I’ve represented are not subtle. They’re not Dr. Jeckylls who suddenly transform into monstrous Mr. Hydes. Most of the African-American male woman beaters that I’ve defended are transparent in their hatred of women. They couldn’t hide their deep hatred of women if they wanted to. Their everyday conversation is enough to give “Stay Away” warning signals to any sensible woman who recognizes these signals, and who’s even halfway paying attention.

Many Black Women Ignore Violent Male Predator Warning Signals

But I see that so many African-American women either don’t recognize these signals, or have trained themselves to overlook them. They continue to interact with these men as if they’re normal people. When women have unnecessary interactions with these males as if they are normal people, they are supporting these men’s statements and behavior. When you try to dialogue with these men as if they’re normal, you are helping to normalize their twisted viewpoints. You’re validating them even when you call yourself disagreeing with them. To even discuss their rantings with them gives them the message that their rantings are worthy of discussion.

Some viewpoints are so far removed from human decency that there is no dialogue to be had about them. Would you debate and dialogue with a child molester about why he feels it’s appropriate to molest children? No, because there’s nothing to discuss about that issue except how to more quickly apprehend such creatures. Well, the same principle applies to abusive males.

Domestically Violent Males Interview and “Screen” Prospective Female Victims

The other thing that I’ve noticed about the domestically violent males I’ve represented is that they are not brave. They generally won’t attack some random, unknown woman. Nor do they attack a woman who has made it clear by her behavior that she would never put up with any of that. The physical, legal, and career risks of attacking such women are too high. Domestically violent men are not trying to end up with boiling water poured on their heads while they sleep. Or a bullet being put in their brains. Or their employment and career prospects destroyed because of a woman seeing their prosecution all the way through. Or some other unpredictable negative reaction from a woman who won’t tolerate abuse.

Before he beats a woman, this type of male tries to confirm that he’s not dealing with the type of woman that might put a bullet in his brain, or pour boiling water on his head while he’s sleeping. They “interview” and test the women they interact with to see how much abuse a particular woman will tolerate. They do this by gradually escalating their controlling and disrespectful behavior. They start with “small,” verbally abusive behaviors and escalate upwards. When you continue to interact with them, you are giving them permission to escalate to the next level of attack. You place yourself in the “Safe to Abuse” category of women for these males when you continue reacting to them as if they’re normal people.

My abusive male clients don’t mistreat every woman they are involved with. They abuse the women who let them abuse them. They abuse the women who continue through the abuse-interview-process.

This is why it is so critical for women to drop and stop interacting with a man at the first hint of controlling, disrespectful behavior. If you keep dealing with him after he’s “shown out,” you have (in his mind) given him permission to continue and escalate that behavior. Once you’ve stuck with him that far through the process, then you really will need a gun and the aid of a SWAT team to get away from him.

But African-American women are often raised (and train themselves) to be naïve when it comes to Black male predators. Black women don’t want to seem rude, or be “unfair,” and various other naïve concerns that take precedence over safety.

[Domestically violent males aren’t the only male predators that “interview” prospective prey. I’ve noticed a similar interview pattern with female clients who have allowed their boyfriends to molest their children. They typically hook up with a series of men who are pedophiles. The pedophiles do a similar “screening” and “interview” process to find women with children who will NOT protect their children from molestation. The harsh reality is that there’s a fairly large pool of women who are more invested into holding onto a relationship than their own children’s safety.]

Nuances Aside, The “Mainstream” of Domestic Violence Involves Male Violence Against Women Which Results in Injuries, Maimings and Deaths

There are nuances to the issue of domestic violence. An unflattering truth about many of these situations is that I’ve watched many women use allegations of domestic violence (as well as sexual abuse of the children) as “cards” to play during divorce and child support proceedings.

I’ve also watched many genuinely battered and abused women (some of whom were my clients) play games with the Orders of Protection that they get. They call the police to enforce the Order, and have the abusive man arrested, when they’re angry with the abusive man for a reason other than the abuse (cheating, and so on). And then they invite the abusive man back into their home (in violation of the protective order) when they’re feeling lovey-dovey again.

Seeing all of this at work has made me leery of trying to help such women. Truth be told, they have hardened my heart about this issue.

However, none of this negates the reality that the “mainstream” of domestic violence consists of male violence against women which results in injuries, maimings, and fatalities. The vast majority of seriously injured, maimed, and murdered domestic violence victims are women who were killed by men. Also, most physically mature males are physically much stronger than most physically mature females. So, with rare exceptions, there’s no real physical danger to a man in any weaponless confrontation with the vast majority of women. The man is physically stronger and can get away from most women. Women with the kick-buttocks physical abilities of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” are rare, indeed.

Whatever nuances exist don’t erase the above realities. I’ve also noticed that those Black folks who love to fixate on nuances (Black men who are often woman-beaters themselves, and the Black-male identified Black women who support woman beating) always somehow avoid focusing on other nuances: Such as domestic violence between gay and lesbian partners, domestic violence with elder abuse, and so on. The only nuance they care about is the one that would help deflect responsibility away from violent, woman-beating, woman-maiming, woman-killing males.

In short, a man who makes a (false) equivalence between the prevalence of male domestic violence against women and things like false accusations against men, or female violence against men is probably a woman-beater himself. These sorts of statements and attitudes are warning signals of a domestically violent male.

A Quick Checklist of Some Statements and Attitudes Prevalent Among Domestically Violent African-American Males

So, here’s a quick checklist of the typical statements and attitudes expressed by domestically violent African-American males. This checklist is not meant to be exhaustive, but it represents the “highlights” of the mindset that I’ve heard expressed by most of the domestically violent African-American men that I’ve represented. Some of these statements and attitudes are common among domestically violent men among all races and ethnic groups. Some of them are culturally specific to domestically violent African-American males. [For one example, non-African-American men don’t whine about what men outside their ethnic group won’t “let” them do.]

Some of the following statements and attitudes are more immediately dangerous than others. Some of these statements—by themselves—are highly indicative of a man who beats women. The more of these statements you hear from an African-American male, the more likely it is that he’s somebody who, if given the opportunity, would physically beat you into the ground:

(1) He speaks favorably of “controlling” women. Incidentally, for a man to use openly the phrase of “controlling” women is a very bad signal. Most abusive men that I’ve observed try to soften the language they use to describe abusive behavior toward women.

(2) He speaks favorably—without any real points of repudiation—about groups and cultures that are brutally oppressive to women such as the Taliban, Saudi Arabia, and what he claims are “traditional” African cultures. This is a very bad signal.

[For an example of this, at least in reference to the Taliban, see the comments of an individual calling himself “Visitor” during this recent conversation at What About Our Daughters. *Note: I’m not in any way saying that “Visitor” is a woman-beater. I have no idea what “Visitor” does or does not do in his life. However, several of his statements are useful examples of the warning-signal statements and attitudes on this checklist.

What I found fascinating was that so many women kept talking to this “Visitor” individual as if he was a legitimate conversation participant. Even after his opening comment consisted of deliberately mischaracterizing the message and mission of that particular blog. Multiple women readers kept interacting with this “Visitor” individual. Instead of letting the blog host and another man (Blk SeaGoat) who participated in the conversation deal with him.

Let me also note that it is NOT my intention to try to control or embarass anybody about that incident. People are perfectly free to do whatever they want, and interact with whomever they wish. I apologize in advance for any discomfort I’m inadvertently causing other women by mentioning this particular incident (that motivated me to write this post).

I debated whether to write this post. Ultimately, my concern that women are probably doing this same behavior in real life (at their own risk) outweighed my worries about inadvertently causing discomfort. Through NO fault of their own, many women simply don’t know these warning signs. I’m hoping to spread awareness about them, so that fewer women get hurt. And it’s best to use concrete examples. The “Visitor” individual’s statements provided a good example.]

(3) He is angry about any conversation that does not tie into him, his interests, or African-American males’ interests in general.

(4) He opposes anything you want to do that doesn’t somehow involve him.

(5) With him, you have to “make a case” as to why you should care about any issue that’s affecting you (or other Black women and girls).

(6) He sulks when you mention anything favorable about Black women and girls.

(7) He blames women for his own behavior.

(8) He blames women for men’s behavior in general.

(9) He rewrites history (personal and collective) to make other people (Black women, White men) responsible for his (and other African-American males’) behavior.

(10) He says, “Women won’t let men be men.”

(11) He says women won’t “let” him be a man.

(12) He says, “Women won’t let men be gentlemen.”

(13) He says women won’t “let” him be a gentleman.

(14) He says, “I’m a grown-a** man.” [Thanks to Victor for reminding me of this tell-tale dysfunctional phrase during a conversation at the previous blog.]

(15) No matter what he does to women, he feels that his behavior is justified.

(16) He makes a (false) equivalence between the prevalence of male domestic violence and rape against women and things like false accusations against men, or female violence against men. This is another very bad signal.

(17) He feeds off African-American women’s suffering.

(18) He finds the public denigration of Black women to be funny and harmless humor. He feels that anyone who doesn’t like this is humorless and taking things too seriously.

(19) While sometimes claiming to want to help, he takes pleasure in seeing African-American women suffering. Whatever the type of suffering, he can find a reason why the afflicted Black woman “deserves” it.

(20) While sometimes claiming to want to help, he eagerly presents many “reasons” why suffering is a fitting lifestyle for African-American women.

(21) He feels that he and other men are entitled to assess and critique women’s behavior, but women cannot assess or critique his or other men’s behavior.

(22) He demands that you buy into his version of reality.

(23) He denies your experiences, and tells you that you didn’t hear what you heard or see what you saw.

(24) He’ll use (invented, skewed) statistics to deny your experiences.

(25) He characterizes everything you say as emotional, and everything he says as logical and rational.

(26) He’s uninterested in, and incurious about, anyone’s life experience that does not validate his experiences.

(27) He describes many of the women that he has had relationships with as mentally unbalanced. [It somehow never occurs to him that if this is true, then it reflects poorly on him. If this is true, either he’s deliberately selecting mentally ill women; or mentally ill women are the only women who will deal with him.]

(28) There is no emotional wound of yours (and of other African-American women and girls) that he won’t rip open. Either to score a debate point. Or for pleasure.

This List Is Not Meant To Be Exhaustive

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. My point is that when you hear a man make several of these sorts of statements, that’s a man that you need to stop interacting with. That’s a man that you need to get away from. Quickly. Normal, nonviolent, loving, and lovable men generally don’t say these sorts of statements, because they don’t hold this cluster of beliefs and attitudes.

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58 Responses to “28 Signs Of A Domestically Violent African-American Male”

  1. Karen says:

    Dear Khadija,

    With the precision of a surgeon, you have provided clear information for any AA BW to recognize the “Clear and Present Danger” of being involved with a Domestically Violent AA Male and hopefully to avoid such a male or flee if already in the early stages of involvement.

    Those who sacrifice their chldren to be with child molesters or women beaters, they are lost causes. I only feel extreme sadness for the children caught in the crossfire and more so for the child victims.

  2. pioneervalleywoman says:

    Khadija:

    10) He says, “Women won’t let men be men.”

    (11) He says women won’t “let” him be a man.

    (12) He says, “Women won’t let men be gentlemen.”

    (13) He says women won’t “let” him be a gentleman.

    (14) He says, “I’m a grown-a** man.” [Thanks to Victor for reminding me of this tell-tale dysfunctional phrase during a conversation at the previous blog.]

    My reply:

    Reminds me of the conversations I used to see among “traditional-minded” BM on A Singular Voice.

    Here is the thing, though, it comes down as well to many BW misconstruing the distinctions between “protection” and “controlling”.

    There are many men, of all backgrounds, who look after and protect the women in their lives, but they don’t feel the need to control them. The language of control is troublesome, because as you said, it veers into the realm of abuse, but it points to a deep insecurity among men who always have to prove their manhood or who believe it is constantly under threat. Control is the way they get there, so for example, she has no separate identity, needs, or interests outside of me or what I want her to have, and if I don’t want her to have them, then she won’t have them because what I say is the law.

    I get heebie jeebies just thinking about that sort of mindset and it is why I have always been deeply troubled by the language of “submission” that so many Christian (men) love to spout and which women put themselves into contortions trying to fulfill.

  3. Karen,

    Yes, the key to safety is to cut off the interaction with likely woman-beaters EARLY in the process.
    ___________________________________________

    PioneerValleyWoman,

    Oh yeah, a number of the Sunni Muslim AA male readers at A Singular Voice blog engaged in a lot of wife-beater-type talk.

    You said, “Here is the thing, though, it comes down as well to many BW misconstruing the distinctions between “protection” and “controlling”.”

    Yep. That was another HUGE red flag raised by the “Visitor” individual’s comment in the post immediately before the one I linked to above. He said:

    “I think you need to lose the rhetoric on black men protecting the community. In other parts of the world, where men “protect” the community, as a woman you lose a lot of your own rights to, for instance, decide who you want to marry, what kinds of clothes you want to wear, etc. Also there is a honor/shame culture in those types of communities that dont leave you very protected especially if you betray the community.

    I dont think white men in America or Asian men, or hispanic men protect their communities. You do have men protecting their families. If you have enough of these men in a community protecting their families you have safer communities by default.

    “…There is a thin line between protecting and controlling. How about some man tell you he needs to protect your modesty? Aint going to like that too much.”

    This is wife-beater talk that should have tipped off the other readers. Another thing that domestically violent men do is to try to normalize their behavior by claiming that most other men engage in the same abusive behaviors.

    No, normal men don’t intertwine “protection” with “controlling,” or with their women having all of the rights stripped from them. There is no such “thin line” for normal, loving, and lovable men. Normal men aren’t looking to “control” their women—normal men like and enjoy the company of ADULT-acting women with free will.

    As far as the Christian rhetoric of “submission,” there’s a book that addresses abuse under the cover of such religious dogma. It’s called Christian Men Who Hate Women. There really needs to be a Muslim edition of this particular book.

    You said, “I get heebie jeebies just thinking about that sort of mindset . . .”

    My skin crawls when I hear that sort of talk from males, because I KNOW what typically comes along with that kind of talk (emotional abuse and/or violence against women without remorse). That kind of talk is a danger signal for women.

    That being said, there’s sometimes a distinction between religiously indoctrinated male sexists who are simply looking to take advantage of women versus a male who truly HATES and WANTS TO HURT women.

    A less-dangerous religiou male sexist will generally: (1) try to soften that religious “submision” talk with the addition of positive promises of rewards for women “submitting;” and (2) restrict his “red flag” talk to that “submission” rhetoric. A man who is talking that “submission” religious rhetoric PLUS other “red flag” statements is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  4. ZooPath says:

    Yeah, that Visitor dude got my spidey sense tingling right off the bat. He didn’t reveal his full depravity until later. I wish that everyone just would have ignored him.
    That whole submission stuff is pure b.s. A good husband will have no problem protecting his family without needing to control his wife. My husband does it everyday.

  5. ann says:

    Just last week I was talking with a bm co-worker who agreed with me that alot of bm simply are out of step with reality.

    A few few minutes later a bw co-worker stops to chat and we were talking about comedians and she says certain bm comedians are only trying to be funny. Oh, really? I said to her if some comedian told one of her two daughters that they were nappy headed… how would she feel? We were looking each other in the eyes and she could not say one word. Of course, she soon departed. lol, I suppose my bw co-worker thinks I am always coming up with something.

  6. ann says:

    BTW, that was a good post as usual.

  7. Joyousnerd says:

    This post is an excellent one.

    A red flag I discovered during my dating days was when a man feels the need to announce during an unrelated conversation “I would never hit a woman.” This was often delivered in a sanctimonious air, with an aura of a man announcing he single-handedly cured cancer. It took me a while to figure out why exactly it was that I felt my blood run cold when a man would say this. Eventually I figured out that such a man feels entitled to hit women, wants to be given kudos for refraining from exercising his “privilege” to do so… and is trying to lull a woman into a false sense of security.

    I always responded with a befuddled and unsettled stare… I imagine that women who made it further into the screening process reacted differently.

  8. These characteristics do not apply to just black men. If ANY man exhibits these traits I say run for the hills! Good post.

  9. SCB says:

    in post 38 visitor identified themselves as a woman, but I get your point. The other disturbing thing is that they wanted early marriage rates for women, delayed marriage for men. Another method of control. During those “delayed” years, were the men to remain celibate? It sets up another double standard of women being pure, men sowing their oats, but if all the women are pure, who are they sowing with? No mention of self control on the part of the man.

  10. Qshukura says:

    Khadijah, this post is spot on! Also, I’ve always noted the way some BM reference BW; referencing women as girls, chicks, females, tricks, wifey are huge flags to me that this BM is not playing with a full deck. Woman or Lady is never in their vocabulary when referencing a woman.

  11. pioneervalleywoman says:

    SCB says:
    April 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

    in post 38 visitor identified themselves as a woman, but I get your point.

    My reply:

    It is not uncommon for a male poster to claim femaleness in order to hide. Who knows?

    But the arguments sounded more like the type that a man would make. Women who make the same arguments often speak about the importance of submission in terms of protection for women from men, but men tend to speak more about control. They want women to submit because they want to control them.

    The women focus upon the submission arguments using the softer version, that women who are submissive get measures of protection. They like to talk about their submission as setting themselves apart from those women who are not righteous, ie., they can’t submit. They believe this protects them and their marriages.

    Visitor seemed to be all too focused upon control–shaming women, etc.

    • LaJane Galt says:

      That is a correct assessment of a woman who spouts the submission mess and why I called it a troll. The very fact the he came on to that board should be a sign that something is very wrong with him.

  12. Magenta says:

    Wow you must have been reading my mind!!! When I read the other blog, it sounded like he was one of these Negroes who advocates child marriage. He may be using Orthodox Islam as an excuse, but he could very well be NOI, NGE or Christian and is attempting to hide behind his religion to excuse his misogyny. I also noticed there was a tone of anti-intellectualism in his statements when he criticized blacks wasting their time pursuing “soft sciences” in college. So in addition to arranged child marriages, in his “utopia” black children would be given an inferior education or no education at all. Again attempting to use whatever “religious” beliefs he has to justify his hatred for black women and children.

    I must admit I was annoyed that the exchange went on as long as it did, but I am glad that he was allowed to post so that people can see with their own two eyes the thought process of a DBRBM.

    Sorry if my post is all over the place, those comments just left me with a lot of things on my mind.

  13. ZooPath,

    You said, “Yeah, that Visitor dude got my spidey sense tingling right off the bat. He didn’t reveal his full depravity until later. I wish that everyone just would have ignored him.”

    Yes, he had my “spidey sense” tingling from the very beginning, too. It’s like the old game show called “Name That Tune.” From the creepy and dishonest opening “beats” of that “Visitor” individual’s first comment, you could tell where his comments were going to ultimately go.

    You said, “That whole submission stuff is pure b.s. A good husband will have no problem protecting his family without needing to control his wife. My husband does it everyday.”

    I agree. I believe that there’s some small room for nuance with that religious “submission” rhetoric. But not much. Most people are opportunistic, so they’ll take advantage of whatever “perks” they can make an argument in support of. That’s what’s going on with the everyday, nonviolent religious male sexist. Such a man isn’t so much looking to beat, maim and kill women, but he WILL take advantage of male clergy’s male-centric interpretations of scripture.

    However, when a man combines that religious “submission” rhetoric PLUS other warning signals, women should run for their lives! Especially in the case of AA Muslim men—many of whom are attracted to Islam in the first place because of its male clergy’s reputation for ACTIVELY supporting wife-beating and harem-operating (polygamy).
    _______________________________________

    Ann,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.
    _______________________________________

    JoyousNerd,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “A red flag I discovered during my dating days was when a man feels the need to announce during an unrelated conversation “I would never hit a woman.” This was often delivered in a sanctimonious air, with an aura of a man announcing he single-handedly cured cancer. It took me a while to figure out why exactly it was that I felt my blood run cold when a man would say this. Eventually I figured out that such a man feels entitled to hit women, wants to be given kudos for refraining from exercising his “privilege” to do so… and is trying to lull a woman into a false sense of security.”

    I agree. Substitute the phrase “I would never sexually molest an infant” for “I would never hit a woman,” and I think everybody can see what’s wrong with that proclamation.

    What’s wrong are all the things you outlined. What’s also wrong is that there are certain things that a normal person (generally) would not say they would never do—because it would be unthinkable to do them in the first place! To sanctimoniously proclaim that you would never do X makes it sound like doing X is a source of temptation that you’ve self-righteously resisted doing (so far). And you want a cookie, a gold star, and a pat on the head for resisting this temptation.
    ____________________________________________

    Tee,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.
    _____________________________________________

    SCB,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “in post 38 visitor identified themselves as a woman, but I get your point.”

    Oh yeah, I saw that. I don’t believe it. I think the “Visitor” individual was lying when he said that. Internet Ike Turners know that there’s a better chance of their poison being swallowed if they “cross-dress” while online and claim to be women.

    Now, there ARE many BW who are so male-identified that they will support any and all violence against women. Similar to the male-identified women in the Arab world, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who support the so-called “honor killing” murders of their own daughters and other female relatives.

    So, it’s possible that the “Visitor” individual is a woman. But I don’t believe that. He immediately set off far too many “domestically violent Black male client” alarms—he hit too many of the various woman-hating “low notes” that these sorts of clients repeat.

    Not to mention that given how the “Visitor” individual began its comments in that thread by LYING about that blog’s mission and message, why would anybody give him/it/her the benefit of any doubts OR take anything it said at face value?

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  14. Jay says:

    This is a very nice post…but I am slighty confused. You give all these signs to look for in a man as abusive and provide and example. However when you provide this perfect example of a potentially abusive man you yourself even say that he i may or may not be abusive. IF that is the case, wouldnt that put women in danger second guessing some fool with all these signs but “not being sure” he is abusive? I am only 18 so maybe its my age that wont allow me to understand. But I can recall from a very early age many abusive men in my family and they exhibited none of these signs, which most likely adds to my confusion. My own father exhibits these characteristics but never has abused my mother (to my knowledge) or any other women. On the other hand some of the signs that you list above resemble the tone of a male-friend that is trying to date a close friend of mine. Lets just say I will direct her to the site because this male-friends persistance after getting told no is uncalled for. And now that I can remember, on occasion he will “play as if he is going to hit my friend and I”, which I find very odd and DO NOT tolerate abuse of any kind! But none the less your post was very interesting. I find myself more and more interested in domestic violence and its acceptance in the African American community.

    • tertiaryanna says:

      But I can recall from a very early age many abusive men in my family and they exhibited none of these signs, which most likely adds to my confusion. My own father exhibits these characteristics but never has abused my mother (to my knowledge) or any other women….(male-friend will “play as if he is going to hit my friend and I”, which I find very odd and DO NOT tolerate abuse of any kind!

      You know how, after standing in a really bright light, you can’t see so well in normal light? Your eyes have become desensitized, and you can’t see clearly until they readjust.

      It’s the same thing with abusive and manipulative situations. When people, especially children, are exposed to this (even if it’s just as an observer), the situation becomes normalized. A steady diet of inappropriate or even dangerous behavior desensitizes a person, and blurs the boundaries between normal and abnormal behavior. I would safely bet that a woman who has not experienced abuse and who has healthy boundaries would notice abnormal/dysfunctional behaviors that you may have missed.

      She may not act upon that knowledge, especially if she’s like many women, and has been groomed to suppress a normal self-preservation instinct, or if her environment is covering for the abuser at her expense. But I 100% guarantee she would know something’s not right, because it would go against what she’s been taught to expect is a normal male/female relationship.

      This is why it’s so important to get away from these situations, and have (if you can,) a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to unhealthy relationships. This is because Khadija is absolutely right. Abusers tend to “groom” their victims for further abuse. A major part of that is tampering with the victim’s inner compass about what is acceptable. This makes the victim begin to discount her own decision-making ability and her own judgement, in favor of the abuser. Her thoughts and feelings aren’t as valid as appeasing the other person.

      I have personally never met someone from an emotionally dysfunctional or abusive situation that didn’t have some issues with policing their boundaries, trusting their inner judgement, or having a solid sense of what their boundaries/judgement should be. This was the case, in spite of the person’s intellect, income, social connections, or independence in other areas. That’s why if people who observe abuse haven’t worked on their issues, they tend to repeat the abuse, even if they weren’t the direct object.

      In all the cases I have ever seen where the person voluntarily stayed too long, she was simply unable to tell when a situation was not appropriate, and this allowed their abuser have continued access to the victims mind and emotions. These are the keys to unlock other resources, like the victim’s time, body, access to her children, or personal resources like their money, home or possessions. I used “she” in these examples, but I’ve seen abused men follow these same patterns.

      That’s why you have to be very careful when deciding to risk choosing a mate or even friends with manipulative or possibly dangerous tendencies. Eventually, it skews your sense of how your romantic and platonic relationships should look like, and it takes time to unlearn these mindsets.

      I can’t say that roughhousing is always or even mostly an indication of abuse. Also, some guys don’t get the difference between persistence and annoying, so I can’t say that he’s dangerous instead of irritating. But if you are not comfortable with it, and you’ve clearly stated a strong disapproval, then the fact this guy is still approaching you like this is a problem. That’s where decisionmaking comes in, and how willing are either of you to let someone in your space who is willing to disrespect your boundaries, just because it amuses him. To me, boundaries are so important, that if someone’s deliberately going to cross them, it’d better be for something worth losing my trust over.

      • tertiaryanna says:

        I’m rereading my comment and the original poster’s comment, and I want to clarify something.

        I used the word “roughhousing” not like really hitting someone, but just stupid playing around. My friends and I have done this, where everyone knows that it’s just play, and no violence is involved. My comment was in light of that experience.

        But that’s not how the original poster described this, so I need to respond to what she actually did say, not what I was thinking about. If this is a case of someone threating to hit you, then that’s wrong, even when done in a joking tone.

        Ultimately, I think my final words summed up my views. You have your boundaries and the right to have them respected.

        • Tertiaryanna,

          A couple of thoughts in response to your comments above:

          (1) I’m happy that you caught the distinction for yourself that the commenter you’re responding to (Jay) used the word “hit” to describe the “joked about” action. Not “roughhousing.”

          (2) Even if Jay had used a softer word like “roughhousing” to describe the “joked about” hostile form of physical contact, I would still have the same negative reaction to that behavior.

          How I feel about this is similar to the same way the overall American culture no longer leaves room for adults to touch and hug on unrelated children. Too many pedophiles exploited that previous assumption of good faith on the part of teachers, Boy Scout leaders, priests and others having any sort of physical contact with unrelated children. So, at this point, it’s safest to insist that non-related adults refrain from having any unnecessary physical contact with children.

          I believe a similar thing applies to AA women’s mostly non-existent boundaries. What I see is that far too many AA women don’t have any real boundaries (for a variety of reasons). And many (most?) AA women’s CAN’T be trusted to use discretion in a manner that ensures their own safety. So, many (if not most) AA women will do much better with blanket rules against men so-called “joking” or “playing” about engaging in hostile forms of physical contact with them.

          Similar to how adults have learned to be cautious about touching children who are not their children, things have reached the point that it’s not cool for a man to engage in any sort of behavior that simulates hitting, “striking” (see my comment at 6:41 p.m. in reference to Imam Mauri Salaakhan “striking” his wife), or any other typically hostile physical contact with women.

          Things have gotten so crazy among AAs—such as the outlandish reactions in support of woman-beaters like Chris Brown—that I don’t think it’s prudent to leave discretionary room for that sort of behavior. I think it’s best for most AA women to err on the side of their own safety, and NOT allow men to “roughhouse,” or “play” at hitting/striking/kicking/pushing/slapping them.

          Bottom Line: The same way it’s too dangerous to allow unrelated folks to unnecessarily touch children at all, it has become too dangerous for AA women to allow men to “roughhouse,” or “play” at hitting/striking/kicking/pushing/slapping them.

          Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  15. Qshukura,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.
    ____________________________________________

    Magenta,

    You said, “Wow you must have been reading my mind!!!”

    Or you were reading my mind! LOL!

    You said, “I also noticed there was a tone of anti-intellectualism in his statements when he criticized blacks wasting their time pursuing “soft sciences” in college. So in addition to arranged child marriages, in his “utopia” black children would be given an inferior education or no education at all.”

    Oooh, guurl, yes—there were various FOUL vibes in his comments. I just zeroed in on the sorts of statements that are popular among domestically violent AA men.
    ___________________________________________

    Jay,

    You never truly “know” what people are going to do until they do it. However, there are cerain situations where it’s NOT safe to hang around to find out definitively what somebody is going to do. Hanging around to conclusively find out if a man who gives off warning signals will perpetrate domestic violence on oneself is one such situation.

    Women need to understand that this is potentially LIFE and DEATH we’re talking about. Keep in mind that the women who have been set on fire by their domestically violent boyfriends and husbands never expected these men to do anything like that.

    The same way not every man who is wearing a ski mask and holding a gun is an armed robber…maybe it’s a toy gun, maybe this, maybe that…

    …and most normal men DON’T wear ski masks while holding guns…

    …The reality is that anybody who hangs around to find out what’s up with a man wearing a ski mask plus holding a gun is risking their lives.

    You said, “And now that I can remember, on occasion he will “play as if he is going to hit my friend and I”, which I find very odd and DO NOT tolerate abuse of any kind!”

    A man “playing” at/about hitting a woman is usually an “interview question.” It’s not cute, it’s not funny, and it’s NOT harmless.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  16. Celeste says:

    Hi Khadija,

    This kind of information is life saving. Thank you for taking the time to provide this Public Service Announcement.

  17. RedWine1225 says:

    If one woman hurt, all women hurt. This post, along with additional exposure of this truth will save lives. Please, continue to write even if it hurt some feelings. If it changes the thinking of one person, it is well worth it.

  18. ZooPath says:

    I know that he said he was a woman but I didn’t believe that for a minute.

  19. rainebeaux says:

    Khadija, this post is indeed the truth! I personally didn’t/don’t care if Visitor was passing as a eunuch; there was just so much anti-BW…anti-intellectual…ANTI-LIFE rhetoric in his/her/its comments, my eyes started to cross and glaze over! I couldn’t even bring myself to respond…instead I just waited for gem2001’s banhammer to come down.

    If pointing these signs out mean triggering the occasional flashback and/or winces, so be it…as you’ve indicated numerous times, this is a matter of life and death (physical and otherwise).

  20. zoe1231 says:

    Hi Khadija,

    Okay so I’m coming out of lurker mode!!!

    Was at WAOD too and saw that “Visitor” coming from a mile away. SMH… Love that BlkSeaGoat was all over that. You are sooo right, some of these BW are so lost when it comes to this stuff. You know, I have a BW co-worker whom I try to help sometimes, but she really is just too indoctrinated. I’ve given up hope. She once had the nerve to say (in front of our other non-black coworkers, mind you) that she would choose a man that cheats over a man that beats her. I’m like, “come again?!?” My mind doesn’t even operate on that level of the lesser of two evils. I was at a total loss of what to say to her to make her understand just how messed up her outlook is.

    I could write a book on that one BW alone. She truly frightens me. But I’m glad that I’m not the crazy one! Thanks for the mental support *smile*. I’m still wondering if the father of her child has ever hit her. I doubt it but I’m sure that there has been verbal and emotional abuse. A few weeks ago he called her the “B” word, (just out of the blue). And she told me (like it was normal) and had the audacity to look at me like I had grown 2 more heads when I said she needs to cease all communication with him. She worries me because she grew up in a 2 parent home and claims her father is such a “good man” but her actions and beliefs speak volumes different.

    Anyhow, sorry about the long post. BTW, have your book, loved it and cannot believe what you wrote about the BM muslims beliefs. I’m still shocked.

  21. Celeste,

    You’re welcome! And thank you for your support; I truly appreciate it.
    _______________________________________________

    RedWine1225,

    Thank you for your support; I truly appreciate it.
    _______________________________________________

    Rainebeaux,

    Thank you for your support; I truly appreciate it.
    _______________________________________________

    Zoe1231,

    Thanks for de-lurking! LOL!

    You said, “BTW, have your book, loved it and cannot believe what you wrote about the BM muslims beliefs. I’m still shocked.”

    Thanks for your support; I truly appreciate it. The depraved depths to which many Sunni (“orthodox”) AA Muslims have sunk IS shocking.

    You said, “Love that BlkSeaGoat was all over that.”

    I totally agree. MR. BlkSeaGoat—who is a gay MAN—has been steadfast in “standing in the gap” for Black women and children for several years (that I’m aware of).

    Some of y’all who are afflicted with religiously-induced homophobic bigotry need to remember that MR. BlkSeaGoat stood up to protect Black women and children when NONE of the straight, so-called “good BM”—including your “good” Black Christian and Muslim men—would lift a finger or open their mouths. In that particular thread, I don’t recall seeing any other so-called “good BM” who challenged that Visitor individual EXCEPT MR. BlkSeaGoat! And since he’s a gay MAN, it’s not like MR. BlkSeaGoat has been doing and saying anything with the hidden agenda of currying dates or sexual favors from women, including BW.

    I have a LONG memory. And it works both ways. I remember folks who mess over BW and children. But I also remember folks who do right by BW and children.

    Let me say a few more words about MR. BlkSeaGoat. Because I would not want to embarass him, I refrain from going out of my way to sing his praises unless the subject naturally comes up. But I will never forget what he did. And the subject of how MR. BlkSeaGoat has been steadfast in protecting and providing for BW and children has now naturally come up in this conversation.

    First of all, MR. BlkSeaGoat confronted Rev. Al “Hot Comb” Sharpton when he stepped wrong and originally decided to support the Dunbar Village gang rapists. See the following USA Today story from 2007 about MR. BlkSeaGoat’s efforts at that time. http://tinyurl.com/y6gcr4d

    Second, I admired the manner in which MR. BlkSeaGoat handled his business in this regard. He simply called in to the podcast show that Gina of WAOD was doing at the time; and calmly announced his plan to hold a counter-demonstration against Rev. Hot Comb. What I admired is that he acted like the “old-school” BM that I’ve been blessed to know: He didn’t ask anybody else’s permission. He didn’t take a poll to see how other people felt. He didn’t wait for other people to agree with, or validate his decision to take action.

    {slipping into Ebonics} I really appreciated the way MR. BlkSeaGoat didn’t ask nobody nuthin’ about that. He wasn’t looking for a cookie or gold star from women about his plans. He simply and quietly announced what HE was going to do to help protect BW and children. With OR without the participation of others.

    Like I said, this strongly reminded me of various old-school BM—the protection of the women and children in their orbit was NEVER up for a vote!

    Third, I am also eternally appreciative of how MR. BlkSeaGoat helped rescue a young lady named Citoya Greenwood and her small daughter from living in that Dunbar Village Hellpit. After a BW blogger named Shecodes (of Black Women Vote) made the call to help Ms. Greenwood, MR. BlkSeaGoat helped Ms. Greenwood find other housing. Ms. Greenwood’s efforts at community activism in support of other residents of that Hellpit were not appreciated by some of the BF hoodrats who were her neighbors.

    [Reading between the lines with that situation, I had the impression that many of those other women laid around all day as welfare queens while Ms. Greenwood went to school to better herself. And they most likely resented her for going to school. I also had the impression that many of those other women harbored criminals in their apartments, including some of the Dunbar Village gang rapists who were never arrested. And Ms. Greenwood’s attempts at community organizing might have disturbed that particular “groove.”]

    May God Almightly bless MR. BlkSeaGoat!
    **************************************
    **ADDENDUM**

    Incidentally, I have NOT forgotten the various active stands for justice that other BM (among the handful of BM who do such things) have taken.

    Despite our points of (sometimes vehement) disagreement, I have NOT forgotten how Abdur-Rahman Muhammad of the blog A Singular Voice has loudly and publicly condemned much of the anti-BW madness found among AA Sunni Muslim men. See this post for an example. http://singularvoice.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/message-to-women-theres-no-one-protecting-the-community/

    I have NOT forgotten about how Imam Isa Mateen has stood up against what he refers to as “the wife beater cult.” See this post. http://smashthechains.blogspot.com/2010/01/confronting-wife-beater-cult.html

    I have NOT forgotten about a BM called Salafi Burnout who used his (now deleted) blog to call out, confront, and chastise the various types of predators among the Sunni AA Muslim ummah.

    Mr. Salifi Burnout called out the hypocritical BM imam (Mauri Salaakhan) who called himself denouncing wife-beating—without acknowledging his own alleged participation in domestic violence! This imam was denouncing the alleged domestic-violence beheading of a Pakistani-American Muslim woman allegedly by her Pakistani-American husband.

    Meanwhile, when confronted about his own alleged history of domestic violence against his wife, this particular imam minimized it by saying (if I remember correctly) that he only “struck” instead of “beat” his wife on more than one occassion. Ultimately, after some investigation of the matter, the AA Muslim organization for which he issued the original statement removed his article about domestic violence from their website. http://tinyurl.com/ydamcot

    Mr. Salafi Burnout called out the BM religious scholar “joyriders” who married women with the intention of divorcing them within a matter of days (after sexually consummating the religious-ceremony-only “marriage”—this is how some Sunni Muslim Negroes have racked up literally more than TEN religious marriages).

    Like I said, I have a long memory with certain types of things. I am, and will be, eternally appreciative of the protection that they’ve provided to Muslim Black women in particular. May God bless them!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

    • LaJane Galt says:

      I have to copy and paste this because it has always run through my mind when he posts:

      Some of y’all who are afflicted with religiously-induced homophobic bigotry need to remember that MR. BlkSeaGoat stood up to protect Black women and children when NONE of the straight, so-called “good BM”—including your “good” Black Christian and Muslim men—would lift a finger or open their mouths.

      The measure of proper black manhood.

  22. Kay says:

    I’d like to add that some of these same domestically violent and abuse traits can be found in AA male and female family members. Not to steer the conversation in a different direction, but I just want everyone to remember that some of these same sort of predator behaviors are happening right in our own backyards (our family members). So, please recognize these warning signs in the various populations you encounter so you can protect yourself.

    Great post Khadija!

    Kind Regards…

    Kay

  23. Kay,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.
    ____________________________________________

    **I posted the following above, but I’m repeating it here because the reply feature sometimes causes comments to be buried in the conversation (I might just turn off that feature)**

    Tertiaryanna,

    A couple of thoughts in response to your comments above:

    (1) I’m happy that you caught the distinction for yourself that the commenter you’re responding to (Jay) used the word “hit” to describe the “joked about” action. Not “roughhousing.”

    (2) Even if Jay had used a softer word like “roughhousing” to describe the “joked about” hostile form of physical contact, I would still have the same negative reaction to that behavior.

    How I feel about this is similar to the same way the overall American culture no longer leaves room for adults to touch and hug on unrelated children. Too many pedophiles exploited that previous assumption of good faith on the part of teachers, Boy Scout leaders, priests and others having any sort of physical contact with unrelated children. So, at this point, it’s safest to insist that non-related adults refrain from having any unnecessary physical contact with children.

    I believe a similar thing applies to AA women’s mostly non-existent boundaries. What I see is that far too many AA women don’t have any real boundaries (for a variety of reasons). And many (most?) AA women’s CAN’T be trusted to use discretion in a manner that ensures their own safety. So, many (if not most) AA women will do much better with blanket rules against men so-called “joking” or “playing” about engaging in hostile forms of physical contact with them.

    Similar to how adults have learned to be cautious about touching children who are not their children, things have reached the point that it’s not cool for a man to engage in any sort of behavior that simulates hitting, “striking” (see my comment at 6:41 p.m. in reference to Imam Mauri Salaakhan “striking” his wife), or any other typically hostile physical contact with women.

    Things have gotten so crazy among AAs—such as the outlandish reactions in support of woman-beaters like Chris Brown—that I don’t think it’s prudent to leave discretionary room for that sort of behavior. I think it’s best for most AA women to err on the side of their own safety, and NOT allow men to “roughhouse,” or “play” at hitting/striking/kicking/pushing/slapping them.

    Bottom Line: The same way it’s too dangerous to allow unrelated folks to unnecessarily touch children at all, it has become too dangerous for AA women to allow men to “roughhouse,” or “play” at hitting/striking/kicking/pushing/slapping them.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

    • tertiaryanna says:

      …exploited that previous assumption of good faith….Bottom Line: The same way it’s too dangerous to allow unrelated folks to unnecessarily touch children at all, it has become too dangerous for AA women to allow men to “roughhouse,” or “play” at hitting/striking/kicking/pushing/slapping them.

      Khadija,

      That’s an excellent point.

  24. mochachoc says:

    Regarding boundaries. Many will disagree with me but hey.

    I believe many Black women have no idea what boundaries are because they were brought up in a home which used violence as a form of so- called discipline. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with adults who think it is legitimate to hit, slap, punch, use the wooden spoon, the belt or throw verbal threats at defenseless children. What I hate the most is the answer “spare the rod and spoil the child”, or “I got the belt as a child and it didn’t do me any harm”. And we wonder why adult women don’t know what boundaries look like. In addition, it makes me cringe when adults pass their children around to be kissed by uncle Johnny or aunty Jenny. Why? Why SHOULD a child have to kiss anyone? How is a child to learn when to let up the draw-bridge if everyone has access to it. I’ve heard all the ‘rational’ arguments in support of slapping a child, none of them stack up in my mind. We don’t think its okay to slap an adult to teach it a lesson, so why children.

    As others have pointed out, if we become anaesthesised to violence in our early years we won’t develop an internal compass against it.

    Let us not forget violence against women and children is tolerated in popular culture. Words like ‘b*tch’, ‘gyal’ (a term I’ve heard young Black British men use between each other when referring to their girlfriends. It isn’t benign becuase it is said with contempt) and of course ‘h*’ normalise the denigration of women. And how many Hollywood films (lets not even talk about the trashy porn) do we see where women are the victims. All these help to position women as chattel, to be done with as you see fit. By the way; it isn’t only men who make the false equivalence between male violence against women and female violence against men. The political correctness, woolly-minded, cowardly brigade are all up for perpetuating this lie. These days whenever I hear a discussion about domestic violence it is always prefaced with ‘let us not forget men are subject to domestic abuse too’. Two women a week die in Britain at the hands of an evil male cretin she knew. I don’t know how many have to pick up and leave with nothing but the clothes on their back in the dead of night with the children. And it must be countless women adjusting the way they answer their foul male specimen for fear of being boxed. When men are experiencing the same then I won’t roll my eyes in exasperation. And yeah, I’m all too aware that some men are in abusive relationships but lets not pretend its the same.

    I think it was PioneerValleyWoman who mentioned that some of this violence can be explained by male insecurity. This makes sense to me and may go some way in shedding light on why some men get crazy when his partner is pregnant. You know this may also tie in with a post Khadija has on her old blog about not choosing men who were fatherless boys. If a man grew up fatherless where does he get his sense of masculinity? Many of the men I know who grew up fatherless have adopted an exaggerated/warped expression of masculinity. And they are completely frightened of any suggestion that they may be gay. But I don’t think insecurity is the whole picture. Lets add in a little straight up naked hatred of women in the mix. Frankly I’m tired of analysing why some men do what they do. Women have to learn how to stay well clear of any man who is controlling and dangerous. I’m glad others have highlighted the behaviour of these men starts off subtly but the signs are always there. The unease you feel IS a warning. I remember a Black man once telling me that he rifled through the bins of his ex girlfriend for evidence she was sleeping around. No not so subtle. What was I thinking, Black men don’t do subtle.

    Gavin de Becker’s book The Gift of Fear has many useful pointers in what to look out for. It has been some years since I read it but I remember it opened my eyes.

    Off topic (I hope you don’t mind Khadija) but your put downs have me laughing all the time, e.g; Barry for Barack, Al ‘hot comb’ Sharpton. Too funny LOL.

    • Rhonda says:

      I believe many Black women have no idea what boundaries are because they were brought up in a home which used violence as a form of so- called discipline. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with adults who think it is legitimate to hit, slap, punch, use the wooden spoon, the belt or throw verbal threats at defenseless children. What I hate the most is the answer “spare the rod and spoil the child”, or “I got the belt as a child and it didn’t do me any harm”. And we wonder why adult women don’t know what boundaries look like. In addition, it makes me cringe when adults pass their children around to be kissed by uncle Johnny or aunty Jenny. Why? Why SHOULD a child have to kiss anyone? How is a child to learn when to let up the draw-bridge if everyone has access to it. I’ve heard all the ‘rational’ arguments in support of slapping a child, none of them stack up in my mind. We don’t think its okay to slap an adult to teach it a lesson, so why children.

      I could not agree with you more!!!

      This woman, Alice Miller, has done decades of excellent work on this subject. Her books have saved my life!

    • Rhonda says:

      Oh, I forgot to include a bit from her website with my first comment to mochachoc’s:

      Child Mistreatment, Child Abuse

      What is it?

      Humiliations, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if their consequences are not visible right away. However, as adults, most abused children will suffer, and let others suffer, from these injuries. This dynamic of violence can deform some victims into hangmen who take revenge even on whole nations and become willing executors to dictators as unutterably appalling as Hitler and other cruel leaders. Beaten children very early on assimilate the violence they endured, which they may glorify and apply later as parents, in believing that they deserved the punishment and were beaten out of love. They don’t know that the only reason for the punishments they have ( or in retrospect, had) to endure is the fact that their parents themselves endured and learned violence without being able to question it. Later, the adults, once abused children, beat their own children and often feel grateful to their parents who mistreated them when they were small and defenseless.

      This is why society’s ignorance remains so immovable and parents continue to produce severe pain and destructivity – in all “good will”, in every generation. Most people tolerate this blindly because the origins of human violence in childhood have been and are still being ignored worldwide. Almost all small children are smacked during the first three years of life when they begin to walk and to touch objects which may not be touched. This happens at exactly the time when the human brain builds up its structure and should thus learn kindness, truthfulness, and love but never, never cruelty and lies. Fortunately, there are many mistreated children who find “helping witnesses” and can feel loved by them.

  25. Sky says:

    Just so happen that this week on Oprah she’s giving the same advice and signal on her show on thursday (4/15/10) on abusive men.

  26. Nathifa says:

    Hi Khadija. Great post as usual. This was really thought provoking. I agree with some of the commentators that BW do not have good boundaries. We are told that somehow a BM’s rage is normal behavior and we must be sympathetic to his rage because he has such a hard life. He is just so misunderstood. I think alot of BW think the rage is a sign of strenght or affection. Alot of signs you listed were signs that I use to keep away from some of my BM relatives. There sometimes is a backlash when you try to set boundaries. My relatives say but he is family even though he gets drunk and starts shooting his non- registered gun in the house while his young children are around. Of cousre my relatives were blaming his kids mother for his rage, she’s crazy, she made him do it, she’s not letting him be a man. Then he moved in with my grandma and exhibited the same behaviors. I want to live and I do not attend any family gatherings where he is around.

  27. Mochachoc,

    I don’t want to veer too far off topic, but I will take the time to say this in response to your comment about corporal punishment (alternatively known as spankings; or as “whoopins'” in my childhood neighborhood):

    EVERY (AA) single parent and married couple I know who is doing the “we don’t/won’t spank the children” thing either:

    (1) has already failed; or
    (2) is in the process of failing

    MISERABLY in raising their children. The children of the parents I’ve known who use that particular parenting style are uniformly disrespectful and out of control as small children, and it escalates as they get older and into their teens.

    Let me repeat: I have NEVER seen that “we don’t/can’t spank the children” parenting style succeed in raising decent children with good character. From what I’ve seen (with relatives and some friends) of this parenting style (among AAs) is that it has failed miserably in every, single case that I’m aware of.

    Now, I know that many of these people are reacting to the extremes of spanking that they experiences during their childhoods. Things like the humiliation of being forced to select the slender tree branch that would be used to hit them with. Things like spankings that actually inflicted physical pain.

    I know that my views of corporal punishment are colored by the facts that: (1) I can count the “whoopins” I got as a child on one hand; and (2) the “whoopins” I got were mild—they NEVER actually hurt—it was more the shock that my parents were that displeased with something I had done. I was never slapped, punched, or anything like that. I got either an open-palm tap on my hand or an open-palm swat on my rear end. And this was only when I was a small child. As I got older, punishment became more about having privileges and pleasures taken away.

    So, when I speak of spankings, I’m not talking about the extremes of corporal punishment that leaves marks (or “weps” as called in my childhood neighborhood–{shudder}). Or involves hitting children with things like extension cords. {another shudder}

    [It’s interesting. When I was around 7 years old, there was a girl in my class that showed some of us her “wep” marks, and described being hit with an extension cord. Most of the rest of us thought that was weird, and NOT what we considered a normal “whoopin.” We didn’t know the word “abuse,” but we concluded that there was something wrong with her mother. There were the unfortunate minority of classmates who thought that was normal because that’s what they experienced—they’re the ones who told the others of us that those marks are called “weps.”]

    But in adopting the “we won’t spank the children” posture, I believe the people I know who’ve done so have veered too far in the other direction. I’ve talked to several of them about it. They don’t see the connection between their parents claiming the parental authority to spank them if deeemed necessary, and them turning out to be respectful, thoughtful, productive adults. They’re totally abandoning a parenting style that WORKED in their upbringing for a parenting style that’s experimental—at least among AAs. And from what I’ve seen, none of these experiments have worked right. They’ve all been disasters to varying degrees.

    You said, “By the way; it isn’t only men who make the false equivalence between male violence against women and female violence against men. The political correctness, woolly-minded, cowardly brigade are all up for perpetuating this lie…”

    Two women a week die in Britain at the hands of an evil male cretin she knew. I don’t know how many have to pick up and leave with nothing but the clothes on their back in the dead of night with the children. And it must be countless women adjusting the way they answer their foul male specimen for fear of being boxed. When men are experiencing the same then I won’t roll my eyes in exasperation. And yeah, I’m all too aware that some men are in abusive relationships but lets not pretend its the same.”

    I hear you. I try not to roll my eyes when I hear that false equivalence mess.

    You said, “Frankly I’m tired of analysing why some men do what they do. Women have to learn how to stay well clear of any man who is controlling and dangerous.”

    At this point, I don’t care about the reasons why some Negroes are domestically violent. That’s a project for men to figure out, and to try to heal their sick brethren. All I care about is more BW learning how to avoid such monsters.

    You said, “I’m glad others have highlighted the behaviour of these men starts off subtly but the signs are always there. The unease you feel IS a warning.”

    I agree. In most of the DV situations that I’m aware of (either through work or from some BF acquaintances who were involved in DV relationships), there were warning signals. Signals that these women chose to ignore.

    This is another reason why I was initially hesitant to do this post—I’m NOT particularly sympathetic to most battered women. In many of the cases that I know of, these women were WARNED about the later-fully-revealed-to-be-domestically-violent BM that they took up with. I can think of one BF colleague who was warned by other BM acquaintances of hers to leave a certain Negro alone! And of course, she took up with him anyway.

    Here’s where I get myself in trouble with the DV victim advocates (in addition to the things I said in the post): A lot of battered women that I’ve known of were/are voluntarily and willfully stuck on stupid. Because, as you said, “Black men don’t do subtle.” In the DV situations that I know of, CLEAR warning signals were present, but these women decided to do magical thinking.

    The battered women that I know of CHOSE to believe:

    (1) That the soon-to-be-openly-violent Negro “didn’t really mean” what he had already said and done (that were danger signals).

    (2) That all of the people who bothered to warn them about the soon-to-be-openly-violent BM were “jealous of their relationship.”

    And after the man started beating them (as predicted by the Good Samaritans), these same battered women often choose to rotate between:

    (3) looking for sympathy, help, and rescue from the Good Samaritans who had warned them in advance about the now-fully-revealed batterer(when they’ve temporarily fallen out with their batterers); and

    (4) then slandering these Good Samaritans as “jealous” people who wanted to break up their relationship when they’re feeling lovey-dovey again with their batterers. All of which increases the odds of her male abuser wanting to come after any would-be Good Samaritan!

    As I said at the previous blog: I’ve seen a lot of would-be Good Samaritans get burned while trying to help battered women. The safest thing for any layperson to do is to refer domestic violence victims to the proper authorities and social service agencies. And STAY FAR AWAY from that situation and FAR AWAY from that battered woman.

    In this post, I’m only really talking to those BW who have the common sense to take heed of warning signals. NOT the magical thinkers or the women who are voluntarily “stuck on stupid.”

    You said, “Gavin de Becker’s book The Gift of Fear has many useful pointers in what to look out for.”

    Yes, this is an excellent book.

    You said, “Off topic (I hope you don’t mind Khadija) but your put downs have me laughing all the time, e.g; Barry for Barack, Al ‘hot comb’ Sharpton. Too funny LOL.”

    Oh, I’m a lightweight in the sarcasm department compared to one of my ex-courtroom partners. Nobody can talk about folks like he can! LOL! In terms of “Barry,” I would be extremely surprised if he used his actual first name throughout his life. I feel safe in assuming that at various points in his adult life, he called himself “Barry” to better fit in with the folks around him.
    _____________________________________

    Sky,

    You said, “Just so happen that this week on Oprah she’s giving the same advice and signal on her show on thursday (4/15/10) on abusive men.”

    Good!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

    • mochachoc says:

      You’re right, it is important that we do not swing to extremes. I’m not advocating a laissez faire approach to raising children. Children do need a sense of what is acceptable. Many of the parents you describe have allowed their children to rule the roost. No, this is not what children need. I have met many adults (admittedly I can’t think of a single Black person) who were never spanked as children and are well adjusted and have brought up children who respect them and others. We can learn to do the same.

      • SweetSoulSister says:

        I’d have to say I haven’t met many well adjusted blacks, period. Spanked or not. I wasn’t spanked by my parents because my father didn’t believe in hitting women or girl children and my mother’s mother was abusive so, she didn’t use corporal punishment on me. In fact, my octoroon grandmother (I don’t consider her black because she sure doesn’t look black) babysat me when I was a toddler, until my mother discovered welts on my body from being hit with a belt by my grandmother. As I said, my parents never hit me and I turned out fine. I’m respectful, I speak my mind and I have alot of boundaries. I didn’t rule the roost and I wasn’t a “bad” child.

  28. Nathifa,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, ” I agree with some of the commentators that BW do not have good boundaries.”

    No, we don’t. Earlier today I did a Google search and turned up an unrelated link to an AA gossip site. Out of idle curiosity, I followed the link. I almost couldn’t believe the savage level of “conversation” over there.

    Some . . . individual . . . actually used the phrase (keep in mind that I’m editing it) “youb*tchesarehypocrites” as their commenter ID. Not only were this creature’s comments published, but BW were actually responding to this individual—they were responding to being addressed in that fashion!

    Lord have mercy.

    You said, “I want to live . . . “

    I do too! That’s the bottom line with this topic.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  29. A-ion says:

    Hey Khadija, I think this is an amazing post 🙂 thank you so much.

    “(14) He says, “I’m a grown-a** man.” [Thanks to Victor for reminding me of this tell-tale dysfunctional phrase during a conversation at the previous blog.]”

    LOL!

    “(15) No matter what he does to women, he feels that his behavior is justified.”

    🙁 this list reminds me of a very important book I read about a year ago called “8 signs of a dangerous man”, that for me was a must-read. Experts are now saying that because pop culture has focused so prevalently on signs of abuse, men have gotten better at hiding their tendencies. However, abusive black men have not really had accountability and therefore feel no reason to sugarcoat their behavior in general. So their signs are extremely visible, as you’ve said.

    I’d add to this list for myself that I’ve taken from what you’ve articulated in part about signs of abuse is that: 1. they have extremely shallow egos based on a foundation of hegemonic masculinity that is threatened mainly by women. 2. They believe they have ownership over the bodies of black women, and listen to degrading hip hop music and watch degrading porn of black women. 3. They believe black women should accept that racism makes black men “angry” and that violence against black women should be justified because of racism. It goes with saying that since racism will never end, then there’s simply nothing they can do. 4. They are unsuccessful and lack ambition and overcompensate their shortcomings with domination of women. 5. They view women as a threat to their accruing of resources. 6.They need a barrage of encouragement for acting like adults (guess this relates to shallow egos?) They say women aren’t “encouraging them enough” when they do simple adult tasks such as babysit their own children, pay the utility bill, or go to the doctor, etc.,

    This all means that the basis of hegemonic masculinity is built on violence and aggression, then they will turn violent whenever their sense of masculinity is threatened. And when they fail (and hegemonic masculinity always produces failure), that the women around them will suffer the consequences, usually physical, usually frequently.

    If this were a list about telling whether or not black men were rapists, men who stand on the corner slurring verbal degrading assault or who harass women, grab women’s arms to “holla at them” etc., would top that list. They’ve already shown that they don’t believe in the acceptable game of subtle flirtation because they don’t believe black women and their bodies are deserving of boundaries. Therefore who are we to say “no”? Harassment is not “flattery” anymore than one should be “flattered” by rape simulating porn because the woman in it looks like you.

    I’m gonna pass this post on to my girlfriends. Thanks again!

  30. jubilee says:

    This is a GREAT ARTICLE; it exp’ains to me also, that many black women have no boundaries and thats why were in the MESS we’re in ‘as a group’ (70% illegitimacy, 1/3 of all abortions and the highest group of HIV+ outside of gay males) Although, what you said about men using submission to keep the black women down, I believe the men are using the SCRIPTURE OUT OF CONTEXT. What Ephesians 5 said about submitting was that for men to love and protect the women like Christ loves the church. Christ would NEVER, EVER physically beat the church. Also, I think many black women, not all though need to go to parenting classes to learn to train the kids right and not yell at them in public-i’ve seen it a lot. I know it’s frustrating though BUT people could use spanking but NOT IN ANGER which many of us do

  31. Tee (Tavonda) says:

    Khadija:

    I know this is your blog, but THANK YOU for having the courage ruffle others feathers!

    You said–

    ‘EVERY (AA) single parent and married couple I know who is doing the “we don’t/won’t spank the children” thing either:

    (1) has already failed; or
    (2) is in the process of failing’

    It is my experience (teaching Pre-k/Kindergarten) that these children are an absolute pain to deal with.

    Yes, I said it.

    I have had administrators, and parents upset with me for not allowing a particular child to accompany our class on field trips, participating in special events, etc.

    I refuse to tip-toe around “Little Man”, and cater to him so he will not disrupt class.

    Yes, there is a huge difference between an open hand to the bottom (parent in control), and a closed fist to the jaw (parent way out of control).

    I have found that children whose parents subscribe to the “free spirited” school of thought, can sometimes be a danger to their classmates. We have child in our class who throws chairs if his needs and wants aren’t immediately gratified. The school administrator does not want to offend the parents, so nothing is done.

    Now because of this situation, we are losing two great students whose parents justifiably do not want their children around this child.

    Sorry I went off topic, but I had to comment on this!

    Khadija, great post, wonderful book, and all the blessings that are coming your way (many more) you deserve!

  32. A-ion,

    You’re welcome! And thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

    I’m not particularly interested in analyzing violent men. I don’t care about their problems. I don’t care about the origins of their evil. All I care about is that fewer women get themselves involved with violent individuals.

    I’m more interested in what’s going on in so many AA women’s heads that makes them so willing to respond to BM who are transparent in their hatred and desire to harm them. Like you said, “…abusive black men have not really had accountability and therefore feel no reason to sugarcoat their behavior in general. So their signs are extremely visible…”
    _______________________________________

    Jubilee,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “Although, what you said about men using submission to keep the black women down, I believe the men are using the SCRIPTURE OUT OF CONTEXT.”

    Well, I think several things are going on (and going WRONG) in the context of religious-based oppression . . . and religious-based hypocrisy:

    (1) The translations and scripture commentary often reflect the biases and (selfish) interests of the MEN who do the translating and commentary. It’s similar to how White slaveholders used the Bible to “justify” their choice to hold other humans in slavery. This is why I read a variety of Quran translations and commentary, including those done by women Muslim scholars.

    (2) The various believers’ focus is all WRONG. The male religious sexists who spout that submission talk aren’t focused on getting themselves in alignment with what God wants of them. Instead, they’re focused on wringing every advantage they can claim for themselves out of their readings of scripture. The more hateful ones among them are focused on finding justifications for demeaning and hurting the women who are foolish enough to be in their orbit. They use their readings of scripture as a weapon to wound women and maim women’s spirits.

    It’s similar to all the religious “technical virgins” I knew in high school in college. Instead of being focused on their stated religious value of chastity, those (hypocritical) young people were focused on figuring out all the sex acts they could perform while still calling themselves and believing themselves to be “virgins.” [Which, to them, meant they could engage in anything except vaginal intercourse and still claim to be “virgins.”]

    When the intentions are tainted and downright wrong, the end result is usually a spiritual AND worldly disaster.
    ________________________________

    Tee (Tavonda),

    You’re welcome! Thank you for your kind words and well wishes for me; I truly appreciate it!

    Now that I think about it, I’ll leave the door open to discuss corporal punishment during this conversation. The damage and outright destruction of increasing numbers of AA children that is being caused by folks adopting the “we don’t spank the children” parenting style warrants further exploration.

    You said, “It is my experience (teaching Pre-k/Kindergarten) that these children are an absolute pain to deal with. Yes, I said it.”

    I agree. In my experience, these children are among the worst children. They are definitely extremely unpleasant to be around.

    To soothe my conscience, I (once) tried to talk to a dear friend who is using this “we don’t spank the children” parenting style with her children. Even though she’s married, she basically is living as if she were a single parent. Her husband is a fatherless man who refuses to inconvenience himself to watch or discipline their children.

    I gently challenged her to name a SINGLE example of anybody she knew who succeeded by using that particular parenting style. Just one example of where she’s seen that parenting style work right. She couldn’t name a single successful example among any of the other folks she knows who are using that parenting style. Not one. Instead, she kept talking about her grievances with the “whoopin” parenting style that her parents used with her.

    Since this is a touchy subject, I left it alone at that point. Unfortunately, all of the behavior traits that I warned her are the OBSERVED fruit of that parenting style are escalating in her children. They were disrespectful and out of control when they were small. And it’s only getting worse the bigger they get. I’ll pray for her safety once they become teenagers.

    And now that we’re talking about this, let me say this out loud: I firmly believe that there’s a correlation between more AAs adopting this traditionally “non-ethnic White yuppie” no-spanking style of parenting, and more AAs killing their parents.

    Now, anyone who’s gone to college knows that correlation does NOT equal causation. But, I do believe there’s a connection between these two phenomena.

    I don’t want to call this “we don’t spank the children” parenting style a “White” thing, because from what I can tell it originated among a specific segment of the White population. Many of the ethnic Whites (including ethnic White professionals/yuppies) that I’ve known DON’T play that “we don’t spank the children” stuff with their kids.

    What I’ve noticed, as you’ve described above, is that these children raised by “we don’t spank the children”-parents fly into extreme RAGES when they don’t get their way. After years of being catered to, they won’t take “no” for an answer. And that dynamic was traditionally a large part of the recipe for a number of White teenagers who killed their parents. Or in the case of some White teenage girls, helped somebody else kill their parents—helped the boyfriend that the parents disapproved of. After years of always saying “yes,” the parents said “no” and their child flew into a rage.

    Now that I think about it, some of the local news stories over the past few years of AA men who killed one or both of their parents appear to have this same underlying emotional pattern. AA parents allow a non-functional (typically substance-abusing, and/or mentally ill) adult Black male son to continue living in their home. And the moment the parents fail to humor one of his demands, he “goes postal.” I’m thinking of individuals like this creature: http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/09/man-charged-in-parents-slayings-at-w-side-home.html

    Before AAs started experimenting with these overly indulgent parenting styles, there were certain things that we just didn’t do. Killing your parents was one such thing. And it didn’t matter what one’s problem was—there have been AA dope fiends for what? Almost a century. They didn’t kill their parents. Including when said parents refused to let them continue living in their home, and refused to give them money.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

    • Karen says:

      Imagine; he is 53 years old and had been catered to for over half a century… He should have never been allowed back into the home…

      There will be more such cases as long as this “practice” of providing no discipline for the children continues.

      There are many ways to discipline a child, but in order to function in society, a child must be taught that every wish cannot and will not be granted. They must learn how to live with others. When these things are not taught, chaos will surely follow.

    • SweetSoulSister says:

      Khadija,

      Could it be possible that blacks are now killing their parents because they are mimicking white culture? Even you have said numerous times that black men in particular, take their cues from white men in almost all things (except the good things). I hardly ever disagree with you but, I disagree on this. I feel as though you are disparaging the way myself and my cousins were raised. We all turned out fine (except for one and she’s a lost cause-and she was the only one who got SPANKED).We are all functional, all have degrees, good jobs, good relationships with each other,those of us who are married have good marriages. My family cannot be an anomaly. Maybe it’s a class thing? I didn’t grow up in or around lower class dynamics so, I have no idea how that works but, I do know, we were simultaneously not spanked and taught respect. I just feel like this discussion is 100% hostile towards people raised like me and we’re not all bad. I’ve never met a functional AA who has been spanked but, it doesn’t mean that person does not exist.

      *sorry for any typos*

  33. Karen,

    You said, “Imagine; he is 53 years old and had been catered to for over half a century… He should have never been allowed back into the home…”

    Guuurl…indeed. Over half a century of being catered to. And allowed to live in their home instead of being required to find/create his own nest as an adult.

    Now that my memory has been jogged about this issue, I recall that there’s a steady “water drip” of these sorts of local cases of BM killing one or both parents over the years. I was able to track down media links to this case only because I remembered that this individual briefly pretended to desire “suicide by cop” while staging a scene at a local VA hospital. He was “distraught” enough to gun down his elderly parents when they finally said “no” to him, but he wasn’t distraught enough over killing his parents to kill himself. And he didn’t push events to the point where the police were required to kill him.

    When each case happens, local AAs don’t talk about the long-term parental indulgence that plays a part in these incidents. Instead, we focus on the drug use or mental illness angles. Meanwhile, we’ve had drugs or mental illness among us for quite some time—and we still didn’t kill our parents previously.

    You said, “There will be more such cases as long as this “practice” of providing no discipline for the children continues.”

    Tragic, but true.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  34. truth p. says:

    Hey Khadija,I too commented on the waod page @visitor.I already knew what visitor was up to in the very begining.
    At first I questioned to myself why Gem would allow visitor’somments to go through but then I thought that maybe it was a DBR identification exercise or something lol’s,but
    seriously.I am proud of the fact that despite commenting back at visitor every woman there was able to identify what a damagd individual Visitor is.I commented at visitor not to entertain visitor or debate with visitor,for my mind is already made up about what I know to be true,but since the blog owner let them comment I kinda felt like putting visitor on blast for their damaged DBR ways.I didn’t really debate with visitor though.I kinda said my piece let visitor respond in the typical dbr way and walked away from it.It was particularly easy for me to walk away knowing that all the other women there were hip to what visitor really is,a severely mentally ill individual who,because of the normalization of dysfunction in the bc,likely thinks it is normal.I never really entertain some of the things Internet Ikes say.I do NOT go to their known hangout sites but when they come in “our territory” I do kinda worry for some of the other women and girls who are reading that may give the Internet Ikes the benefit of doubt.I fear that they may fall for some of Ikes tricks so I responded.I’m glad you gave BlackSeaGoat
    a shout out too.He is one of the very few men online that actually tries to defend bw and bg’s.Like I said on Gem’s site there are not many men i’d fight for but BlackSeaGoat is an exception to the rule.Although he is such a good man that he probably would not even allow me to fight any of his battles.I defitnetly got love and respect for BSG.He’s a good dude.

    Again another excellent post on your part Khadija.thank you so much for all you do for us.

  35. TruthP.,

    You’re welcome! And thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  36. SweetSoulSister,

    There’s nothing wrong with disagreement or dissent here. I’m not looking for an “amen corner.” I’m looking to explore and brainstorm ideas for lifestyle optimization for AA women and girls.

    Here’s my basic position about dissent regarding this blog:

    I have NO problem with disagreement about the means used for lifestyle optimization for AA women and girls. My line in the sand is with people who are opposed to the very goal of lifestyle optimization for AA women and girls. Now, very few people besides Ikettes, and Internet Ike Turners will come out and directly say that they support diminished lives for BW and girls. But if they’re defending the beliefs and behaviors that uphold the status quo of diminished life, it’s the same posture as far as I’m concerned.

    I can happily agree to disagree about the means. However, I won’t invest time in debating the goal of abundant life for BW with people who are opposed to abundant life for AA women and girls. I also don’t have time to debate with dishonest people who want to re-define degradation as liberation for BW—like the individuals who characterize so-called “sex work” and modern AA stripper culture as somehow liberating for AA women.

    In summary, there’s NO problem with disagreement here. And it’s just fine with me if the topic of corporal punishment remains a PERMANENT point of disagreement between me and others. I happily agree to disagree.

    You said, “I feel as though you are disparaging the way myself and my cousins were raised.”

    Why? Please point to where I disparaged the way you and your cousins were raised. I’m simply describing what I’ve seen of the results of the “we don’t spank the children”-style of parenting. I’m saying that ALL of the examples I’ve seen of that parenting style have turned out to be (or are in the process of becoming, like my friend’s kids) a disaster. I’m also describing the behaviors I’ve observed with ALL of such children that I know of.

    If you could be patient enough to explain the following, I would truly appreciate it:

    1-How is me describing what I’ve seen disparaging the way you and your cousins were raised?

    2-How is me raising questions about the wisdom of AAs using this type of experimental (among us) parenting style disparaging the way you and your cousins were raised?

    I don’t see how the above is disparaging the way you and your cousins were raised.

    What I do see is that when modern AAs talk that “we don’t spank the children” talk, very few people question that posture in terms of the fruit that parenting style has been observed to bear.

    From the conversations I’ve heard and participated in, people either:

    1-Nod their heads in ideological agreement. With no discussion of the practicalities and problems involved with that particular parenting style. OR

    2-Most AAs who support the traditional AA “parents empowered to whoop if deemed necessary”-parenting style do so from religious justifications, or a blind following of tradition. Neither of which are what I’m raising when I talk about the issue of corporal punishment.

    I’m talking about what are the majority, commonly-observed RESULTS of this type of experimental (among us) parenting style. It’s tragic, but from what I’ve seen, you and your cousins are an anomaly.

    I don’t assume that every new-fangled idea always represents progress. And I’m very hesitant to discard traditional methods that have stood the test of time in favor of experiments. Especially not when the stakes are so high—such as a child’s future.

    I’m especially leery of AAs experimenting with untested, unproven practices because our migration away from other traditional human methods (mass oow and single parenting instead of marriage; welfare instead of working for a living; and so on) have created a catastrophe.

    It’s not just corporal punishment. I can name another experimental, modern parenting practice that—from what I’ve observed—has destroyed increasing numbers of children is the notion of underage children being somehow entitled to an adult, self-supporting level of so-called “privacy” while living in their parents’ home, and living on their parents’ dime.

    Discarding the traditional AA parenting style of “As the parents, we’re entitled to see anything and everything that’s in OUR house that WE’RE paying the mortgage for” and “If it’s brought into MY house, it ultimately belongs to ME, and I have the discretion as to what happens to that object” has been a HUGE mistake.

    I have seen over and over again, numerous examples of how this type of destructive “privacy” has enabled children to get FAR gone into negative things without their parents’ knowledge—while still living under the same roof!

    When I was growing up, there was one tv and it was in the family room. My parents controlled the tv. When I was in high school, you either watched what they watched (on tv or videotape), or you didn’t watch at all. And they weren’t watching a lot of tv. If you were watching something, my parents were constantly walking in and out and through the room on their way to other areas of the house. So, to spell out the (invisible to me at the time) protective factor in this: Nobody—including me, my brother, our older cousins, whoever—would have been able to watch pornography while others were home.

    I’m sure my parents would have had the same policy in terms of having a single, FAMILY computer in a common area. There wouldn’t have been the opportunity for small children or teens to dial up some online porn or have lengthy, private chats with online pedophiles because my parents were constantly walking through and glancing at whatever was being watched or done in the family room.

    I’m always amazed when I go to people’s homes and see tvs in almost every room, including each child’s room.

    I’m also amazed at how so many modern Black parents allow their children to turn their bedrooms into studio apartments with phones, computers, tvs, stereos. All they need are toaster ovens or microwaves in there to complete the individual apartment.

    I was not allowed that sort of isolating and destructive “privacy” as a child or as a teenager. The phones (that I had access to) were all in common areas. There was NO such thing as going into our parents’ bedroom to use their phone. All of which meant that my parents were steadily walking in and out of the room during my oh-so-intense teenage phone marathons. And overhearing bits and pieces of whatever conversation. And I knew that suddenly talking under my breath, or abruptly changing the subject would cause suspicion.

    The successful parents I know DON’T permit that destructive level of “privacy” for their underage children. If some other kid is sending sex-texts to their child, they often find out because they go through those phones and hold onto them when the children get home from school. And the children are only allowed to use the family land-line phone when they’re home (like I said, the cell phones are turned in to the parents upon arrival).

    This is how so many inappropriate things have been intercepted, and apparently (God willing) nipped in the bud. None of the mess that was intercepted and dealt with (an aggressive 10 year old girl sending sex-texts to a 10 year old son; aggressive teenage girls calling a teenage son at all hours of the night; and so on) would have been caught if these parents had engaged in the modern AA parenting experiment of extreme “privacy” for children.

    You said, “Could it be possible that blacks are now killing their parents because they are mimicking white culture? Even you have said numerous times that black men in particular, take their cues from white men in almost all things (except the good things).”

    Yes, I agree—I feel that AAs adopting these experimental, non-ethnic White yuppie parenting styles IS a (destructive) form of mimicking White culture’s bad ideas and dysfunctions.

    Finally, the functional, productive AAs that I know were all products of the traditional AA “parents empowered to whoop if deemed necessary”-parenting style. Including the (I believe misguided) folks who have experimented/are experimenting with this “don’t spank the children” thing. Does this traditional method always succeed? Of course not. But it has a MUCH higher success rate than what I’ve seen of the “don’t spank the children” method—which has a success rate of ZERO percent among the folks I’ve seen who have used it/are using it.

    Again, I understand that correlation does not equal causation. There could be a third underlying factor that’s causing what I’ve observed. For example, it could be that many of the AAs who are attracted to the “don’t spank the children”-parenting style are people who don’t want to anger their children by disciplining them.

    I don’t know. All I do know is that every such “we don’t spank the children” experiment that I’ve seen has been a disaster. And there’s no do-over button. The children were ruined. It’s not a gamble that I would take if I was a parent.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

    • SweetSoulSister says:

      Hello Khadija…

      You said:”My line in the sand is with people who are opposed to the very goal of lifestyle optimization for AA women and girls.”

      My response: We agree 100% on this. That is why this is the only blog I read anymore. I love your approach to this. I don’t feel like you talk down to your reader and I can feel the genuine concern and love coming from you.

      You said: ” Please point to where I disparaged the way you and your cousins were raised. I’m simply describing what I’ve seen of the results of the “we don’t spank the children”-style of parenting. I’m saying that ALL of the examples I’ve seen of that parenting style have turned out to be (or are in the process of becoming, like my friend’s kids) a disaster. I’m also describing the behaviors I’ve observed with ALL of such children that I know of.”

      Me: I felt disparaged because you made a blanket statement about all of us raised with that parenting style. I felt as though you were saying we all grow up to be worthless societal banes. I now know you were speaking from your experience but, it still felt as though people like me were being attacked. I know you’ve observed this with others but please know, not all of us act the way you describe. I also feel that most “don’t spank the children” parents do not instill strong values/morals/respect in their children and since they don’t do that, I believe that’s where problems come in. If you do not spank, you definitely have to instill morals, values and respect (my parents did this). If you don’t,then you’re doing a disservice to the child and to society at large because it breeds the uncivil behaviors talked about here.

      You said: :”I’m also amazed at how so many modern Black parents allow their children to turn their bedrooms into studio apartments with phones, computers, tvs, stereos.”

      Me: *Hanging my head in total shame* lol. Ok, this was my existence and I completely understand why you feel that way. My parents gave me the entire world materially and believe it or not, I didn’t ask for that stuff. My mother didn’t want me tying up her phone so, my dad got me one and paid the bill. I do agree with you on this point… I was allowed way too much privacy. On the other hand, I didn’t do anything “crazy” with it. I never wanted to betray my father’s trust in me. My parents still reminisce about what a good and responsible daughter I was. Again, I think it goes back to what parents instill in their children. If my parents hadn’t taught me properly, I probably would’ve turned out like the other malcontents you describe. If I could change one thing about my childhood, it would be the amount of privacy I had.

      Thank you for taking the time to hear me out and for answering me. I usually just read this blog and agree with you (lol) so, there’s never really a need to respond. Keep doing what you do and I will keep reading.

    • NijaG says:

      Khadija,

      I don’t have much to add since I’m coming late into the discussion. I just want to Co-Sign your analysis and points on this issue.

      I and most of my peers that I grew up with are products of the “parents empowered to whoop if deemed necessary”-parenting style. Now, some were whooped more than others, but in general before any physical whoopings would take place, there usually were warnings, scoldings and a few non-physical punishments.

  37. SweetSoulSister,

    You said, “I love your approach to this. I don’t feel like you talk down to your reader and I can feel the genuine concern and love coming from you.”

    Thank you very much. I try to make this a respectful, welcoming place—but also a place where there can be intense exploration of various ideas. Like I said earlier, I consider these conversations as brainstorming sessions—for me, as well as the other conversation participants.

    You said, “I know you’ve observed this with others but please know, not all of us act the way you describe.”

    Well, not all of any category of persons does X, Y, Z behavior(s).

    You said, “I also feel that most “don’t spank the children” parents do not instill strong values/morals/respect in their children and since they don’t do that, I believe that’s where problems come in.”

    I think that’s part of it. From what I can surmise of the parental motivations that go into this (of the “don’t spank the children”-parents that I know and have observed), there are typically several other things happening:

    1-The “we don’t spank the children”-parents are often focused on their own childhood grievances with corporal punishment. I believe that this is what’s going on with my friend.

    2-Some of them are simply lazy. Policing children’s behavior takes up a lot of time and energy. It’s easier to just pretend that you don’t see/hear misbehavior. And then claim that you’re “reasoning” with the child, instead of the *gasp* “primitive” dishing out of whoopins when deemed necessary. “We don’t spank the children” is often used as a way to put a positive spin on being lazy and inattentive as a parent. This is what I believe is going on with my friend’s husband. His behavior has made it quite clear that he doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by childcare at all.

    3-Some of these folks seem to want to be friends with their kids; and don’t want their children to be angry with them.

    4-Some of these folks seem uncomfortable with being true authority figures. At some point in grown-up life, one is required to drop the posture of the “cool,” rebel kid—and be the “un-cool,” “un-fun,” ADULT in the equation. They don’t understand that there are seasons in life. You can’t be the countercultural teenager forever.

    None of this leads to successfully instilling values into one’s children. In order to successfully instill proper values, a parent must:

    1-Be focused on what their child needs, and NOT preoccupied with their own need to “slap back” against their own childhood grievances.

    2-Be willing and able to make the HEAVY-DUTY time and energy investment to be vigilant about the child’s behavior.

    3-Want to be the child’s parent and not their buddy. This doesn’t preclude being friendly, or even being close as adults. But even so, there’s always a boundary between being a parent and being a peer.

    4-Be willing and able to put away childish things, like the desire to never be the “uncool,” “old,” “un-hip” and boring adult person in the house.

    In terms of the “privacy” thing, it sounds like your parents unwittingly gambled, and were blessed to win with how you turned out. Even when values are successfully transmitted to children, the very nature of childhood and adolescence is to exercise VERY poor judgment.

    There is such a thing as people, places, and things that are bad influences. There is such a thing as children and teenagers being HIGHLY impressionable. Including the ones who start off wanting to be obedient, respectful children. One negative friend, exposure to pornography, exposure to sex-texting, and the multitudes of other snares that are available CAN ruin a child. Including children and teens who started off with a “default” setting of appropriate values.

    Teens and younger children should not be left to, or have to, fend off these various negative influences on their own. The parents are supposed to be shielding the children from negative influences.

    It’s not just about a child having values. The very nature of childhood is that as a child lacks the life experience needed to recognize many traps as being traps. An immature mind—even one with values—usually expects these various snares to be harmless, innocent “fun.” And that’s how children and teens WITH good values get burned, harmed, and sometimes destroyed.

    Let me give some examples:

    Only an already destroyed and deranged teenage girl knowingly goes to a gathering where she KNOWS that she’ll be groped against her will and maybe even raped. It’s the very nature of childhood and adolescence to be naive, and assume that everybody who’s grinning in your face is your friend.

    When most girls (cluelessly) walk into a Genarlow Wilson-type scenario (where it’s 1 or 2 girls—ultimately trapped—in an isolated setting with a group of teenage boys who expect and demand that they “put out”), they didn’t go into that isolated setting expecting to be in danger. They thought these boys were their “friends,” and they thought they were going there to have fun.

    It takes a vigilant parent to put the brakes on and prevent that sort of thing. It takes a vigilant parent to keep up with who their children are talking to and associating with. It’s not just about policing a daughter’s interactions with boys. And policing her from putting herself into physically dangerous settings and gatherings. It’s also policing her association and friendships with unsavory, stupid girls.

    From what I’ve seen, most otherwise decent kids usually don’t get off into mess by themselves, or as their own independent idea. Usually, it’s at the suggestion and encouragement of a “friend” or “friends” that they didn’t need to have. A vigilant parent is “intrusive,” and paying close attention to the phone conversations their child is having with their friends. This is because children and teens don’t expect their “friends” to get them arrested, get a “train” run on them at the gathering the idiot/evil friend invited them to, or even get them killed.

    When a teenage girl is foolish enough to want to send inappropriate cell phone photos of herself to her so-called boyfriend, she isn’t thinking that he’ll pass that material around to his friends when they break up 2 weeks later. She isn’t expecting that these pictures will end up in the hands of every student at her school AND beyond. Parents being vigilant and so-called “intrusive” about their children’s cell phones can help prevent that.

    Even responsible children and teens with good values don’t always perceive the danger that’s all around them. Innocence is the nature of childhood. That’s why “nosy,” “intrusive,” “dictatorial” parents are necessary.

    You said, “Thank you for taking the time to hear me out and for answering me. I usually just read this blog and agree with you (lol) so, there’s never really a need to respond. Keep doing what you do and I will keep reading.”

    You’re welcome; and THANK YOU for speaking up when you saw something you disagreed with! I prefer it that way. It enhances the level of the conversation.
    ____________________________________________

    NijaG,

    You said, “I and most of my peers that I grew up with are products of the “parents empowered to whoop if deemed necessary”-parenting style. Now, some were whooped more than others, but in general before any physical whoopings would take place, there usually were warnings, scoldings and a few non-physical punishments.”

    That was my experience and observation also. The whoopins were not the first step. The whoopins happened because the child had disobeyed and ignored the warnings that were already given.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  38. Amy says:

    Khadija,

    I don’t have much to add since I’m coming late into the discussion. I just want to Co-Sign your analysis and points on this issue.

    I and most of my peers that I grew up with are products of the “parents empowered to whoop if deemed necessary”-parenting style. Now, some were whooped more than others, but in general before any physical whoopings would take place, there usually were warnings, scoldings and a few non-physical punishments.

  39. sistrunkqueen says:

    Wow this discussion is getting very interesting.
    @Tee These prek/kindergarten future students become non-functioning college students here. Our school gets the non-GEd and non-highschool diploma folks. We also get the emotionally disturbed and physically handicapped too. Many of these adults do not have any work skills. They can’t use a computer, electronic stapler, fax machine, cutting board, or a copier. Everyday I see them struggle to pass their developmental classes. They are so behind in the modern world. Some may never catch up. What can one do with a functionally illiterate, non computer skilled 40+ adult?

  40. Huda says:

    This should be the dating bible for all women, not just us BW. Great list and discussion, it reminds me of some men I’ve known growing up, very creepy.

  41. Cimone Clark says:

    I’ve read similar statements by advice columnist Deborrah Cooper in her articles “Why Weak Men Want Submissive Women,” and “Jerks A$$holes Idiots and Abusive Behaviors – Recognizing Verbal Abuse” (http://survivingdating.com/?p=953). I am sending her a link to your blog hoping that you two can cross promote or something. Deborrah has said many times that she believes at least 75% of Black men are abusive and have been socialized to be that way towards Black women. She also says that 90% of Black women believe they deserve to be abused in ways they don’t even recognize as abuse! Shocking but you two are on the same page. 🙂

  42. Cimone,

    You said, “Deborrah has said many times that she believes at least 75% of Black men are abusive and have been socialized to be that way towards Black women. She also says that 90% of Black women believe they deserve to be abused in ways they don’t even recognize as abuse! Shocking but you two are on the same page.”

    I agree with her estimated figures. Much of this madness has become “normalized” among AAs because most AA women are heavily and dangerously MALE-identified. It’s not just violent males that keep this going; it’s also the male-identified women who support this behavior. The harsh reality is that most AA women are AS dangerously male-identified as the Arab women who support the “honor killings” of their own daughters.

    This came up during the For Your Own Safety, Keep Male-Identified Women Out of Your Inner Circle post.

    The bottom line is for women to get away from such men as quickly as possible. As Ms. Cooper said in the post you mentioned:

    If you are dating a man that calls you names, stands you up, discounts your thoughts and opinions as stupid, or turns things around to somehow make you responsible for his behavior, cut him loose promptly. If the man you call your partner does or says anything that lets you know he is lying, cheating or flirting with other women, cut him loose right away. If he does or says anything that makes you feel small, unimportant, or not entitled to independence and freedom, cut him loose immediately.

    Remember, there isn’t a woman alive that can change a man. He has to want to change, and he has to make the change all on his own. You can’t help him.”

    She’s absolutely right—cut them loose!

    Expect Success!