Break The Cycle, Not The Girl.

 

Earlier this year, I did a miniseries about calling girls, especially Black girls, fast. Click here for that. In this series, I pull no punches. I was as honest as I knew to be. From that honesty, I break down what it means to call a girl fast. From that wisdom, I am enraged at this story.

Not only did her father catch her having sex.

Not only is she 12, and was having sex.

Her father, took a belt, beat her in front of the entire world.

And the story is from the vantage point of how he punished her.

How he punished her?!

See. Therein lies the problem. We have to be able to challenge crazy., toxic behavior. Should this young girl have had sex so young? No. But her father should never have done this to her. This is abuse. It is not discipline. This is not any form of love. I will not suffer to debate that more.

I remember being 10, and I called a boy on the phone. For record this was a boy I knew, and my parents knew. And I consider him my childhood sweetheart. I remember the summer I turned 11 that my parents (mother and father now) spanked me because I called him. But they said I got spanked because I lied about calling him–when I wasn’t ‘old enough’ to call or talk to boys. They spanked me over the course of two days. What did it teach me?

1-My parents were unreasonable.

2-I had to become sneaky to do what I wanted because they wouldn’t let me do anything.

 

What did spanking her teach her? That her body was dirty? She wasn’t worthy to be protected? I doubt it. What spanking her supposed to teach her that her body was property? I am confused what the added element of putting everything online was supposed to do? If he is to truly care and protect his daughter, this could have been handled better. Put the boy out, yes. But talk to her.

TALK.

That thing parents, especially some Black parents, don’t want to do. I have had my mother tell me that I ‘talk’ to much to my kids. I talk to them, so they can get used to talking. So they get used their mother listening to them–rather than yelling. So they can get used to saying what is wrong rather than hiding, lying or thinking they can’t come to me. I never want my children to only remember how I yelled and never listened. I had to catch myself before I called my 11-year-old daughter fast once.

She is 11. And tall. And doesn’t look her age. And she was wearing a dress that showed off things Black girls are taught to cover. If I had called her fast, my own daughter, it would be the equivalent of calling her a whore. No! I will not do that to her.

This story should be the start of conversations. This man needs to be told this not how you raise daughters! This is not how you handle this! You do not reprimand a Black child like this. The cycle of policing the bodies of Black women and girls through violence must end.

While people are talking about how he hit her with this belt, I am wondering what happened to this child once the video ended. I want to know was she left in this room in tears, hurt, confused and bleeding–with only half of an idea why.  This has to end. The toxicity ends when we give onus to both parties involved in this situation!

Beating her won’t keep her a virgin, sir. But it will push her from you. When there comes a time she will need you, where she is drowning, she will not reach. She will remember this, and die in whatever she is in. Why? She will fear the outcome more than the rescue.

{image screenshot from author’s timeline]

From The Facebook Mental Health Help Desk

 

 There was a post that came across my Facebook timeline that said the following:

 

 

 

 

When I saw this, my heart sank.  All I could think about was my own childhood, and when I was telling people as a 10-year-old girl that I was depressed, no one believed me. I thought about the increased number of little Black children that are ending their lives. Yet, everything on this post was something that I had either heard or heard second hand be said when it relates to the feelings and emotions of Black children.

Black children are consistently told their pain, their trauma, their emotional well being doesn’t matter. That is is trivial. Ergo, they are trivial. They are not taken seriously even in the face of evidence to the contrary!

Look, I get it. I had parents that worked all the time to take care me and my siblings. I had a grandmother, whom was sometimes less than warm, and aunts that worked because they had families too. Everyone is so busy trying to make it and survive you don’t have time to see what may be going on around you! Previous generations didn’t have the luxury of calling their anxiety ‘depression’. They didn’t have the luxury of admitting their minds were playing tricks on them, and the world had gotten so dark that suicide became an option.

Live. Work. Take care of kids.

“If they ain’t dying, starving, dirty or bleeding to death, they’ll be alright.”

With the rate of suicide among African-American children on the rise, posts like this–even in jest–make me wince. They make me uncomfortable because it peels back layers of Black culture we don’t discuss–and use humor to cover up. I remember hearing things like, “Only white people get depression!”

Pause.

No. We get depression too, but we don’t get the luxury of a diagnosis. The goal of a diagnosis is to point a clinician in the  right direction in order to help their patients. That means medication if need be or the most blasphemous term to Black folks:  therapy. We don’t get the justice a diagnosis grants. We, especially Black women, are told to keep going. We get told little Black boys only get to be tough or happy.

Black people are not allowed to be totally human. If we are allowed to embrace all of ourselves, even the broken parts, perhaps these generational traumas can heal. Instead of  being things to laugh about on social media, and whispered about at funeral repasses.

 

 

 

 

[image from comicartfans.com–Lucy is a creation of Charles M. Schultz, creator of Peanuts]