January7,2011

Spanking Uncle Should Take You Tube Video Down

Please no one else send me the youtube video of a supposedly concerned Uncle hitting his 16 year old nephew on camera. I don’t find it funny nor do I think it’s appropriate.

I’ve said many times that I’m not a fan of people hitting others—unless both parties are adults and getting paid for it. However, that’s not my main concern with this video. The biggest issue is what drives someone to post something like this on you tube for millions to see and what makes the viewers of the video laugh as though it’s not glaringly inappropriate.

With the advent of the internet, adult immaturity is constantly on display and no one can seem to do anything without broadcasting it to everyone else. I’ve personally been known to over-share on twitter and to sprinkle my blogs with things of personal note. But that’s my choice as an adult who knows the consequences that could happen as a result. For that reason, I ask why couldn’t this act of discipline remain a private matter?

A 16 year old does not know the consequences of having face splashed across the internet. We’ve seen this so many times with kids who post inappropriate things on social networks. But in this case, the 16 year old is not making the decision. He, as a child, is having his own privacy violated and any consequences thereafter are a result of an adult family member’s decision—not his own.

This is akin to having a parent with bad credit use their child’s name on bills and credit cards. Many a child’s credit has been ruined before they are of age because an adult made a choice for them that affected them negatively going forward.

I actually thought about that this subject this week at the “Princess Boy’s” parents continue to flaunt their little boy on TV. At some point you get the feeling that, despite what the parents may say, it ain’t about the kid.

The media has been talking a lot over the past few months about the consequences of bullying. This is the ultimate example of bullying. Someone whoops your ass and then posts it on the internet. Only, in this case tens of thousands of people laugh and egg the person on because, you know, it’s for your own good. It’s also an invitation to bully the child in the video something that could lead to him feeling an even greater need to prove himself tough when confronted.

People can argue that being hit is in the boy’s best interest. That’s fine, although by the time you’re 16, if you’re tough like I was, a beating is of no consequence anyway. It doesn’t change anything for the short or long term. But putting a child’s face online in any capacity ABSOLUTELY does.

When I hear people defend the Uncle’s actions what I hear is a sense that black folks need to do whatever they can to keep their children out of trouble. I heard one person say humiliating a child is better than having them join a gang. (By the way, it’s interesting what false choices people will provide when convenient). I wonder if people are aware that it is possible to both identify with the Uncle’s frustration and recognize that he has made a very serious error in judgment by putting his nephew on the internet.

It’s as if there is a complete lack of awareness of the vastness and power of the world wide web as well as the longevity of what is posted. No surprise given the behavior many adults are willing participate in online. As sites like Facebook delve deeper and deeper into your privacy, adult internet users post more and more, oblivious to how the innerwebs work in totality.

It’s sad because these adults are responsible for the lives of others and should make it their business to know better and exhibit better understanding of web use.

There are many parents of teens who do not allow their under-18 children to posts any pictures or videos of themselves online. What an extreme we’re dealing with here. While many parents are working day and night to protect their children’s identities and privacy some caretakers are willing to sacrifice a child’s safety and psychological health just to impress and entertain some strangers online.

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Comments

  1. Let me first make it clear that I do not spank my children. In addition, I don’t advise others how to punish their children most of the time but….

    I for instance have little cousins just like this nephew in the video. They are out of hand and out of control in the social network world. Their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, legal custodians or whoever raise them better than what I see online. They go to church, engage in extra-curricular activities, come from stable and unstable homes, but their personalities in face and online do not match.

    I read one relative’s page. He’s 13. He says he is 21 online. He claims a hood, flagging (repping a color) online, he claims a gang, has a girlfriend, and constantly talks about how he disrespects his mother. But in real life he is none of those things.

    I do not think the spanking was valid enough for the outrage that it has gained in some people. I think what this Uncle did was 99% about embarrassment and 1% actual beating. Any old fashioned black person (like my mother) will tell you that’s not a spanking. That’s not a whooping. That’s not a beating. It was punishment.

    I have to commend him and not at the same time. His plan was public embarrassment, but the execution was all wrong. I can guarantee you that that boy will not be e-fronting for a very long time.

  2. Out of a million ways to discipline someone or make a point, this decision was among the most childish and immature ways to do it.

    You want to humiliate someone (which is immature enough)…then do it locally. Do it on the child’s facebook page. Do it at their school in front of friends. But what you don’t do is post something like this online for consumption by an unlimited amount of people. I mean people can save this video whether its taken off of youtube by the user or not.

    I see the actual “hitting” part of this as the least consequential. 16 year old boys are pretty tough. For me, its the fact that we try to teach kids about being responsible online and then turnaround and support someone this boneheaded.

    • So here is a constructive question: If it were you in that situation, with a child that you are sure you instilled morals and values in, and you caught him e-thugging, to prove a point to the masses (in his case to be ‘hard’ in front of other children) what would you have done?

  3. Appropriate discipline methods vary from child to child, in my opinion. You have to know your child and what will teach them a lesson vs. what will crush them. Anyone who supports this Uncle’s actions has obviously never been a painfully-shy teen. I know I would have been completely devastated if my friends and family had access to a video like this of me at that age.

    At the same time, I had plenty of boisterous, outgoing, overconfident friends who wouldn’t have been fazed by a public display like this in the slightest. And I’m sure the Uncle NEVER expected for the vid to go viral. Not like this.

  4. Mel I agree, he probably didn’t know it would go viral. Yet another thing that is scary about some people being online.

    A video like this wouldn’t phase me much I’m hard to embarrass. But that makes it no less consequential. Of course its easy for me to say because my parents aren’t morons.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miss Mimi, Lex and J Danielle . J Danielle said: Spanking Uncle Should Take You Tube Video Down http://goo.gl/fb/giZvK [...]

  6. I agree with April — whether the uncle was cognizant or not — this was about embarassing this boy, not physically hurting him.

    Unfortunately, our culture values humiliation. Think about the way we choose to taunt each other. Even if it’s just for entertainment or to show how close we are to another, we like to humiliate. If you look at certain processes to enter certain organizations in our community, humility is a huge part of that as well. We loathe being humiliated individually and so we use it to tear others down.

    I don’t know that I disagree with what the uncle did, however. Can I think of better ways? Absolutely, but that’s because I have 2 of the 3 important Es… education and exposure (experience being the last). I think that what a lot of people see when they see that video is a family member who cares about another family member. He may have gone about it the wrong way, but kids don’t come with manuals. I struggle to criticize parents/guardians who are clearly trying to help their children be better citizens. Folks make mistakes and yes parents mistakes that screw their kids up, sometimes irreparably, but to see so many parents who could clearly give a sh*t about their kids I can’t fault folks for trying.

    And yes, this boy will suffer some consequences for this video much more far reaching than either he or his uncle could imagine, but one thing I bet he won’t do is continue to “gang bang” on the internet. I don’t mean to suggest the as yet to be seen consequences make this ok, but it certainly will achieve the uncle’s initial goal.

    I’ll be glad when our community starts to teach and share better parenting skills than we currently teach and share. I can’t tell you how many things about raising kids that made sense to me at the time, but I’ve since learned to be completely wrong and absolute causes of why folks grow up and become inept members of our society.

  7. You clearly must not have children nor work with troubled youth. This is a different day and time, and the fact of the matter is kids lack discipline. Youth discipline has been on the decline for years and the troubled youth I work with deal have issues directly related to that. This new age, don’t “hit” a child b/c it causes them to be violent is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Let’s run the numbers of the children who aren’t physical disciplined (and NOT abused) and demonstrate extreme violent behavior. He posted it to fb and it did get out of control. But kids are out of control and he did what he thought would be effective. And I’d bet my dollar it was. I do not believe the uncle did it to impress anybody. What could the uncle possibly gain from posting it, other than a child abuse charge?

    A 16 year olds privacy violated…wow. Just this week a parent in my district “violated” her child’s privacy by going through her text message…and guess what she found out…the coach at school has been molesting her daughter. We are at war to save our children by any means necessary so once again I say, until you have/deal with children you have no idea.

  8. Comparing reading a your child’s text messages or anyone’s text messages to posting a video online of a private matter for potentially millions to see cannot be compared.

    As I stated:

    “It’s as if there is a complete lack of awareness of the vastness and power of the world wide web as well as the longevity of what is posted. No surprise given the behavior many adults are willing participate in online. As sites like Facebook delve deeper and deeper into your privacy, adult internet users post more and more, oblivious to how the innerwebs work in totality.”

    I really find some of this to be reflective of thinking the internet is smaller and less consequential than it is. This is simply not responsible use of the internet. It amazes me that anyone thinks it is. I am truly flabbergasted. Lol it would never occur to me that people honestly have no concept of privacy and how the internet can affect your safety, future etc. I’m in awe.

  9. I support spanking but even I recognize it’s not the punishment you use all the time and for every situation. Especially at 16. If you have to physically discipline a child at 16, you have bigger problems….

    But putting it up on Youtube? Seriously what the hell is that? I haven’t seen this video yet but it really pisses me off that an adult would put such a thing up on the Internet. Now that it’s up……..it’s never coming down. So the 16 year old doesn’t something immature and/or stupid and the uncle responds by doing something immature and/or stupid. Really?

    However you discipline your child, be it timeout or spanking or grounding them or whatever, the one thing you should never do is punish them when you are angry or without really sitting down and thinking about (and discussing with the other parent if possible) what an appropriate punishment is. And that includes thinking about the consequences of that punishment.

  10. From the disciplinary standpoint theres nothing wrong here. There is nothing wrong w/ humiliating sum1 to discipline them. Most people against corporal punishment will advocate “timeout” style punishments. Standing in the corner is effective cuz its embarrassing. We can all agree (W/ various degrees of laughter lol) it’s highly unlikely the kid will ever set trip online again so the effectiveness of the punishment is not in question. The appropriateness? Its true that he WILL be relentlessly ridiculed & this may cause lifelong psychological issues. Easiest way to put it wud be “Man the fuck up”. I empathize with, support & defend fragile people but not everyone does. Some people prey on them. Thats just reality. Its no more fair than people getting sick but its what it is & until that changes we live practically. Stronger people are at an advantage. Bottom line: The kid will likely laugh about this in a year. What the problem is? Further, whats the problem w/ public vs private humiliation?

    As far as the “far reaching” & “long term repercussions” lol: What izyu smoking? U dont need to be a conspiracy theorist to know “internet privacy/security” is an oxymoron….but this? He has a Facebook! Information that compromises his privacy is all over that bitch but ur talkin about a youtube video? What is the worst POSSIBLE case scenario here? “Mr. Johnson we were going to hire u but u got yo ass whipped on youtube when u were 16 so…” o_O. Whats the worst case scenario?

    Finally, I believe the uncle was truly concerned w/ his nephew’s well being but if he did it for fame I wouldnt be shocked. That said, ur being really unfair to Princess Boy’s parents. They’re doing a great thing for tolerance. So they ended up famous while promoting the book. Its not like they made him do a song w/ Willow Smith. That might cud be hot tho…

  11. My first reaction to seeing that video was a *jaw drop*. I was bullied in school when I younger. I do not agree with this video on the internet at all. What happens when his friends see it? This video is on the internet FOREVER. Really you are about to teach your nephew a lesson and you take the time to set up a web cam to get it all on tape? You need people to cosign you that bad? You need validation from the world so bad that you took this situation past just teaching him a lesson. Teenagers have enough stress to deal with in high school. We don’t know that boys mind or how this made him feel. The 16 year old me wouldn’t have been able to take that. People at school laughing at me for a youtube video along with the other petty bullshit I had going on. I just hope that boy isn’t suffering back lash from this. You can discipline your children but that shit does not need to be on the internet for the rest of that child’s life.

  12. Aprilll I called my mom to ask her what she would do since I’m childless. She said she would talk to me about why I think its cool to do it. She said I would not be allowed to social network or otherwise create an account on sites until I was 18 (lmao). And no going out for 2 months at least.

    Also I told her about the video and she screamed “whaaaaaaat!?!” And said she can’t believe how stupid some people are especially those in her generation. She said it wouldn’t occur to her to try to humiliate someone.

  13. The uncle made the video because he cared as you wrote in such a dismissive manner. He is not exposing him to online predators, but trying to protect him from the predator gangs in his own neighborhood. It is just like NBA hall of famer Isaiah Thomas’ Mother greeting the gang members that came to her door to recruit him with a shotgun. Parents, please fight to protect your children by any means possible and forget this touchy feely mumbo jumbo. I feel if he had joined a gang and killed someone or was killed himself all of the “fell through the cracks” and “what could have been done” articles would flood the web,

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