Congratulations to the courageous participant in this blog who took a stand to end interpersonal violence. See the comment to the No Spank Project. You are amazing! You stood up for your child and for children who were not yours. Take a bow!

Your comment is important. The other parent made a statement asserting the need to use corporal punishment because of the violence that appears in law enforcement. There is actually data that shows just how significant this relationship might be. In the southern portion of the US corporal punishment has historically and continues to be more widely endorsed — this hardly means that it is not used in other regions.  It turns out that there is a statistical relationship between the acceptance of capital punishment (sentencing people to death in the courts) and use of physical discipline.

The rationalization that our commentator heard has been given frequently by minority communities because of institutional racism. There are writers who defend physical discipline as culturally important for keeping children safe when interacting with authority figures who may practice racism. The parents of these children want them to be perfectly obedient in the face of authority because according to the parents the children are terrified and should be terrified.

I have some thoughts about this rationalization. First, what will a child learn about the parents values and believes about violence? My hypothesis is that the child learns that the parent believes it is okay to use violence if you have authority. It makes the child less likely to report victimization. Second, if you have any colleagues, friends, family members in law enforcement ask them if they want the public to be afraid of them — especially children. I know that there are law enforcement officials who work very hard and sacrifice a lot to enforce proper legal proceedings, minimize police aggression, and uphold professional standards. It is too often a thankless and difficult job.

Finally I ask everyone to notice that one of the statements that I quoted in my blog on spanking was from a coalition of African American Leaders. Your comment hightlighted why I included their statement.