Like most parents, my wife and I struggle with finding the right balance when the need arises to discipline our two young sons. There's truly no "one size fits all" when it comes to keeping your kids in check. Some folks are hardcore and "old school", pulling out belts and switches at the drop of a dime. Others take a "new school" approach of time outs, revoked privileges, and the like. My wife and I tend generally tend to go more with the latter, for lots of reasons I don't care to elaborate on here.
With all that said, I think there's a very thin line between discipline and outright abuse. This World Star Hip Hop clip blurs the line.
Actually, I do have an opinion on this. Brace yourselves for one of my parented rambling rants. Maybe this'll make sense, maybe it won't.
This is just plain wrong.
Look, I get that it's hard raising a black boy in today's society. I'm trying to raise two myself (albeit with LOTS of help from my wife), so I understand. That said, I'm not so sure humiliation is the best way to teach your child how to control himself at school. Cutting off his eyebrows, and probably making him the laughing stock of the school sure ain't the solution. This is borderline abuse if it wasn't videotaped. Putting it on WorldStar is absolute abuse. What exactly is the point is sharing your child's humiliation with the entire internets? I sure hope it isn't to dissuade him from becoming a criminal statistic as this video's intro seems to suggest, because that's about as bassackwards a manner of thinking as I've heard in some time.
To be clear, I'm not saying that beating your kid is a bad thing. I actually think making the kid run till he passes out and doing pushups is within reasonable bounds. But something about exploiting your child for public consumption just seems waaaay off. There's some weird, disgusting level of perversion here that goes far beyond trying to be a responsible parent disciplining his son. This isn't about that at all. This is something far darker.
Lots of us (and by us, I mean black folks) say it's okay to do this, because hey, we were beaten with switches as kids and, hey, we (allegedly) turned out just fine. That may be true on some level, but given the staggering number of black folks doing jail time, maybe we might need to rethink the whole notion of how we keep our kids in check. Laugh all you want about white kids showing their asses in the grocery story and getting put in "time out", but when they're proportionately a far smaller percentage of those in the penal system, perhaps their tactics aren't all bad. Beating a child doesn't accomplish much. Instead of forcing them to explain their actions in a healthy manner and dealing with that, whipping a kid forces them to suppress what they feel. Fast forward 20 years and you've got the Dad in this video. I'm no social scientist (clearly!), but it's possible our parents and grandparents didn't have this whole thing figured out.
It's clear this is an Air Jordans and Pampers dad, not someone in his kid's life on the daily. He's more concerned about sending his kid to school "fresh" and "cute" than he is raising a son who goes to school to actually... uh, "learn". Dad's only apparent role is to be an XBox 360 partner and distributor of occasional asswhippings. The fact that the child is staying with grandma (and not Dad) is proof enough. I'm willing to bet this ingrate doesn't know the name of his kid's school, let alone his teachers. So there's an equally good chance he hasn't visited the school and has no context on exactly how or why his kid's consistently getting in trouble. This is the personification of a smart/dumb n*gga. Smart enough to know how to edit a video and drop some jail n*gga logic in it, apparently to make a "point". Dumb enough to post it online. This whole thing makes me sick, as if that ratty 12-year old Orlando Magic T-Mac jersey wasn't enough all by itself. Arrgggh.
If I sound extra judgmental/high & mighty on this one, shoot me. I don't give a sh*t. This ignorant, misguided assed Negro needs to be arrested and made a statistic himself. This kid might actually be better off a ward of the state. Yeah, I said it. I'm sure Mr. Magic would say he doesn't know any better because he didn't have his own father there when he came up, but at some point that sh*t is nothing more than an excuse and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unless his father also put a pointless beating on WorldStar, this n*gga should really know better. The fact that he ends this instructional video with a screenshot of a crying child and the caption "Job well done!!!" says he ain't got a clue.
Question: Is all this really necessary? Is this abuse or simply hard discipline? Was there perhaps a better way of getting the point across?!?
 Yes, I know there are also 101 other issues relating to institutional racism in the judicial system that contribute to the lopsided incarceration rates. Carry on.
* Hat tip to Bol.