We Broke The Cycle Of Spanking Our Kid.

Garrick McFadden
12 min readSep 15, 2023
Photo by seeetz on Unsplash

When I was a child, there were a number of unspoken infractions that would result in a spanking. They went from the standard offenses, such as talking back, disrespecting your parents, and refusing an order, to the more obscure, not practicing the piano, embarrassing your parents in front of white people, telling your parents that the spanking just received did not hurt, and crying too much after getting hit with the belt.

My parents used to spank me and my brother with a belt or their hand. My grandparents used to spank my parents with a spoon, shoe, belt, or the dreaded switch. My grandparents used to get spankings from my great-grandparents with switches, hands, broom handles, and belts.

My lineage, on both sides of the family tree, has suffered under the constant threat of corporal punishment on these shores before this nation was formed. My family was stolen from Africa and trafficked to America in shackles. Once they started forming loosely formed collectives, the spankings started because the danger was close.

The way we currently value life today in America is not how it has historically been evaluated. Even now, life's value differs depending on the region of the world where the souls are found. Even in America, not all lives hold the same weight. Some lives matter more than others in America and across the globe. This is clear in how we see the world respond to tragedies and natural disasters.

My spankings were from parents who loved me. They were not conducted out of sadistic passion or cruelty. They did not brag to their friends or siblings about giving my brother or me a licking. They found no honor or glory in what they did to their children. My parents were scared that my or my brother’s body could be destroyed at the whim of a white person who fancied the annihilation of black souls.

As long as my family has existed in this country, the consequences of destroying a black body have been inconsequential. If a person of European descent killed a white man’s property, then there were ramifications, not because they murdered a black person, but because they destroyed a white man’s property without his consent. There is a difference.

My parents' grandparents were children of enslaved people here in America. My maternal…

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Garrick McFadden

I am a civil-rights attorney. I write about #whiteness, #racism, #hiphop, policing & politics.