Flogging – Violence begets (begats) Violence
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Mahogany Coconut Group is quite aware that corporal and capital punishment have widespread support throughout the Caribbean region. We respectfully suggest that this strong support is based on the often referenced biblical positions: If you spare the rod you spoil the child and an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Many of us growing up in the region experienced serious lashes for our wrong doings. Indeed, some claim that these floggings actually saved them from the hangman’s noose.
There is a rising school of thought, which suggests that our addiction to corporal punishment is an after effect of the beatings we received at the hands of the slave master; that our entire history is based on violence and that corporal punishment is a psychological left over or is it carry over, from the slave days. The MCG finds this position to be quite viable and we go as far as to suggest, that much of how we see ourselves at present, may very well be the after effects of slavery , in several forms but we digress.
The debate on corporal punishment, has taken centre stage over the past few weeks because a mother in Trinidad and Tobago, flogged her teenage daughter and then released the beatings on social media. The daughter had apparently posed semi nude and had distributed her pictures on face book. We understand the rage of the mother but we cannot condone inflicting beatings on a minor and then exposing such brutality for the world to see. It makes our region look barbaric.
We are even more concerned because a few months ago, a Barbadian mother, beat her daughter in public with a piece of wood and she was hailed as some sort of hero for brutalizing her child. We note that the mother in Trinidad and Tobago also has attracted considerable support. The belief that such physical abuse will by some strange act of magic, make these young ladies better children or at a later stage better adults, escapes the MCG. Quite frankly we believe that both parents should have been prosecuted for such violence against children they should be protecting.
There are many things wrong with America but there is no parent who can get away with such actions. The authorities would have removed the children from the homes and placed them under the supervision of the relevant child protection agency. Those who hold fast to the belief that children should be beaten in homes and schools, should be warned ,that the same bible they rely on for strengthening their positions on corporal punishment does mention, we think, that violence begets (begats) violence. Even if we have misquoted the bible we believe this to be true.
In both cases the mothers were wrong.