You Shouldn’t Be Proud of Beating Your Kids

With this never-ending tragedy of home crimes revolving around the NFL, we’ve now transitioned from one form of domestic violence to another — from beating your spouse to now beating your child, thanks to accusations against Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson. When Ray Rice was caught on video tape punching his then fiance, there were those few murky Ray Rice defenders, but there were many more people and players admonishing Rice. Punching your partner is wrong, almost everyone seemed to agree. Knocking her out is violent abuse. But Peterson gets accused of hitting his four-year-old and the response among some African Americans is a bit more problematic. A lot of “Yeah, but …” mixed in with the “child abuse is wrong.” Instead the message is more “child abuse is relative and yeah, I was beat, and I turned out fine, so don’t try to convince me otherwise, but people should be allowed to beat their kids, here’s a Bible quote that backs my belief system.”

But probably the most bizarre are always the people who are “proud” of being beat and “proud” of beating their kids. These individuals are always the loudest, as if not understanding how uncouth the whole mess is, that it’s not necessarily anything to be proud of and even if you’re fine with corporal punishment, why oh why would how violent a beating is be a regular competition among black people when the beatings got mixed results at best? For every kid that turned out fine for being beat, there’s an entire prison system filled with kids who were beat and for which it did no good and may have even made things worse. So why so much pride in a system that seems arbitrary in whether it works or not?

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The Snob

Consistently Inconsistent

Oh, chronic depression. My greatest (and most annoying) foe. Who knew that “stability” would mean still juggling a low level malaise every few weeks until forever?

Back in 2007 when I gave up writing it was because I thought my obsessive writing made me unhealthy. At the time, I was obsessively working on novels and screenplays, short stories, poems and songs. I wrote when I was depressed. I wrote when I was manic. It was all consuming. The only real break I took from it (since my day job as a newspaper reporter also involved writing) was after a hospitalization in 2006. I felt my obsession with the stories I created in my mind were part of the problem. They kept me from dealing with my reality, which was not as interesting as some wild story idea I’d concocted or a musical I’d become obsessed with composing. In fact, my reality was pretty bleak at the time, but only by confronting it was I eventually able to deal with it. Continue reading


Say “No” to NPR Making “Tell Me More” No More


Richard Prince, one of my favorite journalists who writes about journalists, broke my heart the other day when he posted on his Journalisms blog that Tell Me More, an NPR staple since 2007, was being canceled. Tell Me More, which is hosted by Michel Martin, was one of the best shows on NPR and was the only show targeting a diverse audience.

Also, Martin is my friend and I don’t know if I’m fully prepared to “accept” that this show is being sacrificed for NPR’s financial bottom line. And I don’t think we, as fellow writers, journalists, friends of Michel and listeners should simply “accept” it either. Continue reading

He Said/She Said

Black Women and the Savior Complex


Source: Wiki Commons

I can rebuild him. I can make him stronger.” — whispers the soft heart of some black woman somewhere.

Black people have problems. That’s a bit of an understatement, but while some better off than we used to me, so many of us are worse since the Civil Rights actions of the 1960s. So it’s only natural that we want to help each other out. That we want to give back. That we want to be there for each other. And when it comes to black women, that is specifically about black men — any black man really — who we have determined is in need of saving and fiercely protecting. Continue reading

Jada Prather

How’s Your Afro Doing This Days?

fro whoa inset

After not making a T-shirt or new swag item in forever, I’ve collaborated with my friend and illustrator Jada Prather to create some new T-shirts fitting of readers of new and old. Because I love hair (and I have a lot of it), the first few shirts are hair-themed, including this one that proudly proclaims one’s ‘fro is “like whoa.” You can get different versions of it right now on Zazzle. So check them out!


love in hip hop

“It’s fascinatingly ridiculous. It kinda feels like how y’know when you were like five-years-old and you were playing pretend and started making up things you thought an adult would say. But you’re five and have no clue how that works. That’s why it’s so fascinating because they don’t actually have that excuse for not knowing being that they are adults.” — my friend and illustrator, Jada Prather, on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s” acting

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