Black people will give me flak for posting this but it’s the damn truth. Low income Blacks mistreat their kids and often this cruelty includes the most foul language ever. I have personally witnessed such abuse and it was nearly always the Black woman who committed the maltreatment – which goes without saying, as many Black men simply aren’t involved in the lives of their own children. Mainly because they are just too immature to handle fatherhood is my belief, followed by prison or death.
Growing up, I never heard White children use obscene language – other than the word ‘nigger’ and I will expand upon this in another post – but I often heard Black children use it. They (boys mostly) would say ‘damn’, ‘shit’, ‘ass’ and ‘hell’ on a regular basis. The most White kids said was ‘butt’ and they often spelled it out as if that made it less of a bad word. (Kids used to spell ‘hell’ and ‘ass’ and ‘damn’ too but they usually misspelled the latter by omitting the ‘n’. However, I remember a Greek-American boy named Eddie who said ‘sheet’ all the time, and a Greek-American girl named Helen who taught us how to say ‘shit’ in Greek.
The kids in our neighborhood – a mixture of poor, working, and lower middle class families – cussed often and colorfully. Boys said ‘pussy’ and ‘dick’ and got away with it because there was normally no adult within hearing distance, except sometimes an elderly person and then the bad word would be whispered under one’s breath. I never heard the N word among Blacks back then (this was the 1970s through the mid 80s) although they often referred to White people as ‘honkies’ and ‘whities’. I got called such names myself due to my light complexion but that’s another topic for a future post.
I heard Black parents use ugly words with their offspring: “Boy, I’m gon’ beat yo ass!” and “Girl, git yo ass in here!” It was usually the word ‘ass’ that was spoken, though sometimes I heard ‘damn’ and ‘shit’ – as in “Stop that damn shit!” or “Y’all quit that damn fussin’!” It didn’t matter if you were five or nine or twelve, you got the verbal abuse from your mother if you were Black and lived in a low income area. Sometimes I wonder if Black women who are mean to their kids are taking it out on the child because the father ditched her. Maybe he ran off not because of the kid but because of the bitch!
Black children are truly emotionally abused. I grew up in a household where alcoholism ruled and I witnessed male on female abuse so often it’s a wonder I didn’t grow up thinking that was normal. I was never, ever mistreated by my mom or any other female in my family, however. In fact, I was rather spoiled and got away doing bad things without fear of punishment most of the time. When I saw how other Black kids were treated by their (usually) single mothers, I probably laughed then. As an adult and knowing how verbal abuse is typically worse than physical, I now cringe whenever I see a Black woman being mean to her children.
Don’t take it out on the child(ren) because you’re on welfare or work a minimum wage job or struggling to make ends meet! Don’t blame the kid(s) because the father is absent or dead or in prison. Don’t take it out on your child(ren) because you’re fat or overwhelmed or can’t get a decent boyfriend. Don’t blame the kid(s) because you are a Black woman in a White society that doesn’t value one of your skin color. Don’t blame the child(ren) because you fucked up your life at age fifteen or sixteen or whenever. Don’t blame your kid(s) because you had to drop out of school to take care of him/her or them. It’s your own fault, yours and the no-good sperm donor’s (unless he happens to be a good daddy but then you probably wouldn’t be cussing and screaming and being mean to the child(ren) if that were true).
A few days ago, coming off the highway exit ramp, my boyfriend and I witnessed a young Black mother giving her son such a nasty tongue lashing that I was overcome with embarrassment at being a Black woman. My boyfriend was overcome with anger and wanted to say something to this abusive creature but I begged him not to get involved. It was really none of our business, you don’t know what people are carrying these days, and you cannot guess how someone will react to your nosiness. It was best to leave it alone.
What happens when abused sons grow up