The Facebook post on the left is one that I created to highlight a passage from my book "Race, Poverty, & Progress: An American Paradox" , because is talks about how society has institutionalized the threat and the use of physical harm on Black children/Black people.
Physical harm to the body of a Black person seems to be expected, deserved, and normal. It is not.
I recently read the story about 2-year-old Ezekiel Harry who was murdered, placed in a duffle bag, and thrown in the trash. I don’t know where to place my intense emotions about this child’s tragic death. The coroner said that he had endured “blunt-force trauma to the head” that caused his death. The article said that Ezekiel had accidently broken a cell phone…does that warrant the death penalty? I fear for all the young children who live around angry, short-tempered, violent adults.
As children, we instinctively turn toward the warm embrace of an attentive care-giver to find comfort. While corporal punishment has been used as a disciplinary measure in the past, it has lost favor to conversational approaches where children learn to rationalize.
Unlearning violence as a method of problem solving will be monumental. Violence as a coercive tactic, a corrective action, and a dominating force is all around us. How can we approach and implement behavior-correction without the threat of harm?
I’ve seen too much. I know too much about it. I ache with the families who have lost a loved one to violence; my heart is broken for my community.
I will never stop talking about this topic because I will always feel outrage and sorrow at the news of a violent death of a child. I believe that the possibility for change does exist. I envision a world where violence becomes rare and understanding becomes pervasive. I know that someone will decide to turn away from it. I hope many of us decide to follow their lead.
R.I.P. Ezekiel Harry
Resource: American Academy of Pediatricians – What is the Best Way to Discipline My Child?
Source: Photo of Ezekiel Harry, 2-year-old from Houma, LA. from WAFB9