A radical black journalist presented a lecture at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville last week in which she claimed that child abuse originated with white people, who are also responsible for the fact that blacks abuse and kill their own children at a much higher rate than any other racial group.
According to Wendy Wilson at The Tennessee Star, Stacey Patton, a journalism professor at Morgan University in Baltimore and author of the upcoming book Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Black Children Won’t Save Black America, was all set to present her lecture titled “How Killing Black Children is an American Tradition.” But UT's School of Journalism and Electronic Media, the College of Communication and Information and the College of Child and Family Studies, found the title to be a bit much and pulled funding from the speech on Feb. 22.
The speech went ahead anyway thanks to the support of several other departments, and Patton was introduced at the event by the vice chair of Africana Studies. The lecture, as Wilson noted, "featured a mix of poignant pleas for greater concern about the plight of black children at the hands of abusive parents and Black Lives Matter-style rhetoric about white supremacy."
Patton cited data from the federal Children’s Bureau to show that from 2006 through 2015 more than 3,600 black children died from maltreatment, most of it perpetrated by black women aged 40 and younger. Patton said black children are abused and killed at a rate three times greater than any other ethnic or racial group -- and she blames whites for it.
Child abuse, she said, “was not native to the cultures of our West African ancestors prior to their contact with Europeans, prior to the Middle Passage, prior to hundreds of years of slavery and colonialism and a violent introduction to a bastardized version of Christianity." She asserted that child abuse originated in ancient Greece and carried on throughout the European Middle Ages.
“Long before the first Europeans landed on this continent to build a so-called Christian nation, they had grown accustomed to doling out sexual and physical violence against their own children, whom the regarded as savages,” said Patton. Whites passed that brutality on to other cultures through colonialism and slavery, and then began treating their own children better as a way to mark them as “potential inheritors of civilization” in contrast to the nonwhites they enslaved.
Indigenous people in North America, for example, like those in West Africa, did not practice child abuse themselves until they were influenced by Europeans, Patton claimed. She added that the Puritans were “crazy” and were “beating each other, torturing kids in the public square and killing the Native Americans.”
Things haven't changed much since, apparently: “When you are a people under siege, when you fear for your own life and the life of your child, it is easy to misconstrue cruelty as love and protection,” she said. “Far too many of us believe the generational lie that a good whupping strengthens a black child, prepares them for the harsh realities of being black in America.”
Wendy Wilson noted that
Patton’s assertions about mistreatment originating with white people can be easily refuted with minimal research into what other scholars have written about the past. Slavery was practiced among tribes in Africa before European colonialism and Africans were later involved in selling their own people, children included, to white slave traders. The racial dimension of slavery has also been misrepresented, some scholars say.
In his 2004 book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, historian Robert Davis tells the story of more than one million European adults and children who were forced to work in North Africa during that period. In a media interview in 2004, Davis said, “One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature — that only blacks have been slaves. But that is not true.” As for the Americas, ritualistic killings of both adults and children before the arrival of Europeans have been well documented.
Wilson also noted that this isn't the first time Stacey Patton has sparked controversy over race:
In July, she criticized Hillary Clinton in a Washington Post column for saying that everyone must come together to stop racial division. “Clinton’s call for everyone to ‘do the work’ to unite against hatred overlooks the fundamental fact that it’s whites — and only whites — who must work to fix the racist structures in our society,” Patton wrote. In a piece in November for Dame Magazine titled “Why I Have No Sympathy for Angry White Men,” Patton called President Trump a racist and sexist who exploits the rage of white men.