Some with a narrow agenda against IFB would have you think that the only people in the world that promote spanking with words like “whipping” and “beating” are the Independent Fundamental Baptists that were the focus of Elizabeth Vargas’ 20/20 last week. This is a stereotype that is unfair. I’ve made myself clear about spanking. I do not endorse the “whip you kid” rhetoric whether it comes from the right or the left. It’s naive, however, to think it’s only a white evangelical problem. Interestingly, I preached a message on the topic the Sunday prior to the ABC 20/20, having no idea that spanking was going to be discussed nationally a few days later as if IFB are the only champions of spanking.
But it’s not just white conservatives. Roland S. Martin, a highly popular and outstanding journalist, who is also black and liberal, is highly supportive of “old school” corporal punishment. First, a brief introduction for those of you who don’t know Martin:
Mr. Martin is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” a one-hour Sunday morning news show. He is also a CNN Analyst, appearing on a variety of the network’s shows. In October 2008, he joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show as senior analyst.
Named by Ebony Magazine in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States, he is the 2009 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for “In Conversation: The Michelle Obama Interview.” He is the 2008 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for “In Conversation: The Sen. Barack Obama Interview.”
In 2009, CNN was awarded the Peabody Award for its outstanding 2008 election coverage, of which Martin was a member of the Best Political Team on Television (source).
Martin did not shy away from the fact that he firmly believes that there is still a place in child-raising for ‘old school’ corporal punishment. He referenced the fact that when he was a kid, if he did something wrong witnessed by ‘old timers’ in the village, he got several whippings before he got home — and another whipping after he got home.
Martin says that today’s villager looks at a child and says things like, “That’s none of my business; it’s not on me; and it’s a doggone shame.”
He used family experience to drive home the importance of more than parents raising a child. One experience shared was about one of his young nieces. Martin said that his brother had adopted the ‘no spanking’ rule in raising his daughter. While visiting, Martin noticed that when his brother called the child, it took at least six times of calling her name before she responded. He spoke to his brother bout his niece’s behavior. When the brother seemed to be unconcerned, Martin stayed out of it.
However, when Martin asked his niece to turn down the television (twice) and was ignored, he “snatched her,” i.e. “physically grabbed her” and gave her a spanking. When his brother reminded Martin that we don’t beat her, Martin said his response was, “No problem, I’ll do it for you!” (Chromelight II, March – April 2011, p. 17-19).
Roland S. Martin is one of 150 most influential African Americans in the United States. You don’t think that kind of talk will get abused by loyal listeners?
Viewers of ABC 20/20 who think that IFB have the monopoly on this kind of rhetoric about spanking children are either extremely sheltered or so prejudiced that they really don’t care about victims or facts. They only want to score points against their enemy du jour.