Why I Can’t Get Down with #BlackParentsQuotes

Written by Liz Dwyer; Originally published at Los Angelista

For the past three days #BlackParentsQuotes has been trending in Twitter’s top 10 in the United States. Given that trending topics that involve race aren’t usually known for their positivity or insightfulness, I hesitated to click and see what the masses were saying. Unfortunately, on Monday, my curiosity got the better of me:

Even Will Smith’s oldest son Trey decided to join in the fun by helpfully comparing black parents to white ones:

Which one does Will Smith holler at his kids every morning?

According to Trey, I’m a white parent since I tell my two sons good morning and don’t cuss them out before they head to school. I’m probably a white parent since I don’t hit my boys, either:

And apparently all this is funny, even if it’s kinda racist:

I keep trying to figure out why it is that blatant racism is so amusing and fantastic. Oh wait…it’s because it’s directed at black people, and in this case, being perpetrated by black people–we truly have been so well-trained in self-hate that some of us think it’s funny to make racist, stereotype-laden quotes about ourselves. And, when that happens, America loves to laugh.

Those stereotypes keep going because some of us still believe that there’s virtue in being harsh to our children–we tell ourselves that we got beat or cussed out, and look how we turned out. Just fine, right? Too many black folk don’t want to admit that beating or chastising our children as harshly as possible is a survival mechanism left over from the days of slavery and Jim Crow. If we don’t deal with our child, then the white man in charge–the massa, the overseer, the police–will come and do it for us.

Despite that legacy, physically, verbally and emotionally abusing children isn’t synonymous with being a black parent. How about we replace all that slapping and sarcasm with:
#blackparentquotes I love you
#blackparentquotes How’d I get lucky and end up with a son with such a good heart?
#blackparentquotes I like how you made the decision to do the right thing.

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