Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Love Does Not Cause You To Bleed

 By Gaetane Borders

Is it possible that parents no longer know how to discipline their children? Maybe something happened within my lifetime that caused a major disconnect such that I simply cannot relate to anything I see, hear, or read lately.

Here’s the source of my current rant:

A month or so ago, a news report surfaced because there was an online video showing what appeared to be a young father who was so upset by his son’s misbehavior at school that he shaved the boy’s hair and eyebrows, spanked him with a belt, and forced him to do exhausting exercises. He filmed the entire 7 minute and 44 second clip and posted it on social media sites. The sad irony is that this parent did this as a means of showing other parents how to properly discipline their own children. I was disturbed by what I heard. The video is difficult to watch.  However, despite the disturbing contents of the video…I have to say that it’s the nation’s reaction that shocked me most. (I’ll get to that a tad later)

The man in the video is identified as Devery Broox. He is not the boy’s father, but has been described as being his "mentor." Orlando, FL officers arrested him after learning about the video via a tip originally received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. While the 7-year-old boy initially claimed that marks and scars on his legs were caused by a bicycle accident, he later “disclosed that Devery ‘whips’ him ‘all the time.’” The child told the police that “Devery made him tell the story about the bicycle because ‘he don’t wanna’ go to jail.’”

I am sharing the video below for you to view, but I do want to caution you that it is not safe for work or for children. It contains extremely foul language and violence

Now....Here’s my rant:

Of the two people in the video, who do you think people are defending? The 7-year-old you say? Well, that would make too much sense. In fact, it is Broox who people are passionately defending online and at the water cooler. “A parent can’t beat their kids [expletive] anymore without the government getting involved!” an angry listener said when she called into a radio show. Again I ask, what happened in the world that causes confusion between discipline and abuse. Those arguing in Broox’s defense say that the incarceration rate of Black men is the reason why such “discipline” is important. They go on to say that this will help young black men because it will make them successful and productive citizens. I vehemently disagree!

Violence begets violence…ALWAYS. Fear and intimidation does not set a healthy framework for relationships! A child is supposed to feel safest at home. A child is supposed to feel comforted by a parent’s touch. Appropriate discipline cannot occur when a parent is enraged. Leaving scars on children means that you caused them to bleed! How does that show love? Condoning “Beating a Child’s [expletive]” is wrong….simply put. 

So where do you stand on this issue. Did this mentor offer appropriate discipline, and should his self-help parenting video be viewed as good training material for parents? The comments below are just some that were posted in the abuser’s defense. Do you agree with them?

Gaétane F. Borders is President of Peas In Their Pods, an organization that helps to spread awareness about missing children of color.  She has dedicated her life to helping families and children, and is a noted child advocate.  Gaétane often lends her expertise to various media outlets such as CBS, CNN, and FOX.  In addition, she frequently contributes to magazines and newspapers.

  • When did disciplining a kid become a crime? He may have went a little overboard with the eyebrow shaving but come on, he just teaching the kid to act right or get faced with consequences...Soft world we live in.

  • I support the Mentor. Was it extreme? Yes. Will it leave an impression on the young boy to get his act together? Yes. All this is showing is that parents lose their rights to raise their children.

  • I know this guy PERSONALLY! Devery is a very nice man he is a mentor and helps boys in the community along with a group of guys I went to college with. He isn't cruel person nor evil and ten years is to the EXTREME. I am going to make sure I go to the courtroom and support Devery because he is somebody who cares about our youth and in the black community we all know that this form of discipline is 100% normal and most of us were raised this way. We are not dead and are parents are not in prison. Those whoopings we got saved many of our lives. I don't get it that you cant whoop your kid with a belt but cops can break your bones with night sticks, tazer you or shoot and kill you. What sense does that make?

  • If this child grows up to be a prison bird or terrorize society they will look at him as another black child gone wrong. Now someone is trying to right his wrongs early on and its a crime. I hope next time it isn't made public but when this same black boy goes astray because he does not have a mentor you all who are against the punishment will be looking to point fingers again.  He was retarded for posting it.... That's all!

  • Mentor, father, caretaker...young black boys especially need someone to discipline them. This is evident by how many are winding up in juvenile facilities and the penal system in general. While I believe that whipping with a leather belt is extreme, cutting the boys' hair and maybe his eyebrows is not that extreme. Hair grows back but you can't erase a felony conviction. Making him run sprints and doing the duck walk and push ups my impress upon the boy to get his act together and straighten up in school. Parents and guardians need the support of the systems to reinforce discipline and even suggest non corporal, effective ways to turn kids around in their behaviors before it becomes too late.

  • See this is what’s wrong with the world today....they gone punish a black man for actually giving a damn....he could not be there, and not even care...and then the child would be just another statistic...another want to b thug, in jail, 2 3 babies he not taking care of.. letting the cycle continue. Somewhere the cycle has to break with our youth. My granddaddy whooped my a*s, my uncles, my momma, even my grandma....not to make me tough to learn some damn discipline and some respect..for elders..and for people trying to teach you something..but I guess some of you rather have rappers be role models..i don't understand..somewhere in the last 10 to 20 years we lost it...kids have no fear..no respect...no tradition....then some of you have a nerve to complain about it....its a shame...make that boy do some push ups....sprints..cut grass all that...and then whoop his a*s.....i bet he wont go in that class room no more acting a fool...respect that man for stepping up because half of yall wouldn't even give that boy a time a day...so shut up.

  • I don't have a problem with what was done. So many people come to the boys defense by saying "this poor innocent kid..." If he was so innocent, he wouldn't have been acting a fool in school. So often we as a society talk about the problems with children now a days, and so often do we forget how things were back during the times when children were better behaved. Times when most children had a basic level of respect for adults, and those that didn't were taught a lesson. There was a time in our history where teachers and other school officials were allowed to spank kids. There was a time when if a child got in trouble at school, he would get a beating from the teacher, neighbor, mailman, corner store owner and stranger before having to answer to his parents. Now a days, kids are terrorizing society with their reckless behavior.


  1. I don't agree with physical (or mental) abuse of a child in any form! I was abused by both parents and it caused a lot of damage. I had no self-worth whatsoever and would pick abusive men every time because that was what I was used to. I marryied someone that was like both my parents. I ended up in a battered women's shelter and leaving the state with my children. This man ended up murdering people.
    I spent over 20 years in counseling to overcome this and it still effects me today.

  2. Oh My God! Anyone approving of this video as a caring man is totally whacked! The commentary takes the attitude that since "so few black men discipline their kids (or those they mentor) it's totally okay to do whatever."
    Just a small point.... to say to a child... what you did last Monday when this is Wednesday, Thursday or whatever is so ridiculous as well.

    This man deems himself God and "the Enforcer." I don't care what race he is.... This is so abusive and should not be tolerated! I hope this guy ends up in jail for a long time... and he experiences some of his own "methods" first hand!

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment!
    Donna- "Ladyjustice"


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