The Viral Video No One is Talking About
April 4, 2013
Sometimes you see things that you can’t un-see: two young girls cower in a corner and scream in terror as a man whips them over and over again with an electrical cord.
This isn’t the latest Quentin Tarantino flick or the flogging of third world prisoners. It’s the latest viral video being shared on social media and what some are calling “good parenting.”
The disturbing 30-second clip shows an out-of-control father delivering a violent lashing to his tween daughters after reportedly catching them making a booty-shaking “twerk” video to share on social media.
You can see it here, but be warned that it is hard to watch and not appropriate for children:
Twerking, a sexually suggestive dance that involves shaking your hips and bottom, has largely been a phenomenon within the hip-hop community. It received mainstream attention a few weeks ago when former Disney darling Miley Cyrus donned a hooded unicorn onesie and gyrated her way to more than 3.6 million views.
Although it frightens me to imagine my own daughter sexually objectifying herself to gain attention from strangers on the Internet, the cruel beating delivered to those girls does not in any way constitute a justifiable punishment—for anything. But sadly, and perhaps almost as alarming as the video itself, a considerable number of the video’s viewers have not condemned this father, they applaud him:
“Damn good parenting!!! We need more fathers like this who are involved in their daughter's lives.”
“Stop them now before they get too far out of control. He gets my vote as a good father.”
“I would've done the same thing. I’m a father with three girls and one boy and I beat them equally. Haha. As black fathers, we have the difficult task of teaching our daughters the value of self-respect. And very often it’s with a belt, extension cord, cardboard hanger, shoe, kitchen tools, toddler toys, and of course, brooms.”
“As crazy as it sounds its kind of heartwarming to see a dad care about his daughters so much...there’s nothing horrible about this at all.”
More than 2.7 million people have watched this video since March 31. Why isn’t anyone talking about it? Where are the investigators and reporters? Where are we?
In today’s social media age, we share everything in real time: songs, photos of our lunch, silly videos, and most importantly our children. We get the opportunity to peer into the homes of strangers and friends. What we see there will vary. When it frightens us, the inclination is to look away, close the window, and open another to find a cat with an attitude problem.
Imagine if real life worked that way. Picture yourself walking through a public space filled with hundreds of thousands of onlookers. You see a man whipping two young girls with a cord, shouting obscenities. The girls are screaming, scared and in pain. The crowd surrounds them. They cheer the man, and heckle the girls. Would you keep walking?
Yesterday the girls’ mother stepped in. She saw the welts and open wounds on her daughters when they returned from their father’s house and called police. Despite the Internet high-fives, he was arrested for child endangerment and corporal punishment.
April is Child Abuse Awareness month. Please share this and start the conversation. Grumpy Cat can wait.