Hair+child abuse

Did y'all hear us mentioned on NPR today?! Our thought-provoking discussion was fodder mentioned on the show "Tell Me More".

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundown...n.php?prgId=46

Awesome job, gals. Way to keep us current and at the forefront of important discussions!
Originally Posted by Gretchen
You're welcome. So cool. I have to listen to that in a little bit, didn't catch it when it was on.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
Love to know your thoughts, KK, after you've heard the NPR discussion.
Originally Posted by Gretchen

Okay listened to it and I have a lot of thoughts.

1. The salon owner talks about seeing pleasure on the caregiver's face. I see that too. That nasty little smirk that cynthiarf did a dead on imitation of.

2. For me I could see where Susan's mentality was going to be at -I tell the children it's going to hurt to "get those kinks out of your hair." A lot of things wrong with this and other things she said that indicate to me she is still of the mentality that nappy hair has to always hurt to some degree. Especially not to see that it's not the fact that kinky hair hurts inherently, which she implies several times, but any hair which is being changed from one texture to another is going to hurt. This was a revelation of mine recently that we expect so much of kinky textured hair, it gets changed to the completely opposite hair type- straight- on a daily or at least weekly basis for many people and they are all surprised when they incur pain and then blame it on the hair type. It's bad. But how often do we try to transform straight hair to afro hair? I imagine that would just as painful and damaging. It's what we are doing to the hair, not the hair itself.

3. I also agree with RCC that it's not everyone who went through this who is agreeing it's not abuse. There are people on this thread and others who used similiar experiences they had to define this as definitely abuse. I saw people saying it happened to them so it's okay but I think that's only with people (not talking about anyone specifically) who don't like to think they suffered abuse (if it happened to them as a child) or they are perpetuating that suffering on their child (if they are mothers combing their child's hair anything like this woman today). It's definitely not what Dani is suggesting that only people who know Black hair can comment (as I heard from her use of the word "understand" or maybe she was using that to say only mothers can understand), Either way, I didn't realize there was anything to understand here except being able to see a child in pain.

4. Dani also brings up intention in a way that makes me believe her definition of child abuse is it has to be intentional. Not at all. What makes something child abuse is the result on the child's body and psyche, child abuse can come from ignorance or even good intentions. This is not the last thing I disagreed with this commentator on, throughout I would say she was identifying with this hair brusher to the point of reaching or imposing herself onto her, just because they are both mothers.

5. What would this young girl think to see her mother removed for abusing her for doing her hair? Well the woman who says this neatly sidesteps the emotional and verbal abuse, making it all about the hair and I also wanted to address the issue that people think reporting this or other things as abuse is going to automatically lead to the removal of the parent, jail time for the parent. Not necessarily. I would think (becuase I am no expert but this seems logical) that the very last resort is removing the child from their parent or locking the mother away. I imagine child services tries to work with the parent, they aren't out to get mothers who make mistakes every now and then, had a bad day, practiced abuse out of ignorance. They want them to change if they can. So if this is unserious as she likes to think then there should be no problem with a social worker stopping by the house on a regular basis to check on the little girl. Or just providing a voice for the little girl and in some cases they can probably HELP the parent become a better parent with classes and education, like controlling their anger issues. And if it's as serious as I think it is (24/7 emotional and physical abuse), then the little girl would probably be greatly relieved to be away from this woman.

6. I like that Michel Martin then brings it back to the idea that this is not just about hair because it is true, the verbal commentary on the video makes it clear there are deeper issues at work here.

7. I find it interesting the salon owner talks of ignorance because she herself comes off as somewhat ignorant to me still and it frankly scares me a little to think her concept of natural Black hair is actually better than some. She specializes in natural hair with her salon and she is saying things like "I have scars on my hands from children in pain who grabbed my hands". Good Lord, that doesn't make you reconsider the method which you are detangling the child's hair that they are holding onto your hand, in such pain they pierce the skin? As I have already stated, I have some experience with that amount of pain at salons doing my natural hair who were combing it completely incorrrectly. Except the skin I pierced was my own as I silently sat with tears streaming down.

8. I like that the salon owner calls parents on degrading their child's texture though.

9. The debator Teresa is correct that it stems from slavery and being compared to a more westernized ideal. It's a cliche certainly and has been said many many times and will be said many many times more. But that's becuase it's true.

10. "I draw the line when you start to judge a mother." That pretty much says it all for why some people refuse to see this as abuse, for them mothers are above reproach or questioning. I mean what is that even supposed to mean? And it's actually quite ironic becuase she is judging this woman, she is judging the mother to have to done nothing wrong. I guess she meant to say "I draw the line at negatively judging a mother." I understand mothers have challenges and responsibilities and makes mistakes but if anything judging them and their parenting technique is paramount when any ignorance or willful sadistic intent on their parts can damage or end a life that is in their care. Mothers are no more above judgement than anyone else, and certainly not one who purposefully put herself out there on the internet to be watched and judged on youtube. The hair brusher probably thought she would be judged favorably by public opinion and just because she wasn't, doesn't change that intent of having purposefully put herself out there in the public eye.

11. Though the debator who is a mother does bring up a good point about the parents who refused their child medical attention. How were they not child abusers to let their child die? I guess that was a news story I missed. And true, there is an ill defined line between what is discipline and what is abuse but that's where JUDGEMENT comes in.

12. "I know she loves her daughter." Nope you do not know that, many have said we can't negatively speculate on this 5 minute video (which is more than 5 minutes BTW which many people seem to make the mistake of, there are two others now lost that run a total of 10 minutes and it's still not over by the end of the third video) but apparently she feels she can positively speculate. I see no evidence in this video to suggest this woman loves her daughter (if in fact this is even her daughter) and far more to suggest she doesn't, as long as we are going to speculate.

13. Good points on the weave. I agree. Also on the fact that I don't know any Black women who managed to escape some emotional baggage surrounding their hair.

14. And to what Teresa Wiltz said at the end- I do think that it's getting better. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way, what with ALL the media (songs, books, documentaries, websites) that has come at this good hair, bad hair nonsense and lack of hair acceptance, which in turn is linked to general problems the Black community has with self actualization. And it STILL exists in far too many homes, salons, and minds. But like she said with her niece who loves her braids and hair texture, for every Autumn there is a little Black girl in some other home tonight, who has others who love her hair and who herself loves her hair, with an appreciation most of my generation didn't have. Weren't told we could have. And my mom's generation there were even less love, and my grandmother's? Forget about it. My grandma HATES her own nappy hair, she hates mine too, puts it down constantly while begging and offering money to me if I would straighten it. Telling me I will never get a man, a job or respect with nappy hair. But I don't blame her because what I went through and am still going through regarding my texture (and as much baggage as that is) it probably is only a small fraction of what she went through and now carries around. So I think it's getting better and we can make a difference, little by little. This little thread reached NPR.


My Fotki

Last edited by KinkyKeeper; 08-06-2009 at 01:30 AM.
This is kind of off topic, but someone posted the trailer for Chris Rock's movie/documentary Good Hair in the comments section for that piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m-4qxz08So

I can't wait to see it. I hope he does the topic justice.
Originally Posted by CurlyCurlies
Looks funny and enlightening. I will definitely being going to see that.


My Fotki

Okay listened to it and I have a lot of thoughts.

1. The salon owner talks about seeing pleasure on the caregiver's face. I see that too. That nasty little smirk that cynthiarf did a dead on imitation of.

4. Dani also brings up intention in a way that makes me believe her definition of child abuse is it has to be intentional. Not at all. What makes something child abuse is the result on the child's body and psyche, child abuse can come from ignorance or even good intentions. This is not the last thing I disagreed with this commentator on, throughout I would say she was identifying with this hair brusher to the point of reaching or imposing herself onto her, just because they are both mothers.

5. What would this young girl think to see her mother removed for abusing her for doing her hair? Well the woman who says this neatly sidesteps the emotional and verbal abuse, making it all about the hair and I also wanted to address the issue that people think reporting this or other things as abuse is going to automatically lead to the removal of the parent, jail time for the parent. Not necessarily. I would think (becuase I am no expert but this seems logical) that the very last resort is removing the child from their parent or locking the mother away. I imagine child services tries to work with the parent, they aren't out to get mothers who make mistakes every now and then, had a bad day, practiced abuse out of ignorance. They want them to change if they can. So if this is unserious as she likes to think then there should be no problem with a social worker stopping by the house on a regular basis to check on the little girl. Or just providing a voice for the little girl and in some cases they can probably HELP the parent become a better parent with classes and education, like controlling their anger issues. And if it's as serious as I think it is (24/7 emotional and physical abuse), then the little girl would probably be greatly relieved to be away from this woman.

6. I like that Michel Martin then brings it back to the idea that this is not just about hair because it is true, the verbal commentary on the video makes it clear there are deeper issues at work here.

10. "I draw the line when you start to judge a mother." That pretty much says it all for why some people refuse to see this as abuse, for them mothers are above reproach or questioning. I mean what is that even supposed to mean? And it's actually quite ironic becuase she is judging this woman, she is judging the mother to have to done nothing wrong. I guess she meant to say "I draw the line at negatively judging a mother." I understand mothers have challenges and responsibilities and makes mistakes but if anything judging them and their parenting technique is paramount when any ignorance or willful sadistic intent on their parts can damage or end a life that is in their care. Mothers are no more above judgement than anyone else, and certainly not one who purposefully put herself out there on the internet to be watched and judged on youtube. The hair brusher probably thought she would be judged favorably by public opinion and just because she wasn't, doesn't change that intent of having purposefully put herself out there in the public eye.

11. Though the debator who is a mother does bring up a good point about the parents who refused their child medical attention. How were they not child abusers to let their child die? I guess that was a news story I missed. And true, there is an ill defined line between what is discipline and what is abuse but that's where JUDGEMENT comes in.

12. "I know she loves her daughter." Nope you do not know that, many have said we can't negatively speculate on this 5 minute video (which is more than 5 minutes BTW which many people seem to make the mistake of, there are two others now lost that run a total of 10 minutes and it's still not over by the end of the third video) but apparently she feels she can positively speculate. I see no evidence in this video to suggest this woman loves her daughter (if in fact this is even her daughter) and far more to suggest she doesn't, as long as we are going to speculate.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
I'll start with point #5 because while I think this what I saw in the video was definitely an abusive mother that needs some education, I understand the reluctance to contact the authorities. The child protection agencies are all different state by state. But I'm pretty sure most suck based on what I've heard by word of mouth and news articles I've read. There was a article published in the NY Times recently that was hailing Florida's agency as progressive because they were *gasp* trying to keep families together with in home counseling and services for their issues. Often what happens, if a report has some merit and the CPS workers are doing their job and following protocol, is the child is immediately removed from the home while they figure out what's going on. This is great for children in emergency imminent danger situations, but not so great for children whose parents just need some intensive childrearing education. There was a case in recent years of a father (I think also in Michigan) who was apparently so ditzy (academic type) he bought his son a Mike's Hard Lemonade at a baseball game not realizing it was an alcoholic beverage. Someone reported him, probably because it's very difficult to imagine or it didn't occur to the witness that he didn't know it was an alcoholic beverage. But then CPS I believe took his son away immediately while they investigated (no other signs of abuse). And these investigations take a while. I think there was difficulty even getting him released to a grandmother or some other relative while they were investigating, which is definitely preferable as there are many stories of abuse at the hands of foster/group home workers as well. And then there may be monitoring later. And if the child is returned because the abuse or misstep is not serious enough to warrant permanent removal or parent education, I wonder what happens to them when the monitoring stops? If the parent is just an *******, what do they face then? Verbal abuse is hard to substantiate and probably rarely gets reported.

1,4,11,10 & 12. I totally agree that this woman over-identifying with the mother. Those of us who experienced and witnessed poor detangling techniques can identify with the child squirming and whatnot and with hindsight we can see our parents' frustrations. But that doesn't have to obscure us from seeing the overall picture of abuse. My mother used cuss words and others became frustrated with me or the process. However, they were never cussing AT me, they never laughed at my pain, they were always trying expedite the process, keep me calm, and minimize any pain.
And I'm sure when my stepfather was terrorizing me as a child, he had only good intentions of making me into an ideal, responsible citizen. But it was still abuse.
I cannot believe the number of people who are looking past or not recognizing that there is a smirk on the woman's face and that the way she is speaking to that child is abuse. Frustrated or very focused adults do not smirk. They grimace.

I also noticed up-thread a debate on "tenderheaded." I will chime in and say that I'm not tenderheaded and I agree that the word can be used to excuse rough handling. But just because you don't like the word or how it's been misused doesn't mean some people don't have lower pain tolerances or more sensitive skin and scalps. It's the same sort of thing as when two people go to the same dentist for the same procedure and one comes out unfazed and the other is trying to fill as many pain prescriptions as possible ASAP. Holding the hair in a way that minimizes the tension at the root, having it wet enough, and all that other proper technique doesn't completely remove all tension, vibration, or sensation. Apparently some people feel it more and feel it painfully.
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Last edited by CoilyOne1812; 08-06-2009 at 12:17 PM.
while i do like this site and the community of fellow sisters/women sharing their experiences with naturally curly hair, it is has been very difficult for me to just put the word out on this. So, YES... THIS CHILD HAS BEEN SAVED/RESCUED. I sure hope people are able to see my original post for an update for everyone who care as much as I do. YES-- it was St. Claire Shores, MI and a Detective did intervene (late, but finally). please read my post-- yoy50 or you can go to yoy50.wordpress.com for full details. As much as i'm loving this community especially and this site, i can't seem to figure out how to create a post without so many hurdles, or respond to a post. but again, this child abuse issue has been addressed-- by me personally. as a matter of fact, i do expect a follow up again next week-- that update will be made at yoy50.wordpress.com as well. if they should fail to follow up, i will again put that agency "on blast" as well. can someone please tell me how to post/reply on this site? I'm finding myself caring about this little girl and what was done to her so much, that I ache inside. again, if anyone can share how to post and reply effectively on this site-- i would appreciate it. please excuse my typos and all. when i finally figured out how to post on this site i wanted to check to see if it could actually be found-- i see that it's not so easily located now. again... i am yoy50 on this site. if you can't find my post here, you can certainly find updates at yoy50.wordpress.com. i'd prefer to have you all updated here as this a natural hair care forum, but otherwise, you can find me at that blog listed above.

peace to you all-- believe me when I say... I am watching this issue very closely. i feel strongly that i may be adopting her very soon too.

with love and light!
Hi, Yoy, wow this is a lot to take in. First, thanks again for contacting me about your first blog with the two commenters who specific information on her. That info gave me some hope she would be found and it also helped a reporter at ABC.

That is wonderful news that these children are in the care of CPS. I know so many internet heros who have reported this tirelessly despite great indifference or outright obstruction from authorities, media and individuals. You were right to put all these media stations and justic departments on blast on your blog. I have personally found the St. Clair's PD to be very unhelpful and uncaring during this case and I given the same run around you did. It does seem those who have been put to serve and protect have become numb. 3 weeks is ridiculous.

But luckily, this video moved a lot of people for various reasons and they didn't let indifference stop them. If you hadn't posted this I always would have wondered in some part of me how this little girl was doing and it would have felt unsolved. That would be amazing if you adopted her if it is proven this woman is an unfit mother. Please keep updating here on the situation. I'm so glad this situation is finally being investigated. Thanks yoy!

And in order to reply to threads you should just have to press the reply button at the bottom of the screen now that you have a screen name. If you have any other issues a moderator should be able to help you.

while i do like this site and the community of fellow sisters/women sharing their experiences with naturally curly hair, it is has been very difficult for me to just put the word out on this. So, YES... THIS CHILD HAS BEEN SAVED/RESCUED. I sure hope people are able to see my original post for an update for everyone who care as much as I do. YES-- it was St. Claire Shores, MI and a Detective did intervene (late, but finally). please read my post-- yoy50 or you can go to yoy50.wordpress.com for full details. As much as i'm loving this community especially and this site, i can't seem to figure out how to create a post without so many hurdles, or respond to a post. but again, this child abuse issue has been addressed-- by me personally. as a matter of fact, i do expect a follow up again next week-- that update will be made at yoy50.wordpress.com as well. if they should fail to follow up, i will again put that agency "on blast" as well. can someone please tell me how to post/reply on this site? I'm finding myself caring about this little girl and what was done to her so much, that I ache inside. again, if anyone can share how to post and reply effectively on this site-- i would appreciate it. please excuse my typos and all. when i finally figured out how to post on this site i wanted to check to see if it could actually be found-- i see that it's not so easily located now. again... i am yoy50 on this site. if you can't find my post here, you can certainly find updates at yoy50.wordpress.com. i'd prefer to have you all updated here as this a natural hair care forum, but otherwise, you can find me at that blog listed above.

peace to you all-- believe me when I say... I am watching this issue very closely. i feel strongly that i may be adopting her very soon too.

with love and light!
Originally Posted by yoy50


My Fotki

Last edited by KinkyKeeper; 08-11-2009 at 06:36 AM.
ITA with majority of whats been said. What is so sad is that my fondest memories of my mother as a child are sitting down to brush my hair. Granted my hair isn't as kinky but it still is very knotty and can be extremely painful to brush. My mum wold take her time (and yes the odd knot hurt) but she was gentle and I loved the feeling of having my hair brushed. It was a great bonding session.
Someone Should Post This To Youtube And Call It Hateful Mothers

The Only Way To Educate The Stupid Is To Allow Them To See How They Look


Everyone Goes To The Youtube.....

I Reallyh Ate When Children Suffer In The Hands Of Adults Who Have Such Hot Heads
Thanks for posting the contact info!

This was in my head all day at work yesterday, and I thought about here when I woke up.

Reading other forums and sites that talk about this video, I am more saddened by the view some propose that "Hey, that's how it is. The girl just needs to be quiet."
Originally Posted by redcelticcurls
I know! I visited LHC forum and there they are all concerned but someone linked to a cafemom.com thread and there it's horrible!
Originally Posted by Residual





FROM : KEEPINITREAL


SOME PEOPLE LIVE THIS WAY AND RAISE CHILDREN WHO IN RETURN DO THEIR CHILDRENT HE SAME WAY IF THEY MAKE IT TO BE ADULTS BEFORE THE PARENTS HURT THEM.

I THANK GOD I AM THE WAY I AM AND MY DAUGHTER DOES NOT HAVE TO SUFFER ONE MOMENT FROM MY HANDS THIS WAY AND WILL PROTECT HER THE BEST I CAN AFTER THAT.

POOR GIRL....
I THANK THE PERSON FOR POSTING THIS VIDEOS AND ANYONE ELSE WHO HAVE THIS KIND OF ACTIONS ON VIDEO I WOULD POST IT ALL OVER
EXPOSE THE ABUSERS
If she only knew all she needed was some conditioner and a nice wide tooth comb! OMG!!
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
This is awful. That poor girl.

My niece is bi-racial (with beautiful curls by the way) and I was asked to do her hair. I was handed a brush and said "What is this? I need a comb and conditioner!" She sat still better than my daughters do and I was impressed!

This just shows a little education can go a long way.
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Hi, Yoy, wow this is a lot to take in. First, thanks again for contacting me about your first blog with the two commenters who specific information on her. That info gave me some hope she would be found and it also helped a reporter at ABC.

That is wonderful news that these children are in the care of CPS. I know so many internet heros who have reported this tirelessly despite great indifference or outright obstruction from authorities, media and individuals. You were right to put all these media stations and justic departments on blast on your blog. I have personally found the St. Clair's PD to be very unhelpful and uncaring during this case and I given the same run around you did. It does seem those who have been put to serve and protect have become numb. 3 weeks is ridiculous.

But luckily, this video moved a lot of people for various reasons and they didn't let indifference stop them. If you hadn't posted this I always would have wondered in some part of me how this little girl was doing and it would have felt unsolved. That would be amazing if you adopted her if it is proven this woman is an unfit mother. Please keep updating here on the situation. I'm so glad this situation is finally being investigated. Thanks yoy!

And in order to reply to threads you should just have to press the reply button at the bottom of the screen now that you have a screen name. If you have any other issues a moderator should be able to help you.

while i do like this site and the community of fellow sisters/women sharing their experiences with naturally curly hair, it is has been very difficult for me to just put the word out on this. So, YES... THIS CHILD HAS BEEN SAVED/RESCUED. I sure hope people are able to see my original post for an update for everyone who care as much as I do. YES-- it was St. Claire Shores, MI and a Detective did intervene (late, but finally). please read my post-- yoy50 or you can go to yoy50.wordpress.com for full details. As much as i'm loving this community especially and this site, i can't seem to figure out how to create a post without so many hurdles, or respond to a post. but again, this child abuse issue has been addressed-- by me personally. as a matter of fact, i do expect a follow up again next week-- that update will be made at yoy50.wordpress.com as well. if they should fail to follow up, i will again put that agency "on blast" as well. can someone please tell me how to post/reply on this site? I'm finding myself caring about this little girl and what was done to her so much, that I ache inside. again, if anyone can share how to post and reply effectively on this site-- i would appreciate it. please excuse my typos and all. when i finally figured out how to post on this site i wanted to check to see if it could actually be found-- i see that it's not so easily located now. again... i am yoy50 on this site. if you can't find my post here, you can certainly find updates at yoy50.wordpress.com. i'd prefer to have you all updated here as this a natural hair care forum, but otherwise, you can find me at that blog listed above.

peace to you all-- believe me when I say... I am watching this issue very closely. i feel strongly that i may be adopting her very soon too.

with love and light!
Originally Posted by yoy50
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper


YOU ARE A BLESSING AND GOODLUCK WITH IT ALL......I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE EXPOSE THE ABUSERS......I SURVIVED ABUSE IN A FOSTER HOME FOR YEARS AS A CHILD WONDERED IF I'D MAKE OUT ALIVE. THE BEATINGS WERE BRUITAL AND I AM SO HAPPY TO BE OUT OF THERE...SHE USE TO BEAT ME WITH A BRUSH ON MY HEAD AND I KNOW HOW THIS FEELS , STINGS LIKE HELL & A HEADACHE IS WHAT I HAD FOR TWO DAYS AFTERWARDS.

I AM SO PROTECTIVE OF MY OWN & CHERISH EVERY MOMENT WITH HER, FOR THE MOMENTS LOST IN MY CHILDHOOD I GET IT MAKE UP FOR IT WITH MY OWN DAUGHTER GOD HAS BLESS ME WITH

SO YES I WILL FOLLOW YOUR LINKS AND FOLLOW UPS BECAUSE THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME AND I WILL ALSO SEND THIS TO A PERSON I WORK WITH WHO HAS A TELEVISION SHOW.
KEEPINITREAL, you probably aren't aware of this, but writing in all caps turns people off from reading your posts.

From our board rules/guidelines:

General Netiquette


Shouting online (typing in all capital letters LIKE THIS) is considered by some to be rude and is difficult to read.

Could you please write without using all caps? Thanks.
I don't see child abuse
Originally Posted by kindredspirit1983
You blind?

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