In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,
“If his heart rules him, his conscience will soon take the place of the rod.” — KMT Proverb
Below is an interesting philosophical question. We have a generation of ill-informed parents and we are largely unstudied in the laws of ethics. Above we see that education and discipline are toward the development of a moral compass. So what should a child do if she has a more developed compass than her parents? The question is untimely. At the moment, neither parent nor child have developed compasses due to the lack of African Blood Siblings Community Centers. You, build them, lest what good will come from this world?
When can a child hit her parent?
By Onitaset Kumat
Em Hotep Siblings,
The quest for knowledge is the quest for instruction.
I had started to read Malcolm X’s autobiography by Alex Haley. My interest was re-sparked by having been in attendance when his daughter Ilyasah spoke in Harlem last Saturday. I am reading several books right now and of course promoting my website, so I may not advance quickly in his book, but should destiny require it, I shall.
One interesting idea raised by Malcolm X in his first chapter was on his pride for never having hit his mother. He writes this in response to his mother disciplining him with regard his admitted thievery. This whole self-congratulation relating to not retaliating to his mother’s disciplinary behavior has ethical connotations which we as a people should consider.
Firstly, the ancient Kushite ‘blameless’ codes has two things to say on age. One on honoring ancestors, especially those who are just, and the other on safeguarding children, the future of a people. Neither of these address ‘parents’ particularly, though parents are considered “ancestors.” In effect, it’s important to understand that our modern notion of honoring our parents more relates with Christianity wherein the distinction of justness is not made here particularly or generally (a major flaw in its ethical system that I may divulge another time.)
In effect, it’s worth examining this whole idea of a child striking a parent. We can immediately call to its potential of ethics: for if a parent were unjust and a child had the discretion to determine so, the child would be just in quote unquote disciplining the parent. That said, blindly letting parents off isn’t truly an ethical or moral thought.
To continue then, what about the scenario as outlined by Malcolm X. As far as I read, there’s no sense in evaluating the ethics of his mother. Mostly because not enough information is given and partially because Malcolm X, as expressed in the autobiography, doesn’t wish that we talk about his mother.
On that last point, let’s look at a generic situation of a child being disciplined for theft. We notice that theft is the way of our system. It is not surprising that the Kush did not explicitly prohibit theft and this in itself is instructive; ‘theft’ may simply have not been a part of their system* and here’s why: “theft” is a re-privatization of a private object. A system that solely has public objects would not have theft as each object would belong to each actor. So if a child ‘steals’ that child is doing as the society does: ‘re-privatizing.’ Of course, as ‘private property’ is itself immoral, the child too can be deemed immoral, but not necessarily. For ‘publicizing’ (a word to oppose privatizing) would be a moral act. The child who steals can steal in the hopes of sustaining people; thereby the discipline of that child would be immoral, and if the child, recognizing this, stopped his parent by striking him or her, the child could be just. Of course, this all depends on if the child can recognize the ethics of stealing, which the child likely can not, as most adults can not.
As to the question of Malcolm X’s self-congratulations, one can not say for certain how ‘just’ it is, but surely at the end of days, as an overall assessment, we can agree that a child, especially as young as he was, is alright for not striking its parent.
To translate the parent/child dichotomy further though, the oppressed, who often find the oppressors in paternalistic roles, ought strike out against the oppressor and ought not be stopped when it’s redistributing (‘publicizing’) the oppressor’s stolen (privatized) wealth.
*Their closest code relates with limiting oneself to what the Supreme Being grants them. This can be construed as a statement against theft, but still shows a public relation to land.
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