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CNN's Don Lemon: We Should Beat Our Kids Because It Worked For Slave Masters

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Sure, slavery might have had its downsides, but CNN anchor Don Lemon is pretty sure there's at least one valuable lesson to be learned: how to effectively discipline your slaves children to instill the appropriate amount of terror so they'll know "who's in control."


No, we are not kidding.

In a conversation on "CNN Tonight" with Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo, which you can watch below if you dare, but it will make you want to punch all the things (which is great for kids!), Cuomo discusses the research conducted by Alan E. Kazdin, professor of psychology at Yale University and director of its Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, who did a massive study on whether spanking children is effective. Turns out, based on 30 years of research, it is not!

So what does Don Lemon have to say to that?

I don't believe that.

Case closed! We all know to take Lemon's beliefs very seriously because he is a very serious person who, during CNN's round-the-clock coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, asked if it was possible the plane had disappeared into a black hole because "that's what people are saying," even though he knew "it's preposterous -- but is it preposterous you think?"

Besides, Lemon chatted up his mom the other day, and she explained why she hit him, and he turned out fine -- which is a very popular argument people are making right now in defense of beating the crap out of children; they were beaten, and look how well-adjusted and not at all damaged they are!

Then things got weird. Weirder, we mean.

Listen, I went to training -- I hate to do this -- with my dog, and fear is the same thing. You have to teach who's in control.

Apparently, Don Lemon took his dog to the Michael Vick Dog Obedience Training School where he learned that beating your dog will teach it to roll over when you tell it to or whatever, and that's a great way to train your kids too, even as Cuomo keeps trying to explain to him that the research on that says nuh-uh.

"It's also teaching a child that violence sometimes has a necessity in life," Cuomo says. But, Lemon insists, spanking is not violent. And to prove it, he grabs Camerota's hand and slaps it and says, "This is not violent." Yes, really.

"Ow," Camerota says, and then they all have a good super awkward chuckle about it, and then she says "ow" some more, but hopefully, she's learned her lesson and knows to fear Lemon now, like a good dog.

Then Lemon goes on to explain how he's evolved on the position he took 24 hours earlier:

"I have to say that when I was a kid, I would have to go and get the switch off the tree," Lemon recounted. "And if I brought back a switch that wasn’t big enough, then my grandmother or my dad or my mom would go get a bigger one.”

"I'm not condoning what Adrian Peterson is alleged of doing, but, you know, people do discipline their children."

Now that he's had time to think about it, though, maybe we collectively should re-examine our thoughts on hitting kids, except that, well, nah, it's probably still a good idea in a lot of cases.

And then things got weirder-er.

Lemon: Especially for me as an African-American, because the question is where did you learn that from? Was that learned from the slave master? Getting the switch? Being beaten?

Cuomo: How is that a rationale? Help me with this. Is this white man's ignorance? I keep hearing this. Well, maybe it was passed down from slave culture. Why would that be a rationale to continue a practice like this? Isn’t that the last thing you would want to continue?

Lemon: Because Chris, the slaves were beaten and some people had to go and get the whip.

There's further discussion in which Lemon continues to insist that hitting kids really is necessary sometimes, but after his Smart Take on how whippings and beating worked well for slaves and dogs, we won't even bother, because honestly, you can't beat that.

[Mediaite/American Psychological Association]
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