One of the most ludicrous things parents say is “Why aren’t you more grateful to us for feeding, clothing, and sheltering you?!”

It’s because you’re the parent. You have a duty to feed, clothe, and shelter your children. You’re not doing them a favor by making sure they don’t starve. You’re fulfilling one of the responsibilities of parenting. Your children don’t owe you for doing what you’re obligated to do.

Little girl traumatised by racial abuse, tried to ‘scrub off’ black skin                            

AN ABORIGINAL mother has been left reeling after her three-year-old daughter was victim to a vicious racist attack during a trip to Melbourne.

Ballarat resident Rachel Muir took her daughter Samara, 3, to a Disney-themed children’s event at Watergardens shopping centre in Taylors Lakes last month.

Dressed as Queen Elsa from the animated film Frozen, Samara waited for two hours in line for a children’s snow pit.

But the day ended in tears when Samara was subjected to a spate of racial slurs from a mother and her two daughters waiting in line.

“The lady in front of us turned around to Samara and said ‘I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black’,” Ms Muir said.

“I asked the woman what she meant by the comment and then one of the woman’s young daughters screwed up her face, she pointed at Samara and said ‘you’re black and black is ugly’.”

Ms Muir said she was left stunned by the hateful comments.

Samara burst into tears and hid her face behind her hands.

“I looked around the line and there were little girls of all different races lining up dressed as their favourite Disney characters,” Ms Muir said.

“We were in Melbourne, one of the most multicultural places in the world. 

“I couldn’t believe it.”

Refusing to be broken by the abuse, Ms Muir and Samara held hands and waited until they got to the front of the line.

But, in the days following the incident, Samara became withdrawn and refused to go to her weekly Aboriginal dance class. 

“When I asked why she didn’t want to go, she pointed at the skin on her arm and asked why she was black,” Ms Muir said. Samara even tried to scrub her body to remove her black skin.

“I told her ‘because God gave you that skin colour, because you’re a proud blackfella like mum’.” 

Ms Muir wrote a Facebook post about the incident to her family and friends. Within days it had been shared more than 1300 times. 

“The saddest part of it all is that racism is alive and well and the next generation are being subjected to it,” Ms Muir said. “Nobody is born into this world a racist. It is learnt behaviour. It can be changed.”

Ms Muir said she shared the post to challenge bigoted views that still existed. 

The attack was condemned by Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative chief executive Karen Heap, who said racism was still rampant in Australia.

“You ask anybody who is a darker shade living in this country and they will tell you racism well and truly still exists,” Ms Heap said.

“It almost cuts deeper these days because it isn’t as blatant as it used to be, so when it happens it comes as shock.

“It is horrendous that a grown woman would say that in front of her own children and to another innocent child. Rachel and Samara are proud Aboriginal women and that’s the way it should be.”

Ms Heap said it mirrored an incident last year, in which respected Aboriginal elder Ted Lovett was racially vilified at a Ballarat football match.

“The aftermath of incidents like this are shattering,” Ms Heap said.

“We live in a supposedly multicultural society but there is still so much more education and work that is needed to overcome racial discrimination.”

Federation University lecturer in humanities Dr Lesley Speed said a lack of diversity in popular culture played a significant role in setting social stereotypes that could lead to racism.

“There has been controversy over Disney because many of Disney’s movies are centred on the conventional ideas of beauty, femininity and masculinity,” she said.

“Frozen, which is supposed to be inspired by Scandinavians, doesn’t reflect indigenous Scandinavians who are traditionally people of colour. 

“The lack of diversity has the potential for popular culture to be discouraging for children who see themselves as different if they don’t look like that.

“It would be great to see more diverse princesses.”

Ms Muir made an official complaint to the shopping centre’s management after the incident and found the staff to be “extremely apologetic”. 

She said the shopping centre’s management told her antisocial behaviour was not tolerated and there would be extra security at future events.



JUNE 22: Queen Elsa herself sends a personal video message to Samara all the way from Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

JUNE 17: World crowns Samara Queen after racist attack.

On Discipline and Punishment

The way I conceptualize things, there are differences between the purposes of discipline and punishment. 

Discipline should teach a child or adolescent “When you do something that is unethical or immoral, there will be natural, logical consequences.” This is important. Children and adolescents need to be taught to show compassion and respect to each other. When, for example, a child is bullying someone, a logical consequence would be to have the child sit down and write a letter of apology explaining why their behavior was wrong and demonstrating remorse for their actions.

Punishment, on the other hand, seems to be geared towards applying an arbitrary consequence to a value-neutral mistake. Think of a child or adolescent who’s doing poorly in school. The parents dole out punishment (in the form of an arbitrary consequence like “No cell phone for a month”)  in an effort to teach the child or adolescent that poor academic performance (a value-neutral problem) is unacceptable. Reality shows that poor academic performance can have as much or more to do with the student’s environment, abilities, home life, and emotional health as it does with the effort they put forth. 

“Stop making mistakes or suffer” is more convenient than making an attempt to address the root causes of the behavior that can be improved upon, and thus it’s seen as the default.


4-year-old Daniel Pelka died from months of torture and abuse at the hands of his mother, Magdalena Łuczak, and her boyfriend, Mariusz Krężołek, on 3 March, 2012. When Daniel was discovered, he was described as resembling a “famine victim.” He had been starved for months and was forced to scavenge for scraps of food in the school bins. Regardless of the fact that he weighed just 1.5 stone and was constantly riddled in bruises, child services refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong. The couple would force feed Daniel salt and systematically starve him while he was locked in a box room of their flat where he slept on a urine soaked mattress. Another form of torture for the young boy was being submerged in cold water until he fell unconscious. The reason? He dared to ask for food. The trial revealed that he was left to die over a 33 hour period, alone on his urine soaked mattress, after a severe blow to the head. Not only was Daniel let down by those who were supposed to care for him but he was also let down by child services, the police, teachers, and the NHS - all of whom had witnessed the horrific state of Daniel over a period of at least 6 months, yet refused to intervene. The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Inspector Chris Hanson, said: “Those with the ultimate duty of care turned Daniel from a beautiful and bright-eyed little boy into a broken bag of bones.” The couple were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Łuczak hanged herself in her cell on 14 July, 2015, the day before Daniel’s 8th birthday.

But what if I really am wrong? What if I am lazy and worthless and I never amount to anything? What if I really am stupid and a burden? What if there really is nothing to me? What if under all this doubt, they’re just right?
—  thoughts induced by gaslighting / it’s normal to doubt yourself after you’ve had insults shoved in your face for all your life.

Being abused can seriously affect your ability to distinguish between “not obviously pleased” and “obviously displeased” because abusers go from Neutral to Hostile for absolutely no discernible reason, and eventually you start worrying that everyone is going to be like that and you start feeling this urge to make absolutely sure that the people you actually care about aren’t mad or upset, because to you, “there’s no evidence that they’re not angry” is the same as “there’s evidence that they are angry”

anonymous asked:

i just wanted to ask....I've been seeing posts saying hitting a child as discipline is something you should never do as a parent, adult, whatever, and while I agree, honestly, I can't think of any other solution? Most likely because at one point my parents used those methods on me and I can't comprehend there being another option. I'm a minor by the way so please don't be mean. What ELSE can you do besides hit them?

You can talk to them.

You can utilise time-outs to give them a chance to calm down if they’re too upset to listen. (Time-outs don’t even have to be punishments, I think. They’re a skill you teach children - “When we feel like being mean it’s okay to take a time out to get calm!”)

You can explain and reinforce natural consequences, like “if you break your toy, now your toy is broken and it’s not as much fun to play with” or “if you spill the paint water on the carpet, it’s your job to clean it up (and ask for help if necessary)” or “you said something mean to Grandma, and it hurt her feelings. How can we make Grandma feel better again?” or even “We have to get our toys cleaned up before lunch or there won’t be time to play at Sally’s, because we will still have to clean up the toys.”

You can explain, “if you bite your sister, she’ll be sad and look how much it hurts her! We don’t hurt other people, we find other ways to share our feelings. What are some different things you can do when you’re so upset you want to bite?”

Parents and other authority figures are here to guide children to make their own good choices, not control them and force them to comply with whoever can hurt them the most. Children can and will make good choices when their needs are met and the reasoning behind good choices is explained to them.

Hurting children as a punishment teaches them retaliation and fear/helpless anger toward authority, as well as the idea that violence is okay when you have power over someone.

Instead of hitting children, when they act out adults should take it as a sign that the child needs something - whether that be food/sleep etc., attention (kids literally need positive attention), help of some kind, comfort, or guidance to help them make better choices that may be difficult to make.

If you’re a person who likes books, here’s one to start with about nonviolent, nonabusive parenting.


An officer for the MTA is under arrest and charged with beating up an eighth-grader.

The incident apparently happened on a school campus in the Bronx. It turns out the victim was trying to break up another fight.

13-year-old Justin Harris claims he was not only attacked by a classmate, but that the student’s dad, an MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer, allegedly joined in.

The eighth-grader said it started after he tried to defend another student from the alleged bully at Bronx Mathematics Prep School.

“He punched him really hard; he had Ruben on top of my son hitting him in the head. He said to his son, ‘Draw blood,’” said Sean Harris, the victim’s father.

Under the advice of their lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, Justin did not make a statement, rather his father explained what happened Thursday afternoon after the school day ended.

“He had to lacerations on his arms, scratches, on his back where he punched him there was a bruise,” Harris said.

“What this family wants is for this … police officer to be held accountable for what he did,” Rubenstein said.

The off-duty MTA Bridges and Tunnels the officer 36-year-old Ruben Caraballo was arrested and charged with assault.

“To think that this is something he is teaching to his son, what does he expect his son to grow up and do? It’s an abuse of power,” Harris said.

Caraballo works at the Queens Midtown Tunnel. He’s been with the agency since 2005.

He’s on active duty but not allowed to carry a firearm while the investigation continues.


Cops in schools don’t realize where they are. Campus is not equal to criminal district. There were so many cases when school police officers treated kids like they treat thugs. I have never heard of cases when cops did something useful in schools, but just like in case with Harris, they assault students in aggressive manner. Caraballo should find a better job and leave people alone. Our hero.


In 2008, 11-year-old Hana Grace-Rose Williams, from Ethiopia, was adopted by Carri and Larry Williams, a couple from Sedro-Woolley, in Washington. The couple purchased a book called “To Train Up a Child” by Michael Pearl and Debi Pearl. This book literally encourages child abuse, telling parents to withhold food, to spank children with plastic tubes, to give children freezing cold baths, and to put them outside in bad weather as punishment, all of which Carri and Larry did to Hana before she sadly perished on 11 May, 2011. She was discovered naked and face down in their garden. She was severely malnourished and had her head recently shaved. Her tiny body was riddled with contusions, bruises, and scars. The couple had another adoptive son from Ethiopia, Immanuel, who told authorities that the rest of the family, including the couple’s 7 other biological children, had watched and laughed as Hana had stumbled and fallen around the garden before falling over for one last time and not getting back up. She had been outside in the cold for at least 8 hours and at one point, Carri had sent two of her sons outside to whip her with a plastic tube. She was pronounced dead at the hospital and the cause of death was hypothermia compounded by malnutrition and gastritis. An investigation uncovered that Hana had been abused from the day she was adopted. She was regularly beaten and locked inside a closet. She was also denied food, clothing, and was forced to sleep outside and shower with the garden hose. Carri, who was said to be the mastermind behind the abuse, was sentenced to 37 years while Larry was sentenced to 28. They were also found guilty of assaulting Immanuel, their other adoptive child.

You know not to call them out on their behaviour. You know how nasty they can get. You’re scared to even imply that they did something wrong. It feels like they have the right to do it. Because they’re so sure of it. It’s hard to believe that anyone so confident could be wrong.
—  they’re so sure they have the right to hurt you, it starts feeling like you deserved it.

[photo // post]

[[ Image Description: A photo featuring a fishing cat on a platform, lowering its head to more closely look at something, with a post on it by user @autisticdrift.

The post reads: “if you hate autism you hate autistic people

Why is this so hard for people to grasp?

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen parents say “I love my kid but I hate his autism.” I call bullshit. You can’t say that you hate something that is an intrinsic part of a person, that affects nearly every aspect of their being in some way, and then say you still love the person. What you love is an idealized fantasy version of the person that doesn’t actually exist. ” ]]

Harry's Boggart

Imagine if Harry’s boggart wasn’t a dementor. Imagine if Harry’s boggart was Vernon Dursley, raising his fist and threatening to lock Harry in the cupboard for a week with no food. Calling him nasty names, calling his dead parents nasty names and all Harry does is look at his shoes and say “yes sir”. And when everybody starts asking (of course they will, why would the Boy Who Lived fear an overweight Muggle?) he quietly tells them that it’s his Uncle, the man he’s had to live with his whole life. Imagine all those people who thought Harry grew up a rich spoilt prince, only to realise he was in fact abused his entire childhood. Imagine how REMUS would feel, knowing James Potter’s son had to grow up with Lily’s hateful, prejudiced sister. Thinking he can’t give Harry a better life, not on his wages, not with his illness.

Professor Snape: Human Being

So. Over the past few months, I’ve read a lot of both anti-Snape and pro-Snape posts on Tumblr (all over the internet, really). I am personally a Snape fan, and yet, I’ve found that I have issues with both sides and their arguments. Normally I use this blog for social activism … but as these fictional issues relate to real-life issues, I’m going to say this anyway.

I don’t believe Snape was a bad person. I also don’t believe he was a good person. I believe Severus Snape was an incredibly human person, and potentially a lesson in cycles of abuse, human nature, emotional health, and long-term effects of trauma.

I could literally write several essays on this man, so I’ll stick to the points that seem to be brought up the most. There are other points, including Snape’s upbringing, growing up in Slytherin, being a Death eater, being a spy, and Dumbledore, but I’ll just deal with these three for now.

The Marauders: I fully, 100% believe that the Marauders were cruel, relentless bullies toward Snape. Does this make them evil? No. But having been a victim of bullying myself—for a shorter time and much lighter bullying than what Snape endured—I can attest that it deeply affects those who suffer through it, especially those with no support system (which Snape didn’t have). Even if the Marauders changed (and there’s still debate as to how much they did, but that’s another topic), that doesn’t change what they did to Snape. Snape still had to suffer for it. And no, I don’t believe that him fighting back makes it not bullying. That’s the same way so many schools operate today: that unless you literally stand there and let them abuse you (and sometimes not even then), you are just as guilty. The Marauders sought Snape out and attacked him, four on one (or at least two on one). This is bullying, and at least counts as verbal abuse, and probably some physical, with the flipping him upside down, stripping him, and choking him with soap. And what Sirius did? I don’t care if Sirius didn’t intend it that way: in Snape’s eyes, that was attempted murder (not to mention extremely cruel toward Remus).

Lily: J.K. Rowling has said numerous times that Snape truly loved Lily, and I agree, whether it was friendship or a romance. Was this the kind of love you would want in a healthy relationship? Not particularly. Lily was literally everything to Snape, and that doesn’t tend to lend itself to healthy relationships in the long run. He was desperate and lonely and had minimal social skills and didn’t understand a lot about how to be a good friend. But I do not think he harassed her. I do not think he stalked her (where did this one come from, really?). His way of speaking around her was awkward and sometimes rude, but definitely not as bad as the things James said (“I’ll leave him alone if you go out with me” and “Don’t make me hex you, Evans,” for instance). I think what he felt was love. He had just had far too rough a life to be in a relationship, at least at that point in his development. And though I do think he genuinely regretted the “mudblood” incident and sustained no racist prejudices in the long term, I think Lily had every right to end their friendship. He was getting involved in a crowd she could see was going down a very dark path, and Lily couldn’t pull him out alone.

Potions Professor: Okay, this is where I disagree with at least some Snape fans. I fully believe that what Snape did counts as verbal abuse, just like what the Marauders did counts as abuse (although Snape never dangled one of his students upside down and pants-ed them). At the very least, it was bad bullying. Snape had greater social power and took advantage of it over innocent children (who began fighting back, a bit like Snape did). Is his attitude understandable given his life circumstances, his trauma, his spying, his lack of positive role models? Definitely. But that makes it no less acceptable. I am very adamant about acceptable ways of treating children, and Snape falls below the line by about a mile. Just as I’ve been bullied, I’ve also been treated poorly by teachers, even singled out, and not nearly as bad as Snape did to his students. It can screw you up. I don’t condone it, and if Snape were real and living, and if he was teaching a child of mine, I would march right into his office and lecture his ears off, then pull my kid out of his class so fast the chair would probably catch fire.

However …

He did wonderful things at the same time. He was a huge jerk to Harry, but also risked his life to save not only Harry, but many others who he had made no promise to save. Lily was dead, and eventually Dumbledore was dead, too: he had nothing to gain from serving the cause except seeing what she wanted in the world realized. And he ended up dying for the cause, even while believing that all he had done to protect Harry was for nothing. Without him, chances are that Voldemort would have won, and Harry very well may have died in first year. He is a bully, but he is a hero.

(And to be frank, a lot of the Hogwarts professors do things that are … rather awful, actually. McGonagall’s animal cruelty Transfiguration class and locking Neville out of the common room while Sirius Black was on the loose, to give two examples. So it seems like Hogwarts as a school condones student maltreatment, to an extent. Not to mention the blatant unfairness and favoritism of several professors.)

In addition to all of this, Snape’s character makes sense. What happens when you are neglected and possibly abused at home and no one saves you? What happens when you are tormented at school and only one person ever cares? What happens when you are nearly killed and your near-murderer is allowed to go free, while you are sworn to secrecy and your trauma brushed aside as a “childish grudge” or “overreacting”? What happens when you realize how badly you’ve screwed up with your life choices, try and fail to save the one person you love, and are then guilt-tripped into spending seventeen years making up for it? You become bitter. You become angry and vengeful and you take it out on anyone who ticks you off because you’ve never learned a better way. You believe that life isn’t fair and think that everyone has to deal with that fact. You can’t stand anyone who makes your job more difficult, because you’re constantly on the edge of losing it. Especially, you look at the people who remind you of yourself, who remind you of those who tormented you, and deep down, you’re still afraid. Afraid of the bullies. Afraid of yourself. So you take it out on them, so that they can’t hurt you. Because you hate them, and because you hate yourself.

Severus Snape is the cycle of abuse incarnate. He is what happens when we don’t help the victims of bullying and abuse. It. Keeps. Going. He is a testament to both human strength and human limits.

And … that’s my two cents.

Your abusive parents can’t tell you who you are. They can’t see past their own projections, for them you were never even a person. They haven’t even met you. They met a mirror. All they ever said about you, every single thing, was a lie.
—  even if they said some good things, it was likely to manipulate you rather than acknowledge who you truly are.