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Video clip

Spank your kids: Boy with belt

United States -- Interviews about spanking

Comment by C. Farrell

A US television program "Mind of Mencia" takes a jokey look (c.2005) at attitudes towards parental spanking. The clip lasts 3 minutes 34 seconds.

The presenter, Carlos Mencia, of Hispanic extraction, interviews a series of passers-by on the street, of various different ethnic backgrounds, about how they discipline their kids. He also asks some youngsters about their own views and experiences. He even interviews his own mother and his wife.

He makes no secret of his own pro-spanking views, but notes that there is a wide range of opinions.

The whole approach is superficial, quirky and humorous: this is, after all, a comedy show. The responses should therefore not be taken too seriously. Nevertheless, the sharp differences of view that emerge, if these comments are at all typical, do suggest a deep clash of cultures, and seem to lend some support to the conventional wisdom that ethnic minority families in America are much more likely to support and embrace the use of parental CP than some white people.

Mind you, these white people are clearly in a big city (possibly Los Angeles). I suspect the same questions might produce quite different answers if asked of white people in, say, a small town in Arkansas or Texas.


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