This yowl ain’t really about whupping. That’s another subject for another time. It’s about fatherhood, more particularly lack thereof and its effect on male youth, in particular urban black youth.

The latter—urban black youth—is, of course, a BIG topic. The Wolf ain’t gonna try to address this topic in one go. Rather, we’ll come at it piecemeal.

Yowling Wolf, BTW, is a big believer in piecemeal—coming at big things in smaller, manageable chunks and bits. Yowling Wolf believes that is how BIG problems can most effectively be tackled.

Whupping has been in the news in the person of yet another well-meaning black father pilloried and brought low by a righteous, presumably well-meaning (white) American press. So Wolf will yowl just a bit about whupping and corporal punishment.

Adrian Peterson, all-star NFL Minnesota Vikings running back, from every appearance a friendly, likeable fellow, in his own words “whupped” his four-year-old son by an out-of-wedlock mother, same as his prison inmate daddy regularly whupped him as a boy in Texas, to the point of bloody laceration with a “tree branch.”

The Wolf by no means condones small children, or any child, man, woman, or beast being struck to the point that blood is drawn, or even bruises or welts result. The Wolf has had such visited upon him, both as child and adult. Generally, not a good thing. However, as in most matters, there are exceptions.

(E.g., having a fist fight with another, unbeknownst to most, is a very intimate experience. Unless a total beat down, combatants emerge with much mutual respect. As kids you often become friends.!!)

By the same token, Yowling Wolf also finds fault with a white, liberal, American mantra of thou-shalt-never-lay-hand-(or any implement, including tree branches)-on-any-child-in-any-way-for-any-reason. And OMG!, heaven help you if you do, especially if you are …non-white. You are the lowest of the low. (An animal?) You shall be punished.

Yowling Wolf notes that this abhorrence of violence apparently does not extend to innocent victims of drone strikes (virtually all of them people of color), orchestrated by anonymous “pilots”—”soldiers!,” “warriors!”—sitting at desks watching computer screens many thousands of miles away (who then drive home for dinner with their families). (Authorized, yes, by a Nobel Peace Prize-winning, Black [African] American president who is regularly castigated for being too soft on America’s enemies. Yeah, things get complicated.)

Apparently violence is sometimes justified, even to the point of killing innocents.

Jes sayin’.

Certainly, the great majority of the world, probably the great majority of (less educated, less enlightened?) Americans believes that an occasional physical corrective—minimal, measured, non emotional—has its place in some circumstances with some children. That is also The Wolf’s view.

Per usual, correct answers likely lie somewhere in the murky, temperate middle. What the ancient Greeks called the Golden Mean.

“AD” stands for All Day. It is a nickname given Adrian Peterson for his inexhaustible, attention-deficit-fueled energy as a boy. Such boys motor before they think and can drive parents crazy. In schools today, such boys, most often of color—Black!—are flagged early on. Indeed, they are sometimes arrested in kindergarten. Yes. literally taken to jail by police summoned to enforce so-called “zero tolerance” policies designed to curb—scratch that, obliterate any behavior that begins to seem the least bit …Black? …Non-white?

Fo sho, it is the case that Black boys bear the disproportionate brunt of Z-T policies. One five year old was suspended for singing the lyric, “I’m too sexy for my shirt.” The heavy consequence of Driving While Black (DWB) is being moved far forward (or backward). It is now preceded by GSWB—Going to School While Black.

AD’s father, later imprisoned for drug something-or-other (trying to feed his family in a last-hired-first-fired, anti-Black world), sought to curb his rambunctious son’s behavior with a liberal application of whuppings. As was the custom not only among poor Blacks in Texas of the time, but poor (and middle class) whites as well. Probably still is.

And Adrian Peterson didn’t turn out so bad. Didn’t go to prison (as 30 percent of Black males born today do!). Got scholarship offers to many universities, and attended University of Oklahoma. Starred in football there, and left without a degree for NFL millions. (After doubtless receiving but a a tissue-thin, stellar-(Black)-athlete-accommodating, wink-wink semblance of a college education.)

Problem is, AD brought into a modern, liberal-press-dominated America the disciplining lessons of his childhood. No one impressed upon AD that rules had changed, particularly for high-profile athletes. Particularly for bad-ass, high-profile, BLACK athletes.

As one whose Jamaica-born granny once said, “Go fetch me a switch! And it better be a good switch. Cause you [that would be the five or six year old Wolf-to-be] need a good switchin’,” Yowling Wolf has to wonder whether the “tree branch” touted in “OMG!-he-hit-a-child!,” holier-than-thou bleatings of the white liberal press wasn’t really just a good, sturdy switch.

Cause a good sturdy switch, vigorously applied, will surely bring forth welts and lacerations that could produce small beads of blood. (Including on the scrotum, if that four year old is rambunctious and jumping and dancing around the way boys do when the non-switching hand has them semi-suspended in air.)

Full disclosure—the person suspending me on several such occasions was never a grandparent. (Although fierce with his four sons, all of whom turned out to be upstanding citizens, my Jamaican-born immigrant, railway worker-janitor-property-owning grampa was unfailingly kind and gentle with his first-born grandchild—Young Wolf.) Gramma merely threatened the wolf-boy with a switching for effect.

No, on the rare instances of being dangled as a lad, as belt or hairbrush was applied, it was Wolf’s momma or poppa doing the correcting.

No doubt, yes, Adrian Peterson went too far. But should he be banned from football and earning a livelihood, same as Ray Rice and others (who merely want compensation in exchange for entertaining the many who watch to see these gladiators damage brain cells)? Should he be stripped of his livelihood? …

Thus far, despite being exonerated of criminal wrong doing, he has been. (A Black man has lost millions! [What else is new?])

The captains of Wall Street who engineered the Great Recession have not been punished. Who did more damage?

Stay tuned.

Final note. Yowling Wolf cannot imagine that Michelle Obama and her brother, raised in a traditional, working-class-but-intact Black American family (in Chicago) did not on occasion experience at the very least a meaningful, somewhat painful, corrective grip on the arm, shoulder, or ear, if not a swat on the behind. Someone ought to ask her.

LESSON OF THE BULLS (Lessons of Nature)
Yes, yes, there IS Nature! An inescapable fact containing lessons is all around us. We live in Nature, even as we attempt to distance ourselves from the rough edges of Nature. Moreover, if we are to subscribe to the position of the same liberals who regard children as untouchable except with a loving caress, we are part of, indeed “one with Nature.”

[Note. Yowling Wolf will not steer clear of the sensitive topic of religion in future yowls. Suffice in this instance to note that those many subscribing to an all-knowing Almighty (in/of whatever form) must acknowledge that lessons offered by Nature but reflect knowledge and intentions of an Almighty where corporal correction is concerned. Not that liberal, elite, white America, in its supreme arrogance, would not contradict dictates and lessons of an Almighty (assuming such exists).]

So here’s a story and instruction provided by Nature, as related on (probably) NPR (National Public Radio), and recalled by The Wolf.

Seems rhinos (I.e., rhinoceruses—you know, tough-looking beasts with the formidable horns on their noses) were mysteriously being injured in an African game park, sometimes critically. Night vision cameras revealed the culprits to be young male elephants—teen bulls in effect—traveling at night in a group. They were charging into rhinos, knocking them over—rhino tipping!—, apparently for no purpose other than exuberant sport and flexing their muscles.

This behavior was unprecedented in game parks. After expert consultation, it was speculated that what was different from other game parks was that at this one there were no mature bull elephants. All the mature bulls had been moved to another park (for whatever reason). It was decided to bring back some of the bulls to see if it made a difference.

Sure enough. Shortly after mature bulls were returned, the problem with the rhinos ceased. Lesson learned—mature bull elephants have an important role to play in curbing testosterone-fueled muscle-flexing of young male elephants.

Totally makes sense, doesn’t it? A teen male, feeling his growing strength, but not yet possessed of wisdom and restraint, is going to test limits of his power, often with unfortunate consequence. Guidance and a curbing influence is needed to prevent problems. Mothers often don’t have the necessary authority (fear factor?) to accomplish this.

Enter the role of fathers, a physically more powerful authority figure.

In the absence of adult male influence in curbing a young bull’s exuberant (natural) testing of physical power that outstrips judgment and restraint, …

The result in in even wealthy suburbs with absent, corporate executive fathers is, at the very least, drug use, drunken parties, and underage appropriation of a family car. In the minority inner city it is drug dealing, teens joining gangs, muggings, robbery and shooting, … As a popular television advertising series points out—mayhem!

Let’s begin with a simple question—Did the returned adult bull elephants effect their calming influence by talking (or other non-physical communication) to the wayward youngsters? Did the wayward youngsters have to take time outs?

To The Wolf’s recollection, this was not discussed in the (NPR?) recounting. Merely noted was the beneficial effect of returning the mature male elephants. Therefore, The Wolf and his readers must speculate.

No question but animals communicate in non-physical ways. They have sonar that our navy admires; they have signalling that Morse would admire; they have animal speech, scent emission, color change, all manner of non-physical communication.

They also communicate physically. One sees lions and other species cuffing out-of-line cubs. There is the harsh example among birds—fly or fall to the earth. (BTW. Do not attempt to rescue fledglings you may encounter hopping about, unless it is to save them from the predations of the pets of cat lovers. [The latter—cat loving—a worthy yowl topic!])

Can we imagine that teen male elephants, aware of their strength and accustomed to exercising it, suddenly became subdued via a whisper from an old bull suddenly on the scene?

Or wasn’t there a shoulder nudge, possibly a serious bump, if not a slap with a powerful trunk?



  1. Trouble

    Amen. About time someone put in writing what many of us, who were the benefactors of “whuppings”, believe. Keep yowling Sir Wolf. I will be listening, especially around the full moon!


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