Parents should encourage their children to fight because it’s the best and most effective “anti-bullying program” there is. That said, there’s the right way and the wrong way to go about coaching your child from the sidelines. Here’s an example of how NOT to do it.
Without any background details, I’m left to make sense of this video simply on what we can see. That said, it’s clear we have a mother – or some type of adult figure – urging a young man named Bontae (spelling?) to fight another young man, Li’l Bud. From the beginning, it’s clear that Bontae does not want to fight; he enters the fight hesitatingly and does little to nothing, allowing Li’l Bud to be the effective aggressor.
Mistake 1: The adult woman is angrily and rather loudly shouting at Bontae, hoping to motivate him to fight. It’s very clear that her shouting and carrying on do very little in terms of inspiring Bontae to throw down. If anything, it adds to his reticence and eventual loss. Note: I suspect Bontae has some type of anxiety disorder, where it’s not uncommon for people to shut down when confronted with angry shouting. (See Justin Timberlake’s character in the movie “Black Snake Moan.”)
Mistake 2: Sometime during the fight the adult woman says, “This way you gonna be a motherfucking man!” I can’t help but wonder what kind of message this sends to Bontae. Does it say that manhood is solely measured by one’s capacity for violence? And if so, what becomes of those who internalize this message? Could this be why so many young men end up incarcerated for violent crimes? Were they just trying to prove that they’re a man?
Mistake 3: Halfway through this half-fight, the adult woman steps in to save Bontae from further damage, shoving Li’l Bud halfway into the street in the process. If she would’ve immediately taken Bontae into the home at that point, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it: by then, Bontae was shrieking like a wounded animal and the fight was pretty much over. No harm in saying, “Big ups, Li’l Bud. You got yours.” Instead, this woman stands Bontae up and orders him back into the fight he didn’t want in the first place.
Here’s a hint to Big Momma: real men don’t want anyone – least of all a woman – to fight their battles for them. If you want Bontae to “be a man,” then let him win or lose on his own, the way a man does. After all, you won’t always be there to take up for Bontae, so doing so now doesn’t do him any favors. A man stands and fights – and sometimes loses – on his own. Too many young men out there today are starting fights that they’re huge group of friends has to finish. While it’s all fun and games when Baby Boy and his possee win, what happens when Baby Boy gets caught slippin’ on his own? (Trust me, it WILL happen one day and your little prince is going to end up in intensive care… or worse.)
Mistake 4: Big Momma damn near shoved a little kid into the road where there might have been oncoming traffic! What the fuck is up with that?
Mistake 5: Calling attention to Bontae’s crying by shouting “Don’t cry! Don’t cry!” Going back to Mistake 2, this only reinforces the bullshit stereotypes about men, i.e., “Men don’t cry.” I think it’s pretty obvious that Bontae was crying; as I said earlier, he was braying like an injured and bleeding animal. Shouting about his crying in front of his peers will only reinforce his shame. (I honestly hope this woman is NOT Bontae’s mother; if she is, this kid is FUCKED!)
What she should’ve done was take him in the house and let him cry it out, THEN sit down and explain to him the importance of standing up for himself when he’s young so that taking shit from other people doesn’t become a habit. (Admittedly, I was a bit of a “crumbling crybaby” in my youth so I can sympathize with poor Bontae. Thankfully it was a short-lived phase!)
Like I said, there’s empowering your children to fight when they have to, then there’s traumatizing them further. To me, it’s obvious Big Momma crossed that line a long time ago. My only hope was that Bontae was able to get his shit together and put a whoopin’ on Li’l Bud during the second half of the fight where the video cuts out. Anyone with a fighting stance like Li’l Bud’s deserves to get his ass beat!