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Respect Conflated With Fear

July 7, 2013

The following is an excerpt from a recent conversation about saying “Good Morning” which expanded to some other ish about rearing and parenting. 
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I firmly believe we’ve taken the word “respect” and culturally conflated it with fear. IMO, respect is earned and respect isn’t rooted in fear. I think my mom feels the same way. I wasn’t scared of my mom. She don’t play public embarrassment. Not at all. She doesnt play disrespect. As a result, neither do I. I feel like a lot of what has been termed respect is kids who act one way in front their parents and another way in their absence. Lots of my folk began relationships with sneakiness because of how respect was framed for them. I didn’t. I did what I did. She knew it. My respect is rooted in seeing her live a noble and hard working life. Not fear based. While my mother is VERY southern, in many ways, she was progressive even back then. there are lots of rules she broke which often makes people think she wasn’t a good mom. I wasn’t raised on yes ma’am/no ma’am. Actually my mom hates being called ma’am. She is quick to say “please don’t ma’am me.”. She’s also not big on please and thank you. Its all in HOW you ask. I wasn’t really raised on good morning. You just kinda start talking. I didn’t get spanked. Just long ass punishments. I mean month plus. I was allowed around adults and never told by my mother to get out or phrases like “a child’s place”. I was always allowed to ask why. And 90% of the time I got a legit answer. I was allowed to occupy a lot of space in my home growing up. Lol. Some of my friends say if they were me, they would have no teeth given some of the stuff I say to my mama. Not disrespectful, per se. But definitely toeing some lines. All of those experiences result in the very opinionated, witty, and sarcastic person I am today. 
–The Ignant Intellectual

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