What a unique opportunity to speak up for the human rights of children did Jamie Foxx miss in his acceptance speech at Sunday night's 77th Academy Awards. Talking about his grandmother, who raised him and who was his first acting teacher, he said:“She told me, stand up straight, shoulders back. Act like you've got some sense. We would go places and I was wild-eyed. She said act like you've been someplace. And when I would act the fool, she would whip me. And she could get an Oscar for the way she whipped me because she was great at it. And after she would whip me she would talk to me and tell me why she whipped me, that `I want you to be a Southern gentleman. And she still talks to me now, only now she talks to me in my dreams (breaks down in tears), and I can't wait to go to sleep tonight because we have a lot to talk about. I love you."
How sad and shocking it was to hear whipping being recommended for an Oscar. Jamie Foxx could have spoken out in front of millions of people AGAINST whipping children, against using violence to raise vulnerable human beings. This is what he could have said:Barbara Rogers is author of Screams from Childhood at www.screamsfromchildhood.com
“And when I would act the fool, she would whip me, and I know that was wrong. It hurt my body, my feelings and my pride. I don’t and will never do this to my daughter because I cannot hurt her the way I was hurt. Our children must never learn that it is acceptable and human to resolve conflicts through physical violence. But I am here today because my grandmother believed in me and cared for me and about me. She was always there for me and supported me. She was in other ways a great role model. She wanted me to be a Southern gentleman. And she still talks to me now, only now she talks to me in my dreams, and I can't wait to go to sleep tonight because we have a lot to talk about. I love you."
- An Open Letter to Jamie Foxx: It Wasn't the Whippings, Jamie, It was the Love, By Dr. Teresa Whitehurst
- Jamie Foxx remembers boyhood whippings, Correspondence between Donald T. and Jordan Riak re: Jamie Foxx's Oscar acceptance speech
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