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by Peter Moskos

April 24, 2011

An Easter Flogging

The first article to come from my new book is out in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
A crazy idea came from a dinner in New Orleans. I had cold-called (or whatever the e-mail equivalent is) a writer and his wife because I was a fan of his work and thought we had much in common. They were gracious enough to arrange a meal and treat me, without much justification, as a professional equal more than a stalker. The conversation turned to corporal punishment in public schools. They were amazed not that such a peculiarity existed in a city ripe with oddities, but that such illegal punishments were administered at the urging of and with the full consent of the students' parents.

"Fascinating," I drolly replied, but I wasn't shocked. If I'd learned one thing as a police officer patrolling a poor neighborhood, it was the working- and lower-class populations' great fondness for corporal punishment. No punishment is as easy or seemingly satisfying as a physical beating. I learned this not because I beat people, but because the good citizens I swore to serve and protect often urged me to do so. It wasn't hard for me to resist (I liked my job, and besides, I wasn't raised that way), but I agreed that many of the disrespectful hoodlums deserved a beating. Why? Because, as the old-school thinking goes, when people do wrong, they deserve to be punished.
Read the rest here.

Happy Easter and Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη. Crack a red egg and eat some lamb. (Rita Wilson, just FYI, was the producer of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and is Tom Hank's wife.)

1 comment:

tim said...

AUGH! I can't believe I have to wait another month for this book.

Great article. Sharing it with a lot of people.