Bronx, NY- We’ve all heard tales from our ancestors that paint the past as a blossoming time for brutal parenting and tight penny pinching. Most stereotypes of yore have been extinguished in modern times. Child abuse remains illegal, and saving money is a task held at such impossible heights that people have simply given up on trying to do it. There exists, however, a minority population of generational stragglers in our nation. They are people who are unfazed by modern developments, and still believe in the “old way of doing things.”
Joseph Cambridge is one of these people. A fun-loving, self-proclaimed ‘hunk’ (according to his OkCupid page), he is notoriously known for abiding by old fashioned, out-dated societal standards. For example, it is rumored that at a recent Christmas party he gifted his closest friends with coupons listing chores he needed done, and corresponding payments he would make to whoever did the chores for him. When questioned about his bland gifts he stated “I gave the gift of employment.”
Yesterday afternoon, Joseph had a portion of the internet up in arms after a controversial Twitter post.
“I caught my 11 year old son Gary smoking a cigarette the other day, so I made him smoke a whole pack this morning to learn him a lesson. Problem is he ended up liking it. He’s been chain smoking all day. The boy can’t stop. Well, part of being a man is making your own decisions.”
Twitter users responded through vicious commenting. One user described Joseph as “A wretched distasteful man, clueless and a danger to all of us.” Another user who claims to have known Joseph in high school commented:
“Knowing Joseph from high school, I gatta say…the guy came from a messed up family. There was a lot of abuse in his family…and maybe some of that passed on to him. Its a damn shame that he has to go out and harm his own child…a damn shame”
Twitter users are questioning the ethical legitimacy of Joseph’s parenting. We can justify his actions by saying his thoughts are coming from a good place. The purpose of making a child smoke is to impede the child from smoking in the future, the assumption being that he will dislike the cigarette. BUT, what if the child gets addicted to nicotine, a highly addictive substance? No parent can foresee the future, but as caretakers we are responsible to stray from such impulsive, potentially life-altering decisions, no matter how good the payoff looks. The payoff of a child never smoking again in his life is tempting to entertain. The negative counterpart and possibility of a child becoming a smoker heavily outweighs any good in the situation.