This is not the time for your mommy war!
In the middle of a very important protest happening in Baltimore, people decided to turn the camera on a mom named Toya Graham, who was worried sick about her 16-year-old son. Her reaction was what you could imagine it would be. It was emotional, but it involved her getting very physical with him.
Sigh. Then of course the anti-spanking cavalry came in and decided to rant about spanking, trying to shame her for it.
"But isn't spanking just terrible? Shouldn’t we talk about it?"
Ranting about this mother's reaction is very misguided and does a disservice to why they're at the protest in first place. THE POLICE ARE OUT THERE KILLING PEOPLE WHO LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HER BABY BOY!
It's very easy to sit there and wag our fingers at this worried mother miles away when your kid's school wasn't canceled due to protest. It's easy to forget that this mother has to deal with facing something that a mother of a white child will probably never have to go through.
Also critics, keep note: this mother might have disciplined her kid to teach him a lesson, but it is MUCH better than the lesson police officers might have given him. He most likely went home and got a stern talking to afterwards. He is going to forever remember the frustration and the embarrassment he experienced that day, and I say that's good. That embarrassment and lesson might have saved his life.
"BUT SPANKING IS ABUSE!"
I, like many black children, was raised with spanking. It certainly could turn into abuse. But if it's used sparingly and the parent isn't doing it out of anger, then I believe it’s effective.
"BUT SHE DID DO IT OUT OF ANGER!"
Wrong, she did it because she was scared. She did it because she loves her son so much that she didn't want him to be another Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, and so many other men who we've lost to police brutality.
I would never say that my mother abused me. She loved me. She spanked me and was strict with me because she knows I have to be at least twice as good to get around half of what my white counterparts receive. After all, black women earn 64 percent of what white men are paid. So you can spare the rod on your child if you want, but in a world that is tough on black people, it makes sense that many black parents still use this discipline method.
Society is tougher on black people to the point where one in three black men go to prison. Not because they commit more crimes, but because policies like "Stop and Frisk" target them specifically. Knowing this, how lenient would you be on your kid? Yes, they are just kids but studies show that black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than white boys.
Many black parents know that black kids have to learn hard lessons and FAST.
I applaud this black mother. I sympathize with her trying to do her best in this crazy world where her young, black son feels like he should risk his life to make it better. If she didn't love her son, she wouldn't have gone out to find him.
It's shameful that people are trying to change the conversation away from police brutality.
It’s shameful that white mothers, who don’t have to go through these types of teaching moments, are unwilling to step out of their own privilege and try to understand.
It's shameful that people turned the camera on this mother and child more so to get a laugh out of the situation than because they were concerned.
But what's REALLY shameful is that we live in a world where this young man felt that he needed to be out there in the first place.