Hero Mom or Child Abuser?

ToyaA Baltimore mother has garnered praise from both the left and the right since she was caught on camera chastising her teenage son. Toya Graham had heard there was trouble at he mall where she knew her son had gone, so she went down to look for him. When she discovered him approaching police with a rock raised to throw, she ran to him and began yelling at him and hitting him, before dragging him home.

Lauded by many as “Mother of the Year,” Graham is now also being criticized and called a “child abuser.” Many liberals are also framing her story in terms of race relations.

One critic is civil rights activist Michaela Angela Davis, who tweeted:


According to IJReview:

Davis also appeared on CNN in an interview and had the following to say:

“It’s a sad day when a traumatized, terrorized, desperate mother beating and cursing her child becomes ‘mom of the year.’ She’s a symbol, not a hero. She symbolizes what incessant brutality, violence, desperation, systemic violence on her – right? – and the daily struggle to survive that, that’s what that looks like. When your only option is violence – right?

When your response is violence. They’re very good at imitating us. So, if she meets him with aggression, he will meet life with aggression – right? And then, how else was he supposed to work out his trauma? He’s a boy throwing rocks.”

Joan Walsh of Salon wrote:

Her moment of losing it made her a hero to much of white America – and not just to the right. Coast to coast, the media is hyping Graham as “Hero Mom” and her on-camera beating as “Tough Love.” It’s not just Fox News or the “New York Post,” whose tabloid“Send in the Moms” front page this time reflects rather than rebukes the mainstream media. And that’s heartbreaking…

But anyone white who’s applauding Graham’s moment of desperation, along with the white media figures who are hyping her “heroism,” is essentially justifying police brutality, and saying the only way to control black kids is to beat the shit out of them.

I’m aware that a lot of African Americans are lauding Graham, too. This piece isn’t directed at them…

In an interview on CBS, Toya Grapham said she would have allowed her son to go to Freddie Gray’s viewing, or to a peaceful protest, but to see him throwing rocks at police was unacceptable.

While the left chooses to draw its own conclusions, and uses this story for political capital, the fact remains that this mother – whether or not you agree with her methods – set a clear limit for her son in terms of what is acceptable behavior.

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