No-nonsense parenting in Baltimore

Following Monday night’s rioting, burning, and looting in Baltimore, Toya Graham recognized her son in the crowd and went after him. I applaud her and wonder where all the other mothers were. Where are the parents when gangs of kids decide that such outrageous, mindless, destructive behavior is a good way to express their anger?

“That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” she told CBS. “I was angry. I was shocked, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.” It was Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of police that led to the rioting.

The citizens of Baltimore did turn out yesterday to try to stop the rioting and help the police restore some order, but this mom led the way when she recognized and went after her own son. With more moms like this keeping their kids in line, caring about where they are and what they’re doing, maybe we’d have less rioting.



Categories: racism, Society, video content

25 replies

  1. You have to love parents who parent. My mom would have done the same if any of us had done something like that.

  2. You go, mom! Reclaim your kids. Maybe others will join her with similar action. The only hope.

    • Absolutely. Hard to believe these riots would be so common if there were more moms like Toya out there being moms. You can be a big man in a black mask in front of a TV camera — until your mom wades in and humiliates you by slapping you and snatching your mask off. He didn’t look nearly so tough by the time she got through with him.

      • There’s a lot of performing for the cameras going on there…selfies on a giant scale.
        Moms know best (Single mom. 6 kids with multiple fathers, but she still is holding the line. So no excuses, the rest of you.) Hang in there, mom!

        • Oh absolutely. Half the fun of being there is being seen as a tough guy on TV and bragging to your friends about it. Having your mom call you out and slap you down is definitely not part of the plan. (Not to mention the humiliation of having it seen by everyone in the country on TV and YouTube.)

  3. Ms. Graham is a hero in my opinion, and I can’t help but wonder how many kids would still be alive if their mothers had done the what she did.

  4. Who would have thought such a video would have conjured up such thoughts as ‘heart warming’ but that was indeed the case. A mother’s love can be expressed in many ways…

    I, on the other hand, have been holding my breath the passed two days waiting for some asshole or other entity such as child services coming forward and demanding her child be removed from her custody, especially given how our society has gone off the deep end on discipline issues when it comes to parenting.

    • Given what’s happened to the Meitiv family in Maryland with their “free range” kids, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to have child services show up at Ms. Graham’s home. An obvious case of “child abuse.”

  5. Mom wouldn’t have had to grab me because Dad would have already straightened me out. Too bad a lot of these kids don’t have Dads; they could certainly use guidance from both parents.

  6. I have gotten flak in the past for comments in which I wished for the return of stay-at-home moms, and I likely will here, but this seems an example for it. I spent a career in which I was absent from home for long periods, but my wife, bless her, was a solid and continuing presence for our three sons. Children without that used to be known as “latchkey kids” and it was not a good thing.

    Glad to see this post from you, PT. You are in my thoughts and I wish you well.

    • For the most part I blame the economy for the disappearance of stay-at-home moms. They’ve become a luxury most middle- and lower-class families can’t afford. And of course there’s no choice when there’s only one parent around. Still, if there were more moms like Toya Graham, things might be different.

      Thanks for the good wishes.

  7. I’d be willing to bet that Toya Graham wouldn’t have been coerced into apologizing for calling a bunch of arsonists and looters, “Thugs” as was the current mayor of Baltimore.

    There’s something systemically wrong when a significant minority of citizens in a metropolitan area are unemployed, high school dropouts and believe that criminal behavior is going to increase public support for a cause that is already popular.

    I blame the government from the federal on down to the most local jurisdictions. One simple example… when I graduated from high school in 1958, I already had an employment history that included at least 20 jobs. And util I was a senior, I didn’t even have a social security card. That’s illegal now days.

    • Don’t get me started on that “thug” crap. Since I was a kid, a thug has been a bully, a tough, a hoodlum, a gangster — regardless of race. And that’s exactly what those rioters in Baltimore and elsewhere are. If they don’t like being called thugs, they shouldn’t act like thugs. If the shoe fits, baby …

      And I agree about something being systematically wrong. It seems to have become the norm that if you’re angry, you riot, loot, and burn (usually in your own community — go figure). Likewise if you’re celebrating a team win. Or angry about a team loss. Not to mention oh what the hell, we’ve nothing better to do tonight. None of these things are excuses for breaking the law. I’m sorry if your community is poor or you can’t get a job or your dad left you or life sucks. It still doesn’t give you the right to riot.

      You’d think all the video of rioters in MD and elsewhere would lead to numerous identifications, arrests, and convictions. Funny how that never seems to happen.

  8. I think she’s a savage, no better than the rioters. The better question would be “Where was she when her kid was getting mixed up with these thugs in the first place?” He learned violence somewhere. My money is on him learning it at home. Her reaction was not one of a woman who never beat her kid before. It was also about his safety, not teaching him right from wrong (in which case she would have been a hypocrite, anyway). Granted, had he been caught, he may very well have been treated unfairly. But perhaps if she bothered to mother him correctly in the first place, he would not have been out there in the streets. There were plenty of other mothers out there with their kids protesting peacefully, and plenty of other mothers whose kids were not out there at all. In fact, a lot of those rioters weren’t even from Baltimore.

    Also, Inigo says hello. 😉 I moved because the last blog was two lifetimes ago, it seems, going back to when I was married. Time to start fresh.

    • It may have been late, but better late than never. I didn’t see any other mothers out there getting after their kids. Plus she has like 6 others at home and has to hold down a job too. So I find it hard to criticize her. But I know a lot of people feel as you do.

      Dunno how you keep track of all your blogs. But then you have more reasons to move than I do. Tell Inigo I said hi back.

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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