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Toya Graham is not mother of the year

by Frederick H. Lowe

I don’t in anyway support Toya Graham’s treatment of her teenage son during the recent rebellion in Baltimore.

Graham received considerable praise from blacks as well as whites after a video of her cursing and slapping her teenage son went viral. Some media outlets said Graham ‘scolded’ her son. All of us know the difference between a beating and a scolding. One black woman wrote,”Go, Girl,” and a white man called her mother of the year.

Every caring parent worries about their children, but Graham hitting her son and cursing him and then chasing him and repeatedly hitting him further was abuse.

If Graham happened to be a white woman, she would have been arrested and charged with assault.

But this type of behavior is encouraged in the black community. I know why the video went viral. Most people are afraid of black men and black boys. Black men suffer from a daily onslaught of microaggressions designed to demean us and lead us to question our worth, even our right to exist.

They want to see us beaten and even murdered to send some sort of a message like lynching did.

Graham claimed she slapped and cursed her son because she did not want him to end up like Freddie Gray, the 25 year-old man black who died of a severe-neck injury in police custody.

Gray was alive when the cops arrested him for the crime of staring at them. Graham said she became angry when her son gave her “eye contact.” Sound familiar?

If Graham is that violent in public, I can only guess what goes on in her home. Like me, everyone did not support Graham’s actions. According to news reports, Child Protective Services in Baltimore saw the video and the agency will investigate Graham’s abuse.


  1. Candace Montague

    I must respectfully disagree. Whenever a Black male child gets into trouble at school or on the street, what’s the fist thing people ask? Where’s his mother? When a Black teenage girl becomes pregnant, what do people ask? Where’s the mother? If Black children show up looking unkept, hungry, angry, short fused, and basically neglected what do people ask?? Where’s the mother? Society blames the Black mother for every doggone thing that goes wrong in our world. And now we see anther who is on the scene ready to take control of her son before he seriously gets hurt and people attack her. Why?? Ok. Violence is not the best method and cursing doesn’t help but she’s probably doing the best she can. Black women are damned if we do and does if we don’t. It really isnt fair.
    A better question to ask instead of criticizing the mother for her methods is where’s his father? Where is the father of her six children? Shame HIM for not controlling his son. Shame HIM for not being there. Shame HIM for not doing right by his seed. Women get blamed far took his for doing the only hing they know how to do while men slip quietly away and we just throw our hands up and say “that’s just how it is”. No Sir! That’s insulting and misogynistic in nature.
    I know one thing. If she were Italian and cursing her son and hitting him up side the head, people would shrug and say it’s just part of their culture. A cosa nostra as they say. We have a cosa nostra in Black America too. It’s called the crabs-in-a-bucket-syndrome. And the criticism of Toya and her methods proves my point.

  2. Go to hell, being a single parent of these young black male is extremely hard. I can relate to the Baltimore mom. Peer pressure is at it at an all time high, not just for the boys but for the girls as well. She did what she needed to do to show her son and his friends that she’s not with it. No matter how you try to look at it, the beating coming from kom is so much better than for the police to beat him. If she don’t stand up to him, he will be standing up against her. So if you don’t have children then you can GO TO HELL and that’s coming from a mother of 3 black young men

  3. Thanks for your comments, but I disagree with you. My brothers and sister were not raised by our mother. We were raised by our mother and father. And think God for that. I know black men don’t slip quietly away from their children.
    I am sure a lot of black women want to believe that. But relationships are very complicated. Maybe Toya’s son’s father wasn’t there because the news media did not seek him out for an interview.
    The news media frequently does that. When Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were murdered, their fathers were very much in the picture, but the news media focused only on the mothers.
    Anderson Cooper of CNN aired a program in which he only interviewed the mothers. The program ignored the fathers as though they didn’t love their sons and feel a sense of great loss.

    I don’t know the nature of Toya’s relationships with her six children’s fathers, but I don’t think beating and cursing her son was OK. I don’t think it helped him and in the long run it could hurt him as an individual—Frederick H. Lowe

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