BALTIMORE MOM, WHIP ASSES HER SON: From “The Stuff” segment, Mary Kennedy and Paul Jacek, “Oh, Mary!” Show , Episode 20
The video of Toya Graham slapping her son at the Baltimore riots, has stirred the world.
I watched the video a few times. I found myself nodding my head. My mother, would have done the same thing.
Actually, I don’t know that she would have smacked me in public, but for sure, I would have been pulled to a quiet spot, and an intense discussion, with physical emphasis would have happened.
Amazed at a friend, who is a therapist, who offered, “ Can you imagine the physical abuse he must suffer at home?” Perhaps, but, what I saw in the video was a mother protecting her child. From his own stupid choices. Part of the job as I understand.
I am not a parent. This woman has 5 girls and one son. The tension and the situation called for a sudden decision.
Part of me says, naively, “Are we here, again?” I remember the conflicts of the 60’s and I was in the LA Riots. The anger that all feel is heavy in the air.
How do we move past this? Well, like this mother, perhaps “knock a bit of sense” into ourselves.
Why do we do things that are “wrong”? It’s a tough call. We all have that little voice, our conscience, that tells us right from wrong. Due to adulthood, and the agreements we make with ourselves, we hope to let some things slide.
I have no answers for the racial tensions. I get it. I am a longtime advocate for Equal Rights. For All Americans. Promised in the Constitution. All Americans.
Not complicated. But to put it in practice, seems very difficult.
Toya Graham loves her son. She is a national figure. (I’ve been in show business a long time. She needs representation, and a book deal….perhaps a new talk show centered on Mothering and how to stretch a dollar when you have 7 people to house and feed and have no job. ) I’d watch for sure.
She has my respect. And, I’ll guest on her show.
I was raised by two very strong irish women, my grandma, Anne and my mom, Betty. Early on, I knew neither one of these women, was there to be my friend. For that I am grateful.
They loved us, absolutely, but in the irish tradition love is shown through a tap on the back “irish hug”, food and a pint of guiness. I have a very dark joke in my act, “My brother Jon and I never ever tried to commit suicide, because if we failed, our mother would kill us.” To this day, I walk with a little fear of my mother, which is healthy!
So I relate to Toya Graham of Baltimore. Now I have never given a “whip ass” as News Anchor, Gayle King on CBS This Morning called what Ms. Graham did her son, to my kids. But I have and will continue to protect my kids no matter what.
Honestly I can say, when my kids were in danger, ie, putting his/her hand in a hot flame, crossing the street without me or causing bodily harm to one another, a slap on the hand insued or a slap on the butt happened. Was I proud of these moments? No. But I was protecting my kids and acted in the moment.
Tough love, this term is thrown around like yesterday’s trash. I have seen tough love in the mommy privaleged cliques as “Parker, got his phone taken away for two days”.
I think as parents we use this way too much. Oh I will just take technology away, that will show them. But it doesn’t. I know. As parents we have been emasculated. I am not saying that we beat our kids, I know the difference between beating and a slap on the butt. I ask, was Toya Graham heavy handed in her punishment?
Yes on an ordinary day. But it was not an ORDINARY day when she slapped her son upside the head. In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore, this mother lost it, wanting to save her kids. Her kid had a rock in his hand about to throw it at police. She intercepted that and with all her might, protected her son, “I wanted to get my son and be safe.” She says. He could have been the next Freddie Gray.
So in my book, she was saving her kid from death, from the hands of the police, from himself, from the streets of Baltimore. She was saving her son.
The first year of parenting my daughter, I announced to a friend of mine, “My daughter just turned one.” She said, “Good job, you did your job, your kid is still alive, you are mother of the year.”
Sometimes it is just as simple as that. We don’t do this perfectly, ever and Paul reminds me that everyday, thanks…..(my eyes roll).
But my kids are alive and to Freddie Gray’s mom and father, I am so sorry for your loss. A joy ride, turned your joy to sorrow.
May we protect our kids by teaching them right from wrong and leading by example. Being the best we can be everyday and when we fall, be vunerable, be gracious and use it as a teaching tool to inspire our kids to do better and to love one another, always no matter what color, creed or sexual orientation.