Nobody Was Going to Save Toya Graham’s Son Except Toya Graham.

Toya Graham and her son, Michael

Toya Graham, the mother who publicly disciplined her son has been praised by everyone from the Baltimore chief of police to Oprah for doing so.

The flip side of the praise for Graham is out comes the critics putting her on blast for laying hands on her unruly son.

Michael Cohen/Baltimore Sun:

Many have dubbed Graham “Mom Of The Year.” She was even praised by the Baltimore Police commissioner, who said, “I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight.”

Since this story broke, however, I’ve been trying to think of another situation in which publicly whaling on a child would be met with such praise. Would we say the same if the child being hit was a girl or if Graham were white? It’s a reminder that, seemingly, one of the last acceptable forms of violence in America is when a parent hits a child.

On the one hand, it’s uncomfortable and unfair to judge a woman with six kids, living in a poor community, wracked by violence and police brutality, who is rightly worried about her child’s safety.

But that doesn’t make her actions right, and it doesn’t excuse those who are bizarrely holding her up as a parenting model.

Yet, violence as discipline is spectacularly counterproductive. Spanking a child — no less the head slaps delivered by Ms. Graham — increases aggression. It leads to anti-social behavior, causes anxiety, increases susceptibility to mental illness, and may have long-term cognitive effects.

Oh, bullshit!  Fuck you, Michael Cohen!

Stacey Patton/Washington Post:

It’s not surprising that a black mother in Baltimore who chased down, cursed and beat her 16-year-old son in the middle of a riot has been called a hero. In this country, when black mothers fulfill stereotypes of mammies, angry and thwarting resistance to a system designed to kill their children, they get praised.

“He gave me eye contact,” Toya Graham told CBS News. “And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that — that’s my only son and at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray. Is he the perfect boy? No he’s not, but he’s mine.”

Mama and Mike: “There’s a riot goin’ on, but YOUR ass ain’t gonna be part of it!”

In other words, Graham’s message to America is: I will teach my black son not to resist white supremacy so he can live.

This celebration of Graham reflects a belief that black youths are inherently problematic, criminal and out of control. The video also supports the idea that black fathers are absent, suggesting that all we need is an angry black mom to beat the “thug” out of an angry young man – and everything will be fine.

And remember Black kids, you too can resist White Supremacy by throwing a rock against a heavily armed cop!  It’s easy and fun!  Unless you get shot, then maybe not so much.

Salon’s Joan Walsh, their in-house expert on White Liberal Guilt, didn’t scorch Graham as personally as Cohen and Patton, but smacked around other Whites for applauding Graham’s actions:

The hypocrisy of the white mainstream applauding Graham is sickening. Let’s be honest: many white folks are reflexive critics of the greater frequency of corporal punishment in the black community. Witness the media horror at Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beating his young son. If Graham beat her child like that in the aisles of CVS, you can be sure somebody would call CPS.

I don’t fault CBS for interviewing Graham. She’s a “newsmaker,” and I’d talk to her in a heartbeat. But the way the network hyped its “get” falls into the category of white media applauding a black woman for beating up her son. As though that’s the only way to discipline a black child.

As someone who has raised (and disciplined) two Black children, I can reassure Walsh, striking them is not the only way.  Every method White parents use to discipline and correct the behavior of their children, Black parents use those methods too,  including making physical contact with a misbehaving child.   The difference being White kids get away with stuff that gets Black kids buried.

I wasn’t surprised by Professor Patton’s completely condescending column.  A little disgusted, but not surprised when the “We Are Respectable Negroes” types come out to look down their noses at those lower class colored folks they consider poor representatives of the race.  Patton throws some vicious shade at Patton for upbraiding her son as telling him to genuflect to the throne of White supremacy  but what do you call an educated, articulate and accomplished Black woman publicly talking trash about another Black woman who isn’t as accomplished, articulate or educated in a White publication like the Post? Isn’t that bowing down and kissing the ass of White supremacy?

I find pretentious, bourgeois intellectualism among the Black elite every bit as off-putting as crass, buffoonish ignorance from the Black masses and both are equally embarrassing. However, there was nothing the least bit embarrassing about Mama Graham going upside her son’s head. I don’t want to hear Graham was violent toward her son. If that’s what it takes to keep him in school, out of jail or the morgue, more power to her.

Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around the way like it is for too many Black families. Families like Freddie Gray’s and if  that’s problematic to Mr. Cohen, Miss Patton and Miss Walsh, I don’t care.  If Michael ended up on a slab with a toe tag because he got shot for throwing rocks at the cops, or looting a store, or burning down an old folks home and got arrested, Cohen, Patton and Walsh aren’t going to be the ones coming up with his bail or bury him for screwing around where he had no business being.

These academic and journalistic nosy-ass busy bodies should mind their own damn business. Not one of them is offering to help Graham raise her kids. Would any of the fine folks who find Graham’s actions so detestable and “hard to watch” would be willing to bail her son out of jail after he was arrested for looting or throwing rocks at a cop or bury him if he was shot by one?   Would those willing to condemn how Toya disciplined Michael be equally willing to contribute to his funeral?

Maybe she embarrassed Michael because she fronted on him in public, but that’s fair since he fronted on her first. If more parents paid attention to what their kids were and were not doing, maybe we wouldn’t be talking (or rather not talking) about how our kids are at risk.

Toya Graham deserves respect, not scorn,  for trying to save her son.   It’s not as if anybody else White OR Black is lining up to do the job.

(Cartoon by David Horsey/Los Angeles Times)



20 thoughts on “Nobody Was Going to Save Toya Graham’s Son Except Toya Graham.

  1. ‘GOIN’-GHETTO’, ‘THUG MOMMA’-OF-THE-YEAR said, “I just lost it”. Well a *good* parent is supposed to model *self-control*. Maybe her son could claim that he, “just lost it”, too – over yet another police murder of a Black male (or female).

    ‘GOIN’-GHETTO’, ‘THUG MOMMA’-OF-THE-YEAR said, “It’s hard to figure out where your child is day-to-day.” Well, maybe if you weren’t a single mom with *6* kids and no father *or* father-figure in their lives, you could better keep track of them.

    ‘GOIN’-GHETTO’, ‘THUG MOMMA’-OF-THE-YEAR said her great parenting idea was, “I’m going to totally embarrass you [her son] in front of your [his] peers.” Oh, *that* sounds like a *WONDERFUL* parenting technique.

    Maybe the same Alvin Poussaint (Black professor of child psychiatry at Harvard) — who once approved of Bill Cosby making fun of Black kid’s “Black names” — will [Poussaint] approve of this too! (I.e., Bill Cosby, once dubbed, “World’s Greatest Dad”, and all-along apparently serial rapist, who a once drug-addicted daughter of his is estranged from her arrogant dad, and who’s son was murdered on an L.A. highway at ~5am, or so, in a very strange situation.)

    ‘GOIN’-GHETTO’, ‘THUG MOMMA’-OF-THE-YEAR, Toya Graham, said about her *son’s* actions, “THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO HANDLE STUFF LIKE THAT” — while she’s out in the middle of the streets, ‘GOIN’-GHETTO’, WHOOPPIN’ ON HER SON’S HEAD, CUSSIN’ UP A STORM, “WHAT THA F [this] and WHAT THA F [that]!”, should take that advice to heart for *herself*!

    But, hey, *that’s* the kind of out-of-control or purposeful VIOLENCE (both physical *and* psychological violence) that the white mainstream media — all the national TV news programs and PBS’s Charlie Rose — and even largely white housewives daytime talk show panelist, now white-washed Whoopi Goldberg — LOVE!

    White supremacy has taught too much of Black-America that we need to descend into parental barbarism, “to protect our children.”

    [Or, that like the physically abusive husband/boyfriend — and sometimes wife/girlfriend — believes (or, in the case of an abused wife/girlfriend, accepts): ABUSE = love!]


  2. Perfect example of cultural misandry and why people think it’s OK to send men off to war to die for women’s rights.

    Perfect example of why the courts will ruin the financial life of a man to continue a woman’s standard of living in divorce.

    Perfect example of why masculinity is considered toxic and the female can act in any way she pleases.

    Perfect example of why white knights exist and why hyper-gynocentrists (feminists) have been so successful in destroying men (the patriarchy).

    Perfect example of why men are shamed for remaining bachelors, despite the terroristic, man-hating family courts, but women are brave for being single mothers.

    Perfect example of the sadistic reason underlying the rule that men can never hit women but women can hit men.

    Perfect example of why laws like Yes Means Yes and the VAWA get passed despite the fact that these laws violate men’s constitutional rights.


  3. Well Jeff, I don’t know what to say about Ms. Graham, I do know how she felt though. I know when my youngest son was out of control I went directly upside his head. I called the police once and asked them to stand by and witness me doing so, to let him know I wasn’t abusing him but well within the law. I was fortunate, I am fortunate I have the privilege of being able to do that so does he and this was 17 years ago. While physical violence might not be the best answer and it wasn’t the only answer in our home, it was one of the answers, one among many.

    I feel her fear, rage and anger. I understand her frustration and her need to save her child. The media is overplaying it and we are to ignorant not to see it for what it is.


    • Re valentinelogar: ” I know when my youngest son was out of control I went directly upside his head.”

      To restate AND EMPHASIZE the most important point in my previous comment post:

      _*WHITE SUPREMACY*_ has taught too much of Black-America that we need to descend into parental barbarism, “to protect our children.”

      *WHITE-CELEBRATED* “#MomOfTheYear” for *BLACK* kids mom, Toya Graham, is instilling and SOCIALLY *INSTITUTIONALIZING* a *WHITE* social CONTROL SYSTEM — through such *BLACK* moms — in his mom REFLECTING THE *VIOLENCE* OF THE STATE.


      And what *WHITE* people were APPLAUDING Toya Graham *for* was stopping her son from protesting *WHITE SUPREMACY*!

      This was *not* the first time that “#MomOfTheYear” Toya Graham had whooped on her son, so obviously beating him was actually working on any long-term basis and was thus not the *real* solution.

      And ‘interesting’ that Toya Graham was *VIOLENTLY* “teaching” her son not to be violent! And that, as I said, teaching her [your] kids that “LOVE = VIOLENCE”.

      And it’s telling that only “white trash” would savagely beat on their own *white* kids like that out in the middle of the street while cussin’ up a storm. Educated white people (and Asians) — who’s kids often get the *best* grades and go on to the *best* universities and go onto the *highest* professions — don’t beat on their *own* kids and don’t even give their kids spankings! In fact, some such white/Asian kids — who obviously don’t know any better about spankings or head-whoopins — even say that they wish they *had* gotten a *spanking* instead, than to hear their parents solemnly and sadly say, “Now, Kristin/Kyu, I want you to sit down on the sofa, so we can tell you how you’ve really *disappointed* us.” You see, to *that* child, there was some kind of *deeper* parent-child relationship inculcated all along the way, long beforehand, to make such white/Asian parents’ solemnly and sadly expressed *disappointment* even more effective than a spanking or head-whoopin’.

      You know at one time it was considered legitimate for husbands/boyfriends to *beat* on their *wives/girlfriends”, too, to get their wives/girlfriends to do what the husbands/boyfriends wanted — or even acceptable for people to beat their *dogs* — but *SOCIALLY EVOLVED* husbands/boyfriends — or dog-owners — realize that this is *ignorant*, *primitive*, even *savage thinking/behavior anymore.

      Finally, valentinelogar, if you had been my *dad* and you did that to me, there would be some point in my physically growing up and *strengthening* where it would have been the *VERY LAST* time you would ever do that to me without getting your *own* ass whooped on in return. If you had been my *mom* and you did that to me, there would have been some point in my physically growing up (to likely taller than you) where I would have sternly warned you that you had better not do that to me *again* — and that if you ever *did* it again to me, then you would never see me again, that you wouldn’t have any *son* around to help take care of you when you’re old, and/or I would give you a stern gentle shove back to make it *clear* that I didn’t *have* to put up with that *anymore*: that that’s not the way *I* was going to allow you to communicate with me any further (that is not a mentally/emotionally *healthy* way to interpersonally communicate with, especially, a *supposedly* “loved one” anyway).

      *Some* Black mom’s might *talk* about “goin’ upside someone’s head”, occasionally in those mom’s scolding their kids, but that’s usually for purely *rhetorical emphasis*. (Like a wife getting angry/frustrated with her husband and rhetorically shouting, “I’m gonna *kill* you.”) I’m sure that
      Toya Graham’s son would have come home if his mom would have merely shouted — with *love* instead of *violence* — “Son, *PLEASE* come *home*…: I couldn’t bear the *pain* of possibly losing you to those *pigs*.” I personally have positively responded to the situational concerns/desire of persons I love, when I still thought they either *shouldn’t* worry or were making *too* much of it. But, those person’s occasional concern/desire — EXPRESSED *LOVINGLY* — warmly meant a lot more to me than if they had verbally/physically attacked me — or tried to embarrass me in front of the whole neighborhood and all my friends/peers.

      But, if you think that as a parent you could continue to physically rely on that form of communication with a son (or necessarily even with a daughter) as your kids get *bigger* and *stronger* — while you *won’t* (only *weaker*, and maybe even shorter, if anything) — then your relationship with your kids has its basis in a much bigger — and even more unhealthy — problem than even violence as a means to communicate. American parental “macho” society is *filled* with kids, once turned adult, who have *estranged* themselves from their parents right up ’till their parent’s last breath.

      So, somehow, valentinelogar, I doubt that your relationship with your kid, for going “upside his/her head” is a *rosey* as you paint. I think the *real* issue about *your* parenting is why your kid had gotten “so out of control” in the *first* place.

      And I’ll repeat:

      *WHITE-CELEBRATED* “#MomOfTheYear” for _*BLACK*_ kids’ mom, Toya Graham, is instilling and SOCIALLY *INSTITUTIONALIZING* a *WHITE* social CONTROL SYSTEM — through such *BLACK* moms — in his mom REFLECTING THE *VIOLENCE* OF THE STATE!



      • Joseph, before you try to lecture anyone about anything, perhaps it would be best you try to learn something about them. Given you know nothing about me, my history, my children, my circumstances you are ill equipped to lecture me about one damned thing.

        As for the rest. Since I am respectful of the places I visit I will only say to you, please in the future try doing the same. Show some respect so others can do the same to you.


      • Mr. Anderson will no longer be joining us here at The Domino Theory. He’s too busy preparing for his next appearance on Meet the Press or more likely in a city park screaming at strangers and frightening small children.

        I gave the man plenty of space to run his rap, but unfortunately he ran out of both good manners and common sense. Darn shame.

        My apologies. I should know better than to feed the trolls.


  4. CORRECTION from my earlier post:

    This was *not* the first time that “#MomOfTheYear” Toya Graham had whooped on her son, so obviously beating him was actually [*NOT*] working on any long-term basis and was thus not the *real* solution.


    • Mr. Anderson, I sincerely appreciate your input, but I have only rule in the Comments section. If you want to attack someone’s opinion or perspective, I’m cool with that.

      You don’t know Ms. Logar anymore than she knows you, so her parenting skills have nothing to do with this topic. Please don’t attack the person. That I am not cool with.


      • Mr. Winbush, I was using my response to “valentinelogar” to make a *general* response to the issue of parents using physical / verbal / emotional violence against their kids –kids whom parents are *supposed* to love.

        If you –or “valentinelogar”– feel that he/she has been *personally* attacked, then the logically/critically correct way to respond to a rebuttal argument would be to cite *specific* examples.

        One way / example to correctly do so is to say: “When you (Anderson) said [example], my response / rebuttal is this [example] and/ or [this] is why I felt *personally* attacked. Not just to make vague, critically unsubstantiated, replies.

        If anyone were to google my name (with Berkeley to narrow it down) you can readily see where I’ve written numerous analytical commentaries (both formal and casual). And in *none* of them do I just say, “Hey, I don’t like what [so-&-so] said!” –because I know that that is not the way to form a logical argument / rebuttal. The way to form a logical argument / rebuttal is to be *specific*.

        Some people –not only, but especially, white people, or arrogant people– view *any* kind of, especially, effective challenge to their thinking as “a personal attack”. (Like, Zionist Jews who view *any* kind of criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitic”.)

        But, I find it quite ‘interesting / curious’ that someone like “valentinelogar” –who has _*no problem*_ _publicly *BRAGGING*_ and being _quite publicly *PROUD*_ of _”GOIN’ DIRECTLY UPSIDE HIS SON’S HEAD”_– now feels personally attacked for being intellectually, morally, and using historical parallels, merely criticized! Do you –or “valentinelogar”– see any _*IRONY*_ in *that*!?

        You yourself, Mr. Winbush, had — and neither did “valentinelogar” express — no problem putting up an opinion piece, above, where the writer *wrote*: _”Oh, bullshit! Fuck you, Michael Cohen!”_ (Such language, that I can assure you that I have never used in *any* of my numerous published commentaries, formal or casual.) And her opinion piece *filled* with such ad hominems like, ” nosy-ass busy bodies”, and “pretentious, bourgeois intellectualism”. I’m *SURE* that –*IRONICALLY*– *that* person would consider any logical argument against *her* diatribe to be “a personal attack” against *her*!

        So, *please*, Mr. Winbush, if you would, be specific about *my* supposedly personally attacking someone, then I thank you very much for sincerely appreciating my input, and I would be *pleased* to give a logical argument response and try to respect your #1 rule. Otherwise, please let me know if I’ve found the wrong place for logical argument rebuttals.

        Thank you.


      • Mr. Anderson, you have written repeatedly and at length on this topic and I haven’t touch a word of it, however as you may not be familiar with this blog, allow me to explain something to you.

        I never write anything in this blog I would not say directly to someone’s face. NEVER.

        When I say “fuck you” to Mr. Cohen, I say it because that is exactly the reaction his attack on Toya Graham deserved. Which is why I find you falling in line with this line of attack a little baffling as you go on at great length about White Supremacy in your comments. If you’re so down against White Supremacy why are you attacking a Black woman the same way Michael Cohen did?

        I use strong language because I’m an adult and I really don’t care what sort of language you use in your “numerous published commentaries.” That’s nice for you but I’m not trying for the New York Times op-ed page here. If you can’t discern the difference between a commentary published in a newspaper or other mainstream publication and a BLOG, I’m not going to explain it to you. Please don’t lecture me about the language I occasionally employ. My mom and pop raised me one. Don’t need a surrogate daddy. I speak how I like, I write what I like and if you don’t like it, I strongly advise you to move on to another blog where the language doesn’t offend your sensibilities.

        Nobody ever has to agree with what I write here. When I go back and read some of things I’ve written over the years I may not agree with myself any longer. You’re free to hold whatever harsh feelings toward Toya Graham you like. It’s only an opinion and I’m pretty clear which side you come down on.

        You haven’t found the wrong place for logical argument rebuttals. But this is the wrong place if you want to take shots at Ms. Logar the way you did when you wrote: So, somehow, valentinelogar, I doubt that your relationship with your kid, for going “upside his/her head” is a *rosey* as you paint. I think the *real* issue about *your* parenting is why your kid had gotten “so out of control” in the *first* place.

        You ARE in the wrong place if you think that is going to fly and you can then go into a passive/aggressive justification of it, sir. Please respect others on my blog and you can’t do that, ignore them. If you can’t do either, you’re probably best not bothering with this blog at all.


    • I find it quite ‘interesting / curious’ that someone like “valentinelogar” –who has _*no problem*_ _publicly *BRAGGING*_ and being _quite publicly *PROUD*_ of _”GOIN’ DIRECTLY UPSIDE HIS SON’S HEAD”_– now feels personally attacked for being intellectually, morally, & using historical parallels, *merely criticized*! Do you –“valentinelogar”– see any _*IRONY*_ in *that*!?


      • Oops!: I thought that my just-previous comment post would appear directly under “valentinelogar’s” comment post. I guess I should have put “@valentinelogar”, or “To: valentinelogar”, at the very beginning.


    • I strongly suspect whatever embarrassment Toya Graham’s son will receive will be both minor and temporary.

      Being arrested or killed would have far harsher and lasting consequences.


      • @ Jeff Winbush

        Actually, if you talk to kids who’ve been physically and/or emotionally abused (including a parent PURPOSELY AND “*TOTALLY HUMILIATING*” THEM in front of all their, especially, friends, and/or in front of all their peers, and/or in front of the entire neighborhood, and, especially, in front of virtually the entire world (say, on nationwide or international TV), as “#MomOfTheYear” Toya Graham said she fully intended to do so, those kids, as later adults, will tell you that while the physical pain will, and its remembrance may, go away, it’s the PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN can last for many years, decades, or even the rest of their lives!

        If BARBARIC PARENTAL VIOLENCE is the basis of “#MomOfTheYear’s” interpersonal communication with her son, then I have a feeling that her son is not ‘out of the woods’ yet in the difficult aspects of their mother-son relationship.

        Aside from that, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (it’s full & formal name) used to patrol for, monitor, and *successfully* confront the police with guns when they started in Oakland, California.

        It was no less than Martin Luther King who said that if there is no righteous cause that you are willing to risk death for in The Struggle that must be, then you are not fit to live!


  5. Child Abuse/Neglect; Is Baltimore Mom Toya Graham Perpetuating Poverty & Prejudice?

    Hello. My writings are based on the nearly twelve years I provided police services to a Rap Hip Hop influenced Brooklyn, NY community. I am told my writings are not always sensitive. I apologize if my frustrations seep into my accounts of personally witnessing child abuse, as well as how it affects developing infants, toddlers, children, teens and their communities.

    With all due respect to Baltimore mom Toya Graham and her admirers, I do not view Ms. Graham as “Mother of The Year” nor do I believe she is a responsible person. Fact is, I believe Ms. Toya Graham is one of thousands of American moms who cluelessly perpetuates poverty, prejudice and child abuse or neglect.

    Knowing the struggles and challenges MANY married couples and single parents with large families face, why would an intelligent, responsible person birth multiple children who she cannot properly care for/supervise?

    Assuming Ms. Graham was raised and nurtured in a community with ‘The Street’ mentality she speaks about, after witnessing the difficulty and challenges other moms with large family’s face, why would Ms. Graham assume the immense responsibility and added stresses of protecting six children from ‘The Street’ mentality prevalent in many poor American communities?

    I’ve met hundreds of moms like Ms. Graham. I’ve met them when they were young immature teens/adults who irresponsibly birthed multiple children they were not fully prepared to nurture and care for on a 24/7 basis, nor had they acquired the means to independently provide for their children, often seeking from their responsible neighbors, monetary assistance in the form of social services.

    Knowing she would have to work her tail off to provide for six children, would a responsible mom birth multiple kids knowing she would be at work trying to earn enough for her six kids to get by on…while at the same time her six children were being supervised by a person who is not their mother?

    Would an intelligent working single mom realize that birthing fewer children will result in fewer stresses in her life and offer a better quality of life for her children???

    Would a responsible, critical thinking person living in a community populated with depressed, angry, frustrated children and adults, many who adopt “The Street” culture to make their living, birth multiple children knowing the struggles and challenges her children will face as they develop into teens and adults?

    Does a responsible working mom who is just getting by, providing her six children with the bare essentials, realize that caring for, nurturing and raising fewer children will result in happier kids?

    Besides meeting hundreds of moms like Toya Graham, I have met hundreds of angry, frustrated, depressed children much like her son Michael. Sadly, I have arrested many children who vent their anger and frustrations on their peaceful neighbors as well as the police responsible for protecting their peaceful neighbors from children who develop into teens and adults lacking compassion and empathy for their peaceful neighbors.

    As I am writing this I am listening to Ms. Toya Graham inform CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “At no time is my son a thug.”

    I realize many/most moms instinctively wish to protect their children. I also understand that in most cases moms realize when their children behave poorly it reflects on them, and denying their child acted poorly is also protecting their reputation as a good mom.

    However, Ms. Graham has stated her son has been in trouble before and in this instance she reveals personally witnessing her son concealing his identity while congregating with other depressed, angry children who conspired via social media to cause mayhem and harm to a shopping mall, as well as police responsible for protecting peaceful people in a public place. I watched in horror as these children threw brick and concrete ‘boulders’ at police, the only words I could think of to describe the children’s action are, “Depraved indifference to human life.”

    In light of this comment about her son Michael Graham not being a thug I am totally miffed at why she is being hailed “Mom of The Year” when she is clearly denying reality?

    I watched a interview with her son Michael who did not appear ashamed or embarrassed that he was identified as a person in his community who attempted to cause great bodily harm to innocent police officers attempting to protect peaceful people from angry, frustrated depressed children. In fact my impression is that Michael Graham is already being indoctrinated into what his mother Toya characterized as “The Street.”

    When my mom told me to be careful in the street she did not want me being struck by a car. When Ms. Graham admonishes her son to be careful in “The Street” she is telling Michael to avoid hanging with depressed children who commit anti-social acts against their peaceful neighbors, including selling drugs, and items stolen from their peaceful working neighbors via burglary or forcible robbery.

    For nearly a dozen years I witnessed on a daily basis the pain children experience from living without true love, true caring, proper guidance and the basic things other kids have…like food.

    I’ve also witnessed the emotional pain and physical damage peaceful people and neighborhoods experience when kids like Michael Graham develop into angry, frustrated, depressed teens because they don’t have things, or feel a true sense of love and connection with their parents, or in Michael’s case his single mother.

    When I hear people talking about poverty I wonder if they realize Toya Graham and the hundreds of moms much like her that I met while serving a predominantly black Brooklyn community are responsible for causing-perpetuating poverty and the prejudice/fear many American experience when they read about or are personally affected by the anti-social acts children like Ms. Graham’s son commit?

    I wonder if Ms. Graham had made more mature, responsible choices before beginning a family, perhaps her son Michael would not develop into a angry young man who chose to join other angry frustrated children in harming peaceful people in their community?

    If instead of having six children and struggling to care for them, why not create a family of two children who can enjoy a better quality of life because mom does not have to struggle attempting to provide f larger family?

    If moms choose to raise their children in communities that are struggling, communities that are populated with depressed angry teens and adults, many who are the victims of child abuse, maltreatment and neglect, why do so many of these moms continue to birth multiple children into these risky environments?

    Isn’t it difficult enough protecting one or two children from “the street” influences of abused/neglected depressed children/teens/adults in the community?

    I would like to know why Ms. Graham and the thousands of moms living in struggling communities believe is it easier protecting six children from anti-social attitudes of other children born to irresponsible moms who also birth multiple children they are failing to properly raise and nurture?

    In this writing I am going to refrain from expressing the anger, frustration and pain I experienced from having to deal with angry, depressed, frustrated, undisciplined, unpredictable, irrational children like Michael Graham.

    Though I will express my disappointment with Ms. Toya Graham and the thousands of clueless mothers much like her who early in their lives make immature, irresponsible decisions that lead to birthing multiple children before acquiring the skills and means to raise and nurture a peaceful child who becomes a success at life…even if success is measured in simply driving a bus, baking bread, enforcing laws, replacing broken street lamps…but most importantly raising fairly happy kids.

    I will also express my anger at moms, who UNLIKE Ms. Toya Graham, blame the police and everyone but themselves for THEIR parental shortcomings.

    Ladies, I am sorry I had to chase your child through “The Street” after your child shoved a senior to the ground, sliced the elder’s pocket open with a box cutter before removing the elder’s wallet and fleeing with me chasing your child.

    I am sorry that when I caught up with your child he or she decided to fight/assault me, forcing me to use lawful physical force to prevent your child from harming me.

    I’m sorry I spent several hours in the hospital guarding your child because he or she was injured when I was trying to capture him/her, thereby protecting more elders from being emotionally and physically harmed by your depressed child.

    Ladies, I am sorry many Americans, the American/international media, and the leader of the free world are characterizing your children as “thugs.”

    I began my police career believing the frustrated, angry, often violent kids in this Brooklyn community were “thugs.” But after a year or so of witnessing many newborns, infants, toddlers, children and teens being schooled and nurtured by immature, irresponsible or apathetic caregivers lacking any discernible child rearing skills, I started viewing these kids differently.

    Using the empathy and compassion my parents, community and educators schooled me to embrace, which being human is sometimes difficult to remember/employ during stressful times, I began to realize many of these kids were doomed to resume the cycle of poverty created for them by their immature, irresponsible caregivers. While at the same time acting on their anger and frustrations with the life their caregivers introduced them to by harming their peaceful neighbors.

    After more than a decade of serving this community I realized there was no point to me dealing with the added stresses I experienced serving a large population of depressed children, teens and adults. I transferred to a new ‘second home’ where I completed my career with a lot less stress and concerns for my personal safety.

    Sadly, the kids in the community could not request a transfer to a more child friendly environment, overseen by responsible caring people.

    Until the leader of the free world, the American Media and my American neighbors honestly recognize the primary reason for why these kids are acting out and harming innocent people, much of the public, including police will continue to experience fear for their safety.

    Let me make it clear that I was also serving/protecting the families of my civilian co-workers, most all were hard-working competent mothers who lived in the community and struggled to keep their children safe from influences of depressed children raised by immature, irresponsible mothers in the community.

    Thank you.

    Related links:

    Read popular American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) lyrics to learn about his love-hate relationship with his mom, his great disappointment with his dad, and about Tupac’s frequent suicidal thoughts.

    Read about Tupac’s anti-social acts and how his drug addicted mother accepted proceeds of the anti-social acts Tupac admits committing against his peaceful neighbors. I have to tell you, reading Tupac’s lyrics brings back a lot memories of the child abuse I witnessed.

    Shawn “Jay Z” Carter (born December 4, 1969) is another victim of child abuse/neglect who raps/writes about the physical harm and fear he caused to his peaceful neighbors and community.

    Again, reading Shawn “Jay Z” Carter caused me anxiety in that I personally witnessed the physical and emotional pain young Shawn Carter caused to individuals as well as an entire housing complex and surrounding neighborhoods.

    In 1987 singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega garnered three GRAMMY nominations, including Record and Song Of The Year for her Top 5 hit about child abuse, “Luka.”

    Suzanne nailed it, parents and caregivers do the most horrific things to their kids, yet many kids will defend their abusers, blaming themselves for their “blues,” bruises and injuries before admitting a parent/caretaker harmed them.

    “Yes I think I’m okay
    I walked into the door again
    Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say

    And it’s not your business anyway”


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