Toya Graham, the “Baltimore Riot mom” heralded for forcefully removing her teenage son from the chaos, is a hero in the eyes of many Americans.
Even though she recently said she didn’t feel like one, most of the media and American citizens have praised her for taking decisive action in refusing to allow her son to be a part of the looting and burning that has sieged the city since Freddy Gray died in police custody.
But for Salon columnist Joan Walsh — the woman pictured above — Toya Graham shouldn’t feel like a hero because she abused her son and in doing so became a “surrogate” for “white America.”
Walsh lambasted the actions in a recent column entitled, “The hideous white hypocrisy behind the Baltimore ‘Hero Mom’ hype: How clueless media applause excuses police brutality.” Here’s an excerpt.
“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.
“The debate over the moment Graham says she ‘lost it’ is complex. There’s a parallel black debate going on that, as always when it comes to racial issues, is richer and more nuanced. 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 s**t out of them.”
To say that Walsh’s piece was met with ridicule would be an understatement. And as she points out, it’s not just the Fox News/New York Post types, who had harsh words for her.
Take this rebuke from a commenter, who claims to “ordinarily” like Joan’s articles.
“I normally like your articles — but you are so way off base here. THIS type of thinking is why we have a generation of kids that are completely and totally useless and will continue to be useless into the future and will, eventually, be the death of this country. This is the kind of reasoning that leads to 12 year olds dictating to parents. Why we have 8 year olds that have the table manners of toddlers. This woman acted out of love and fear for her son. And her son obviously had the respect for her that he reacted the way he did — and that respect of her extended to his friends. This wasn’t a oh, you’re grounded, give me your cell phone but here’s the iPad. I’m not sure I can support your articles any longer. I’m very, very disappointed. You’ve completed lost credibility with me.”
What do you think about the actions of “Baltimore Riot mom” Toya Graham, and specifically, what do you think of the columnist, who ridiculed her for “abusing” her son? Sound off in the comments section.