As much as I love the vitally important “is ‘thug’ the new N-word?” debate, dumping on a mom for literally dragging her kid away from a riot that could have gotten him killed or sent to prison is my very favorite of this week’s many Baltimore hot takes.
How hot do you like it? Do you like it hitting-kids-is-bad-mmkay hot?
Extensive research shows that using harsh verbal discipline and physical hostility is counterproductive to good parenting. It increases the risk of delinquency, fighting, misbehavior and belligerence in teens. Science Daily reported that “harsh verbal discipline may actually aggravate” problematic behavior in teens. Shouting and insulting teens just doesn’t work long term. You are more likely to positively modify teen misbehavior by calmly and maturely discussing the consequences of the misbehavior…
Just like cursing doesn’t work, hitting children is also ineffective discipline. Physical punishment actually increases violent behavior among youth. According to the American Psychological Association, “adolescents who were more likely to engage in fighting, bullying, and victimization of others reported that their parents engaged in corporal punishment as a disciplining method.”
I can’t not read that in the voice of Mr. Van Driessen, but the author does concede at the end that “[Toya] Graham should be praised for being a caring parent with pure intentions,” leaving this hot take with a rating of “mild.”
If you’re looking for something with more heat, may I interest you in hitting-your-black-son-is-a-vestige-of-white-supremacy spiciness?
In other words, Graham’s message to America is: I will teach my black son not to resist white supremacy so he can live.
The kind of violent discipline Graham unleashed on her son did not originate with her, or with my adoptive mother who publicly beat me when I was a child, or with the legions of black parents who equate pain with protection and love. The beatings originated with white supremacy, a history of cultural and physical violence that devalues black life at every turn. From slavery through Jim Crow, from the school-to-prison pipeline, the innocence and protection of black children has always been a dream deferred.
While Graham did not literally lynch her son Michael, she metaphorically strung him up for the world to see — in hopes of keeping him alive…
The intensity of this fear is integral to the history of black Americans. Just as black parents have “the talk” with their children, listing survival tips for when they are confronted by white authority, black corporal punishment has been encouraged as the only way to make black children acceptable to society.
Could be. Or it could be that, amid a crowd of rioters, horrified at the thought of her son joining in and with her own safety at risk, she lost her temper and instinctively showed him she meant business when she said it was time for him to go home. The reason what she did resonated with so many parents, black and white, isn’t because they enjoy watching white supremacy in action. It’s because they can imagine their own horror at watching their kid throwing bricks at cops and admire her for having the balls to put herself in danger to get him out of there. What parent or would-be parent can’t respect a mom who’d do that for her son?
Anyway, I rate this take “atomically hot.” What do you think, Michael?