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Compelling Love: Baltimore Mom Pummels Son And Drags Him Away From Rioting; She Talks About It Today

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last night I posted the video of the Baltimore mom who spotted her son heading toward the thick of the rioting and subsequently tore into him:

Toya Graham, single mother of six, including 16-year old Michael seen in the video, was interviewed this morning on CBS.

Graham explained that she went after Michael in order to prevent him from becoming the next Freddie Gray. In spite of the mask her son wore, Graham recognized him:

“He gave me eye contact. 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.”

“At that point, I just lost it,” said Graham. “I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”

Graham expressed her concern for her son’s safety in their neighborhood and denounced the rioting and attacks on police officers:

“There’s some days that I’ll shield him in the house just so he won’t go outside and I know that I can’t do that for the rest of my life,” said Graham. “I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don’t play that.”

And knowing that about his mom put the fear of God in Michael:

It’s that reputation that made her son wince the second he saw her.

“He knew he was in trouble,” said Graham. “He said when ‘I seen you,’ he said, ‘ma, my instinct was to run.'”

Graham discussed what she thought may have prevented the protests from escalating:

Graham told CBS News she thinks the situation wouldn’t have been as bad if there were more mothers out there monitoring their sons. But she acknowledged there are some circumstances that can prevent moms from from doing that.

“We don’t know where those mothers are at, a lot of mothers have to provide for their children,” said Graham. “You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that’s where they supposed to be at.”

(Sadly, there is no mention of fathers being needed to monitor their teenage sons and rein them in when necessary.)


56 Responses to “Compelling Love: Baltimore Mom Pummels Son And Drags Him Away From Rioting; She Talks About It Today”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. I love that this mom was so compelled by love for her son and fear for his safety, that she just reacted – fiercely and without hesitation. Not only did she keep him safe, she came out on top as a parent and that was just as important. What a difficult job.

    Dana (86e864)

  3. I don’t care what slice of the socio-economic strata in which you grew up. If you’ve got a Mom like that you’ve got a better than even chance of coming through the maelstrom in a good place.

    Captain Ned (cbdce0)

  4. Clarence Thomas’ grandfather kept him and his brother working all summer at a tiny farm he owned outside of the city so they would not get into street gangs. This mother has the right idea.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  5. Nothing but praise for this lady.

    At the end of the day however, the problem is the absence of Fathers. For whatever

    reason. Not pointing a finger of blame on anyone, just; WHERE ARE THEY?

    Have the women driven them away? Is it that the men can’t provide for the family so

    they leave? It didn’t used to be this way. Prior to the ’60’s the Black family was

    strong and unified. The Father was there.

    What Happened?

    jakee308 (49ccc6)

  6. Liberalism happened, jakee308.

    12,000,000 non-minority voters (58a3ec)

  7. no one here thinks she is going to get arrested for child abuse? or at least have custody of her children taken away?

    seeRpea (49f72d)

  8. Fathers just seem to be out of the picture altogether. Rep. Bobby Rush also called only on mothers today:

    “I would like to make a special appeal to African-American mothers across this country. That they begin to use their awesome powers to take back our streets from the daily violence that far too many of our youth, far too many of our families, and far too many of our communities are experiencing each and every day,” Rush said.

    “Beside me today is an image that many across the nation have seen and it’s the subject of conversation all across our country. The image of a strong black mother giving her son what I will call a low whooping — a low whooping — to snatch him back from the senseless violence that is currently plaguing the city of Baltimore, Maryland. As this picture demonstrates, mothers can and mothers must be the mobilizing force to take back our streets,” Rush said.

    Dana (86e864)

  9. An outfit called the fourth estate has an interesting detail about gray.

    narciso (158466)

  10. SeeRpea,

    I would hope not. To me, this was an extraordinary circumstance and the mom’s motives were certainly clear and she had her son’s best interest at heart. Further, given the community and cultural practices, it would be hard to see her get arrested. No doubt she is just one of a whole lot of women in the position of single moms in the area. But she is a mom attempting to do right by her children.

    Dana (86e864)

  11. Narcissi @ o,

    What are you saying? Too cryptic for me…

    Dana (86e864)

  12. Eh, narciso @ 9… Ipad.

    Dana (86e864)

  13. re #10: nah, the Child Social Services agency will use this is an example. Plus the opportunity for a power grab over a public acknowledged incident is just too big a chance to pass up. After all, who is she to know better than professionals? And what about protecting the other children?

    seeRpea (49f72d)

  14. No good deed goes unpunished srp. The detail
    ail might partially explain grays condition prior to the arrest.

    narciso (158466)

  15. He’s 16, SeeRpea. And looks to be six feet tall. I concur with Dana’s assessment. Nobody’s going to “take him or her other kids away”.

    elissa (6a947f)

  16. do you have a link narciso?

    elissa (6a947f)

  17. Narciso’s link

    Although if this was surgery resulting from an accident, it would have been done last year, not last week, since. the settlement documents were originally filed last year.

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  18. Narciso,

    I got mixed up. You were talking “Gray” as in the victim. I thought you misspoke and meant “Graham”, the mom’s name…

    Dana (86e864)

  19. SeeRpea,

    Public sentiment is way in the Graham’s favor. If she were arrested or her kids taken away, there would be a very loud and furious outcry in protest.

    Dana (86e864)

  20. re #19: we can only hope, Dana. Just don’t be surprised when it happens.

    seeRpea (49f72d)

  21. That woman is made of pure awesome.

    *cue endless online moonbat morons puzzled over why conservatives are cheering for a black woman*

    M. Scott Eiland (8d3966)

  22. These punks will never grow up without parents who give a damn. I bet those punks never watched auggy doggy and doggy daddy.
    When a black man has a hero like sharpton or obama, the bar has been set lower than hell.

    mg (31009b)

  23. What you say –

    mg (31009b)

  24. nk seems to have gone AWOL.

    Followup to the Fourth Estate post. Short form…original story may be wrong.

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  25. i’m concerned

    happyfeet (831175)

  26. Not a word about the fathers of the neighborhood. Yes, sad.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  27. “That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray.”

    – Toya Graham

    A valid concern, though I doubt that this is the part of her story that people are applauding.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  28. What “part of her story” is it that you think “people” are applauding, L.?

    elissa (8106d3)

  29. The part about removing her son from a protest/riot. Her action, not her motivation.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  30. nonono too cynical Mr. Levi

    what you see in that video is all just love

    that boy got someone what love him and what else is you can tell he knows it

    and it’s just really special we got to see it on the video like that

    happyfeet (831175)

  31. The motivation, elissa, being “I don’t want him to be killed by police.” In case that wasn’t clear.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  32. Her motivation was that she didn’t want him to be hurt and also that she didn’t want him to throw rocks at the police, because it’s wrong and they need the police.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  33. she was afeared for him

    happyfeet (831175)

  34. “She poignantly added: ‘That’s my only son and at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray.
    I cant imagine what Freddie Gray’s mother is going through. I don’t want to lose my son to the streets.”

    – Toya Graham, from DRJ’s link

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  35. man you can’t write that dialog it just has to flow from the heart of a mom

    happyfeet (831175)

  36. Leviticus,

    Given that neither we, nor Ms. Graham know exactly what happened to Freddie Gray, anyone’s assumption that the police killed him is just that, an assumption.

    Dana (86e864)

  37. kishnevi and narciso,

    This report disputes paperwork being filed for a claim by Gray and a spinal cord injury as well as having had spinal cord surgery prior to his death:

    Online reports are swirling that Freddie Gray had spinal surgery shortly before he died in police custody, and had collected a payout in a settlement from a car accident. Those reports — which raise questions about the injury that led to his death in April 19 — point to Howard County court records as proof.

    But court records examined Wednesday by The Baltimore Sun show the case had nothing to do with a car accident or a spine injury. Instead, they are connected to a lawsuit alleging that Gray and his sister were injured by exposure to lead paint.

    Baltimore attorney William H. “Billy” Murphy, who represents the Gray family, confirmed that the Howard County case was connected to the lead paint lawsuit.


    A 2006 injury case listed in online Maryland court records lists Freddie Gray as a plaintiff, but Downs said that case involves his father, who shares the same name.

    As children, Gray and his two sisters were found to have damaging lead levels in their blood, which led to educational, behavioral and medical problems, according to a lawsuit they filed in 2008 against the owner of a Sandtown-Winchester home the family rented for four years.

    While the property owner countered in the suit that other factors could have contributed to the children’s deficits — including poverty and their mother’s drug use — the case was settled before going to trial in 2010. The terms of the settlement are not public.

    Dana (86e864)

  38. This poor guy really does seem to encapsulate so much of what a child with the misfortune of being raised in that environment has to go through. He really did have the cards stacked against him way long before his date with destiny and unwanted fame a few weeks ago– no matter what he may or may not have done to exacerbate the situation with the police on that day.

    elissa (036f87)

  39. what he may or may not have done to exacerbate the situation with the police on that day.

    It’s a recursive cycle. The consequences of fatherlessness, drugs, and crime are more of the same. What’s going to fund the education in that town? Probably not the thriving businesses that just burned to the ground. When I think that there are politicians whose power depends on the dependency of this desperate place it really burns me up because I don’t see how this gets fixed without some truly bold changes.

    Until then, DRJ’s right. The solution is to move out of there, no matter the cost.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  40. I believe it all stems from absent fathers. One can’t stress how vital it is for fathers to be active participants in their children’s lives. Especially when they hit the rough teenage years. It makes me so frustrated and sad at the diminished value of fathers in our society. It has contributed greatly to the destruction of families, especially in certain communities. And yet no matter how much money the Democrats throw at inner-cities, this issue is rarely hit head-on.

    Dana (86e864)

  41. This Mom was clearly worried her son would be hurt by the police and others, but that isn’t all she said. She also was upset that her son was doing bad things:

    She said: ‘A lot of his friends have been killed. I just want to keep him in the house, but that’s not really going to work.

    ‘He’s been in trouble before. He knows right from wrong but he’s just like other teens, he doesn’t have the perfect relationship with the police in Baltimore.’

    “A lot of his friends have been killed. I just want to keep him in the house, but that’s not really going to work.”

    However, the mother said that none of this excused violence towards the police officers.

    ‘You will not be throwing rocks and stones at police officers. Whose to say they don’t have to come and protect me from something?’ she added.

    I acknowledged the Mom had multiple motives above, Leviticus. Why do you continue to only point out the motive that fits your agenda?

    DRJ (e80d46)

  42. That quote is from my earlier link, the one Leviticus cherry-picked from above.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  43. Wow.

    How about just letting Graham be a mom who’s did right by her son? Does every freaking thing have to boil down to white supremacy -even the love of a mother?

    Dana (86e864)

  44. I certainly agree about the absent fathers, Dana and Dustin. But the emotional developmental issues related to the lead paint in those old buildings, and the mom’s drug use whether during or post pregnancy could have occurred even with a father in the home. Further, the “dads” of these teens are often only in their early thirties themselves and many of them had no role model of what a real father does in their own lives, either. It is a terrible downward spiral that few can manage to rise out of. I’m sure the despair is palpable. Throwing more money at it is definitely not the answer, though. Nor is ignoring the violence.

    elissa (036f87)

  45. The solution is to move out of there, no matter the cost.

    As for the people who make endless excuses for such places and their residents, and vote and think in ways pretty much identical to most folks in blue-blue, true-blue cities, should be picked up by their kister and mandated to live there full time, perhaps for the rest of their life. They deserve to experience the joys and wonder of leftist-urban dysfunction, in surround sound or living color.

    Mark (607f93)

  46. because they’re idiots, and don’t have the sense to get out of the rain, meanwhile a show like
    ‘Empire’ by uber prog Danny Strong, behind ‘the Butler’ and “Julianne’s Bender’ (Game Change)
    are celebrated, because of the behavior they promote,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  47. Dana. Read your link at 43. Do you know Poison Control?
    I think I overdosed on Outraged Social Justice Warrior Outrage.
    Buried in that is a tiny pellet of actual social observation… that physical discipline is more common in inner cities than elsewhere. But I suspect Ms. Graham had tried a “good talking to” on previous occasions and not gotten the desired results.

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  48. Elissa, fair point about the lead paint and drugs.

    I think we all agree that a father is so valuable in a family because he can instill values and provide discipline and leadership. Not only does that help during predictable problems like rebellion of the teenaged, but it can help when a child develops a mental problem or any other really tough challenge that many single parent households wouldn’t cope well with. A strong family can withstand problems that would otherwise send a family into this downward spiral as you put it. But that’s just me preaching. How in the world do we get so many families back on a track that they’ve been off for so long?

    They deserve to experience the joys and wonder of leftist-urban dysfunction, in surround sound or living color.


    You realize we’re talking about mourning the loss of a son, right? That’s quite a lot to say someone deserves by virtue of being a dumb voter.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  49. Does every freaking thing have to boil down to white supremacy -even the love of a mother?

    Dana (86e864)

    I’ve found myself so caustic and bitter about politics that I’ve basically just given up on it and tuned out. I’m even more cynical than ever, but I’m not invested in it anymore. From that point of view it can be very irritating to see everything stripped of its essential reality as multiple sides remake everything into a political argument.

    The concept of Mom getting scared for her kid, and pulling him away from danger, is deleted and replaced with proof of either side’s argument. Is there real news anymore? The alternative media is overtly political, and the MSM is covertly political. No one is in the business of just saying what happened. The savvier among us have developed a nearly unconscious process by which they try to find clues in an article to piece together what the truth is. They do this even when reading from sources on ‘their side’.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  50. Kishnevi,

    I saw that “pellet of truth”, but I don’t think that is at the heart of her piece. It’s lvdhicle to get to her real complaint.

    Dana (86e864)

  51. Elissa and Dustin,

    While the “dads” of these teens might be just in their early 30’s, that does not have to be a negative. It may be more difficult to find ones way, but at other times in our history, it was the norm. When we were an agrarian society and children were essential to helping on farms, men and women quite commonly wed young and had babies in quick succession. It wasn’t unusual. Further, it didn’t always use to be the way it is now with regard to young, irresponsible “dads” in the black community.

    Dana (86e864)

  52. Dustin,

    For me, I avoid the cynicism and bitterness by remaining keenly aware that even politics fall under the sovereignty of God. I am reminded that there is something greater than our leaders and elected officials and that the tides and turns of our country are not without purpose and intent. While I have no clue about the whys and wherefores, I so know that it is true and because of that, I take comfort. And ultimately, when the unjust and ugliness of our day to day realities of politics and life become to much, I also take comfort in that knowledge.

    Dana (86e864)

  53. I appreciate your attitude, Dana, but I don’t see much hope for inner city families right now. However, I do think things would improve if their churches discouraged unwed mothers and encouraged everyone to get married and practice monogamy. I think many churches have outreach programs that effectively undermine both.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  54. “I acknowledged the Mom had multiple motives above, Leviticus. Why do you continue to only point out the motive that fits your agenda?”

    – DRJ

    I misread you, is all – I thought you were disagreeing that one of her motives was to keep her son safe from police. You’re right that she stated multiple motives, one of which was to keep police safe from her son.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  55. You realize we’re talking about mourning the loss of a son, right? That’s quite a lot to say someone deserves by virtue of being a dumb voter.

    I’m talking about liberals like Leviticus, observing a community from a safe distance and apparently comfortable with (or in favor of) the idea that the mother who slapped her son silly was mainly concerned about his being a victim of big, ol’ mean cops and should therefore be wary, cynical and perhaps rather indignant towards such people, as opposed to all the thuggish types running around the son’s community on an average day.

    When the sympathies of a person are so foolish that they reflect such sentiment — of “no justice, no peace!” “Down with the man!” — they deserve to live the experience for themselves 24/7, 365 days a year. That’s particularly the case if they themselves are residing in a very pleasant bubble far from the madding crowd—eg, all the latte-liberal writers such as at penning articles about how it’s justifiable for people in Baltimore to set police cars on fire, etc.

    Mark (607f93)

  56. Lost: South Korean immigrant Sung Kang, 49, was inside his Oxford Tavern store and bar when the looters came in.
    ‘They didn’t say anything to me, they just took what they wanted. I opened this store a year ago. I wanted to follow my dream and wanted to make something for myself.’…. ‘One guy who was rioting was saying: I’ve got a big load of medicine’ – he was bragging about the stuff he stole. I saw people speeding up the road to the mall to steal more stuff. ‘When they came to us they said: ‘You don’t sell no gas, we guna blow you up. What could we do?’ Smashed, looted and burned by the mob – inside the destruction of Baltimore as shopkeepers tell how they fled burning shops and one says he called police 50 times – and nobody came.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

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