Toya Graham definitely has quite a few people singing her praises while others are begging to differ. It all started when a video surfaced of her giving her 16 year old son a frantic beat down for participating in the Baltimore riots. She was crowned a hero by those who felt that she was doing just as a mom should to keep their children out of harms way. She's even been dubbed #MomOfTheYear on social media.
On Monday, Toya caught her son with rocks in his hand during the riot. While many felt that he was standing up for the lives of young Black men and shouldn't have been stopped, his mother only saw what the potential outcome of his participation could have been. In my opinion, she did, what she had to do. As mothers, our main priority will always be our children. She went out and got him because she didn't want him to be harmed or arrested. Had something happened to him, the world would have viewed him as just another protester arrested, injured or killed, but to her, he's her only son.
Several reporters and media outlets have expressed their perspectives on the situation as well. While those who have interviewed Toya and her son feel she did the right thing, a few others aren't sold on the thought of her being a hero. In fact, they feel she's anything but a hero. She's been called everything from a child abuser to a coon. Her motive for doing what she did may still be unclear to some, but most moms should understand where she's coming from. She wasn't trying to be a hero, spark a movement or make any kind of statement, she was simply loving her son. She chased him out of fear and not anger as some of the media may have previously assumed.
Whether people love her or hate her for what she did, the experience has definitely granted her a great deal of fame that I hope will elevate her in some way. She even got a call from Oprah herself, which is pretty cool if you ask me. I'm not a fan of child abuse of any kind, but I don't feel that what she did should be classified as abuse, she didn't seem to be hitting him hard at all. She was really just chasing him down and swinging frantically. That was her moment with her child that the world just happened to see. Social media makes it happen that way these days. Something so small that may be the norm in some neighborhoods, turned into a viral story that has the world divided on whether or not we should be celebrating or condemning Toya Graham. If you ask me, I say lets not do either. Let's just let her go back to being a mom.