It was the beat down seen around the world. A frustrated mom dragged, pushed and punched her son away from participating in the Baltimore riots, for fear he would succumb to the same fate Freddie Gray would.
Usually IFYouBlinked’s Woman crush is someone that does a heroic, selfless act that benefits others. This week’s choice–Toya Graham–may be the antithesis of that. Yet in some ways it’s not. This brief video symbolizes the role a parent plays everyday (especially in hard knock living areas like B-more) to keep their children safe.
Because really how safe are they? Any one of the encounters that led to the demise of Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown could easily be repeated with any one of our black boys and girls. They have been. Each week presents another lost life by someone with a badge. Lately it’s each day. Heard of Terrence Kellum?
So it’s understandable for Toya to be paranoid. Shouldn’t we all be?
But, in addition to being a mama lion protecting your cub, it’s important to guide them on the right path as well. Everyone has their own solution to fixing a festering problem that has preceded each and every one of our lifetime’s. I believe Toya’s strategy is the best. Teach your kid that violence is NOT the answer. Burning down a much needed pharmacy in YOUR community is NOT the answer.
In turn, white parents need to teach their kids that not all black people are a threat or lesser than.That mainstream media can have a bias slant in their reporting.
That’s not to say we should ignore cops snapping a young black kid’s spine unnecessarily. Continue to protest. March. However, don’t let Freddie, Trayvon and Mike’s unjustified murders be in vain by looting a BestBuy.
Did it work in St. Louis?…Right.
Toya is commended for doing the thing we all should do when a kid is in over his head. If nothing else, that’s the behavior that should be modeled.
XXL magazine reports Wale making the rounds of Frederick Douglas high school alongside Rev. Jamal Bryant to tell the kids they matter.
We need our community leaders to come step forward and we need these kids to understand that somebody believes in them. I believe in them, Jamal believes in them and there’s a lot of people in this community that believe in these kids.
And the D.C. native relayed that he can relate to their hurts:
I’ve been harassed by police. I get it. I’m here to listen first and foremost – I want to know exactly what the problem is because I’m y’all neighbor. I’m D.C. but I hurt like y’all hurt. I see what’s going on
Wale went on to say the images portrayed in the media don’t match what B-more teens are destined for.
These are the young leaders of tomorrow. They have to look in the mirror and see something better than what they’re being perceived as on TV. Even if it’s gonna take me, or whoever, to come down here and talk to them and give them some energy and let ‘em know that that’s not how I see them, that’s not how we see them, that’s not how the good people of Washington D.C. see them.
After the talk Wale led a march to city hall with students following him.
Watch the Wale interview below about what he thinks need to change to heal Baltimore.