Single Mom Toya Graham Revered as a ‘Hero’ for Abusing Son who Participated in Baltimore Riots

I find it utterly stunning that many in the media and public in general are calling a “hero” single mother Toya Graham who after seeing her son participating in the Baltimore riots, began beating him and smacking him about the face and head.

First, had a father been filmed doing the same, the outcome most likely would have been very different. He likely would have been arrested for child abuse, and the media would have likely excoriated him for beating his son. But as many know, there’s a double standard when it comes to mothers, fathers, and parenting.

It seems for the most part that when a mom, especially a single mom, does what’s expected of all parents, she’s called a “hero.” When they, both married and single mothers, commit crimes against children such as child abuse and murder, it’s often rationalized away and thereby excused as mental illness. On the contrary, when a father does the same thing, he’s demonized, castigated and beat down to no end and without mercy.

I’m not excusing such behavior, but couldn’t a father who perpetrates such things also be mentally ill? Of course, but you will NEVER find anyone in the media towing that line, NEVER.

Back to the Toya Graham in Baltimore, in article after article such as this one she’s called a “hero”, and in another article she’s actually referred to as “mother of the year” and I think it’s utterly disgusting, and it shows just how low society’s expectations are for single moms.

First, you NEVER smack a child across the face, NEVER. Additionally, you don’t beat a teenager, period. Spanking, for those who utilize it as punishment, should end at what, 5-6 years old? That mother clearly assaulted her son, and there are no criminal charges, no CPS, no recourse, nothing. Again, had a father done that, he’d surely be arrested and jailed.

I submit that that domestically violent single mom was not a hero, but in some ways failed as a parent. I say that because had her son been raised properly, she never would have had to pull him from the riots because he never, not in a million years, would have ever even considered throwing bricks and rocks at the police had he had even a modicum of respect for the law and law enforcement.

In this interview she talks about how she doesn’t want her son to be another Freddie Gray. Additionally, I read articles where she talks about the harm police have done to people she knows.

What I haven’t seen is her talking about how her son should respect police. And based on what I’ve seen and read about her, her concern, utimately, was her son’s life, not her son’s disrespect for police.

Her worry is her son some day being killed by police and hence what she did. That’s a very different motive than teaching her son to respect the police. So given that perspective, that she’s worried about her son’s life, and not about her son’s disrepect for law enforcement, it’s even more disgusting that she’s being called a “hero” and “mother of the year.” It’s sickening, period.

I was by no means an angel as a child. I too was raised by a single mom by choice and although I was out of control, I NEVER would have even considered doing such a thing to the police. And the fact that Michael Graham was doing such a thing speaks to how he was raised.

Now, to Ms. Graham’s defense, a parent can do everything right in raising a child. They can be the perfect parent and raise their children in a happy, loving environment and yet all children will make their own choices and in some cases totally defy their upbringing by doing things that shock everyone around them. As parents, we can only do our best.

In closing, I really do find it utterly repulsive and highly offensive that Ms. Graham is being called a “hero” and “mom of the year” for doing what EVERY parent with normal morals, mores, and norms would have done had that been their child participatin in a riot.

But yet again, it demonstrates just how low the bar is for single moms, and how nearly everything they do causes them to be worthy of praise, worship, and heroine status.

Why is no one asking her why she’s a single mom? Why is no one asking her how many different men have fathered her six children? Why is no one asking her where the fathers of her children are?

I’m so sick and tired, especially when it comes to black men, how the media and most of society just assume and presume that when it comes to fatherless children, especially fatherless black children, that the dads are willingly absent.

I will concede that some are, but I will argue that the majority of black fathers are NOT willingly absent from their children’s lives. Rather they, like fathers of all races, are forced out of their children’s lives by both the courts and the mothers themselves.

There’s a lot of money involved when it comes to single moms by choice forcing fathers out of their chidlren’s lives, and it’s a highly paid legal extortion ring known as “child support” that they won’t willingly give up, even when it means sacrificing the raising of their children in the best manner possible.

To those such as the Baltomire Police Commissioner Anthony Watts who say, “they wish there were more mothers like Ms. Graham,” I say shame on you, YOU are part of the problem. And to those who say, “bring in more mothers like her,” shame on you too! What should be asked is, “where are the fathers,” and what should be demananded is “bring in the FATHERS!”

Fianlly, and the those who want a true hero mom and not only a mother of the year, but mother of the century from Baltimore Maryland, then look to someone who really is just that, and whom is a mother that raised very distinguished children who have made our country a much better place; Sonya Carson.

Baltimore mother Sonya Carson, mother of the famed Head Pediatric Neurosurgeon from John Hopkins (retired) Ben Carson IS a true hero single mom, and she should be what all single moms desire to be, not someone like Tayo Graham who had to stop her son from launching bricks and rocks at police.


Tony Fantetti
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights
Email: tony.fantetti(at)ocffr(dot)org

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