The Black Single Mother’s Struggle: Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

Either way, it’s our fault for being poor, black and single with Children.

By now, we have all seen the video of Toya Graham beating her son on live television in front of millions. The response to this has been varied in all communities. Black mothers are echoing this woman’s sentiment. We understand her fear and loss of control. Some of us see this situation as another example of the Black Single mother emasculating and destroying her young black man, humiliating him in front of millions. The video has been shared so much, I’m tired of seeing it.

But let me tell you what this really is. Let’s start with what happened. Toya is at home watching coverage of the unrest in her city and she sees a familiar lanky frame in the midst of what she perceives as imminent danger. She recognizes the child she gave birth to 16 years ago and fear ensues. “Aww hell nawl,” Toya says, as she storms out her house to the location she recognized her child.  When she arrives, its mayhem all about. Her sights zoom in on her intended target, confirming what she saw on television. That was indeed her child in the middle of all this. Toya was not concerned about no damn politics, a television film crew, teaching her child a lesson or educating him on the nuances of societal racial disparities right then. She could do that shit once she got him out the line of fire.

Was she wrong? Oh yes, she was! She was wrong. Do I condemn her? Hell no! We are out here having to raise these young black men without a father’s guidance. We can’t teach these boys how to be men having never been one. We all make mistakes raising these black men out of fear. At the forefront of our minds is how much harder their lives are going to be because they are BLACK MEN and there ain’t shit we can do about it. We do what we have to do to make sure they are prepared for that and keep them alive. But we can’t do it all. We make mistakes and end up doing stuff like Toya did. Only, our loss of self-control isn’t being used as a referendum.

These days, Black Mothers live in a constant state of anxiety. My son leaves my home, there is no rest for me until he walks back through that door. My biggest fear is my child being murdered at the hands of some bigot, then being turned into a thug to justify his death. It used to be Heights!

While the White Media is applauding her for losing all control and assaulting her child, let’s not lose sight of what would have happened under circumstances that didn’t have Toya’s child in the middle of the Unrest.  If this had just been a regular, non-riotous day. Toya Graham would be in jail and her son would be in CPS Custody. To ignore that fact is dangerous. Do not let these white people fool you into unnecessarily beating up your children and getting their approval.  Because honey, trust and believe, they are not going to be applauding your black ass. They will be taking you to jail….

”but…but…y’all just told me to smack my kid around when he steps out of line.” “No black lady, only if he is stepping out of line with our authority, damn yours!”

Black Single mothers are damned no matter what we do. We are vilified, called everything but the child of God. We are blamed for the amount of Gay Black men. We are blamed for the emasculation of black men. We are blamed for wanting to be independent when we are often looked down upon as trying to make some other man our kid’s new Daddy. When children of single black mother’s fail at some shit; WE ARE BLAMED!

A lot of us walk around with the guilt associated with having to raise these babies by ourselves. A lot of us are angry to have to be raising these babies by ourselves. Breaks are few and the pay is nonexistent. We’re constantly on call. We miss a work day, the household finances will be thrown into disarray. And regardless of how we ended up a single parent, it is ALWAYS our faults when our children go astray of what we’ve tried hard to teach them.

I hear a lot of you asking “WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PARENTS OF THESE RIOTERS?” Probably at work, SHIT! People have so much judgment to throw around and it’s exhausting trying to be every gotdamn thing you think we should be. Whether or not our circumstances are our faults are not; who the hell are you to judge Toya or any other woman who feels it necessary to do whatever it takes to protect their children? Until you have had to lead this thankless life, shut up.

Toya Graham is not a hero. She is a sister who did what she felt she needed to do to protect her child. If that’s the case…WE ALL SOME HEROES IN THIS BITCH! There were mothers snatching their sons up off the streets during the Civil Rights movement, during the LA Riots and every moment of black unrest in History. Toya is no different from them. None of us are. Being faced with the situation of your beloved child in imminent danger will make you lose all rationality, common sense, forethought, logic, and wherewithal. You are not giving a damn about who is around, who’s watching, who got their damn cell phone camera on! You are trying to get that baby, that beautiful child that you would walk through a hail of bullets for, out of danger and safe back at your damn house. What sensible parent can’t understand that thought process?

I know Toya regrets her actions. Faced with a similar situation when my son was 16 and I lost control, I regretted it soon after. But my baby was not dead. So fuck that regret! I’ll live with all the regret on earth if that means Isaiah Johnson can live to meet his potential. So, fuck you and your judgment on how I go about making that happen.

BLACK FOLKS WITH THAT RESPECTIBILITY POLITICS BS AND OBAMA: Please shut up. Please stop telling me that I need to beat my child into submission in order to keep him in line. That is exactly what White Supremacy teaches your black asses and has all throughout history. You are conditioned to believe that sparing the rod will lead your child down a path of destruction. A path that leads to being shot by police. No Negro! This is White Supremacy telling you: Beat your child into submission so we won’t have to shoot them. Teach them not to defy us or WE WILL! Maaaaan, fuck you all. WHOLEHEARTEDLY! Mostly for echoing and cosigning these devils like some damn Signifying Monkeys!

Don’t you see what they are doing? What you are helping them do?

Oh and stop quoting Martin Luther the King to back up your ignorant arguments. The Good Reverend Doctor understood the hearts of his people who were constantly ignored, stepped on, belittled, berated, jailed, lynched and missing.  Even if he didn’t condone the violent reaction of rioting, he could not ignore the injustices to his people that caused them to behave so irrationally and desperately. Be more like Doctor King if you gon quote him like Jesus…mmmKay!

WHITE MEDIA, FOX NEWS AND WHITE PEOPLE IN GENERAL: You are not fooling anyone but these New Blacks I was speaking to above with this agenda. You are purposeful with your derision and condemnation of the black community. Yet you never seem to find fault with your precious white sons and daughters when they tear up shit after their favorite coach gets fired, or their sports team loses, at a Pumpkin festival, at a Surfing competition, after a football team lost, after a baseball team WON! (Yes all real situations)

You will not distract me by turning Toya Graham into a referandum of what White people feel all black parents should be like. Snatching up our kids and beating them down, publicly humiliating them so you all won’t have to get your hands dirty doing it yourself. After all, this is post-racial America. It would be frowned upon to snatch him out his house and string him up while thumping the bible to justify it. So you use your exaggerated view of black criminality to justify murdering our babies in broad daylight. “That boy was too black, I feared for my life.” Nah, I’m not sleep. A lot of us aren’t sleep. Which is why we’re out here like this rebelling against this lopsided ass society!

You’re using Toya. Soon as you’re done with her, you will throw her away to the place you throw all the black people who gain your attention just long enough to serve as an example on how to be good lil sycophantic Nigras. Toya had the unfortunate reaction she had to her fear and ended up unwittingly becoming a spokesperson for White people’s disdain with Black America. That’s not her fault. Stand behind her and her boy.