Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Mama's Think-Aloud about Baltimore

A little mood music:  Momma by Kendrick Lamar.  His new album is so timely given all the injustice and frustration of the moment.

This post is about the love of a mother and my conflicting feelings.  I needed a space to think aloud, and Facebook just isn't the place. It's way too volatile.

I'll start this post by stating that I am anti-spanking. Yes, I know my little one is still an infant, but trust, she's starting to test the waters.  Her father and I are committed to trying to go a route that detours corporal punishment.

Over the past few days, folks have been posting the Baltimore mom. The posts have had a "LOL, get him, girl!" tone to them.  She's being heralded as a hero.

I had a new revelation this morning as I watched the Baltimore mom again this morning, and tears started to roll.  There's NOTHING like a mother's love.  NOTHING.  I told my mama I love her in a new way since having Little Miss TJ. The sacrifices I make with no thought about making them astounds me when I step back and really think about it. I know that what that mother did, she did out of love and fear - an immeasurable amount of love for her son and fear for his future. I get it.  I really, really do.  I understand going into the trenches for your child.  I'm not here to judge. As a matter of fact, as first I was like, "Go, head, mama!!!" and wondering if I'd do the same if I were in her shoes. Then I kept watching the news and they showed the news clip over and over and over ad nauseum.

Here comes the however . . .

The more I see the Baltimore mom being lauded in the media for smacking her son around, the more questions I have.  I'm starting to wonder why so many people are cheering, especially people in the media who typically eschew violence and are asking people to remain peaceful in the midst of the chaos.  Do people think Black kids are inherently deserving of physical punishment?  Research shows that Black children are generally exposed to harsher punishments (even our babies), particularly at school, so has society just come to the conclusion that Black children need to be handled in tougher ways.  Would the pundits who are cheering beat their children? Are they cheering due to the context of the situation?  Would they cheer her on if she was beating him for some other infraction?

I don't have any answers, just questions.

Until next time . . . I'll be over here trying to do the hardest job in the world - parenting. I'll also be lifting all of the mothers and fathers in Baltimore.  I have no idea what it feels like to be in their shoes.