A Washington Post guest writer who berated Americans for applauded the mother who walloped her teenage son and yanked him from a Baltimore riot got an earful Thursday from parents who know exactly why they were cheering
“It’s called parenting,” as one Twitter user put it.
In a column headlined “Why is America celebrating the beating of a black child?” author Stacey Patton argued that the incident perpetuates the image of the “angry black woman.”
“In this country, when black mothers fulfill stereotypes of mammies, angry and thwarting resistance to a system designed to kill their children, they get praised,” she wrote.
She went on to quote Toya Graham, the mother, in a statement that she didn’t want her son “to be a Freddie Gray.”
“In other words,” wrote Patton, “Graham’s message to America is: I will teach my black son not to resist white supremacy so he can live.”
In that sentence, Patton moved Gray from being a common felon with a long rap sheet to a liberal cause célèbre — a revolt against “white supremacy.”
And “white supremacy” is really the thrust of Patton’s argument — that the beatings inflicted on black children by their mothers have their origins in the antebellum South, when slave owners and overseers beat their slaves.
“The beatings originated with white supremacy, a history of cultural and physical violence that devalues black life at every turn,” she argued. “From slavery through Jim Crow, from the school-to-prison pipeline, the innocence and protection of black children has always been a dream deferred.”
Her column unleashed a firestorm of protest in social media — here a a few examples:
— Vulpes Inculta (@miguelquntero) April 30, 2015
— Tina Alley (@Blani_) April 30, 2015
@DrStaceyPatton You think blacks rioting and looting is “resistance to a system designed to kill their children”!? Fighting black police!?
— Benjamin McLean (@McLeanBen) April 30, 2015
@DrStaceyPatton You and your article do nothing but propel racism into the future. You’re part of the god damn problem!
— Mykro (@MykroBeatz) April 30, 2015
— JenniferنBossypants (@ajenable) April 30, 2015
— Vipsania (@Vipsania) April 30, 2015
“Patton is a senior enterprise reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, an adjunct professor of American history at American University, and the author of ‘That Mean Old Yesterday,’” according to the Post.
In short, her life is firmly rooted in the ivory tower of academia. Perhaps if she were to reacquaint herself with the real world and its real world problems, she’d be cheering this single mom along with the rest of us.
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