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To the Mother in Baltimore

photo credit: Toasty via photopin (license)
photo credit: Toasty via photopin (license) Text added by me

To the Mother in Baltimore,

I saw the video. Everyone has seen the video. Everyone is posting it and tweeting it and talking about it.

I want to say thank you for doing your job as a mother and doing it well.

When you saw your son taking part in the destruction of a community you did what you had to do. I don’t condone violence against children, but your son appears to be approaching the age of full-grown manhood. In that case, I think you did the right thing.

You reminded your son you can still beat his butt when he’s acting childish.

You berated him for his unacceptable actions.

You attempted to remove his mask in order to make him show his face and take responsibility for what he had done.

You did everything you could in those few moments to remind him that you are his mother and he was most definitely not making you proud.

I admire the fact you took action.

I admire the fact you showed him who’s boss.

I admire the fact you wouldn’t let him hide.

I admire the fact that you were probably petrified he may wind up arrested, injured, or dead, and you did what you felt was necessary to keep him safe.

I admire the fact that, from what I’ve seen, you love your son and desperately desire for him to be an upstanding citizen in society.

You don’t know me. We’ll never meet. But I wanted you to know that, as a fellow parent, I’m inspired by you. I’m proud of you. And I think you’re a damn good mom.

If you’re not sure what video this addresses, you can see it here.

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8 thoughts on “To the Mother in Baltimore

  1. Life With Teens and Other Wild Things

    Got to admit, I’m disappointed.

    I’m not proud of that mom. I don’t think her actions were the right ones.

    I’ve been trying to put myself in her shoes. Trying to see past the moment of EXTREME stress- she had to be scared out of her MIND that her kid would end up bleeding in the street, another victim of senseless violence. And, in those moments, NONE of us is at our best.

    So, I don’t condemn her. I don’t think she’s a horrible mom, or a horrible person. I don’t think any of us can judge, based on a single moment in time, another’s parenting.

    With that said, however, I haven’t shared the video or related memes. I don’t think that a mom attacking her (even grown) child in public is something to celebrate, even in these extreme circumstances.

    There’s something bigger here. 1) Where do you think that boy learned that violence is an appropriate response to anger and stress?

    2) This mom was likely terrified that her son would be injured or killed as a result of his participation in the rioting. As a mom, I wonder, would *I* be equally, viscerally terrified? Or would I be afraid that my (lily-white) son would be arrested and I’d have to bail him out?

    The incident paints a much bigger picture than fits neatly into a box or a meme. I’m saying prayers for that Mom, for her son, for all of us. We’ve got to figure this out. Somehow.

  2. Robin

    To the person Above, I’m glad you pointed out that your son is as you put it “lily white” and thus you have a much greater chance of bailing him out as opposed to burying him. I think that mother was terrified that her son would end up like the young man who died In police custody and thus reacted in a way that likely saved him from being arrested or worse.

  3. Ariannae

    To the lady above –

    Parents like you are why we have out of control kids.
    Sometimes the situation calls for physical action like the Baltimore mom gave her son.

    I’m an Asian mom, and we tend to be strict but our kids know we care and love them. They’re not out looting stores, drunk driving or busy getting high.

  4. Kimberly Rice

    What the two women above said plus cultural norms that you are clearly not acquainted with. You have no idea what that mom was going through. No idea how that kid grew up and no idea what would have had the best impact on his reckless behavior. How dare you judge a woman who risked her own safety in a riot to save her child from what could have been his own death. Try not to trip climbing off of that high horse of yours.

  5. Ashley Mullen

    YES! Kimberly you said it perfectly! She is a mother doing what it takes to make her child safe during an unsafe time!

  6. Kathy Dolan

    I Say Bravo to that Mother. This woman saw her son, and all that kicked her into full gear was that she did not want her son risk his life in retaliation for a life that was taken. Wrong, Wrong Wrong!

  7. Dolores Goff

    To life with teens and other wilds things.
    I think your name says it all. You obviously don’t have a clue lady, of what it means to raise a decent law abiding citizen in your children. I bet your the kind of women that lets her children run wild, and run you as well. This women is a HERO in my book. She did what ALL mothers are afraid to do , in this day, and age, because of all of the child abuse laws that are keeping parents from disciplining their children at all, for fear of going to jail, because of it, AND, if it was one of my kids, you can be dam sure that I would of been out their doing the same thing , if it was one of my kids vandalizing other peoples property like that.. Like that other women said, GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE,LADY, and learn how to discipline your own kids !!!!!

  8. DM Farm

    I am not white, I am clear. My family immigrated from all walks of life from European shores. Sixty years ago, I would not have been considered “white” due to that ancestry. I am not a perfect person nor a perfect mom. My kids know I love them and will be their greatest advocate when it comes to standing for what is right and protesting injustice. However, they also know that if I EVER catch them behaving in the manner of that young man, no matter their age, I WILL do the exact same thing. And do the same to any of their friends till all the kids are safe home.
    But then I’m honest with myself, as so many refuse to be.

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