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Toya Graham became a media sensation on March 27, 2015 when she forcefully removed her only son from the Baltimore Riots. Basically, it was the slap(s) seen around the world.
Mulitiple media outlets, reporters, policymakers, and citizens have their opinions about her actions. Some people support her and others think that she took it too far. However, her praises brought about questions regarding what other mothers should be doing and questions their parenting decisions. By mainstream media praising one mom, they have been diminishing the work and actions of many other moms out there. But Graham's answer to "Do you think strong mothers can keep these kinds of things from happening" was the perfect response.
There are mothers that took off work early in order to intercept their children from joining the riots and there are others that have to work hard (sometimes multiple jobs) to provide for their chidren. Additionally, not evey boss is understable when it comes to situation like this. Not every boss or business is "mom/parent/family friendly." Especially minimum wage employers. Turn around is high and employees are easily replaceable.
Graham's answer bought about a very neglected truth. There are many mothers that are out there providing for their families. To suggest that more mothers need to be out in the streets to wrangle their children back into the home is unrealistic.
People are fearful about the outcome of the next generation and urges society to nurture them. Mothers cannot be expected to nurture the next generation when all of their time and effort is dedicated merely to providing for them. If we want to be able to raise a socially conscious activist generation that has the knowledge to build a collaborative voice to peacefully promote positive social change, then we need to start with making positive social changes for the generations raising and teaching them. Especially, if we want to prevent the next generation from appearing like the examples shown in Kain Carter's Thoughts On #FreddieGrey Protest. We want more individuals like the gentleman interviewed by ABC7 WJLA, that understand that are more peaceful avenues that can be taken.
This new Civil Rights Era goes beyond race. It's a Human's Rights Era that is focusing on race, gender, and social economics. Women and mothers of color fit in all three categories. Making positive social changes and not diminishing their work will help to elevate the next generation.
Read more at Equal Pay for African American Women (pdf).