A Baltimore mom who earned national fame by finding her rioting son and smacking him upside the head before dragging him home inspired a special plea in the halls of Congress on Tuesday.
Toya Graham spotted her 16-year-old son, Michael, among the masked miscreants Monday, and promptly swung into action, pulling off his ski mask and slapping him as she pulled him away from the crowds. “You want to be out here doing this dumb s–t?” she was captured telling him on camera. As he tried to get away from her, she continued, “Get the f–k over here. Get over here now. Did you hear what I said?”
“He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” Graham told CBS, adding she was “shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”
“He knew he was in trouble,” the mom said. “He said ‘when I seen you,’ he said, ‘ma, my instinct was to run.'”
On the House floor yesterday, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) propped up a picture of the mom, saying it was “is time now for black mothers to once again rise up.”
“Beside me today is an image that many people across the nation have seen and are talking about. The image of a strong mother giving her son what I would call a ‘love whooping’ to snatch him back from the grips of senseless street violence plaguing Baltimore. As this picture demonstrates, Madame Speaker, mothers can and must be the mobilizing force to take back our streets. Mothers feel the pain of the loss of a child unlike any other. The primal scream of a mother at the death and sudden departure of her child is unlike any other outcry known to mankind,” Rush said.
“…This mother is demonstrating the power of a mother’s love and the power of a mother’s courage; she walked into harm’s way, directly to locate her son demonstrating a power that is beyond imagination and selflessness.”
To honor Graham “and the important role that all mothers play in taking back our streets and ending the violence plaguing communities across the nation,” Rush called on America’s mothers to wear yellow on Mother’s Day “in a symbolic show of solidarity to create a ‘Mothers in Yellow’ movement to end violence that plagues this nation’s communities and neighborhoods.”
“Simply put,” the congressman said, “senseless destruction of your own neighborhood is not protesting it’s pillaging. It’s not political, it’s pillaging. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Rush, a former Black Panther and born-again Christian, lost one of his sons in a South Side shooting in Chicago in 1999.