April 28, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) While Freddie Gray was laid to rest yesterday, corporate media outlets amplified the Baltimore Police Department and the mayor’s calls for “peaceful protest.” However, tensions heightened when the City of Baltimore decided to use militarized violence against high-schoolers that were calling for justice for Freddie Gray. MSNBC mimicked those calls for peaceful protest yesterday, but this morning on MSNBC’s show “Morning Joe” two MSNBC hosts advocated for a certain kind of violence: child abuse.
In a video shared by “Morning Joe,” a mother strangles her son with his mask and then slaps and hits him repeatedly in the face. As she abuses her child on national television, MSNBC host and former Congressman, Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) commentates: “Baltimore police officers asking parents to actually step in and try to do something to help out yesterday to bring the city under control during the riots… and one mother listened. She was captured on video discipling her son. Now, how many parents can relate to that?… Doing what any good, strong mother would do. God bless her for doing that.”
Also captured on MSNBC’s video, is Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts praising the mother’s violence at a press conference last night,
You have one mother who grabbed her child, who had a hood on his head, and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents that took charge of the kids out there tonight.
It looks like Americans, in general, are also praising the beating of this child with the hashtag #MomOfTheYear trending near the top of Facebook’s most popular topics.
However, under Section 3-601 of Maryland law, the violent Mother’s actions constitute second-degree child abuse:
(d) Second-degree child abuse.-
(1) (i) A parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for the supervision of a minor may not cause abuse to the minor.
If Baltimore police observed a parent behaving like this in any other circumstance, the child would be taken from them by CPS and the parent would be charged with child abuse. Does the law not matter when police are being protested? Is it ethical to call for nonviolence and then advocate for violence when it is convenient?
The video has since been posted on the MSNBC Facebook page where MSNBC hails the abusive mother as #momoftheyear.
Check out the video below:
UPDATE: There’s been a lot of feedback and I think it’s important to note that this is not as much about legality, as it is about the moral hypocrisy of the state, media, and American population. Violence cannot be condoned and praised in the same breath. And of course the police and other institutions that uphold a status quo driven by oppression and greed are far worse than any of Toya’s actions.
A fantastic deeper analysis by Sheena Howard on why hailing Toya Graham as #momoftheyear is problematic can be found here. In short,
The subtext here is that if kids are not peacefully protesting it is ok for parents to use violence against them and it is viewed as ‘passionate discipline’. The ‘Mom of the Year’ crown that has been bestowed upon this parent is the subtext that if Black people were parenting their children right, Black boys would not be out in the street protesting. However, if unarmed Black people were not being killed at an alarming rate, Black people would not be in the street protesting. – Sheena Howard
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