The Hero Toya Graham: Villains of progressive failure collide on the streets of Baltimore

Toya Graham is being branded “mom of the year” by the same media who spent much of last year trying to ruin the career of Adrian Peterson for essentially the same thing. The NFL football player nearly had his life ruined for hitting his child with a switch—a practice common in the south, and among the older generation. Yet an intrusive society guiding an intrusive government that has stepped in and taken over as the parents of children has directly created the kind of situation that can be seen so eloquently in Baltimore—a per capita population without two parents in the home, hoards of children raised on the government tit dependent forever on tax payer resources for basic sustenance, and a severe lack of understanding of basic economic principles. The government with all its intrusiveness created the inner city problems seen in Baltimore so it was a bit odd to see that so many were so quick to praise Toya Graham. If there were not riots in the streets threatening to destroy the city, she’d likely be arrested and thrown in jail. Kids know that about their parents these days, so they have lost respect—because government has superseded—and eroded the authority of parents.

In our family there was a guy who was not the sharpest tack in the box, who married into the family through a divorce situation to raise children who weren’t his own. He had anger issues and lots of little psychological problems, but he at least tried to instill in the kids a sense of right and wrong—some structure to live their lives by. One of his step daughters started wanting to cat around with boys and pushed the limits of the rules for a few years, like many kids do—and he got physical and smacked her around too much so to show her where the limits where. She was sneaking out at night putting her in much more danger. The kid told teachers in the school who then called human services and soon the police came and arrested the guy—and put him in jail. He was at the time a six figure earner who was socially, a successful person. After his stint in jail over his daughter, he quickly declined as a person over the next several years and eventually lost his job, and his family. He never really got over that embarrassment. The state had intruded on his family and ruined his authority and the cost was enormous—basically another family destroyed because the male figure from within it was neutralized.

Government has positioned itself to be the end all in all debates domestic or economic. In the workplace they’ve made it so that employees can run the asylum just through threats of discrimination, abuse or a lack of fairness. In some cases employers like the clueless father do sometimes abuse their authority, but when such mistakes are made, the family often sorts out the issue better than the government does. The end result of government intrusion is inaction—so nothing happens to correct bad behavior. That’s far worse.

I never really had to punish my kids. I viewed discipline as being at wit’s end with children, and I have plenty of wits. Sometimes anger is needed, when children push things too far. But most of the time the respect they have for you is enough to leverage them into doing the right things. Generally, at their basic foundations, people want to do what’s right by people they respect. If government interrupts that respect process, they are ruining the relationship of the parties involved which ultimately creates massive neighborhoods of poor people like what was witnessed in Baltimore.

Adrian Peterson, the NFL running back, one of the best in the game, a star on the field and a pretty good person off the field came under fire beating his four-year old son with a switch and breaking the skin. For that action Peterson was rung through the media wringer for a year as commentators suggested that he should lose rights to his son, lose his career and go to jail with all the other miscreants. Likely, Peterson was trying to establish in his son the type of discipline that was enacted upon him when he was a boy. Its learned behavior in how the parent establishes themselves in the dominate position within the family. Kids need that framework so they can identify who they need to listen to. When government sweeps in and puts the parent in jail all they are doing is replacing in the child the dominate authority figure. The government uses force as well as the parent. When the guy in our family was arrested they weren’t nice about it—they stripped him down, did cavity searches and if he resisted in any way at all they threw him about like a rag doll—in front of his kids. That guy essentially lost his authority with those children that day under the force of government. The government could pretend they were helping the kids, but in all reality, they were hurting them by destroying in their lives the symbol of authority they were supposed to look up to. The violence still happened, it was just transferred from the child to the parent showing the family that dad didn’t know best–that government did.

So it was quite shocking to have so much praise thrown at Toya Graham for beating the living snot out of her son during the riots on national television. For government, they were out of answers; they created the slums of Baltimore, they made the people overly dependent and they were out of answers as those thugs, miscreants, and diabolical loons burnt down their city. When a parent actually went out into the street with violence on her mind to apply some discipline to her out of control son they suddenly praised her, because they were out of answers. Arrests and abuse of prisoners is all the authority of the state can muster, and in this case they killed the kid, Freddie Gray while he was in custody. Police often beat their prisoners just like out of control parents beat their kids—because they can. They lack the wits to apply any other method. When Gray died, a bunch of people lacking wits acted out angrily and the monster that the state of Maryland had created had no other recourse but to destroy the world around them. Toya Graham to her credit was trying to being some sanity to the situation because at least she had enough personal value to know that what was happening was wrong.

Yet Adrian Peterson was trying to instill in his son those values before that kid ever ends up on the streets, and that’s what the switch was all about. I wouldn’t have done it, because I have developed other tools to deal with kids besides hitting them, but for those who don’t have those tools, it is better to have something, than nothing. Because the nothing is worse than the violence of the state in destroying families and the values built within them. Toya Graham is a product of the state, a single mom of six kids who has trouble stinging together complete sentences—more a product of her environment than of her intellect. Yet in spite of those handicaps she at least tried to do the right thing by her son when the rest of society was trying to give him a license to destroy the world around him. But if she had been Adrian Peterson, a celebrity NFL player, instead of being placed on national television as a star she would have found herself submissive to the dominatrix tendencies of the state and the perpetual desire of it to exert control. This whole event is a progressive nightmare brought to reality by a lot of really stupid people. But, at least in Toya Graham’s case, her child might actually have a chance at life, because kids need their parents. The state is not an adequate replacement—and in their desperate hour, the police of Baltimore were crying out for more parents like Toya Graham when on any other day they’d likely be the ones arresting her for abuse.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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