In the past few days, tensions in Baltimore have escalated to violent levels. Riots have consumed the streets with innocent people being caught in the crossfire of demonstrations, looting and all out belligerence.
While I never advocate violence, as Chris Rock once said, “I’m not saying it’s right… but I understand.” People are pissed off (both black and white), angry and, mostly, feeling helpless as another African-American man, Freddie Gray, was killed by police (this time as a result of being gravely injured while in custody).
With few other options, the streets of Baltimore have become ground zero for drawing attention to the inequities that plague our society. Need proof that this shit is grossly out of control? Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” reported that more African American men are in prison and jail, or on probation and parole, than were slaves before the start of the Civil War.
And, while many have attempted to peacefully express their concerns about the improprieties at hand, few in power pay attention until rage-fueled retaliation impacts lawmakers where it hurts — in their ability to generate revenue.
As businesses are shuttered, baseball games are cancelled and citizens flee for the safety of their homes, an outcry for a reasonable resolution takes center stage. (It’s a sad statement of reality that few take notice until the President comments, or CNN provides coverage, on the situation.)
However, breaking the law is still exactly that… breaking the law. Attacking police officers, robbing stores, burning cars and engaging in activity that would be considerably frowned upon is, no matter how you slice it, illegal.
It’s important to note that these are not random acts of anonymous disregard for society’s established guidelines that somehow just happen. One person throws a rock. One person lights the match. One person encourages others to take matters into their own hands.
Check out this video to find out…
I know what I would do. I’d bitch slap his ass all the way home… just as this ‘mother of the year’ did. (No, seriously, many people are suggesting that she should receive an award for being Mother of the Year. Being from Chicago, I’d vote for her more than once.)
As parents, we are responsible for creating upstanding citizens who positively contribute to the well-being of our society and the world at large. Her son was out of line. He was breaking the law. He was taking advantage of the situation to engage in activity he would NEVER be a part of under other circumstances or if his mother was watching.
But she was. She saw his disrespectful behavior on TV. She went down to where he was. And, she did what any right-minded, law-abiding parent should do:
She took matters into her own hands (both her left and her right hands), took responsibility for, and ownership of, her child and kicked his in-the-wrong tail all the way home. (Damn, what I would have paid to be a fly on that wall — if she beat his ass like that in public, I can only imagine what she did behind closed doors.)
I’m not saying there weren’t alternative courses of actions she could have taken. I’m not saying that raising a hand to a child, let alone using it for discipline is right. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t have let her emotions get the best of her… but I understand.
Let the debate ensue.