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Mothers Matter-Time for More Tough Love

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On my recent business trip to Switzerland, one story dominated the coverage on America—The Baltimore Rioting. I couldn’t understand the Swiss newscasters, but I saw the live-action coverage. A participant question during a break help me realize the impact of such coverage, “Is the treatment of blacks by the police in America getting worse?”


I confided that there was a big difference between the peaceful demonstrators and the majority of those taking advantage of the situation to loot and destroy. Bad police officers exist, but the vast majority are good men and women doing a tough job as fairly as they can. I stated that I didn’t think there was more abuse, just more video recordings and media outlets ready to put anything negative on the air before they had all the facts.

While searching the Internet back in the hotel, I watched one, strong mother, Toya Graham, slap her son dressed in a facemask and hoodie and drag him away from the scene.

As we approach Mother’s Day, her response is a good start for what we need from far more mothers in America. This mother of six went into the heart of the riots to bring her boy home. Good mothers have been doing this for generations. They taught us right and wrong and dished out a heavy dose of tough love when we made the wrong choices.

The President and all the politically correct leaders are calling for better policing and more dialogue and understanding across the races. I think America needs far more no-nonsense Toya Grahams willing to take back control of their kids.

My mother passed away last year, but I know very well the kind of one-way “dialogue” she would have had with me if I’d taken part in any violent rioting or looting:


“What were you thinking! You know very well that what you were doing was wrong. No son of ours should be out there throwing bricks, shouting at the police or taking what isn’t theirs!

Don’t you tell me everyone else was doing it. You aren’t everyone else. So don’t you blame them or give me anymore excuses. Don’t you blame the police either. You are going to have to handle your share of bad police, bad bosses, and bad people in your life. You want to get even? Succeed anyway.

And if you think I embarrassed you by dragging you away in front of your friends and those cameras, you embarrassed us by bringing shame on our whole family by your actions. Next time, I won’t bring you home; I’ll take you over to the police station and let you spend a night in jail! Do you understand me?

Now, is this radio all you stole? Is there anything else? Empty out your pockets. You know what you’re going to do? When this rioting calms down, you’re going to take this radio back to that store. You’re going to apologize for your actions, take money out of that fund you’ve been saving for those basketball shoes, and you’re going to pay for that radio.

No, you can’t keep the radio. You know what else you’re going to do? You’re going to help that owner clean up his store every Saturday until his store is back to normal. You’re right; no one else will have to do this. But you aren’t nobody else. You’re my son and you’re responsible for what you do.


Starting this Sunday, you’re going back to church with me. We started giving you more freedom, but you proved today that you haven’t earned the trust that freedom requires. God didn’t leave us ten ‘suggestions!’ Those are ten ‘commandments.’

Dad’s coming home soon. You go to your room, start praying, and start thinking about what you’re going to say that will convince him that you’re sorry and ready to change.”

This Mothers Day, thank your mother for caring enough to apply the tough love you needed.

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