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Roughly Speaking podcast: The 'Baltimore Mom' and why whupping kids is wrong (episode 235)

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    Remember Toya Graham, the ‘Baltimore Mom’ during the unrest that hit West Baltimore on the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral in 2015? She was videotaped grabbing, berating and slapping her teenaged son in an effort to pull him away from the other teenagers who threw rocks at police near Mondawmin Mall. Graham’s actions were praised as heroic, but our guest today, Stacey Patton, offered a dissenting opinion in the Washington Post. In 2008, Patton, a journalist and assistant professor at Morgan State University, wrote a memoir, That Mean Old Yesterday, about how, as a foster child, she had survived a childhood of abuses, including whippings at the hands of her adoptive mother. Patton did not expect to write about corporal punishment in black families again, but, because of Toya Graham, Patton is back on the subject with a new book, “Spare The Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America,” an important and convincing argument against a common and widely accepted practice.

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