I imagine for the people there in the desert, the scene of the parting of the Red Sea must have felt like this, time slowing down even to a pause. Can you picture an army of law enforcement officers lining the streets of Baltimore? Across from them are hundreds, if not into the thousands, of young men and women defiant and angry at yet another death of a young black man. Bricks, as described by this “Supermom” were being hurled toward the police officers. A mother recognizes her son, comes out from behind the shielded rows of policemen and women, goes toward her son and literally snatches him off of the battle field. Now here’s where the parting of the Red Sea reference comes in. I imagine those bricks (like the waters of the sea as they parted) being thrown, suddenly cease as if time paused until this mom grabbed her son and got out of harms way. Then as soon as she cleared the bricks began to fly again.
I don’t want to make light of the situation. As a matter of fact, this is so serious, even tragic on so many levels. I call her “Supermom” because of her absolute courage and concern for her son without fear or concern for compromising her own safety. She should be applauded for what she did. If it were me as a teen 24 years or so ago, my mother would have done the same thing. She would have popped me in the back of my head and grabbed my sweatshirt and literally dragged me with one hand back home. The police would have been the least of my worries! They may have come to check on me to make sure I would still be alive.
But I have a question. Why wasn’t his father the one snatching him out of that situation? Hopefully he is not dead, then obviously I understand his absence and grieve for this young man just for that alone. But this picture is too familiar for about half of young people today and for three out of four black kids today. The front of the New York Post reads, “Send In the Moms.”
While we applaud mothers for all they do in raising us, comforting us, and even protecting us, this is not to be celebrated without pause for the harsh reality that mom highlights who is missing in the picture…DAD is missing!
I will go out on the limb and say that unless dad was out there with his kid(s) looting and instigating violence, many of those young folks were out there because dad is not at home. No matter what the situation and how angry our community would be, when my father was home he too would have kicked my butt if I were out there “acting-a-fool” like that. Now that was a whole other level of fear for me. I didn’t know God at the time, so fearing my dad might as well have been the fear of God.
I grieve for this woman having to be the one to go to the frontlines and “save” her son from further consequences, jail, a record, or even death. I grieve because she is likely raising a son on her own. I know that scenario far too well. For a portion of my childhood, my mom attempted to do that with the help of my grandparents and extended family. My dad was in another state working for a few years, but even when living in the home was disconnected and lived sort of a “rolling stone” life as a young father and husband. I grieve for this young man that unbeknownst to him, is unaware of the misplaced anger that could derail the rest of his life as life often hinges on a decision.
I grieve at the tragedy of yet another dead black man. I grieve at the apathy of my own people when a black man dies at the hands of another black man. I grieve at the indifference of other races who don’t “get it” because ensuing violence often overshadows the pain of another dead body in the black community at the hands of law enforcement.
In the midst of all the grief, I applaud this mother who “saved” her son that day. She very well may have saved a future doctor, lawyer, engineer, or even preacher. I found some good in the midst of all the chaos. I hope that every father sees the video of this woman and decides to not let their wife, or baby’s mother be the one to brave the frontlines and save their sons and daughters. I hope this for my community and any community, for fatherlessness knows no boundaries according to race, by the way.