Today I read the news about a Black mom facing charges of second-degree assault and strangulation after authorities say she beat her daughter’s middle school teacher to the point of unconsciousness. At first when I saw this headline, I chuckled, only out of the fact that it took place on Long Island and I know the school district. But upon informing myself more, I’m really sad to see another story of our system set up to keep Black women held behind. While major news outlets lead the story with headlines of the Black mom as the aggressor, what they make sure to leave out until the middle of the story is that this mom was reacting to the claim that the teacher “put her hands” on her child.
So I want to break this down.
I’m not saying the mom in this story is right for hitting the teacher (though I’m not exactly saying she is completely wrong either), the main problem here for me is that this teacher put her hands on this child. For those who didn’t grow up with a Black woman in their household—to “put their hands on my child” is a statement we know to mean serious business. Continue reading