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Michael Singleton: The Proverbial Son of Baltimore

Christopher Harris

Like most kids growing up in the 70’s and 80’s (and previous generations), my parents didn’t spare the rod, so I was far from a spoiled child. I was raised by parents who believed and told me that I was a reflection of them. My Bible tells me in Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) that parents should, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”  My parents worked very hard to set a good example and create a standard of conduct for my sister and I to follow, and I have to say, they were great parents.  There were definitely clear, unambiguous rules, with clear and unambiguous punishment established for violation of the rules. But for me, as I got older, it was more about desiring to meet the standard, rather than fearing to violate the rules.

I recognize that it could not have been easy for my parents to raise a child like me. I wasn’t a bad kid at all…but I’ve always had my own mind, and sometimes I was mischievous, and a little too slick for my own good.  I do vividly remember the one time that I had a real  “stuck on stupid” moment, and I embarrassed myself, and embarrassed my parents. Proverbs 1:8-19 (NKJV) encourages children (boys in particular) to “Shun Evil Counsel” and specifically to “not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path.”  I got caught up with my friends, and decided to go against the way I was raised, walk in the way with those I knew were doing something wrong, and do something I had no business doing.

This is immediately what came to my mind when I heard about and saw Toya Graham in action. Who is Toya Graham? She is the “Super Mom”, from Baltimore, who recognized her teenage son, Michael Singleton, taking part in the riots, throwing rocks at police, and generally acting a doggone fool. When she found him, she promptly went upside his head, on live tv, for the whole world to see. Because she loves her son, she decided not to spare the rod, Proverbs 13:24 (NKJV).

Baltimore Riots - Toya Graham - Super Mom

She is later quoted as saying, “He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” and that “At that point, I just lost it. I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”

Many people, including the Police Commissioner of Baltimore, Anthony Batts, and former Black Panther Party member, U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL-1st), applauded her actions for “giving her son what I would call a ‘love whopping” to snatch him back from the grips of senseless street violence plaguing Baltimore.”  

Proverbs 15:20 (NKJV), speaks of the disrespect a foolish son shows to his mother by his actions, and Proverbs 17:25 (NKJV) speak of the grief and shame that a foolish son brings to his parents. Apparently, even before the riots in Baltimore, Michael Singleton was well on the path to self-destruction, caught up in the very same things that have brought grief to far too many mothers in the past. Ms. Graham said, “He has been in trouble before, and he knows right from wrong. He’s just like the other teenagers that doesn’t have the perfect relationship with the police officers in Baltimore City, but you will not be throwing rocks and stones at police officers.”

Baltimore Riots - Michael Singleton - Weed & Gun
In this picture,  you can be clearly, who appears to be 16-year-old Michael Singleton, holding a gun and smoking something that looks like a marijuana “joint”.

Ms. Graham knew what she was up against dealing with a teenage son as a single mother. She said “You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that’s where they supposed to be at.”  Ms. Graham  was later quoted as saying, “As long as I have breath in my body, you will not be on the streets selling drugs,” and “You’re just not gonna live like that. Not with me.”

The real shame is, there are those on the Left, like a writer from the Huff Poo (yes, I said Poo) who chose to try to turn Ms. Graham’s words and actions into an anti-White, and anti-cop statement in an article entitled “Dear White America: Toya Graham Is Not Your Hero”. But if you read Ms. Graham’s own words, she makes it clear that she’s not at all anti-cop, when she says, “At some point, who’s to say that they don’t have to come and protect me from something, you know? And they might not want to knowing that you’re bringing harm to them. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and at the end of the day I just wanted to make sure I had gotten my son home.”

Proverbs 29:15-17 (NKJV) gives hope to parents, and tells them that when they actually invest the time to correct their children, they will eventually be a delight to them. Michael Singleton now acknowledges that he was embarrassed when his mom showed up and started whoopin’ on him, but he was actually not that surprised. He said, “Everybody knows my mama. All my friends know my mama.”

Apparently the whoopin’ did some good, because in an interview with World News Tonight, he said, “I understand how much my mother really cares about me, so I’m just gonna try and do better.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 (NKJV) tells children to “Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” It seems that Michael is now on a different path, with a potentially much longer and brighter life, because of his mother not sparing the rod, and him being humbled in public. He has since left Baltimore, and has been in Los Angeles. He’s been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be involved in helping to promote a new computer coding class at Los Angeles Trade Tech Community College . I guess Toya Graham can start to sleep a little better at night, knowing that her tough love helped straighten out the Proverbial Son of Baltimore. Well done Ms. Graham, well done.


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