Sur­pris­ing hero­ines who wield author­ity

Re­spon­si­ble moth­ers can keep their chil­dren in line

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mon­ica Crow­ley

When I was about 13 years old, my mother sat me down to read me the prover­bial riot act. I hadn’t done any­thing to ne­ces­si­tate it; it was a pre-emp­tive strike on her part to make sure that her newly teenaged daugh­ter stayed on the straight and nar­row.

She punc­tu­ated her litany of “don’ts” — drugs, al­co­hol, boys — with a spe­cific con­se­quence that made a deep im­pres­sion. She had al­ways taught my sis­ter and me to re­spect author­ity — the mil­i­tary, law en­force­ment, teach­ers, other par­ents, all adults. So on the day of the riot act read­ing, she said that if I ever did any­thing to war­rant an ar­rest, she would wait a day be­fore bail­ing me out of the pokey.

Of course, I was more afraid of her than I was of the po­lice.

At the time, my mother’s ap­proach was the rule. Sure, there were par­ents who were more lax, who just didn’t care or who weren’t around much. But they were the ex­cep­tions. Most par­ents taught dis­ci­pline and en­forced bound­aries.

To­day, the whole­sale break­down of the re­spect for author­ity is shak­ing the foun­da­tions of the na­tion. Re­spect for our uni­fy­ing in­sti­tu­tions is slid­ing.

Many pub­lic schools are plagued by vi­o­lence and chaos. Teach­ers are afraid of their own stu­dents, who of­ten in­tim­i­date, threaten and as­sault them. Ad­min­is­tra­tors are of­ten loathe to in­ter­vene on be­half of their teach­ers, know­ing that back-up from the unions and par­ents is un­likely.

The left has re-ac­ti­vated its war on cops, us­ing tragedies like the deaths of Michael Brown and Fred­die Gray to paint them as trig­ger-happy racists, thereby un­der­cut­ting their moral and le­gal author­ity. The ef­fect has been to ham­string the abil­ity of many in law en­force­ment from do­ing their jobs. Ap­pre­hend­ing a bad guy or spend­ing count­less hours de­fend­ing your ac­tions to In­ter­nal Af­fairs and in the court of pub­lic opin­ion? That’s be­com­ing an ever-eas­ier call for many cops.

Left­ist judges rou­tinely leg­is­late their agenda from the bench. An ac­tivist New York judge uni­lat­er­ally halted the pol­icy of stop and frisk, which al­lowed po­lice to con­fis­cate weapons from sus­pi­cious char­ac­ters, sav­ing count­less lives, pri­mar­ily in mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties. The left­ist mayor re­fused to re­in­state it.

A state judge told me re­cently that af­ter he had sen­tenced a gang­banger to more than 50 years in prison, many col­leagues be­rated him for “ru­in­ing the young man’s life.” There was lit­tle sym­pa­thy for the young vic­tims who hap­pened to be on the play­ground he shot up.

Many of our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers ap­pear less in­ter­ested in serv­ing and pro­tect­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple than in em­pow­er­ing and en­rich­ing them­selves. And that same cor­rup­tion has dis­eased much of the me­dia, which is sup­posed to ex­pose such malfea­sance.

At all lev­els, in most ma­jor na­tional in­sti­tu­tions — with the no­table ex­cep­tion of the mil­i­tary — the in­mates are run­ning the asy­lum.

The sad and dan­ger­ous re­sult of this kind of cor­ro­sive­ness is the dis­so­lu­tion of na­tional co­he­sion.

And it all be­gins with the break­down of the fam­ily and the nat­u­ral dis­ci­pline it im­poses.

Restora­tion of those things must be­gin one fam­ily at a time, as it did last week, when two Brook­lyn moth­ers in­flicted some tough love on their teenaged daugh­ters, who had al­legedly at­tacked a 78-year-old wo­man af­ter she had asked one of them to re­move her feet from a sub­way seat so she could sit down. The girls fol­lowed her off the train and then al­legedly at­tacked her, “punch­ing and kick­ing her mul­ti­ple times, in­clud­ing in the head and face,” ac­cord­ing to po­lice. They es­caped by board­ing an­other train, but not be­fore be­ing cap­tured on surveil­lance video.

When their ap­palled moth­ers saw their daugh­ters on tape, they promptly marched them down to their local po­lice precincts to face the mu­sic. The vic­tim has re­cov­ered, and her al­leged at­tack­ers have been charged with as­sault.

These moth­ers’ ac­tions re­call those of Toya Gra­ham, who was home watch­ing live news cov­er­age of the ri­ots and loot­ing in her Bal­ti­more neigh­bor­hood last year. When she spot­ted her 16-year-old son, she charged into the streets, found him, scolded him in front of the cam­eras and marched him home.

“I’m a no-tol­er­ant mother. Ev­ery­body that knows me, know I don’t play that,” Ms. Gra­ham told CBS News. “He said, ‘When I seen you,’ he said, ‘Ma, my in­stinct was to run.’ ”

She said when they made eye con­tact, he knew he was in trou­ble.

“At that point, I just lost it,” she said. “I was shocked, I was an­gry, be­cause you never want to see your child out there do­ing that.”

She was im­me­di­ately cel­e­brated for im­pos­ing much­needed parental dis­ci­pline — and car­ing enough to do it.

If we had more of that go­ing on in Amer­i­can homes, we’d have a stronger, more sta­ble and co­he­sive so­ci­ety.

Fol­low­ing the two Brook­lyn girls’ ar­rests, a New York Po­lice De­part­ment source told the New York Post, “More par­ents, if their chil­dren do wrong, need to step up like these moth­ers did.”

No word if they waited a day to bail their daugh­ters out of the pokey. Mon­ica Crow­ley is editor of on­line opin­ion at The Wash­ing­ton Times.

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