Chris Rock once infamously joked that while the general consensus is no one should ever raise a hand to others, “there’s a reason to hit everybody.” Old men. Babies. Politicians. Neighbors. You can catch a right hook for most anything. “Ain’t nobody,” the comedian said, “above an ass-whooping.”

Somebody should have passed along that memo to the “good Samaritan” in this video. Looking to “help” a young mother calm her crying toddler as she lunched in the cafeteria of an Albany hospital, the woman asked if she could be of assistance. But instead of walking away after the mom told her to “F*** off!” the woman pulled up a seat at the mom’s table and proceeded to talk to her child.

Not smart.

Words were exchanged. Curses flew. So did some spit. And when the mother leaned in and pointedly told the woman to get up from her table, stop talking to her kid and leave her personal space, the woman swatted at the mom’s hand, and, well, the mom proceed to slap the taste out of the woman’s mouth.

Of course, security was called. And within seconds, half the lunchroom full of white folks and men in uniform surrounded the mother (she appears to be Latina), looking on with scorn and making whispered demands and getting the mother even more agitated while the “Samaritan” continued to sit at the table, antagonizing the mother and chastising her parenting skills.

The slap isn’t, in my opinion, what’s most egregious about this incident, though. Not be a stretch. It’s the audacity of the woman and all the other good white folk in the room—the videographer included—who:

  • Leaped to all kinds of conclusions about the mother and her childrearing skills.
  • Assumed they knew better than the mother did about how to deal with her own baby’s tantrum.
  • Had not one second’s worth of give-a-damn about calling the cops on her—a move that could have easily landed the mother in jail and her baby in child protective services.

Of course, I’m clear that it’s never, ever okay to curse out or slap strangers in public or to behave in such a way in front of children. As good as those Miss Sophia Moments (a la The Color Purple) feel, I know that this kind of release could easily have serious consequences—particularly for women of color and our children. Truly, you put yourself in an incredibly vulnerable position, particularly when white folk and their judgment and itchy 911 fingers are involved. Our nation’s foster care system is full of children who were put there because “good Samaritans” took it upon themselves to “intervene” in the parenting choices of Black and brown folks.

But that’s how white privilege and supremacy works, isn’t it? It gives some white folk the thought and right to meddle in the affairs of mothers of color, then stand around in their “perfection” while moving the heavens and the earth to punish us for not parenting their way.

That’s what allowed the “good Samaritan” to walk across a crowded cafeteria, offer her “help” where there was none needed, and smugly post up at the table, her hands folded on her lap while she waited for security/police/authorities/fellow white folks to watch the loud, foul-mouthed child be carted away—not for abusing her child (last I checked, letting a toddler cry is a valid mom tactic for getting said child to understand that tantrums are a no-go), but for refusing to cede control to the good white lady. Privilege also made it quite easy for the Greek chorus of men filming and joking about and judging the mother to co-sign the actions of the “good Samaritan” and leap directly to “the police should arrest her for assault,” without acknowledging what was right there on the camera: it was the “good Samaritan” who physically touched the mother first.

Go ahead and watch the video at the 40-second mark.

The mother didn’t hit first. She hit back.

SHE. HIT. BACK.

She didn’t instigate the incident. She didn’t ask for help. She told the woman she was good and that she had full control over her child. She asked the woman to leave her and her baby alone. She made clear that what she was doing both with her child and on the phone was none of anyone’s business. And she is right about all of that. Maybe she was on the phone (in a hospital), telling a loved one that a family member was dying, or that a friend was on the mend or, hell, that it was Tuesday and she was tired and she needed a break. IT IS NO ONE’S BUSINESS. And certainly no one’s right to assume that she’s a bad mother.

But no one can ever SEE wrong in the white woman’s actions. Only the young mother of color. Wow.

I wish we saw how security handled the matter. I’m going to assume that the little sister was told to leave the premises and that the officers stood around WITH the white woman talking about the uncontrollable, foul mouthed mother and her “shortcomings.” I’m also going to assume that no one questioned whether the “good Samaritan” was a criminal or a child snatcher or plain crazy and in need of detaining while authorities figured out whether she was trying to hurt the mother and her baby.

I know one thing, though: the “good Samaritan” knows now that “ain’t nobody above an ass whooping.” I’m not saying I would have reacted in the same way. But, as a mother of color who’s faced off against the judgment of white strangers, I’ll borrow from another Chris Rock joke to say this: “I understand.”

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

69 Comments

  1. My question is, why you got me ready to fight someone on a Monday morning?!

    I put myself in her shoes. Because I have spent way too much time in a hospital with a small child and a mother that was terminally ill. I could not believe this! Like how is any of that okay? You don’t post up at somebody’s table and just neglect everything that was being said. It’s infuriating to watch so I can only imagine what it was like to experience.

    Like you said, this is white privilege at it’s best. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go breathe for 5 minutes before resuming my day.

    • I agree and I needed to breath for a few minutes after watching this. The sad thing is everyone jumped to assume the mother was wrong but ANY MOM would feel violated if a stranger refused to get away from her children. And she’s sitting over her food and breathing all over everything as if it were her right! So very frustrating… And the comments from people standing around did not help either. UGH.

  2. This makes me embarrassed for all white people. I don’t blame that mom one bit. That woman had no right to intrude into something that is none of her business. I can’t believe her arrogance as she continued to sit there when the mother asked her repeatedly to leave! If she really cared about that baby at all, she should have left. That proves she wasn’t really trying to help in the first place.

  3. This is why you are my ninja TURTLE!!!

  4. Yes! Thank you for this post.

  5. Wow, this hurts my heart. Although I can’t say for sure I would react the same way or not. The lady inserting herself into the mother’s save is wrong. Once the mother said to leave and that she doesn’t need help then that was her cue to leave her alone. As you said she could have been a child abductor or sex offender, the mother has a right to not be harassed by a stranger.

  6. The mother was not wrong the white woman should have been removed and talked to the woman clearly stated that she wanted to be left alone.

  7. I hope the people who taped and posted this video read the comments and realize how ridiculous and prejudiced they are — agitating for a woman to be arrested because she asserted her rights to insist an intrusive woman move away from her child. Every time one of them comments that “she should be arrested; where are the police?” I cringe. This is the assumption that white privilege begets, and this is the reason why we fear the police. The presumption that security and/or the police would validate the intrusive woman’s behavior and arrest and punish the woman of color.

  8. Thanks for posting this. She stood up for every black mom whose every been out and had to fend off the stares from white women who assume your not a good mom just because of the color of your skin. That lady got what she deserved!

  9. Are you serious?! And that woman continued to touch her child even after all that. I’m yelling at the video like “lady! Leave that woman’s child alone!” And the guards are surrounding her continuously asking what’s wrong after she explained 100 times already. I feel for that lady. Like she was in the Twilight zone where no one can understand why a mother would be threatened by a complete stranger touching and talking to her kid! Please don’t let this happen to me.

  10. the comments people are making on video…horrible…hope all is well for mom and HER child!

  11. Whew! This is hitting too close to home. I am dealing with something similiar. My black son goes to a predominant white school and they jus cant understand my world. And im so sick and tired of thier ignorance and insensitivity to the few other cultures at the school so much so that the school called cps on me cause they were concerned that my son was scared of me (to bring home bad notes) Really, he better be scared of me unlike their kids that cuss them out and all other forms of disrespect. But i am so torn cause i want to yank him out of school but i know its not best for him. But its hard looking at them lily white folk thinking to themselves that they did good. When only they have made my poor son feel like he has done something awful to the family cause the police came to our home, then a social worker and then i had to take him to doctor to have his body looked at with fine toothed combed. And all of these people interrogating him. OF course the charges were “unfounded” but this experience was unnecessary and i am undecided on how i want to deal with the school. Now i have spoken with principal and she let me know how torn she was cause we know each other and my son has been there for a couple yrs and i am always on campus volunteering. Really everything went in one ear n out next cause it took everything in me not to cuss her out. Im trying to sensitive to the position she was in but it is extremely hard. I would love some feedback

    • They would not be getting one more red cent from me. Nope. Why do you say that pulling him from that environment is not good for him?

    • I am not a mom, but my mom has been a lifelong teacher. My brother and I grew up in separate schools. I went to public and he went to a nearby catholic private school. I know my mom came to that decision based on who we were as kids, what we wanted out of our education (as much as you can at 15) and where we felt the most comfortable.

      Two items to keep in mind as you make the incredibly difficult decision to determine your son’s educational future:

      • This school (and most schools) clearly prioritize one element over another: their educational institution’s name and reputation. Above the students, teachers and parents.

      • Despite the ridiculousness of the school’s actions, sometimes the kid is able to separate the drama / pain adults cause versus going to school, since he is actually experiencing it everyday. I’m sure you have already discussed everything with your son, but just periodically checking in that he’s telling you what he wants out of his school, instead of telling you what he thinks you want for him. My brother used to clam-up all of the time for that reason. He was terrified to tell my mom the truth. Is he reasonably comfortable? Does he have at least one or two friends that he can trust? Because that’s all you need to survive any level of school.

      Don’t let the ignorance of others let you get distracted from your goals for your family. It sounds like you’re doing everything right if you want to stay at this school. Keep being buddy-buddy with the principal. Keep volunteering (only if it means you’re not losing your dignity by hanging around these idiots). Throughout your son’s successes and failures in the near future, he will sadly be dealing with this type of ignorance the further he goes in life and the higher he climbs. It’s better that he learns the most effective method of handling this institutional ignorance now with your influence.

      Maybe one day he will figure out a way to prevent any family from experiencing this type of judgement. You never know.

      • Sepiaesthetica

        Wow. I’m dealing with a situation at my son’s school that is very different, but similar enough that your advice is very helpful to me as well. Thanks. 🙂

    • Vicky you are a brave woman and I’m so glad you’re teaching your son to be brave. I think your situation is an example of how our society has become to reliant on rules. I’m assuming something happened that triggered a teacher to “do what they are legally obligated to do” which is if there is any sign of danger to the child the teacher has to call social service department. The law was made because too many children weren’t getting help despite “the signs” In the 70’s the world was a lot different. The book “A child called It” written by the man who as a child didn’t get into social services until he was practically skin and bones is a great example. Now it’s gone the other way, I would even believe them if they said that by contacting social service they didn’t realize how that would negatively affect your family. I would also believe you if you said they’re not that insightful. I think the situation could be used as a moment to remind your son the importance of maintaining the family unit and what we need to do to prevent history from going backwards. I suspect there are people in your community would prefer we resume segregation and you are being brave for fighting it. This article on busing in Boston might be helpful for your son to understand why it’s important for him to show people what it means to be black. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/06/boston-busing-crisis-years-later/DS35nsuqp0yh8f1q9aRQUL/story.html

      Ultimately you have to do what is best for your son. Thank you for asking for feedback. God Bless.

    • Vicky, I apologize that I don’t have the time to posts much of an answer as I would like right now, but I wanted to touch base and say this. You must do all you can to figure out why you are seeing some behavior issues. It could very well be that while this is a good school, it might not be the place for him. I speak from experience as the mom of two biracial daughters. We live in a community of about 12,000, with fewer than 1% being black. One seems to be a social butterfly and have very few problems. The other was bullied, and it greatly affected many of the choices she made during her teenage years-many of them not good. I couldn’t see it then, but a couple years of counseling, and us learning how to just talk has really opened my eyes. She wanted to go to another school, but that just didn’t seem possible at the time. It would have meant doing several things that were inconvenient such as driving her to a different town each morning, finding a job that allowed me to leave at a particular time and pick her up each day, additional gas money, fees associated with attending as a non-resident, etc. I wish I had sucked it up and realized the difference a change could have made. Maybe your son doesn’t need to change schools. I don’t know. I’m just saying make sure you do everything possible to figure out what is really going on with him deep down. And don’t even get me started on cyber bullying! I must go, but I will be praying for you and your situation. I wish you and your son/family all the best.

  12. A stranger comes and sits down and interferes with parental rights and the mother, rightfully, gets incredibly upset with a woman who is too stubborn to understand she has violated that mother’s rights. I strongly hesitate to bring race into this situation in that there are several factors that stand out to me. The first thing is that, in our society, medical personnel are being given an incredible amount of authority over our children. There are increasing numbers of “medical kidnappings” occurring because of medical intervention in a parenting decision. The interfering woman appears to be employed at the hospital where this took place so probably had the mindset that she knew better than the child’s mother. Let’s be clear here. She never should have interfered.

    The younger mother brought unnecessary attention to herself by raising her voice and is the reason so much attention was attracted. However, if someone was insinuating themselves in my parenting in public , I’d be pretty upset myself. I noticed in the video that several people walked up to the interfering woman trying to draw her away. It’s extremely obvious that her presence is the sole cause of the disturbance. But the woman would not walk away.

    I don’t think the issue is skin color..I think it’s sheer stupidity mixed in with the medical establishment’s feeling they know better than parents. Because this type of medical interference is happening to white folk too. Forcing medical decisions on children whose parents disagree with treatments. Removing children from the home and placing them in foster care so the state has authority to enroll the children in clinical trials that parents did not want them in. Changing laws to force parents to vaccinate according to recommended schedules when research and even physicians disagree about the true benefit of such recommendations. That’s where I think the superior attitude came from. The guys filming obviously worked at the hospital too based on their comments.

    If, indeed, this incident was race motivated, that interfering woman is a shameful piece of humanity. Because every mother has the right to protect her child. How much longer it will remain that way in America is anybody’s guess.

    • Jan, since you don’t think the issue is race related, reverse the roles. If the woman causing the disturbance was black or brown with a white woman and her child, do you believe it would been the same response and outcome? Absolutely not! Time to remove your blinders hun…

      • Exactly a woman of color sitting snd harassing a white mother would have been arrested… Race and social class have everything to do with how this played out. Shame on that nosy busybody!

      • It’s a no win situation. The meddling woman thinks it’s her duty to protect the child. The mother thinks it’s none of her business because there isn’t a problem. To some extent, they are both right. If the mother were negligent or abusive, then the meddler would have had scorn heaped upon her had she just ignored it. So the meddler inserts herself. At the same time, the mother feels put down and reacts against that, which I would have done the same. Once the wheels were in motion, there was no turning back for either woman. At the point that they started touching each other and weren’t stopping, there was only one answer: call security. The natural place that security first goes is the one who is most emotional, and that is the mother, even though she didn’t start it, but that’s how they are taught to do things—to bring it under control, and shouting makes a person seem out of control.

        Both women could have made other, better choices. The meddler could have kept her distance. The child was in no immediate danger. The mom could have moved away when the meddler wouldn’t and called security to complain about the woman following and harassing her.

        Fwiw, I think it’s more of a class and culture issue. Some people think that a crying child should be comforted, no matter what, and it’s why a lot of middle class parents have spoiled, whiny, controlling kids. That seems to cross color lines. Also, a lot of rich white people spend a lot of money at tanning salons to get skin that color, so the mother’s skin tone would definitely be considered white skin by many people, just a more desirable shade of white. 🙂

  13. I have seen this before. The white kids act, she just needs to mind her business, but… she thinks she knows best for that child. See many not all, would allow there child to run around and act like a fool. When I hear some of the things that my son comes home to tell me about his classmates, and how there parents allow foolishness. I’m so upset about this. Mind your business. If she wasn’t abusing her child then mind your business. If you wanted to talk to the child, you better ask the mother first.

  14. This is awful. They totally disrespected that young mother. The worst is the ignorance of the guys that filmed it. How could they not see how intimidating that white woman was being? How can we show the mom she was in the right? Any idea where this was filmed? I wonder if we could organize a some kind of sit-in.

  15. “makes me want to holler”

  16. E. Marie-Chanttelle

    Self-righteous B. She approached and engaged this poor women’s child, but she shouldn’t be upset? Then when people tried to calm the situation by getting her to leave she continued to be aggressive towards the mother because she felt she was justified. She started the altercation but people of course blamed the minority. The mother was only defending herself from a much, MUCH larger predatory type woman. Reminds me of Trayvon Martin. Bastards!!!

  17. I feel so badly for the mother. You have to learn how to manage people. The woman would have sat down and I would have called her a pedophile and called the police. You can’t take chances with the safety of your children. I also would have seen about filing harassment charges. Learn how to manage people. That’s the easiest way through life.

  18. Pressure all levels of raised…

    While I would like to think my reaction wouldn’t be the same, the fact that this woman a. thought it appropriate to park herself at the table after being told that her services weren’t need and b. felt it appropriate to swat at the mother as she told her, for perhaps the zillionth time, to give her her personal space, I completely get the mother’s escalated reaction. And the nerve of those bystanders who took the white woman’s side. What part of that scenario did they not get?! Any parent would get defensive if someone was all up on their kid and wouldn’t go away. She was asked to move, she thought she was beyond that, she got slapped. I feel for that mother!

  19. That mom deserves a medal for not clocking her worse. She was perfectly clear that all she wanted was to be left alone but the crazy woman wouldn’t stop. I can NOT believe how she had to keep defending herself over and over and over to everyone. It gave me a stomach ache.

    FWIW, I have had similar situations and I’m white, I got harassed by a white guy while I was trying to muscle one screaming toddler into a car seat after getting two others secured. Like maybe I should have let her ride without her car seat?

    No one should EVER interfere with a mother doing her her job unless, like someone above said, there’s a real obvious harm or danger. 100% behind this strong mama bear protecting her cub!

    • Yes. Once an Austrian woman decided that my kids helping me get groceries into my car was a problem, and she proceeded to start questioning my kids, as if I weren’t there. I intervened and politely told her that she should be addressing me and not my children since she was a total stranger. She did back off a bit, but insisted that her children would never do such a thing, as if having lazy, unhelpful children was the superior way. I just said, “well, I guess that says it all.” Got every one into the car and drove away, but I have to admit, I did wonder if CPS was going to show up at our doorstep.

  20. I can’t believe those white people thought that was okay. That white lady was totally wrong, That white lady is nosey and crazy, and so are the rest of those people.

    • I can totally believe it. I was never one to holler “White privilege,” but lately I have seen that it definitely exists and it was strong in this incident. Smh.

  21. I guess spitting on people is a suitable solution. I’m sure the impression she is having on her child is “not causing any harm”. Two wrongs don’t make a right and the level of defense of this mother’s reaction is disturbing.

    • Francis, I found the spitting appalling and totally reprehensible!! I cannot and will not excuse that. However, the woman was wrong to sit down at the table and *stay* there when she had been asked to leave several times. You never know what another person is going through. The fact that the mom was in a hospital eating suggests that she had already been there a while. It wasn’t like she was out having a good time. I also think you miss the point that white privilege allowed the white mother to walk away without a second glance by the officers, while they gathered around the upset mother. And the men at the table that recorded the video never once stepped in to help before it escalated. No one in there was able to make that white woman walk away from a situation that was of her making. If that mom was already being unruly, security should have been called *before* someone stepped in and attempted to force their “help” which was neither needed nor wanted.

  22. Ima young dude with no kids, but this absolutely infuriated me. The audacity of that white lady and others who cosigned her actions. Smh…

  23. This is repulsive, and gaslighting at its finest. That woman knowingly and purposely creates a horribly antagonistic situation by harassing that young mother and refusing to move away from her child, then she just sits there self-righteously with her hands on her lap watching the *mom’s* judgment get questioned for reacting like anyone would to protect their child from an intruding stranger.

    And yes, it’s a race thing. I am 100% aware of my white privilege and I recognize it fully when I see it in action. That right there is the epitome of it: the white way has to be the right way; people of color just don’t know “our ways” and they need monitoring and advising and intrusion into their personal choices–and no one is going to question that, so I can do as I damn please with a minority stranger’s offspring, because they shouldn’t be trusted to know what’s best for the child.

    It’s despicable, nauseating. I am so ashamed of anyone who would act that way. It is very painful to watch this unfold when you know exactly where it is headed, who is going to be perceived as right or wrong. And we wonder why people of color are afraid of the authorities? Well, I don’t. *UGH* I want to punch things–preferably in the shape of that awful white lady. *ARGGGGHH*

  24. Another big part is that older people always feel like they can tell you how to raise your child. I cannot count the number of times that older people have told me what I am doing wrong and invaded my personal space in public in regards to my child. In fact, last week an older gentleman cussed out my husband for playing with my son in the grocery store. Those times, however, were not secluded by any race or gender. It just seems like age is the marker.

  25. Just a couple of observations… 1. If the mother would have simply gotten up and taken her baby out, i feel the white woman would’ve followed her and the child. 2. When white children throw worse tantrums, i’ve never seen any white folk jump in and try to save the day.

    This is truly where we still are as a country and people of color need to wake up and realize. The young mother was within every right that we all share because she may have felt threatened for both herself and her baby. That situation could have been the needle that broke the camels back for the young mom. She may have already been under alot of pressure and stress. I really hope that her and the child are alright

  26. Both of these women are horrible and I fear for that child.

  27. WOW. I’ve been offered help at one time or another with my toddler. Whether it was an offer of crayons (that I said ‘thank you’ for), or someone who offered a hand with a tantrum (I said ‘it’s just nap time, and he’s a bit fussy’). I never ONCE went on the defensive suddenly assuming what their intentions are. I assumed they were also young mothers at one point, and could think back to when they wished someone might have helped them. I never cursed, spit, screamed, or slapped a person.

    The whole situation never would have got to that point if the mother didn’t immediately get defensive. She could have just smiled and said, he’s a handful sometimes, he’s getting a time out, or whatever.

    She has the right to be a bitch as much as she wants, that’s fine. But she DARN lucky she wasn’t arrested and charged for assault. There is NEVER a good reason to put your hands on someone else.

    The mother completely mishandled the situation from the get go.

    • Could Not Ignore BB

      “There is NEVER a good reason to put your hands on someone else”??? Are you kidding me? Where does the common sense of SELF DEFENSE come in to play with that statement? Now tell me where does the common sense of DEFENSE OF YOUR CHILD come in to play with that statement???

      And secondly, the mother did not “immediately get defensive”. It was when the woman IGNORED her rejection of the “assistance offered” that the mother went on the defensive.

    • So when you told those people “no”, did they punch themselves at your table and proceed to talk to and touch your child while telling you how to be a better parent? I’m guessing that is a NO. I’m sure if this “Thug” would have just left this mother and her child alone, she would not have reacted this way.

  28. The woman who offered “assistance” and was rejected should have just walked away – end of confrontation and end of situation. To remain at the table, talking to a stranger’s child after being TOLD her help was not needed was what aggravated the situation. We teach our children NOT to talk to strangers, yet this woman felt it was HER RIGHT to talk to a child who was obviously upset and whose mother was RIGHT THERE? Once I offered help and it was refused, I would have stepped away. If you’re feeling like the child is in danger, stay in the area and observe, but DO NOT invade the mother’s space AGAIN. I might have reacted the same way – I told you to get out of my space and stop talking to MY child – now I’m feeling threatened and I’m going to act accordingly. I’ve been in stores with kids who are acting up and parents at the end of their rope. I address the PARENT – “Can I help? Would you mind if I spoke to your child?” and 90% of the time they are frustrated and getting angry and say YES. Happened to me in a Staples store once, and I told the child to behave and stop giving their mother grief. The mother thanked me…and that was the end of that. I did not push myself in where I was not wanted, I maintained the parent’s level of authority by ASKING them before getting involved, and had she said NO, I would have respected that as well.

  29. No, the Mother’s declination for assistance should have been enough. If the woman would have simply walked away and left this woman alone, it would have never escalated. There was no excuse for this woman to attempt to hold authority over a stranger and her child. If she had real concerns about how the woman handled her child she should have went through the proper channels seeing that she was and employee.

    • If you go to the original video, there is a comment from a person who knows the bigger lady. She said the concern wasn’t JUST ignoring a screaming child, but she had turned her child to the wall, and this had been going on for some time. The first ‘no’ wasn’t calm and polite, when the woman asked if she needed help, she was immediately told to ‘fuck off’. THAT is what escalated the situation. That very moment. If she had acted calmly and in a civilized manner at any point, the whole interaction would have gone differently. A simple ‘no thank you’ would likely have sent the lady on her way. Had she politely said ‘I would like you to leave now instead of cursing and slapping, not a single person would have insisted in calling security on the mother, instead calling it on the woman who wouldn’t leave.

      But this is the world we live in. We can’t be polite and decent to someone, we walk around this world with a chip on our shoulder just WAITING for someone ‘to set you off’, or looking for any reason to unleash on another human being.

      So let me ask you: when you talked to the woman in staples, if her words to you were ‘mind your own F’ing business’, and became physically aggressive, while a toddler sits there and cries, would you just walk away from that situation? Would you try to reason with her? Would you intervene on the child’s behalf in any way?

      Or just walk away and say ‘you tried’.

      I’m of the opinion it takes a village to raise a child. Maybe if women could be a little more kind to each other, not lash out at every perceived slight, to allow themselves to benefit from the age and wisdom of the women around them, we wouldn’t have disturbing scenes like this.

      • The woman was in a hospital cafeteria who knows what news she had gotten or situation she was going through. Regardless of what the Mother’s initial response was, the larger woman’s actions thereafter were irresponsible. If she is going to use the “Village Mentality” she should have called security or the police the moment she recognized any wrongdoing to the child and left it at that. Her antagonizing the woman after she declined was inappropriate. There are no excuses for the larger woman’s behavior.

        • @Keketa…I see your point and it is a valid one. The larger woman should have minded her own business; she shouldn’t have sat there at the table when she was told to leave them alone.
          However, the mother’s behavior was equally problematic. Spitting on somebody is not OK, that is considered assault and it is foul. That is not how adults deal with conflict. And another issue is…how do we even know that the mother in question sees herself as a woman of color? Some Latinas don’t see themselves in that way.

          I believe that BOTH ladies behaved badly. One person shouldn’t have interfered in a situation that was none of her business, where the kid wasn’t being hurt.
          And the other person should have called security if she felt that her space was being encroached upon, instead of spitting and losing control.

          As a woman of color, I have been in many situations where people did/said things to disrespect me and violate my personal boundaries. Have I lost my cool in some cases? Of course…I’ve cursed people out a few times; one situation was a racist property manager who stereotyped me as having “attitude” (because of how brown and Black women are often viewed, unfortunately).
          So there are definitely times when we have to put people in check, I won’t deny that. Sometimes we all have to channel Sophia from “The Color Purple” when we are being disrespected.

          But there are ways to do that without making yourself look bad. By acting the way she did, she made the white woman look like the victim…hitting somebody and spitting on them won’t solve anything, it only escalates the situation. What if the white woman had reacted differently to her doing that? That woman was much bigger and could have knocked her across the room for spitting on her. Please don’t misunderstand…the lady had no right to interfere. She should have left them alone. She antagonized the mother.
          But I’m floored at how many people are seeing the mother’s actions/behavior as being OK. I understand her anger and frustration at this stranger completely; I don’t blame her for being angry.

          But she is equally in the wrong. It’s not about race to me…I see two people who both failed to act like mature, responsible adults.

      • Are you serious? If she felt there was an issue, she should have notified management who would have asked the lady to leave. But positioning herself at this woman’s table and touching her child is what escalated this. Anyone who talks to or touches my children after I have asked them not to is going to be perceived as a threat and I am going to react accordingly. The nerve of you. Let some Black woman sit down to a White woman’s table and touch her children without permission and see what happens.

      • @BB…I see both sides of this issue. Maybe you are right about the woman trying to be helpful; maybe we could give her the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst. Maybe she was just a naive “motherly” type who likes babies. However, she should have asked if the baby was OK and then simply left it at that.
        The mother’s hostile reaction should have let her know to just walk away instead of sitting down and trying to engage with them. That’s common sense; you don’t try to “reason” with an unstable person or intervene on their child’s behalf if the child isn’t being hurt.

        I agree that it does take a village to raise a child but most people don’t like being told (whether directly or indirectly) that their parenting skills are bad, even if it is true.
        And when you say things like “benefit from the age and wisdom of the women around them”…no disrespect but that sounds a bit patronizing, like that woman knew what was best for the child instead of his mother.
        Sometimes a person can have good intentions but there are times when it is better to leave well enough alone.

        I also agree that the mother’s behavior was out of line. The spitting and foul language was unnecessary. She could have been arrested for assault or the other lady (who managed to stay calm) could have reacted to being spit on by knocking her out; she is lucky that neither happened.

        I just want to point out one more thing…the “chip on our shoulder” comment is interesting. I see that as somewhat coded language because much of the time it is used to describe minorities who get angry or belligerent.
        Maybe the mother had a chip on her shoulder, maybe she didn’t. People often unload their stress and personal issues on others. It’s not right but it happens. The woman didn’t know what the mother might have been dealing with. She could have lost her job or been visiting a sick relative or who knows? When a person is snapping at you to leave them alone, you leave them alone…otherwise things could get ugly.

        I’ve had people try to start fights with me and my loved ones in public many times; there are times when you simply have to walk away.
        And unless somebody is being hurt, you don’t interfere.

  30. The mother was right on. That heifer wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was her way or the highway. This was beyond rude. It was passive aggressive and bullying. How dare she!

  31. Wow! I didn’t see a Good Samaritan! To be so bold as to sit at the lady’s table is crazy. If the roles were reversed, workers would have called the police on the Latino woman for violating the mom’s space. I wonder why they never asked the “Good Samaritan” to leave the woman’s table! Instead they stated it was her “right” to sit where she pleased! I believe the “Good Samaritan” exacerbated the situation and intentionally aggravated the mom. It wasn’t about the baby, it was about her. The issue I have with the mom is her language, the violence, and the fact that she chose her right to remain in a volatile situation, over the welfare and safety of her child. This could’ve ended her going to jail and her child in protective custody. Sometimes it’s just better to remove yourself from a situation. Especially when your child is with you. I have no kind words for the workers laughing and filming it!

  32. I felt for the mother, I know sometimes I see some parents and I just shake my head. I have never been so bold! Sometimes I even refrain to comment to my sisters about how they are handling their children. That woman has some nerve and her behavior is what antagonized the mother. Regardless, if she was on the phone she don’t know what the hell is going on. I would say WTF to her too. And those effing men in the background passing judgement and security. They always take “others” side.

  33. Posted this on my Facebook and boy did my white FB friends come out of the woodwork. The perspectives of moms of color and white mothers were basically opposite. #saddening

  34. Where did this incident occur specifically? Does anyone know? This needs to be a training video for healthcare workers and security officers on what NOT to do! The incident is excruciating enough but to observe the appalling response by hospital staff is unbearable!

  35. I Honestly take my hat off and salute this young mother . children cry, and you can’t always jump to assume that someone needs help with their child due to the fact that she didn’t stop her child from crying. She didn’t need help she did what she was supposed to do and ANY women would feel disrespected if ANYONE asked if she needed help with HER child ! I’m not saying this is racial discrimination based on the fact that she may or may not be black but when she told the woman no she should have walked to her table and continued with her day ! She invaded her space and she got what she deserved , SHE WAS PROTECTING HER CHILD AT THE END OF THE DAY !

  36. IMO, this isn’t a race issue so much as a “pushy American” issue. I come from a Caribbean background, and I have noticed that this younger generation of Americans in general–both minority and Caucasian–have a problem with not recognizing boundaries. They seem to have this attitude of, “Well, if it’s out in public, boundaries don’t exist. I can barge in on a personal conversation you are having with your friend/relative and give in my two cents; I can give you unsolicited advice.”

    So I agree that maybe the other patrons’ reactions to the Latino mom are racist, but I don’t think that the white woman was interfering out of racism. I’ve seen that type of pushy, obnoxious I Will Help You No Matter What You Say attitude from blacks and whites alike.

    As for the Latino moms’ reaction, it was inappropriate, but I get it. When you’re a minority, you get second-guessed and ignored on a regular basis, and so anything can set you off. There’s only so much, “Nah, I’m not going to respect your wishes,” you can deal with before finally going off on somebody.

  37. Stacey Spencer

    I’ve been the meddling white woman before. But I totally agree that once mom says “I’ve got this” you back off. Even if it seems she doesn’t. As I listened to the comments made by the white people and how security responded, I thought to myself “white privilege.” I also wondered what else the mom might be dealing with.

  38. I’m white and not all are like that. Trust me, if I was in that Mama’s shoes it would’ve taken EVERY OUNCE of willpower I could muster NOT to slap the hell out of that woman like she did. I have to say though, I don’t know what shocked and PISSED me off more: the fact that this woman continued to sit there after repetedly being asked to leave, that she was being consoled and protected afterward or the fact that she continued to stand there long AFTER and was STILL antagonizing the mother and NO ONE asked her to shut the hell up and leave?? Situations like this can be avoided if people minded their own damn business and let parents handle theirs. My kids get the riot act before, during and after the car ride. “You WILL behave or there WILL be consequences.” My children learned early that I don’t play. My mother gave us “the look” and occasionally whupped my ass as a kid and if needed, I do the same to mine. That woman should’ve kept her nose out the mother’s business from the gitgo.

  39. IMO, both parties were wrong…the meddler should have minded her own business and the mother behaved badly too.
    Neither side was right in the way they acted. The crying baby had more maturity than both of them put together.

  40. Im a single mother. Get treated like this all the time. It has more to do with being alone with your child then race. Im white but Strangers always think they know whats best. When my son is crying …. Or even when hes not crying. People do this to women when we are alone with our kids. Because they would be afraid to get beat if they tried to tell us how to raise our children in front of a man… Literally the women only felt comfterble to do this because their was not a man there. If there was a man there she would never dare do that. She never expected that the mother could tell her off. because as women were expected to be calm and plesent not challenging… Ive flipped out at people telling me what to do as well… Last time It was a man trying to tell me that it was danderous for my son to ride a bike. I had him in arms reach. And told the man it was more dangerous to push his pram right in front of my son when he was riding the bike. And to fuck off. That I dont need his advice.

  41. As a parent, I would’ve felt like the mother in this video. It’s never okay to spit on anyone, however I can’t imagine someone being so disrespectful as this “Good Samaritan”. Even after the mother politely declined. As a mother, I would’ve felt as if this lady was up to something. This random “Good Samaritan” seemed to be provoking the mother. You can’t trust people and we’ve all watched Lifetime. What’s worse about this video is the fact, this random woman has no idea what this mother is going through. If I offer help to a mom with a crying baby and she declines, I would leave her alone. This mother is being very protective in this video, in my opinion. Yes, the language is harsh and the mother is irate, but I would’ve felt threaten and insulted as a mom.

    *starts singing*

    “BACK, BACK. BACK, BACK. GIVE ME 50 FEET” – Lil’ O (2001)

  42. Im white and Cherokee Native American but this video made my blood boil. I deal with people constantly like the woman in the video. Everyone seems to think they know how to raise your child. The worst offenders are people with young children like they havent gone through bad days or the the sleep deprived tantrum days. They question your decision because “thats not what they would do” if you choose to not test egg allergy on childs birthday, pick baby up when it cries, use this or that, react this way or that, or whatever is happening. When you are already sleep deprived and tired from dealing with crying child who just may be pushing your patience, the last thing you need is the straw to come over and break the camels back. If a stranger violates my space and my child, Id get aggrivated too. I cant believe no one removed the woman. Clearly she was creating hostility and the woman keeps repeating her defense. I dont agree with spitting but that woman touched her first. Im disgusted by the ignorance of the video takers. I feel like if they were women, they would react better knowing how challenging motherhood to a young child really is. Every mom or even single fathers have days as parents where we are exhausted and dont have the patience. We also do NOT need to react to every cry. That creates a breed of humans that are toxic to others. It has been proven time and time again. You can love your child and still have respectful discipline.

    Im a Leo, the mother of all mothers, a lioness,and if I feel you are wrongfully near my child, Id be having a strong reaction too, like a lioness’s roar. I feel like the lady who sat down was bullying the other woman. I dont understand why people who do not respond to your respectful approaches act like a victim when their passive aggressive ways escalate the reaction into full out aggression. The lady sitting down was the aggressor. I dont care how aggressive the mom got. The other woman was passive aggressive. That is the worst aggression out there.

    The best thing I think to describe this is
    http://youtu.be/5yt849wJyVk

    I feel like it is a constant a Luda song when you are parenting.

  43. Also, I do not believe its a race thing. My mother is full white. I grew up with her causing lots of scenes like this and calling attention to herself all…the..time.. But most of time for no reason at all… In this case I feel the mom had a right to her anger. Not everyone who makes a scene though and reacts aggressively is of colored skin. Not everyone who violates your wishes or space is white either. Majority of the people who feel they have the right to comment or lecture me are hispanic. I also live near the city here where majority of population is hispanic so that is bound to feel like mostly for me it is hispanics.

    I had one instance where a hispanic lady actually approached me as I was putting my child in a cart (who was smiling and not crying at all mind u) after a long day of constant bad things happening and lecture me passive aggressively asking me questions and talking to my child, and for a few seconds I really wanted to slap herself myself in my mind. I left the store on phone to tell my friend about how angry I was in that moment. That was my straw breaking my back for the day. I have a massive amount of patience, self control, and not a violent person. I can only imagine the reaction for those that do not have patience in situations like this. If I didnt, I would snap a neck, slap, or deck someone by now. I successfully have gotten through one year of first child parenting and breastfeeding without killing or harming anyone XD. Mostly as a single mother. I feel for the mother in this video in every way.

    I just sat at my childs first birthday defending why I didnt want to feed my child the egg, chocolate peanut butter cake to a BLACK and WHITE woman plus a WHITE man. I did not react aggressively but had I not been able to escape for a break, Id probably tell them off sooner or later too. Maybe in an aggressive way too depending on how cornered I felt.

  44. This has nothing to do with white supremacy. I have people of all races and genders stepping on my dainty little white toes when it comes to parenting my child. Almost every time I take my daughter to a store and she acts out there is an issue with a complete stranger invading mine and my daughters personal space. They will either offer me unsolicited advice, give me a “look”, or worse try to go past me directly to my child and talk to her or give her some kind of treat (be it candy, a sticker, or a small toy of some sort). I have never been a confrontational person, but since my daughter has been born I have had to exchange some ugly words with strangers. I believe this is a case of society spoiling our children and people sticking their big fat noses up in everyone’s business. And yes everyone gangs up on me that is around because people are so “entitled” to their own opinions these days that they have zero respect for actual parenting.

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