Whatever Tommie Lee’s Daughter Did, She Didn’t Deserve To Have Her Head Slammed Into A Locker
Growing up, my family members used to tell me stories about how everyone from my grandfather, to my uncles, aunts to my own mother were involved in various fights. Looking back, it was clear I took pride in this stories. My relatives were often fighting for righteous causes. (Someone had hit them first.) And in the stories, they were victorious. Everyone loves a hero or heroine. Especially when they’re upholding the family name.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realized all of these causes weren’t righteous and perhaps my family had some type of problem with violence.
But when I look around, I notice that my family is not the only one.
Last night, “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Tommie Lee was arrested for getting into a physical altercation with her daughter at her middle school. But it wasn’t just any type of physical altercation, according to Newsweek, authorities were called to the school after reports that Tommie Lee, whose real name is Atasha Jefferson, allegedly shoved her daughter’s head into a locker.
As a result, Tommie was charged with battery, aggravated assault and child cruelty.
And rightly so.
I just knew that people would be outraged by the fact that she’d behaved this way at her daughter’s school no less. But when I checked out the comments on The Shade Room post, I saw remarks like this:
That’s the problem these days y’all don’t let people discipline their kids. Y’all want these damn kids to be out of control so you can punish them. If she in jail WHAT ABOUT YHE MOTHER WHO JIST WAS ON CAMERA BEATING HER SON WITH A BELT
This wasn’t abuse back in the days. This why kids is out of control now.
You can get arrested for beating you kid at school????? Wow my mom getting LIFE then
Spare the rod spoil the child#freetommie them teenagers be trying ya!
Ok so what the daughter do???
This is some sick and sad sh*t. I understand that pre-teens and teenagers are particularly challenging. They think they’re grown. They’ve gotten some newfound strength, courage and might feel like they can test and try their parents. But I can’t imagine what type of action would have warranted this type of action, in a public place—where her daughter has to show her face again.
Someone with sense suggested that perhaps Tommie’s daughter is acting out because of the way her mother is behaving on national television. Or there’s the possibility that her daughter is simply mimicking the behavior she’s been shown by her mother.
If you do a quick Google search of Tommie, you’ll find a series mug shots. In fact, on “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” she revealed that she’s been arrested 30 times throughout her life, mostly for violating probation. She’s 34-years-old.
Tommie and her frequent arrests remind me of Dr. Joy DeGruy’s research about Post Trauma Slave Syndrome and the ways in which she argues that Black families haven’t healed from the horrific realities of slavery and pass that trauma down with each generation. Violence is a part of that legacy. Whether Black families adopted the tactics of masters and overseers or we beat our children excessively because we believe we’re protecting them from the police, the law or White people in general, it’s a tactic that often results in abuse. And when that happens who protects Black children from broken parents?
That type of anger is indicative of another problem and instead of pointing fingers, inquiring about what her daughter might have done, we need to be wondering when Tommie is going to be honest with herself and take responsibility for actions so she doesn’t pass this dysfunctional behavior onto the next generation.
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.