Laura Browder and the Criminalization of Need

[Content Note: Misogynoir; class warfare; criminalization of need.]

In a story reminiscent of Shanesha Taylor's, Laura Browder, a black woman who is a single mom was arrested for "abandoning" her children to go on a job interview. The interview was held at a food court at a mall, and Browder "abandoned" her children at another table in the food court 30 feet away.
Laura Browder said she took her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son with her to a mall for a suddenly scheduled job interview because she didn't have enough time to line up child care. According to Browder, she bought the children lunch at the McDonald's in the food court and sat them at a table approximately 30 feet away and well within sight while she interviewed.

Browder was taken into custody by police when she went to claim her kids, after someone at the mall called police saying the children had been left there crying.

Browder said she was arrested after accepting the job offer, but now worries if the arrest may cause her to lose it.

The woman appeared before a judge who released her and gave her full custody of her children although Child Protective Services is still investigating.

Browder released a statement saying, "This was very unfortunate this happened. I had a interview with a very great company with lots of career growth. I am a college student and mother of two. I would never put my name, background or children in harms way intentionally. I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as."
What if all the time and attention given to policing mothers (especially black mothers) for leaving their children unattended (or not! 30 FEET AWAY!), policing justfied by an abundance of faulty narratives about strangers who prey on children, was actually dedicated instead toward people who actually harm children, as opposed to the parents mothers who are tasked with the resposibility for protecting their children at all times from any and every potential harm, in what is nothing more than a variation on tasking women with preventing their own rapes, instead of holding rapists accountable?

And what if instead of holding up the Myth of Bootstraps"I never got any help from anyone!"—as the makings of some sort of totally true and definitely amazing success story, we saw it for what it is? Total bullshit. Because not everyone is fortunate enough to have the kind of help that is so reliable it's possible to dismiss it out of hand as not even having been help at all.

I hope that Laura Browder doesn't lose the job she just accepted, and I hope that the investigation into her parenting finds what seems pretty goddamn obvious: That she's a good mom doing the best that she can, and that her best doesn't look too bad at all.

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