There’s a pain in trying to obtain the American Dream. As much of a fairtytale and boilerplate it seems to issue out to everyone who wakes up and breathes inside of this country, the dream is much further out of reach for many and sadly, that distance is what causes some to make decisions where the consequences stretch further than the immediate moment.
Shanesha Taylor of Scottsdale, Arizona is a mother of two, a two-year old and an infant who just crossed the six month old threshold. Taylor is also homeless and last week tried her best to obtain a job to support her two children when she went for a job interview last Thursday for a waitress.
The complicated nature of possibly securing the job is that Taylor left her children in the car while she went for her interview, hoping to land the position. Passerbys saw the children crying and alerted the authorities. The cops showed up, arrested Taylor and booked her on two felony counts of child abuse. A lot of hindsight and second guessing will be tossed out here, including why didn’t she drop the kids off with a relative – or even allow the children to go into the interview with her but what’s done is done. A woman, who wanted to do better by her kids left them in the precarious situation of being inside of a car in 80 degree weather and suffered for it.
The story may seem passé, another bleeding heart piece trapped inside of Joe Arpaio’s racist paradise that is Maricopa County but the mugshot of Taylor brings it all together — and makes it even more painful. I can’t levy judgement for anyone trying to do better not only for themselves but their kids as well but that reliance upon self doomed Taylor to the letter of the law. People are offering financial support for Shanesha but that may not be enough.
Single motherhood, one of our society’s biggest ills in regards to women already set Taylor back, to a point where risking something dangerous and almost even more tragic could have occurred. Do I hope there is lienancy involved in this case? Of course. Do I hope that whatever judge Taylor gets in regards to her legal situation understands that “yeah but” is always nice to have when you’re not in the position she’s in? Yes. Do I hope that those kids never be put in that predicament again? Of course.
Do I hope that our women, those who sacrifice almost everything (and in Taylor’s case her freedom) to provide continue to do whatever necessary to do so? Of course. As a homeless woman, how privileged is Taylor to even receive health care for herself or her kids? Only three days remain until the deadline for the Affordable Health Care Act truly takes effect. Maybe now something like this will alert lawmakers to detail the necessary steps to change laws regarding child care, proper wage and more.
So that Shanesha Taylor doesn’t have to put her children in that predicament again.