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MSNBC Host Says Arrest of Woman Who Locked Toddlers in Hot Car the Result of ‘Punishing the Poor’

Shanesha Taylor had a problem. She had a job interview, and no one to watch her 2- and 6-month-old children. So Shanesha locked them inside her car, where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees during her 45-minute interview.

The toddlers were found crying and sweating profusely.

But MSNBC’s Chris Hayes sees the story differently: Tuesday, he blamed the state of Arizona for cutting social services and leaving Taylor in a difficult position.

“Where the system fails over and over and over again is at supporting people so that they do not find themselves in situations where they are doing the things that we can punish them for.

 

Now, I don’t think anyone believes it is a good idea to leave children in a hot car, but here’s what’s happening in this case. A woman is taking seriously the exhortations from politicians and pundits alike to get a job … in a state … that has cut 40 percent of its total child care budget.

 

At the end of this whole awful situation, a mother is separated from her kids without a job, looking at up to a seven-year prison sentence.

 

If there is one thing American policy towards the poor is skilled and efficient at, is unrelenting, it is punishing the poor.”  

A fundraising website has reportedly raised $77,000 so far, to help Taylor – who is single and homeless – with legal expenses.

This is a tough one. While one can certainly empathize with Shanesha Taylor, is it fair to assume that she could have looked for a different option, i.e. friends or family?

Or, instead, explain her situation to the potential employer and ask if she could take her kids into the interview rather than leave them locked in a hot car for almost an hour? You make the call.

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