Kalief Browder: Lessons on Patriarchy

When TIME’s mini-series about Kalief Browder and how he was unjustly jailed for nearly three years for a crime he didn’t commit.

That docu-series was very emotional, especially getting to see Kalief Browder commit suicide. For people who didn’t know about the Browder story prior, the episode where he committed suicide was heart-breaking.

Personally, I was captivated by the whole story. I’d read about the Browder case, and got intrigued when then President Obama mentioned his name in an op-ed to reform the American Prison System. However, the TIME docu-series helped me see another side of the Browder story that otherwise would have been hidden – the role his family played through all of this.

There were so many things I connected with on a personal level throughout this story. I was reminded of the love inherent in mothers, when I saw how Mrs. Browder never missed a day in court for her son. That woman loved her son and went through lengths. You can imagine the agony she must have gone through when she lost her son. No one should ever go through that sort of pain. Mrs Browder died during the course of the docu-series. That was another ebbing point for me. The fact that two people lost their lives on a crime that was probably non-existent. Terrible!

Another part of the story that struck me, and which probably inspired this piece was how Mr. Browder resurfaced at the end of the series claiming rights to a son he abandoned. I was livid. Here’s the thing; Mr. Browder abandoned Mrs Browder and her 5 kids for over two decades. Mrs Browder had to raise those kids alone with Mr Browder practically being non-existent. Mr. Browder played no role in Kalief’s life, didn’t even deserve a mention. So imagine the agony when Mr. Browder showed up in court demanding a share of the compensation Mrs. Browder had been in court for.

Like how do you show up from nowhere and start mourning a child you did not care for all because of money. That was the most screwed up thing ever. This man had no shame, was standing in front of cameras talking about how his son is dead and the state deserves to pay and bla bla bla. Like no one even knew this man existed all through the 6 episodes until the last one where he showed up. His only reason for showing up was money. Nothing else. He wasn’t even talking to Mrs. Browder.

Mrs Browder eventually lost her house, lost everything in this fight, gave her all, was in court all day, and here was a man coming up from nowhere to reap where he did not sow. Stories like this make me livid, maybe it’s time to reconsider patriarchy.

This part of the story really struck a chord within me because I could relate on a deep and personal level. I know what it means to have a non-existent father in your life, I can’t begin to imagine what my reaction would be if he were to show up uninvited trying to use me as his claim to fame. Like that isn’t right on so many levels. Why is it so difficult for men to take responsibility for their actions? Women are made to do all the hard work and reap very little off their sweat. It’ bs time to review patriarchy in today’s society and how it is wired against the women who work their socks off to achieve something in life. Why is it so easy for the men and hard for the women at the same basic stuff? This can’t be a good precedent for the generations unborn.

Even the Bible doesn’t go easy on men who fail to live up to their responsibilities, branding them infidels! Why have we then decided to go easy on the men and find a way of blaming women for everything that goes wrong. I don’t get it.

I really hope we soon get to a society where men live up to their name and responsibilities both in words and actions.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.


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