Friday, March 25, 2011

The ongoing class war I'm not supposed to talk about because it's rude

Okay, I'll mark this:

A catastrophic fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory 100 years ago today. By the time it was over, 146 people had died. Many lay dead on the sidewalks off Washington Square in the middle of New York's Greenwich Village, having thrown themselves out windows to escape the flames. Many of the terrified victims — mostly young garment workers, as young as 14, and nearly all Italian or Jewish immigrant women — were engulfed by the devastating flames, unable to escape through the stairways that had been padlocked by the factory owners, and trapped beyond the reach of the firefighters' ladders.

But you keep telling yourself that it would never get that way here. That we've progressed, and can't go backward. That the people that fought for these rights will magically, after their deaths, protect us. Or maybe because this is America, dammit, and we just don't treat people that way.

I burst your bubble. Yes. We do. And yes, we will, if it turns a profit. Because you should never underestimate the fact that they see you as shit.

The class war never ended. We were just shamed out of fighting it.

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