Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 25, 2011
going backwards

To 1911?

Yiddish poet Morris Rosenfeld's howl of a memorial written in the wake of the Triangle fire appears in whole or part in a number of places on-line, like here and here. However, the following stanza sometimes gets omitted:
Drape yourself in black, you golden land!
Too severe your tresspass, too terrible your shame,
Too deaf your awarenes, too blind your laws,
Too devilish your "caring," too bloody your net,
Your net that captures the poor --
The time will come! . . . The time will come!

The above is from a new translation, "The Crimson Terror," here (.pdf), linked from the great "Chalking Back Through Time" essay on the always worth visiting Jewish Currents site.

The poem reappears in part within the PJA's impressive "Centennial Shabbat" materials, here (.pdf), which draw a direct parallel between Triangle and last December's deadly sweatshop fire at the That's It Sportwear factory in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

When we first learned of the Savar horror in January, we were even more horrified to learn of how the Ha-Meem Group reopened the building merely days after the fire, despite workers' protests and a roof on the verge of collapse. The latter, of course, caused an incident that resulted in additional injuries to workers as they rushed out in panic.
[At the time, Ha-Meem's website
(now down,

though they remain on FB)
   touted their building's fire safety trainings, but contained not even a condolence mention of those killed there.]

However, we hadn't seen any of the harrowing film footage of December's fire until a video posted this week, "The Race to the Bottom," here. Charles    Kernaghan, interviewed in the video, is quoted also in The Forward, in a Triangle memorial issue, here, that truly deserves some kind of award.

So, per Kernaghan, since 1911?

"We've actually gone backwards."

His explanation of why
[in a piece that also explains why That's It's roof is so precarious]

      is here.

An even more data-packed comparative account is here.