(Of course it doesn’t work that way, but it sounds “lesser evil”!)
Human lives are cheap in a capitalist society, particularly for members of the working class.
The ruling class is obviously willing to play “Russian roulette” with the very lives of the working class.
Some of the doomed, early “victim-players” will be (and have already been) teachers and students as both corporate parties recklessly (homicidally) endorse premature school reopenings. But the Democratic Party, like with its wars, will put a humanitarian spin on it. “The poor children desperately need their educational environments be returned to them.” As if the quality of life of the children of the working class seriously matters to our ruling class elites.
The “poor children” … pawns in the capitalistic game of getting the working parents back to the workplace to grind out profits for the rich elites who incidentally just enjoyed another obscenely large windfall bailout thanks to their donor-loyal, bipartisan DC politicians at the struggling US taxpayer’s expense.
The “hybrid” (“lesser evil” sounding) NYC school reopening plan of part-time, alternating and/or partial attendance, a futile liberal establishment attempt to thwart a vicious coronavirus, I hear was particularly pitched by AFT union president Randi Weingarten (salary of $500,000 a year and a member of the DNC).
How long are we as citizens going to keep minimizing inhumane policies promoted by the liberal establishment – its politicians, media, union leaders, et al. – simply because they are not directly endorsed by the admittedly and gobsmackingly repellent and fascistic Donald Trump and his immediate cabal?
“Lesser evilism” has jumped the proverbial shark at this point in “killer-capitalism America”! It is long past time to acknowledge that.
Here is a compelling statement about Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s K-12 public school reopening policy from the newly organized The New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee posted on the wsws.org website entitled, “New York City educators launch safety committee to halt the reopening of schools.”
“The opening of schools for more than 1 million students directly places the lives of educators, school workers, students and the broader community at grave risk for the sake of corporate profit.
“The criminal decision promises to re-infect the population of the largest metropolitan region in the US with a population of 20 million people. The horrific scenes from March, April and May, when mass graves were dug on Hart Island, when hospitals were overwhelmed and healthcare infrastructure was brought to the verge of collapse, will soon be repeated unless we mobilize the working class to put an end to these homicidal policies. The city alone has lost nearly 24,000 people to the virus, the majority of whom were working class residents.”
Another compelling statement from Alberto Escalera in an article entitled Mounting opposition to school reopenings as 55 New York City teachers test positive for COVID-19:
“By imposing a school reopening with in-person classes in New York City, with a student population of 1.1 million, de Blasio is attempting to normalize death among teachers and children. He spelled this out in a press conference Monday morning, stating “Some people will test positive … We have to remember that for the very small percentage of the people who test positive for the Coronavirus, it is a very temporary reality.
“In pressing for the resumption of in-person learning in New York City, the ruling class aims to set a precedent to follow for reopenings in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, and every other district across the country that is starting their semester with online instruction.”
Mr. Escalera declares:
“The explosion of COVID-19 cases among teachers across the city was entirely predictable given the widespread outbreaks that have taken place in K-12 districts and college campuses across the United States during the past month.”
This is an inconvenient reality for the entire capitalist establishment, of course, as desperate teachers across the country are organizing against resumed in-person school reopenings.
To whom can teachers turn for help in saving their very lives and those of their students and fellow employees?
Certainly not the corporate Democratic Party, nor the Republican one, of course.
How about turning to their fellow citizens who too often remain ignorant of the particular horrors of the plights of special sections of American society, often because of our corporate-enabling media, or because too many citizens are simply too morally lazy in a culture of “Meh… it could be worse. It could be happening directly to me” – so naively and coldly detached in their narcissistic comfort zones?
So many decades of foreign innocents dying from US imperialism with the enabling ignorance and/or indifference of our American society.
Now arrives the decade of mass American deaths from US capitalism on our own turf. Will the numbness — the obtuseness — of the citizenry continue on?
Mr. Escalera explains that a “deal” was made between Democratic Party NYC Mayor de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) on September 8, BEHIND THE BACKS OF THE RANK AND FILE NYC TEACHERS, not to resume in-person instruction of K-12 public school classes until September 21. The deal was struck to “derail” an anticipated teachers’ strike.
Apparently the postponement gave oxygen to the political bullshit that the New York City mayoral and school administrations and unions could adequately address all safety issues in all schools for all teachers, students and staffers. 1,800 facilities.
Let me know if you are interested in purchasing a bridge that extends from Manhattan to Brooklyn — cheap.
The assurances of safety issues being earnestly pursued and accomplished by the say-anything politicians and their puppet union officials unsurprisingly have amounted to pathetic half-measures or straight-out lies.
Except now we are talking about people’s very lives being at stake from this criminal irresponsibility. We are talking about collusion to commit mass, negligent homicide.
Of course, in a capitalist society, this heinous crime escapes accountability! Profits over human lives. Thanks to our amoral politicians pimped out to their corporate donors and to an equally amoral corporate media owned by said corporate donors, justice is not a priority. It is often the enemy of maximum profit-making for the obscenely rich and powerful.
I attended an on-line meeting of the newly organized The New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee on Wednesday night and my already concern for premature NYC school reopenings was intensified. During the meeting, many frustrated school employees expressed anecdotal evidence that there is in no way adequate preparation for the NYC school reopenings being accomplished. Not by a long shot.
I learned that even before this imminent September 21 reopening, in 56 district schools teachers and school staff have already tested positive for COVID-19. The classes haven’t even officially started yet. These people were required to show up for preparation duty before they had even received their COVID-19 test results, which length of time fell far short – or rather “long” – of the promises of the lying city and union officials.
I learned of reports from school custodians that the PPE equipment they have been provided with is seriously inadequate. Due to budget cuts, some custodians sometimes have to cover two buildings. How can they possibly cover “extra measures” for safety – “deep cleaning” – when they already are so far stretched?
There are reports of hundreds of cases of inadequate ventilation in the 1,800 school facilities involved. 1000s of safety hazards have been reported.
But the Department of Education (DOE) has greenlighted every facility for the September 21 reopenings.
Alberto Escalera describes one NYC school, Murry Bergtraum Campus located in lower Manhattan.
“Among the many unsafe conditions within the building, educators highlight that none of the windows are functional and only 50% of the 225 offices and classroom spaces within the facility are “operational.” The building, which has a student population of approximately 1,000, has no unit ventilators and only two usable bathrooms that must be shared by students and staff. Despite these conditions, the DOE has deemed the building ready to receive students for in-person classes on September 21.”
One call-in, 20-year serving, female school bus driver lamented that she had been informed she now is responsible for disinfecting her own bus, and without being provided with cleaning supplies. Also, she explained that if she pulls up to a stop of 20 students, some without masks, she is expected to jam them all onboard.
I learned during this meeting that apparently there will be a DOE “situation room” which will make all executive decisions related to the school reopening scenario. What could possibly go wrong there in terms of slowness of response time and/or indifference to emergencies from afar?
The DOE along with the de Blasio administration both participated in the scandalous minimization of the pandemic and urgency to close schools at the beginning of the year, when the reality of the grave danger of the pandemic (what Woodward’s new book has confirmed) was already buzzing about in the inner circles of political power (and not just Trump’s!).
One of the speakers at the meeting stressed that once the New York City model of premature school reopenings is established – and the deaths of teachers and children “normalized” as Escalera accuses — online instruction will soon enough be ended in cities across the country.
Many, many more people will die, unless this new premature reopening policy is successfully combatted now.
Another speaker mentioned how students at the University of Michigan were striking against the school reopening despite the lack of corporate media acknowledgement. This strike is resonating with college students across the country. Of course, the establishment is ever ready to scapegoat college students as being reckless in not honoring social distancing, and any inevitable upticks in coronavirus statistics among them will be blamed directly on them, rather than the perpetrators of the homicidal reopening, this same speaker pointed out.
One teacher mentioned that it was due to some teachers taking Christmas vacations abroad last year that they became seriously aware while in other countries (that were not suppressing the coronavirus danger as the USA was) of what they were up against upon their return to their thankless and capitalism, cannon-fodder roles as US teachers.
Teachers in NYC and elsewhere are taking heroic risks such as protesting outside their schools, organizing petitions and rank and file committees, and doing whistleblowing about the grim reality of the pandemic threat in our schools, all of which can have dire economic consequences for them. They are in a desperate situation of fighting for their very lives and the lives of their students along with the networks surrounding them, which ultimately, to any critical thinking American, includes us all.
The on-line meeting was launched with eight proposals submitted by The New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee.
I have to admit, as radicalized and socialistic as I have become, my jaw dropped that these proposals could even be expressed in our capitalism “learned helpless” and beaten-down anti-social and anti-economic justice society. I immediately imagined a hungry Oliver Twist extending his bowl “for more” to an astonished but brutal authority figure.
The Committee is right to demand such profound socialistic changes, because trying to reform psychopathic capitalism is a non-starter.
We need to say and to hear what we deserve as US citizens, not what the oligarchy avariciously demands we put up with.
We, as exploited Americans, all need to start asking for a lot more.
We need to call out the gobsmacking degree of uncivilized policies against the working class in America by BOTH corporate donor-driven parties.
The Committee’s proposals include:
Suspending all in-person course school instruction and providing adequate and free computer hardware and high speed wifi access to all students.
Full income protections and security to all workers in NYC. Income protections to parents ensuring their children’s participation in online school processes.
The freezing of college tuition and the abolishment of student debt. Free campus housing with meals. Protections and accommodations for international college students now in America dealing with the issues of the pandemic.
Full protection and support for all undocumented workers and their children. A halt to their imprisonment and deportation.
Democratically-made decisions on educational policies with all parties involved, especially teachers, parents and students.
A halt to all non-essential production. Advanced safety precautions must be provided for all essential workers.
A demand for the retro-fitting of all classrooms in terms of ventilation and air purification.
This last cost, among any others included above, should come from the profits of the oligarchy, the proposal insists.
Who will defend our teachers and students? Who will defend the working class? Who will curb the outrageous injustices perpetrated by the oligarchs and their pimped out political and media puppets?
Well, I signed up to support The New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I recommend you do the same!
The clock is ticking. 200,000 Americans have died since the beginning of the year. Are we really heading for 400,000 deaths by the end of it? (At the current exponential rate, so it would seem. Someone should explain the math to the amiably and willfully obtuse NYC Mayor de Blasio!)
I want to be part of the solution to stop these mass, gratuitous deaths, not contribute to the deadweight (pun bitterly intended) of the problem!
I want to be on the right side of history.
I want a country where I am not, on a daily basis, distracted from life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by the goal of avoiding death, along with the passive enabling of it for tens of thousands of innocent others!