Janine Jackson, criticized for her often snarky tone by the friend who recommended her excellent podcast to me, lays out an insightful analysis of the scope of America’s larger problem– conflating the financial health of the corporate “persons” who control the nation and the actual health of the actual human citizens of the nation–here.
You have the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, urging his workers to altruistically give up accrued sick days for their ailing low-paid colleagues in his operations. Massive no-strings bailouts to the very corporations that are destroying the planet (fossil fuel, fracking, airlines) to ensure their economic health while ordinary citizens must content themselves with incoherent platitudes and partisan drivel. There are no plans to safeguard the millions who are incarcerated, including the thousands in privatized immigration cages, of course.
You have the incoherent, angry president having his Secretary of State announce the tightening of sanctions on Iran, even as Iran is an epicenter of Coronavirus.
Jackson correctly describes the situation as a crime scene. Which is, of course, only true if you consider the rights of ordinary humans as important as the rights of the legal fictions that actually run our country and the world. Here she is, and here is the transcript of this informative episode, with a side order of appropriate snarkiness:
The coronavirus is highlighting existing faults and fissures in US society. Stark evidence of government priorities and their impact is coming fast and furious: $1.5 trillion is available instantly for loans to banks, but there’s no plan to protect incarcerated people, in jails, prisons or migrant detention centers. Congress can’t seem to act on assistance that reaches all the people who need it, and Jeff Bezos—the one with $111 billion—wants Whole Foods workers to share their sick leave. Immediate tests for celebrities without symptoms—yes; reconsideration of devastating sanctions on Iran and Venezuela—absolutely not. It’s a crime scene that’s setting up social economic justice work for the next many years, and calling for dogged, humanistic reporting that doesn’t “ask what questions this all raises,” but instead demands better answers.