Gov. LePage "Disappears" Workers' History--Wants Both Sides Shown.
I show a considerable amount of these murals because they represent a rendering of an important history: the history of working people, standing up for their rights. If you are anything like me, you either work for a living or have worked for a living, or at least have benefited from the myriad things that the efforts of labor unions have strived for, for the benefit of working people and their families. Because I admire the history of working people, I have a good idea of why Maine's Gov. LePage quietly took down the murals of workers in the Department of Labor building.
Oh, he did say this had something to do with how only one side of labor history was shown--and this I sort of believe. But I think he certainly took it down, not because of any public outcry by the poor, misunderstood, corporate magnates, etc. I think he took it down in perfect understanding that equal time given to the actions of owners and business leaders would perfectly ruin the last shred of respect anyone had left for them. For the figures of the living women who survived the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire--let me show you the ones that died--
And ask you to imagine the unphotographed people who counted the pennies by the hour earned by the simple expedient of locking a door that might have let workers out during a fire. A door they might have used for any non-productive mischief. You want to see those pictures of those men? Because there are worse pictures of these women, I tell you. And if Governor LePage wants you to see that the owners' side--I will tell him the story of fire and fear and a Babel of tongues and the disrespect for immigrant women and the reality of the loss of a laborer to families--a daughter, wife or mother--a human being. A paycheck--sure, but in reality the heart of a family, a smile, a caress, and a laugh,smile, memory--these are real things, and when we forget that workers are people, we forget they have a right to safe workplaces where they will not be killed for their need of a workplace.
And what about child laborers--where is the face of the owner of a company that gladly accepts them? That relishes how they child laborer doesn't hardly ask for better pay or a position above his or her station, but quietly does his job, as an unskilled and uneducated laborer, until whenever.
Forgive me if I ever thought I wanted to deny to history the face of anyone who wanted children to do back-breaking unskilled work--because I think their faces should be known and their histories widely criticized, because they are slavers. The minor child is a person without the capacity of consent for contracts, so to suppose he or she is capable of consent to work, in conditions of any kind, but because of the scenario, let's assume unconsensual--fuck it--let's show the owners pride--dead children, maimed children, and children to whom education was denied. Let's acknowledge we're talking about the very worst of conditions.
Those are the backwards things LePage stands for. He disappears worker history for a purpose--he doesn't have love for working people--for any standard of age, size, ethnicity, etc, of worker. To him, all workers are just eaters. Useless mouths and stomachs that should, I dunno, die in a fire
The reality needs to be that we are most of us workers, and our needs are human ones-=-sick time. Vacation.? A livable wage.
Lepage is all kind of wrong, and certainly one of the worst.