i wrote this back in april when i was angry about seeing yet another place like this closed for good. forgive me for the rant. i hope you all don’t hate me for posting it.
if you look around in the area you live in, really open your eyes a bit, you’ll see
the decaying bodies of industrial giants that litter the countryside
and that the few remaining active manufacturing sites are disappearing
at a rate that should terrify us all.
we sat complacently by as
the places that created our prosperity were murdered
by some serial killer, some great economic devastator -
and we are slowly beginning to wake up and wring our hands as
more and more of our loved ones join the ranks of the unemployed
and businesses report poor sales performance that
inevitably leads to more cutbacks. it only follows to reason that
we may start looking for who is to blame for this catastrophe.
politicians are the easy place to start –
both the republican and democrat parties had a hand in drafting and passing
the nafta (north american free trade agreement) and cafta (central
american free trade agreement) bills
that have allowed millions of jobs to be shipped off to third world countries
where our clothes and goods can be made essentially by slaves – people
who have no expensive unions or labor and environmental laws to protect them,
by women and children who are working for pennies to our dollar.
we can blame the business leaders, who have allowed
the constant quest to raise profit margins to blind them
to the good of their own nation, and now wonder why
people in it are unable to afford the goods they are trying to sell.
certainly shutting down american factories to move them abroad has nothing to do with it.
but if you really want to complete the forensic analysis of a site such as this,
and want to openly and honestly assign blame where blame is due,
i challenge you also to go look in your closet, to read the labels on your clothes.
i can predict with absolute confidence that you will find
most of the items in your house were made in taiwan, china, india, mexico, and so on.
we voted for that with what counts most – our money -
at corporate giants who drove out
independant businesses with greater stakes in their communities
because they cost less, they carry more.
we never asked why, or how, this could happen.
we found it easier to point fingers, to condemn the wastefulness of others
yet we are the ones who made it profitable
because our insatiable appetites eclipsed any sense of consequences.
i am as culpable as anyone else.
the shirt i am wearing now was made in honduras, my jeans in hong kong.
i held the blade with all of you. i killed this clothing factory and all the rest too.
more of my work is available at www.abandonedamerica.org. photo taken at la mort’s coat factory.