Should transit be an "essential service"?

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

This thread should have been closed several days ago. It has only gotten worse since baseless accusations against Unionist were levelled by people who have chosen to twist the meaning of his words.

It is to be hoped (and indeed expected) that by our pushing the post total over the magic number of 100 a moderator will very soon arrive to close this thread for "length".

ikat381

I'd also like to throw in that while I completely agree with calls for sensitivity and mindfulness of our positions of white privilege when discussing African American slavery, I do not think that these calls should be utilized as evidence of Unionist's "rhetorical frenzy" when discussing labour rights. 

I also don't agree with these calls being mixed in with misrepresentations of his statements, such as comparing his argument to "the implication... that African American people have benefitted by their enslavement."

Finally, I have some problems with how some of these calls for progressive discourse are being interspersed throughout posts that make other arguments against Unionist's position. There is a vagueness here between calls for respectful exchange VS rhetorical attack that I think is problematic.

Caissa

Unionist is correct.

This questioning of a fundamental labour right should have been stopped by a moderator immediately. 

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

ikat381 wrote:
Unionist's question is a categorical rejection of slavery. Chomsky and other progressives have made similar points. You can only find his comparisson offensive if you choose to have utterly no respect for his position that the right to strike is fundamental

I agee 100%.  Unionist is talking aout the horrors of slavery and for that I don't think that he should give an apology .  I don't think anyone should apoligize for having an opinion on slavery which says that is horrific and no one should be a slave.

Makwa wrote:
My point is that to express the analogy in such a blase fashion comes from a place of white privilege

If you had read the thread at all you would  see how Unionist is very serious at his position, hardly unconcerned on non chalant at the rights of workers be they current day or historical slaves I think they would fall into the same category for him.  If you had bothered at all to read the posts not only in this thread but in the threads that Unionist posts in you would see he is harldy unconcerned or non chalant on human rights.  I would counter and say that you were pretty unconcerned and uninterested in the topic of this conversation since your first post did not even mention the issue of tranist workers rights and pretty unconcerned and uninterested in Unionist since you did not care to see the background from which he came from both within this thread and in other postings on babble.

Makwa wrote:
In any case, making parallels with enslavement, however obliquely, is reprehensible.

That is a reprehsnisible statement in an of itself.  We can never talk about parallels with enslavement?  Sounds very right wing to sensor peoples talk especially when they are using them without hate and with a background in which they have spent their lives fighting for rights for marginalized people.

Sineed wrote:
Or perhaps you consider me, and nurses, to be "enslaved" because we aren't allowed to strike.  Other than the offensiveness of the terminology, bandying about "enslavement" in a casual and diminishing way

As was said earlier, Unionist has spent his life fighting for these people, that is hardly casual or diminishing.  As was said in another post in another thread just because someone (Makwa) says it is, doesn't make it true.

I refuse to comment on the validity of the arguments for making transit workers essential or about people who are deemed essential.  I agree with Unionist on every point and have made my position not only in my mind but what happened to me in reality very clear.  I feel the need to comment because it is ridiculous that someone said some things about Unionist that are baseless and untrue and because one person said it everyone assumed it was real.  Most people here know Unionists position and his life experiences with fighting for workers rights, a highly marganilized position and I can't believe that people would think that he would be casual, diminishing or blase about the position.  He was talking about how horrible both situations of slavery are, he was not promoting or condoning slavery in any way. 

Makwa Makwa's picture

Refuge wrote:
Most people here know Unionists position and his life experiences with fighting for workers rights, a highly marganilized position and I can't believe that people would think that he would be casual, diminishing or blase about the position.  He was talking about how horrible both situations of slavery are, he was not promoting or condoning slavery in any way. 

(emphasis mine) Oookaaay then. From now on, when I imagine unionist, I shall hold a portrait of William Wilberforce in my mind's eye with the stirring refrains of 'Amazing Grace' playing in the background.

Caissa wrote:

This questioning of a fundamental labour right should have been stopped by a moderator immediately. 

If we concede that some forms of labour may be deemed essential, then the right to withhold labour is not absolute.  The question is, do we believe that transit services are 'essential?'  I can imagine numerous situations where a major urban public transit stoppage would quickly endanger the health of some vulnerable people. I do not see the question as outside the realms of reasonable progressive discourse, although I agree that anti-labour positions should not be supported. 

*** 

Even now / We are not lost: If you look out at the night / You'll see the colours and the lights seem to say / People are not far away, at least in distance, / And it's only our own dumb resistance / That's making us stay.

Caissa

A moderator can close this thread anytime, IMHO.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Nice Strawman Makwa, but I am not biting.  I stand by my post.

Caissa

Closure.

Sven Sven's picture

Caissa wrote:
A moderator can close this thread anytime, IMHO.

If a mod doesn't come quickly and close this thread now, the Earth is going to spin out of its revolutionary path around the sun and out into dark, cold space because it's exceeded the dreaded 100-post limit!!!  YIKES!!!

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Caissa

Oh, know. Another sign of the Apocalypse.

Sven Sven's picture

Caissa wrote:
Another sign of the Apocalypse.

Yep.  That is the real reason for the 100-post limit.

And, with each additional post, the urgency to close this thread increases logarithmically (sorry to add to the danger...but I thought people would like to know why the sun is starting to look like a pin-prick in the distance).

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Caissa

Higher and higher.

oldgoat

Well golly, 112 posts!  How'd that happen?

So hasn't this been just freakin' magical! 

Anyhoo, all above are welcome to stand by their posts.  I mean you're going to anyway.  Also, in my own humble opinion, besides a few bruises and black eyes, I've found this to be an interesting thread.  I've actually read peoples posts, thought about them though I didn't post, and actually shifted my thinking a bit based on Unionists arguments.  I mean how often does that happen on an internet forum.  Not that I initially disagreed, but it was a hitherto under-considered issue on my part. 

This probably wouldn't have happened mind you, if the question hadn't been raised, which lends to the argument that it is legitimate to raise the question, here, now, and in this context.  Actually, despite our policies here at babble, first principles of anti-racism come up all the time, and those who are really connected with this issue are usually if not always pretty patient about it.

There are so many posters here who are probably right in what they say, but I can never hear them through their own orthodox bombast, but I have to say Unionist is a poster I can often hear.  Having said all that, Unionist, I think there are many aspects of the Anti-racism and Oppression realm to which you are totally tone deaf, and in that I understand and agree with Makwa's arguments.

I know that you won't agree with me on that point, and if I want you to  I may have to wait for another lifetime. 

Anyway, long thread, so I'm closing.

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