The Mason Missile, Special Edition-The COVID-19 Chronicles, April 2, 2020

Greetings!

The COVID-19, aka coronavirus crisis goes on and so do trump’s failures as a “president”, as well as the charlatanism of his cheerleaders. Many of them are the evangelical Christian wing, who can’t stop seeing trump-thrice-married adulterer, tax-business-wife-golf cheater, racist, sexist, ignoramus rich kid who got out of the draft through his father’s connections-as their Messiah.

Many of them are refusing to abide by stay-at-home, social-distancing rules; one has been Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a Pittsburgh-area evangelist, has called for a big Easter revival service on the scale of Woodstock. (https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/04/01/pittsburgh-pastor-to-hold-woodstock-like-easter-gathering-despite-coronavirus-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR15NtquugQF_ez5IEr6PChnDEFe9vFs3KFYPifnhxIkLet7COOEimB4sw0) Shuttlesworth has been on Twitter complaining that church leaders who close their churches due to the COVID-19 crisis were a bunch of “sissies” and “pansies.” (  https://deadstate.org/christian-pastor-churches-that-shut-down-due-to-coronavirus-are-a-bunch-of-pansies/)

Another, Rodney Howard-Brown of Tampa, was just arrested for defying rules against holding large gatherings, continuing to hold services at his River Church. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/us/coronavirus-pastor-arrested-tampa-florida.html) Howard-Brown, a supporter of trump, kept the church open and urged his congregants to shake hands, saying that “we are raising revivalists, not pansies.”  (https://nationalpost.com/news/world/covid-19-florida-pastor-arrested-for-violating-bans-on-large-gatherings-says-closures-are-for-pansies)

So many of our plutocratic leaders, and their media mouthpieces, are demanding that workers jeopardize their health by returning to work, “to save our country,” and it makes no never mind to them that the virus is still floating around. We the working people of America are expendable to them.

But workers are still recognizing their value, as human beings and as parts of the economy, and are stepping up to the fight against COVID. Workers at the GE aerospace plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, are demanding that they, and their laid-off colleagues, be put to work in producing ventilators for hospitals in their fight against the virus. (https://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2020/03/30/general-electric-silent-protest-coronavirus) (https://www.masslive.com/business/2020/03/coronavirus-related-layoffs-at-general-electric-prompt-workers-in-boston-and-lynn-to-walk-off-the-job-demand-ge-make-ventilators.html)

Workers at the Amazon warehouses in Staten Island NY have walked off the job, urging greater safety conditions and pay. This is similar to the demands of workers at Whole Foods (a subsidiary of Amazon) and of Instacart (a grocery delivery firm).  What the Amazon workers need especially is a deep cleaning of the warehouse to kill the virus, more sick time, and availability of hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes. (https://www.npr.org/2020/03/30/823767492/amazon-instacart-grocery-delivery-workers-strike-for-coronavirus-protection-and-) (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/business/economy/coronavirus-instacart-amazon.html) (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52096273) (https://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2020/03/29/Amazon-walkout-New-York-City-Staten-Island-fulfillment-center/stories/202003290163?fbclid=IwAR3KX_zOJQAV3i22BjKguaFHGd4f65AOVdMUoiep-P56s1gqC64UdP8pKdI)

Of course, Amazon spokespeople announce d the company’s concern for the well-being of its employees during the pandemic; but Amazon fired Chris Smalls, the organizers of the Amazon workers in Staten Island, for his activism for the workers. (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/30/amazon-fires-staten-island-coronavirus-strike-leader-chris-smalls.html) Even in the midst of a national crisis, union-busting and intimidating workers go on.

Throughout the country, Whole Foods workers announced plans to “call in sick” to demand paid leave for workers who self-quarantine due to the virus, plus free COVVID-19 testing for employees, and hazard pay for workers working during the crisis.( https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dmeka/whole-foods-employees-are-staging-a-nationwide-sick-out)

These are companies owned by Jeff Bezos, estimated worth $115 billion-wealthy enough to form his own space program- and yet he doesn’t spend a dime of his fortune on the people who got it for him, the workers who toil in his warehouses, with every move monitored electronically, with no time for rest of breaks.

Amazon employees, and workers in general, are easily disposed of these days-just like in the “Gilded Age” of this country, right after the Civil War, when capitalism was at its most blatantly laissez-faire, where corporations grew and were more powerful than the state and local governments they bought and sold, when immigrants were brought into this country-amid hostility by the “native” (i.e., white Protestant) Americans- to do the lowest-paid, most dangerous and tedious, and unskilled jobs available, and workers were expected to fight amongst each other for whatever such jobs the bosses condescend to throw at them-and the bosses look down on workers as losers and insignificant. 

But now, in this situation, this crisis that the leading leader was supposed to lead us out of, due to his vast business skills hones in tax evasion, bankruptcy, underpaying immigrant workers, and fraud, has shown himself to be a disaster of a President and as a human being altogether; and the working people-despised as “losers,” toiling in minimum-wage jobs for eternal hours-grocery workers, medical and cleaning staff, and truck drivers-are the saviors of this nation, and let’s never forget that.

We are seeing an entirely different ethos in the works in this country, and where we work together mutually in our communities, watching out for each other; as a recent editorial in the New York Times shows. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-governors-cities.html?smid=fb-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR2n5irW9zYsZOVxztkJC8DMA0taJ02s4-KUxVU7NB6dmKS5xfwGTDGQj-A) This meshes well the workers organizing-at Amazon, at Whole Foods, at GE- for their rights and welfare, and for that of their communities-no different than from a the labor struggles over a century ago; but we have a rich history of Labor struggles to draw inspiration from during our current struggles.  

We are up against a serious crisis; but if we band together, connect with each other, support eachother, and love each other, we’ll be victorious. Bye!

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