The Protected Set Vs the Non-Protected Set
Itʼs weird to be told by officialdom that what you do for a living is non-essential. Itʼs extra weird to be told by officialdom that you canʼt do what you do for living, period. Many people around here know these feelings, but many others have no idea what this feels like at all. We are discovering the distinct differences between the protected set and the non-protected set these days more than ever, as itʼs the poor, disenfranchised & marginalized members of our society who are paying the price from these heat and pandemic waves, while those who have been protectively paid since the start of 2020 continue to sail along in ignorant bliss of what itʼs like to feel that your community could not care less that your career, livelihood & possibly life itself have been taken away from you.
Women have suffered the most job losses since this all began, meaning men once again profit disproportionately when the systems they design inevitably break down due to their innate structural flaws. Unless you were a professional male athlete, or a privileged movie star, or a rich government executive, etc., arts, sports & the hospitalities became off-limits to their workers, decreed as less essential than such supposed essentials as box-stores & booze merchants. Since when did arts, sports & hospitality become anything less than essential?
For instance, it was hard enough to be a live performer in a rural small-town as it was, let alone working with the knowledge that one’s industry will be the first to close and the last to open, and that most people wonʼt truly notice the poor artists suffering career setbacks for years while they go about their fairly normal lives in willful ignorance.
Those in the arts, sports & hospitality fields understand as well as anyone the need to protect oneʼs own health along with the well-being of their patrons. Otherwise, thereʼs no-one else to come to their venues, so isnʼt it about time that the politicians & authorities being paid all this time to protect our public health actively do what they say they will do, for what itʼs worth? Tragically, those non-protected workers who are deemed essential have suffered the most.
How is it that our non-protected workers are the ones who are paid the least, yet pay the biggest price, when those paid the most typically fail to do what theyʼre essentially paid to do? Peopleʼs deaths have yet again gone unnoticed and undercounted in far too many communities overlooked by the mainstream of our societal river. Just like the Ganges in India, there are many bodies presently unaccounted for in this hypocritical nation which has many unaccounted for bodies in its destructive past. Our colonial cult has again dismissed the ramifications of mass deaths on neglected minority populations, all the while disbelieving the common folks’ stories on the ground until itʼs far too late. Race, poverty & discrimination again play their malevolent roles in this settler nationʼs defiantly hubristic ways.
Accounting for peopleʼs lives involves tracking data, so how about we learn to count? A good place to start is enacting each of the Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action.