Wednesday, March 20, 2013

American Labor History: A Conspiracy of Silence?

Uncovering other studies or articles written on the correlation of the labor movement and television gives me a rush of solidarity.  Solidarity in the sense me and another academic out there share similar ways of thinking and partake in the same preoccupation for our brother and sister workers.  

Roy Rosenzweig writes the article by first mentioning the absence, a conspiracy theory, as he likes to put it, of the labor unions in political/historical magazines, such as American Heritage.  Other public sites, such as museums, historical landmarks, and, quite literally, movies, lack in their representation of the labor movement as well.  

Rosenzweig says that he could talk about this absence for a while, which is a disturbing thought--that a lot of citizens sure do not care a whole lot about their neighbors--but he would also like to analyze the misrepresentation of unions and the "divorce" of the past labor movement to the present labor movement. 

The recent anti-union sentiment would shame your great-grandparents and mine.  People are far too separated from others and dangerously unaware of the source of their consumption.  If we were to build up a relationship with the people we do business with, like if you were to meet the person who picks the apple that you eat every morning, we would have a more personal and emotional investment in our environment and therefore the success of people around us.  

Other types of organizations, like unions themselves or conglomerate unions, like the AFL-CIO, put on workshops and spread awareness of the labor movement and its current ambitions.  Films have also been successful in their portrayal of labor unions, Norma Ray was repeatedly listed in all of the other previous articles.  

While there still are successes in the labor movement, labor unions are receiving abysmally small coverage in the lens of academics, org leaders, politicians, and even the common people.  More has to be done on informing workers and their community of their rights, and there is no better way than with the visual aid and entertainment of television.  

link to article:

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