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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/20/20

The Tragic Pandemic of Greed

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Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

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Yes, this too will pass.

While most of us stay at home during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we should try a thought experiment. Imagine inhabitants on another planet, eons from now, trolling through the historic records of Earthlings. Scratching their head or heads or whatever, see these others trying to imagine us, trying picture what it was like for a whole species to be obsessed with producing and reproducing and accumulating inanimate objects that, in turn, are meant to signify wealth the value, ultimately, of any given human being!

Why did these humans invest in irrational schemes, including those establishing educational institutions, which passed down to future generations the value of inflicting suffering and death? Survival-of-the fitness or, rather, the survival-of-the-wealthiest! Accolades and awards, doled out to the ascending winners.

Why did human invest in such an irrational sacrifice of human potential?

Now, what's left is a record of tragic proportion.

I grew up loving books, not knowing that I lived in a country that didn't give a damn if I did, worse, a country that would aggressively devise pogroms of poverty, unemployment, legalized segregation, miseducation as policies devised by the heartless ultimately for the demoralization of compassion. Born into a working class family, I was expected to exchange the books for a lifestyle of wheeling and dealing in poison-filled needles in some alleyway. Profitable, in the long run, for a neoliberal agenda, which never recognized the humanity of black Americans.

I persisted with the reading of books.

So years later, I recognized my younger self in students with the same love of reading, of books, the same love of critical thinking to bring about social justice.

Pass it around! An act of resistance breeding further resistance!

At the outset, I have to say that these women had trouble before some of us in the US ever heard of COVID-19. But the virus is exposing the ugliness of a corporate mentality. Forced to surrender their challenge to the powerful profiteers, these teachers, my friends, and many like them throughout this country, must busying themselves in the enterprise of turning a profit for the CEOs and the investors of corporate-ruled educational institutions. In order to continue the flow of wealth, the teachers must teach their courses on online-if if they have never offered instruction of any kind online before. Figure out how to keep the money coming into the campus!

Of course, if these underpaid teachers find it hard to cooperate with this edict, they should keep in mind that they are not being held at gun point! But, of course, no cooperation means no income. And maybe no teaching position when this wave of the Coronavirus passes through our good state of Florida! There was never any health insurance anyway! Who needs health insurance in this country! Why are so many college and university faculty forced to receive part-time pay for full-time work? Part-time faculty as well as graduate student assistants working as part-time teachers keep up with the latest in their field while teaching for a fraction of what tenured (the white and male gatekeepers) receive mind you, with health insurance.

No human being should be in a situation in which they are hounded by debt collectors while forced to remain at a job that practices cruel and abusive measures in order to make it's workers forfeit their right to live in service of the betterment of humanity, not it's downfall.

For many, the love of books, of learning, once nourished, is diminished at the university. Under the circumstances, what teacher passes down anything, except anger for the profession they worked so hard to access for the benefit of transforming this winner-take all society into one in which compassion reigns and justice not cash flows like a might river. The idea of inspiring students is mocked by the in-your-face demand to produce clients the who will take their positions as clogs, replaceable and disposable, if the market dictates their disappearance. And few in America have recognized the distortion of language employed by promoters of capitalism to brand identity and cultural studies as an invasion into American identity, American studies.

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Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

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