Wednesday, November 4, 2009

David Horsey = Elitist Horse's Ass

Hillbillies trying to attach the wing of a plane! Now, I ask you, is that FUNNY or what?

This piece of elitist, nasty hatred brought to you by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's David Horsey. I think he oughtta change his name to David Horse's Ass.

Just remember, next time someone tries to tell you there is no hatred of southern people: ask them how this vicious, hateful piece of classist shit could get printed in a mainstream newspaper.


CrackerLilo said...

But...but...Daisy, isn't it us white Southerners who are bigoted, unlike those enlightened Northerners who are only trying to tell us how we can be more like them...I mean, improve?

Jon said...

Seattle just lost a bunch of well paid union jobs to a southern, non union plant. The message in Seattle was that the southerners were more compliant, less likely to cause trouble, more willing to work much harder for much less, in other words they are company chumps.
On sober reflection, I know that some of that message is just more company propaganda but the reaction seems at least excusable when you consider Seattle's long, long history of union culture. A city whose workers pride themselves on not just their skills but their long struggle to set decent standards in the workplace was passed over for some folks whose apparent claim to fame was a willingness to sacrifice themselves to make the boss happy.
Sorry, I'm a big city yankee who works union and enjoys the many benefits of doing so. I don't like or endorse the cartoon, but I understand it.

D. said...

I checked out the comments (beneath the cartoon at the website) and was for the most part pleasantly surprised. Quite a few came to the defense of S. Carolina workers. I was not previously aware that that many stereotypical symbols could be crammed into that small a space.

While I was over at the site, I read some of his blog posts. I get the idea that he doesn't think the electorate has much brain. (No, thanks, that was sufficient penance.)

Rootietoot said...

Jon, the cost of living here in The South is much lower than in Seattle. People generally do pretty well without unions. When the unions do try to come in, the companies just move overseas, and where does that leave us?

Jon said...

Hey Rootietoot, I know how it works. My dad worked in the textile industry. In his lifetime that industry went from the Northeast, to the South, to Mexico and Eastern Europe and finally to Asia.
Unions are about more than wages. Unions give workers a voice on the job and foster a culture of solidarity that makes work life a little more bearable. I've worked at plenty of non union jobs in less expensive parts of the country. I usually ended up involved in some sort of de facto organizing drive. Our goal was not always to bring in a union but to set up some mechanisms that would allow us some say in work life.
I went through a multi year struggle in a right to work state. We knew we'd never get a union, but we absolutely understood that we had to end a whole range of arbitrary management practices.
Here in the north, the unfair picture of southern workers is that they will submit to just that sort of arbitrary and unreasonable management and that they prefer to trust the boss rather than rely on solidarity.
Other side of it is that I passed through the southern coal fields during the coal wars of the '70's. I met some southern workers who were some of the most solid union folks I've ever met. I should also say that one of my favorite union bloggers is a young operating engineer who works in Texas and Louisiana.
Finally, if anyone wants to chime in with, "I was in a union and it was a corrupt undemocratic institution that took care of the boss and a few good old boys." I've been in a few of those outfits too. I've also seen them changed by determined worker activists. I'd rather have a broken union that needs fixing than no union at all.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jon, study the history of violent union-busting in the south before you blame southerners for being anti-union. Southerners started as TERRIFIED of unions, and that has handily morphed into business-approved "unions are bad for the workers" propaganda, unfortunately.

In any event, there is no reason to insult millions of people. And BTW, does Horse's Ass know where North Charleston is? Has he ever visited? Well, lemme tell you, it is FAR MORE LIKELY that at least half of the workforce will be African-American or Mexican/Honduran/Guatemalan ... and in case you didn't know, they ain't too big on the confederate flag. In other words...David Horse's Ass just showed his STUPIDITY, as well as his bigotry... then again, they often (usually) go together.

Jon said...

Jeez, you mean people will express opinions on issues about which they know nothing? It's just that I had just come across some outraged blogging from union sources about that work going to S. Carolina. The anger in those posts was, properly, directed at management, but you know, people will spout off in stupid ways when we're scared.

DaisyDeadhead said...

This took me about five seconds to Google (dunno why Horse's Ass doesn't know how to Google, as smart as he obviously is):

While the state Department of Commerce boasts that South Carolina has the lowest number of hours lost to labor troubles, the state has few actual labor disputes to gauge how far the state will go to keep the wheels of private enterprise turning. The last time workers tried to shut down a factory was during the Great Textile Strike of 1934, which left six workers in Honea Path dead. (Italics mine)

The army assembled to protect the 20 nonunion workers was the largest in peacetime South Carolina. To put it in context, three days before the disturbance on the docks an anti-flag march drew nearly 70,000 people to Columbia. The event was overseen by a police force of 200, or about one cop for every 400 protestors. At the ILA [International Longshoreman's Association] picket, there were four cops for each protestor.

The police videos that recorded the troops preparing for battle with the ILA have a home-movie quality to them. It begins with a Charleston police captain telling a large room full of cops that union workers from across the southeast would be coming to help the ILA disrupt port operations. Their job was to keep the protestors off port property and to ensure the nonunion ship was loaded without delay.

The SPA [State Ports Authority] had scheduled the ship to arrive when the ILA wasn't working another ship and there was no truck traffic. When the Skodsborg docked the evening of the 19th, an army of 660 cops were on hand to protect the 20 nonunion laborers waiting to load the ship.

"We want to have such a show of force to project an image that we can't lose this battle tonight," the captain says. In the next scene, cops file by a supply room to get helmets, four-foot riot batons and gas masks. Shots pan the mobile headquarters for the various police agencies ranging from a camouflaged tractor trailer to RVs, all sprouting antenna and satellite dishes, and humming with serious activity.

Other shots: a platoon of state troopers in full riot gear jog to keep up with an armored car. Police dogs and armored police horses. A police boat, the police plane and the police helicopter all make cameo appearances.

The police chaplain is there "in case things take a turn and I need to minister to the needs of the officers."

The video shows that when the 150 or so longshoremen marched up to the SPA property line at 12:18 am, they were stopped by about 150 cops. An angry confrontation erupts when the opposing forces meet. The longshoremen demand to be allowed to go to the docks to picket. The police are adamant that their line will not be crossed, and warn on a loudspeaker that anyone crossing the railroad track is on SPA property and subject to arrest. Most of the protestors had crossed the same tracks to go to work that day.

There were no barricades to stop the picketers, just a line of cops, allowing the opposing forces to meet face-to-face. The pushing starts almost immediately. The cops begin pushing longshoremen, some of whom react in kind.


This is fairly typical of what southerners dealt with. The movie NORMA RAE left out the MURDERS of union organizers... does the name KAREN SILKWOOD ring any bells?

This kind of state brutality is hard to fight, and it's very frightening. Have you ever faced down riot police? It's rough stuff. To many southerners, the arrival of unions signaled the beginning of state violence that they simply wished to avoid at all costs.

Rather than admit fear (or admit that they have caved to wanton bullying), workers allow themselves to believe the political propaganda that unions aren't good for workers.

Jon said...

I was in Harlan County during the strike that Barbara Kopple made famous in "Harlan County USA". I'm a northerner and a city boy, sort of, still, yes I've seen gun thugs. I was also in Warren, Michigan when the full force of the state, the corporation and the UAW were used to break a wildcat at the Dodge Truck Plant. I'm currently working in labor lotusland, (Ha!) Northern California. Here, as in Seattle, some of us still remember the victorious general strike and people who died in those struggles. The misguided perception is that if Southerners just had the good sense to stick together they wouldn't be so damn easy to push around. It worked for us, right?

Jon said...

PS, thanks for furthering my labor education. Seriously.

D. said...

Jon: Sticking together and the Seven Samurai might prevail.

urocyon said...

Ah, good old Divide And Conquer!

I was born in West Virginia, and some of my dad's (Native, which is not unusual) family lives near where the Battle of Blair Mountain--the only time military aircraft have been deployed against US civilians--and the rest of the Mining Wars happened. Talk about state violence. Immigrant laborers were brought in to break the strikes, some of them indentured. I didn't think that was still legal then, but apparently so.

After all that, the unions got crushed again. Look at the Sago disaster in 2006. "If they didn't want to get treated like crap, they'd do something about it" just doesn't fly. Victim blaming is way too popular.

D.: Jon: Sticking together and the Seven Samurai might prevail.


Hattie said...

So how do you fee about Boeing coming to your state in order to bust its union? Not a point of pride, I should think.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Hattie, no, not a point of pride... but again, have you been to North Charleston? It's a very poor area and there is no mistaking that they need the jobs.

Hattie said...

I'm sure. Will they get the jobs if they have prison records or poor health or other conditions? Will workers be coming in from other places to do the jobs or will they really go to local people?
Boing has a lousy track record with jerking workers around. You will find out.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Hattie, no defense here of Boeing or any other multi-national capitalist corporation. This thread is about the classist, insulting cartoon by David Horsey, not about Boeing. People have used Boeing's actions to defend the cartoon... and I'm not buying that. There is no defense of classist (or racist, or sexist, etc) insults. Period.

Elizabeth McClung said...

What the hey? Sigh, and this is why my partner doesn't let me read papers or watch the news. The capacity for humans to hurt humans appears to still be intact. I apologize for the newspaper and the cartoonist, I wish they would educate themselves.