On Rana Plaza

Rescuers work at the collapsed Rana Plaza building

Image: Rescuers work at the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: Zuma/Rex Features

I have read this article, this content, in various forms, many times during the past week.

I’m aware of the warm 60s weather and the glorious sunshine after a very long New York winter, but I’m distracted. No, not distracted, I’m upset. I’ve not come so far from my teen days as a follower of sweatshop watch, it seems, because the widespread mis-treatment and abuse of garment workers still gets under my skin in a way few other societal ills can compare with. 

Folks who edited my thesis or went to school with me please forgive the constant repetition, but there is no garment that is not handmade. There is no machine that I’ve found that spits out whole shirts, they are sewn by people. These people make the clothing I and my fellow Americans wear, they are connected to us, we are responsible for each other, and now hundreds of those people are dead and 600 still missing. This is not a call to action, because honestly I don’t know what that action would be. I’m just tired of this story repeating itself country after country, year after year. I’m tired of thinking about death when I buy a T-shirt.


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