alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Alex Conall, social justice bard ([personal profile] alexconall) wrote2013-04-29 10:26 am

Are We All We Are? [discusses Bangladeshi garment-factory disasters; for [community profile] daily_prompt]

Are we all we are?
Are we as good as we can be?
Open up your eyes and
Look around at what you see
In Bangladesh a building fell
Killed people who made our clothes
Three hundred eighty died
Just so we could get those
Cheaply
Cheaply
We value their lives cheaply

It's only been five months since
The fire where a hundred died
Thirty-eight dollars a month
To feed their children and their pride
So we can have our fifteen-dollar jeans
That cost two hours of min-wage pay
Because we think Bangladesh is
Less precious than the USA
Cheaply
Cheaply
We value their lives cheaply

Are we all we are?
Are we as good as we can be?
Have any of you ever heard
The word 'externality'?
The price of things aren't just
The dollars on their tags
It's time, safety, pollution
And people carried out in body bags
Cheaply
Cheaply
We value their lives cheaply

Five hundred! Five hundred
Deaths between two incidents
We say every life is precious
Don't you hear the dissonance?
These people died because we won't
Check where things were made!
These people died because we won't
Buy from the USA!
Cheaply
Cheaply
We value their lives cheaply

Are we all we are?
Are we as good as we can be?
Have we any choice but
To kill the Bangladeshi?
Police ordered evacuation
Of the building that then fell
But we would rather one more day's work
Than let the workers out of hell
Cheaply
Cheaply
We value their lives cheaply

Five and a half hours
US minimum wage
Is what these people earned
To work in that cage
For a month! For one month!
They're human just like we are!
They're people just like we are!
Aren't they worth at least what we are?

Our cheap clothes are worth more than their cheap lives!
If we want to be who we want to be, we must strive
To change that, to buy only clothes made in USA
Or places with better safety and pay!
Not Bangladesh or Thailand or China
Or places life's cheaper than in North Carolina
This is our fault! We killed those five hundred!
Our greed and our stinginess! I won't say it blunted!

Are we all we are?
Are we all we are?


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Are We All We Are? by Elizabeth Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.