Last night I went to go see Cesar Chavez with my partner. It was an excellent film, which comes at an important time in our history where many Americans take rights in the workplace for granted; many of us, myself included, don’t fully understand the past struggle which has allowed us to be where we are today. And at the same time, we see efforts across the country to dismantle and limit the scope of unions, such as here in Michigan when Rick Snyder signed “Right to Work” into law.
It’s discouraging, I think, to realize that, well into your adulthood, you can still be so ignorant of the world and of events that have shaped it in the not-so-distant past. Movies like this, for many of us, break our understanding of the way that the world is and put us in an uncomfortable position where we have to come to terms with the practices of American agriculture exploiting workers – which is, by the way, no where near being a thing of the past.
It is much easier to remain ignorant, to go to the supermarket, make your purchases, and not have to think about where this food came from as if God is still sending us manna directly down from heaven, only now it lands in aisle 8 and costs $1.29/lb on sale.
The world is a complicated, tangled-up place and we should be constantly coming face-to-face with our own ignorance of it. It strikes me that we are all making complicated choices on a daily basis, too, just for our survival.
Rather than being such a frightening, overwhelming thing, it should increase our empathy for one another and encourage us to find the common bonds that we share.
Easier said than done.
That’s life in the trenches.