Thanksgiving thread: Arbery Verdict, Health workers vs. Anti-vaxxers, & an Indigenous poem

Vern here, and Happy Thanksgiving! Except, in my neighborhood they’re having more posole than turkey, and saying to each other and me, “Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!” which makes me thankful for the English language’s economy of words and syllables.

Another thing we’re thankful for today at the Orange Juice Blog is the Ahmaud Arbery verdict – it’s good to know that LYNCHING is no longer acceptable even to 11 white jurors in Georgia! And meanwhile the Arbery family’s fine attorney didn’t bring up race at all, while the despicable defense attorneys hammered on it in the grossest ways – and it didn’t work! That is progress.

Greg wanted us to have a thread on that, especially since the disturbing outcome of this week’s OTHER Vigilante Trial.

Also, The Rude Pundit says we should be:

Thankful for Healthcare Workers not Being Driven from their Jobs by Anti-Vax Morons.

Last year, the country was filthy with tributes to health care workers – doctors, nurses, hospital staff – who had to deal with the coronavirus-driven near apocalypse of our medical system. The number of patients was overwhelming, a tsunami of death and suffering that tested the limits of available equipment and the strength and nerve of those who had signed up for jobs where they tried to save lives and ease suffering. And, oh, how we appreciated it. Goddamn, how we put out signs and clanged pots and cheered and applauded. We knew we owed them for their sacrifices, so clearly visible in videos and photos, for their own pain and isolation from their loved ones. 

Then given a chance to demonstrate how much we cared about them, being asked to do the absolute least to give them some relief, to get vaccinated and wear a mask, millions of us said, “Nah, fuck that. I’m batshit insane and I wanna party.” So we have had spike after spike of Covid cases. It would have been more honest for many people to have put out signs that read “Suck it, Doc!” and to have chanted, “Fuck you, medi-bitches!”

Image credit: Scott Eisen/Stringer/Getty Images

As we are seeing our 5th (really?) surge in Covid cases, with hospitalizations rising and at least 1000 deaths a day that we have just weirdly decided is fine, we are getting ready to put the exhausted health care workers through another trip to the hellscape of Covid-overcrowding in the ICUs. Michigan, for instance, is seeing a surge that is coming close to the highest number of hospitalizations it’s seen. The state just recorded the highest weekly caseload since the start of the pandemic. 

So it’s not surprising that a large number of the people who care for us are saying, “No, fuck this shit” and leaving their jobs. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the health-care sector has lost nearly half a million workers since February 2020. Morning Consult, a survey research company, says that 18 percent of health-care workers have quit since the pandemic began,” says Ed Yong in a recent article in The Atlantic. Read the polls of nurses. 66% have contemplated giving up health care altogether. And “76% say that people who have yet to be vaccinated threaten nurses’ physical and mental well-being.” If you’re unvaccinated by choice, go fuck yourself. You’re hurting all of us not just with the virus but by making the jobs of medical workers miserable by clogging the system with your hacking asses. 

I have two friends who work in the ICU in a large New Jersey hospital… read the rest here!

And today, the same blogger posted a:

Thanksgiving Poem from Indigenous America

Gia’s Song” 

by Nora Naranjo-Morse, a member of the Tewa tribe from Santa Clara Pueblo

Thungjoo Kwa yaa na povi sah
Thungjoo Kwa yaa na povi sah
Tsay ohi taa geh wo gi wa naa povi sah
        pin povi
        pin povi do mu u da kun
        ka nee na nun dun naa da si tah.

On top of Black Mesa there are flowers
On top of Black Mesa there are flowers
        dew on yellow flowers 
        mountain flowers I see
        so far away that it makes me cry.

She opened her eyes slowly,
        as if to awaken from a trance
        cast by a song,
        transporting her to childhood,
        back to the flowers 
        agrowing atop Black Mesa
        so far and yet
        clearly brilliant.

Awake from the song,
        Gia focused on her daughter,
        anxiously awaiting
        to be taught a new song.

The old woman chose to take her time,
        she had learned from experience,
        attention is better paid by children,
        when there is a little pause,
        and mystery

Soon enough Gia spoke . . .        

“When I was a young girl,
        my family would camp
        below Kwheng sa po,
        during the farming months.

We spent most of our days
        following my grandmother
        through rows of corn
        and playing in the streams below.

One day white men came in a wagon,
        telling us about a school for Indians,
        run by the government.

We were told this school would educate
        and prepare us for jobs in the white man’s world.

None of us knew what any of it meant,
        but these men spoke sweetly
        offering grandmother a roll of baling wire
        for each child that went to school.

Before we knew what was happening,
        we were sitting in the back of their wagon,
        on our way to government school,
        away from our families,
        to another man’s world.

Often we would cry,
        out of loneliness,
        but this song helped us
        to remember our home.”

Gia thoughtfully straightened the pleats on her skirt, swallowing the last of her coffee.
        Smiling, she continued . . .

“The government school taught sewing,
        I learned on an electric machine.
        By the time I returned to the village I could
        sew, but few of the people had heard of sewing machines,
        or even electricity.

The machine I learned to operate as my trade
        could not be carried here and there,
        but this song you are learning,
        will always be carried in your heart,
        here and there.”

It’s your goddamned FOUR-DAY Thanksgiving Weekend Open Thread.

Talk about this, that, or the other.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.