How vaccine nationalism shafts billions of people like me

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Vaccine Nationalism: the same toxic nationalism, now in injectable form

All of your great vaccine news might as well be from Mars. Billions of people like me are last in line. Perhaps you don’t get it. Irresponsible, rich countries have created tons of demand, bought up all the supply, and are doing it all for profit.

There’s no vaccine for the world. Just the wealthy.

The US, EU and India alone have bought up at least 4-billion doses, while the entire COVAX program for the Global South has 700 million (The Continent). To put it another way, Moderna and Pfizer might as well be Rolex and Omega. …

Waking up from a nice dream into a global nightmare

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The Wife from diptych We Come Alive From Eating Your Flesh by Rajni Perera

The words, in my head, are English. My education was American and Canadian. I write against white power like I always knew better, but I didn’t. I am a comprador. I am a collaborator. I am complict.

I am a brown man, easily passing for white, and for most of my life I thought everything was fine.

Capital Colonialism

We colonized ourselves. That’s what always gets me. We didn’t just kick the few dozen white men out, we negotiated with them, tried to play them against our court rivals, and got massively played out ourselves.

We administered the colonies. We loaded our own resources onto their ships. We carried the truncheons. We put each other in chains. We even fought in their damn wars. They left, but it never stopped. This is part of the violence of white power. Not just bodies, you have brutalized our minds. As Frantz Fanon said, you left us with an arsenal of complexes. I am only beginning to untangle this myself. …

I live in the ‘Third World’. You’re not better than us

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A map of the ‘three worlds’ of the Cold War. Also a map of your ignorance

People use ‘third world’ as a slur. ‘Oh we’re like a third world country now,’ obviously talking about something bad. But, uh, I live in a third world country. You guys are being dicks. Words are used to assert power and this hurts us more than feelings.

Billions of people live in what you call the third world and we’re not some uniform hellscape. You’re insulting us and you’re plain wrong. This hurts us cause we get stomped on, but it hurts you because you remain ignorant. Worst of all, the slur comes from people I otherwise respect.

I like umair haque, but it’s just awful when he says “the average American began to live a life more suited to a third world country.” Like we’re uniquely suited to shit. April D. Ryan seems cool but not when she says “what makes us different from a third world country & dictatorships?” Like we’re all despotic hellscapes. These are people I like, and even they insult me. You can imagine how the racists are. …

The final labor right is the right to not labor

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Parenting, art — we call the most important things ‘not work’

You have the right to not work. Sounds crazy, but what are you doing right now? Not working, are you? That’s fine. This is your right.

You are not your job. You are not defined by your value to the capitalist system. Yes you have rights as a worker, but the most important right — the one we are denied — is the right to not work at all.

What is not work?

Not work is the most important work of all. Not work is raising children. Not work is caring for elders. Not work is making art.

A rich nation is one with Zero Domestic Poverty

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You are only rich if you have room at your table. We Live in Silence XVI, 2017 by Kudzanai Chiurai

If Jeff Bezos moved to Sri Lanka, my entire country’s GDP would double. Just from his white ass moving next door. But my life would be the same. It’s not like he shops at the grocery store 3 million times more. It’s not like he pays real taxes. Dude wouldn’t even loan me a cup of sugar. This is how meaningless GDP is. We average out our richest assholes and call ourselves rich.

We need to measure something else.

We need to stop measuring the rich and start measuring the poor. We need to stop measuring greed and start measuring good. …

That’s why it’s so messed up now. You’re young

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Some white guy meeting America’s founders

Americans want to know what the fuck is going on? I understand, but this is the wrong question. The most important question is when. Americans think they are 225 years old when in fact they are only 60. This is why you can’t handle your electoral alcohol. Democratically speaking, you’re children.

You’re obviously wasted. Just lie down in the bathtub and try to understand.

When am I?

American democracy was not founded in 1776. I know your mythology says this, but please think for a minute. At that time only 6% of the population could vote. Enslaving Greeks and Romans would be like 👍🏽, but those are two-thousand year old pedophiles. …

Oh God, why didn’t we learn this before

An American soldier has his throat sprayed to prevent influenza in December of 1918 at Love Field in Dallas, Texas.

I grew up in America and never learned about the 1918 flu. I learned a lot about the Oregon Trail and Ohio’s canal system but nothing about the greatest single fatality event in American history. In hindsight, this would have been useful.

Now I’ve at least read The Great Influenza by John M. Barry. Depressingly, it often reads like the present — the denial, the absent President, the fall wave. I highly recommend reading it yourself, but as a teaser, here are eight things I learned. …

Things are bad. Why should you feel good?

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Svetlana telling Tony Soprano how it is

Some Americans say my articles make them feel bad. I find this strange. 250,000 of you have died. You’re in the middle of a stupid coup. People are suffering all around. Why should you feel good?

This is like saying that the sound of a fire alarm stresses you out. Uh, okay. YOU’RE ON FIRE!

I am just an above-average writer from an average situation. Most people in the world have been through some shit. America is in some shit now. It’s not going to feel good. It’s not supposed to feel good. …

Sleep deprivation doesn’t help your relationship

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“Never go to bed angry” they tell you. This is terrible advice. You shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while drowsy, and that includes your relationship.

For the love of God, if you’re sleepy just go to bed. The human brain is useless when tired, you need to turn it off and on again. Tell your partner you love them and go to bed. If you’re the hangry type, eat something.

Early in our marriage (when we fought more) we tried to talk everything out before bed and I’d just end up nodding off in the middle of some serious disclosure. …

We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired

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What wave?

It feels like nobody gives a shit anymore. Nose-dragging, chin-strapping, going to bars, having birthday parties, whatever. Even the government is like, be safe, you’re on your own.

Pandemic fatigue is real. It’s exhausting.

The opposite of solidarity is liquidarity

People just can’t on their own, so they don’t. Where I live, Sri Lanka is having its worst wave (a few hundred cases every day) but we’re definitely not on our best behavior. People are planning New Year’s, having birthday parties, going to the gym.

Our family declines the few invitation we get with the gritted subtext of why are you having this at all? But we’re the odd ones out. …



Views from the Dirty South

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