Los Angeles playwright and former union rep David Macaray shares a provocative essay in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. For those many family members at the dinner table who will be trying to give thanks despite a difficult or non-existent employment situation, he suggests that that they should tell the American media to take the term now commonly used to designate scabs, or strikebreakers, and stuff it.
The sanitized term “replacement worker” (which is what the American media call scabs) is one of the most repellent euphemisms in existence. Our European brothers and sisters honestly can’t understand how we accept such a thing.
From their perspective, calling a scab a “replacement worker” is as absurd as calling a dirty traitor an “alternative patriot.” No flag-waving American would stand for that kind of verbal legerdemain when it came to defending one’s country; and no one should stand for it when it comes to labor disputes. But we do.
Macaray notes that this past Saturday, November 20th, was the 194th anniversary of the first use of the word scab, by the Albany Typographical Society. His article appears on Santa Rosa-based website DissidentVoice.org, edited and published by Sunil K. Sharma, formerly a researcher with Project Censored.