By: Ilka Oliva Corado
Translated by Katrina Hassan
We see the calamity and shamelessness, the same as we have witnessed many other times. What has this time of pandemic taught us? Nothing. Of all the lessons to learn, we chose not to learn any of them. You say the world will change after this? Yeah right! That people will become more humane? Not that either. We are the predator species. We eat each other without squeamishness, without respite, the law of the strongest, meanest, and the biggest scoundrel. It’s just as it always is, everyday. We don’t even flinch to others’ pain and we encourage the disdain from those squads of criminals we choose as governors.
What good are lectures, books on shelves, in our home libraries, university titles on display when people that help out those in need are the ones who have had the least opportunities? With or without the pandemic, they are the ones that keep putting their hands in the fire.
They are the type of people that instead of giving their food a bite, they give that bite to someone else. They donate their harvest. Yes, they are the farmers. We praise the educated and make them feel famous. Wow, such an intellectual, what a good lecturer, film maker, artist, singer, public speaker, great thinker! Hats off !! The farmers, put their hands in the fire, while the artists and great thinkers come and go with their fancy words and their flowery carpets. No more! All this for the same little world that mingles with those that constantly compliment each other. The people who work all day in the sun, outdoors, hauling water, are the ones who value a loaf of bread, in times of hunger and necessity.
Ah yes, there are experts and specialists taking advantage of others’ misery to make personal gains. They give conferences about subjects such as humanities, songs, poems, sculptures, books, movies, documentaries at the expense of those who clamoured for help and they chose not to see. They are incapable of raising their voice like an everyday citizen, indignant to the terrible treatment of their government.
As an example we have a massive amount of images of policemen in Latin America violating citizens that have to break quarantine to feed themselves. Thousands of people taking to the streets with red or white flags, asking for help with medicine or food. The working class has always been exploited and has always suffered. They live day to day and without a single penny saved. It must be nice to be all comfy at home and to tell people “you must stay home.” Where are all the great thinkers, the university graduates? Where are the artists demanding that the government responds like they should to the collective need for the most underprivileged?
Now that the shit has hit the fan, the ones helping out are the ones that we always reject. The exploited, the illiterate, the plagued, the ignorant, the off cast ones. Crises always show the best and the worst in all of humanity. If we have humility to observe properly, the people that give, are quiet. Their hand will stay down, no fuss will be made and no recognition is needed. These are the people that know what time it is just by looking at the sun or by the noise of nocturnal animals.
We should have more humility and balls to recognize those that have been carrying the world on their shoulders since time immemorial. We should leave all the fuss of titles, books read, artist and intellectual meetings, because in a life or death situations, those things are worthless. Those essential workers, are the people that have kept this planet breathing.
What will change after this? Bah! Only kicks in the butt my grand uncle Lilo would say; a farmer.