I was at my local supermarket just now. I got in line with a checker I know – a middle age black woman – and when she got to me we greeted each other. Then I asked her, “what do you think of what’s going on in this country?”
She frowned and shook her head. “I’ve been worried about my son,” she said. “He’s in Texas now.” She talked about that for a second. Then I mentioned that I’d been on the protest here in Oakland and had been up on the freeway. She asked me about some cops being injured but I didn’t know anything about that.
Then I commented, “you know what makes me so mad? In all those thousands of people — where were the unions? They should have been leading the protest.”
She nodded her head. Then, without a pause, she started talking about a dispute she’d been having with her manager. “____ (her union business representative) took his (the manager’s) side. She never even talked to me. I told her, ‘you know what? You’re no good to me. I pay your wages, but you’re no good to me whatsoever.‘”
She then complained that her co workers “stabbed me in the back.” I commented that we’ve had 40 years of repressing the union spirit and that’s why we’re where we’re at. By that time she was finished with me and had to go on to the next customer.