Last summer Twitter activist Songpinganq posted a video that will stay with me the rest of my life. A Chinese man sat behind iron bars welded to his window as his small business burned. He could not escape and screamed as the flames engulfed. His neighbors watched and commented, unable to help him. “He’s f—ked,” one said in Mandarin.
That was months before the infamous apartment building fire in Xinjiang. From the very first videos that came out of China in early 2020, it seemed obvious to me that these kind of tragedies were inevitable. Didn’t we learn anything from the Triangle Shirtwaist fire?
Well, yes we did. We owe the workplace laws we have now that require fire exits and unlocked door to the miserable deaths of 146 garment workers. We DO know better, but that didn’t stop sociopaths from excusing, even loudly supporting Chinese COVID policies.