Launch Post: Another World

In these two readings, one thing was clear: Charlie Kernaghan wants to make a difference. Stopping the use of sweatshops that are dangerous to their workers is his main goal, and he will use a strong and sympathetic voice to share their stories. Fact after fact hit me in the face like his speeches apparently hit his audience. It takes 6.6 minutes to make a $100 garment, blood is in the fabric of the shirt on your back, and China has created 30 million jobs while the US has lost 2 million. These struck me hard. Here, a Catholic man, a Jesuit student, saw something wrong and has made it his life goal to make better lives for all the women and children working to their death.
Kernaghan uses various methods to get his ideas across, and was very successful by telling the truth. Leaving no room for excess explanation and letting the facts and stories speak for themselves- a skill that we can use to persuade and inform others in writing. However, the methods to tell stories of sweatshop workers are not what should be our focus. The growing questions of: What can we do? How will this end? and How can the change happen? should be crossing our minds. This man wants to not just tell the story, but also inspire people to help stop the problem. He wants to encourage people to fight for social justice and build the world community.
This particular cause is fascinating since it looks at what is invisible to us in America. We don’t hear about these things, all we focus on is the end result. If more people understood that our beloved Disney has child laborers working 72-hour workweeks and no vacation days, those people would look differently at the company that defines childhood worldwide. Knowing the background, we have to now look differently at the material world around us to understand what exactly the effects of Kernaghan’s information are.

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One Response to Launch Post: Another World

  1. I agree that the methods Kernaghan used to get his point across were successful in opening my eyes and making me think about the issue. Through all the press about Nike, I know that there are many sweatshops around the world, but until reading these articles never really thought about the conditions of these sweatshops. I was intrigued by your question of what can we do? I typed, “where are my products made?” into Google and came upon a very interesting website, My Slavery Footprint http://slaveryfootprint.org/my-footprint. This interactive website took me through various questions about what types of clothes do I wear and what foods do I eat. In the end, I found out that there are 63 slaves working for me that come from all over the world. 63 slaves? This number was appalling to me!
    By taking this survey, I realized that knowing about the problem is the first step. I know that this isn’t a problem that can be fixed overnight, but there is hope. Change can slowly happen by people becoming aware of the issue, then join the fight for justice in the work environment. Now that I’m aware, I will make a conscious effort to buy Fair Trade products or research where that pair of shoes is really coming from. I know that in America, many of our goods are made overseas and in sweatshops, so indirectly supporting sweatshops is something that is hard to avoid. But, if we make it known to big companies that there use of sweatshops is not okay, this will bring about change. Sweatshops need to end somewhere. Hopefully people vowing to not support companies that use sweatshops will help in bringing about an end.

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