Monday, February 21, 2022

Ode to a Scab, by Jack London

After winning legal recognition of their right to collective bargaining for secretaries and custodians t Camden County College in Blackwood, N.J, circa 1971, my late mother proudly posted this 

"Ode to a Scab" by author Jack London on the bulletin board of the International Union of Elecrical Workers, L.U 440, later upheld as legally protected by our United States Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Thurgood Marshall, a hero of our civil right movement, in Letter Carriers v. Austin (1974):

Ode to a scab - Jack London 1876-1916 

Ode To A Scab

After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a scab. A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a waterlogged brain, and a combination backbone made of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.

When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out. No man has a right to scab as long as there is a pool of water deep enough to drown his body in, or a rope long enough to hang his carcass with. Judas Iscariot was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his Master, he had character enough to hang himself. A scab hasn't.

Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas Iscariot sold his savior for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commission in the British Army. The modern strikebreaker sells his birthright, his country, his wife, his children, and his fellow men for an unfulfilled promise from his employer, trust, or corporation

Solidarity wins

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