American Apparel, gain cheap popularity, but do not act as the grand savior

American_Apparel_logo
“more than three million women have been guaranteed jobs through the RMG sector, thus uplifting their status within the family, the society, and the state. If anyone has demolished the wall of repression, these are the millions of women workers of Bangladesh. If anybody has tasted freedom in whatever sense, it is these women. American Apparel, gain cheap popularity with your tantalizing ad all you want, but do not act as the grand savior…”

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Trayvon Martin & Limon Hossain: Innocence on Trial

Trayvon Martin. Photo released by his family.

Trayvon Martin. Photo released by his family.

Trayvon Martin and Limon Hossain: Innocence on Trial
by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org

recently came across a chalked message on the sidewalk that summed up the media circus and the whole trial in one pithy remark: “Only in America does an innocent victim like Trayvon Martin have to stand trial for his own murder.” But the first thing that popped into my mind was how the “Only in America…” part is actually incorrect. In particular, I thought of the young Bangladeshi student Limon Hossain.

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Kimberly Ann Elliott: Better work for Bangladesh

Kimberly Ann Elliott

In the wake of Savar and Tazreen, debate rages in garments business about whether to deepen trade ties, or take punitive measures (“39 per cent said they would probably buy fewer products produced in Bangladesh, according to a survey by Harris Poll“).  Kimberly Ann Elliott (co-author of Can Labor Standards Improve Under Globalization?) argues for deeper ties, and better safety measures. Continue reading

Siddhartha Mitter: The Cartography of Bullshit

Max Fisher Cartography of Bullshit

“This week, Fisher proposed to his readers what he titled “A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries.” The deepest-red, or most racially intolerant, countries were India, Bangladesh and Jordan. Russia and China fell in the middle; much of Africa was left out for lack of data, but South Africa came out light blue (highly tolerant), and Nigeria light red (highly intolerant). Other highly tolerant countries included Pakistan and Belarus.” Continue reading

Michael Guerriero: Ten Cents

© Larry Buchanan / New Yorker

© Larry Buchanan / New Yorker

The Number: Ten Cents
by Michael Guerriero for The New Yorker

It’s often reported that the recession turned Americans into frugal shoppers. Well, here’s a bargain: spending about ten cents more on a piece of clothing produced in Bangladesh could prevent disasters like the horrific collapse, last month, of the Rana Plaza factory, which killed over a thousand people, the deadliest accident in history of the garment industry. Continue reading