In 1911, 146 garment workers perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Most of them were recent immigrants to America, young women of Italian and Jewish descent who worked in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. As a result of the fire and the unnecessary loss of life, working conditions improved for factory workers.
This week, Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) held a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park. During the rally, she referenced the former sweatshop, which is mere blocks from the park.
I feel like America in the 2010s is not so different than America in the 1910’s. The unofficial class and wealth divide grows ever larger. We have new immigrants coming into this country every day. While we celebrate their achievements, we simultaneously accuse them of destroying this country. Hate, racism and prejudice still infect our country.
However, there is something to be said for the progress we have made in a century. Women and citizens of color have made tremendous strides to real equality. We live in a technological age that our ancestors might have only dreamed of a century ago.
We need a President who honors the past while striding into the future. I have a feeling that Senator Warren, if she is elected, will do just that.