Various minorities and indispensable workers are being undermined and discriminated against each day, despite their utmost importance to the history and community of the country. Sujatha Gilda’s “We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial,” and Caroline Randall Williams’ “You Want A Confederate Monument? My Body is A confederate Monument” articles are direct examples of people’s disappointment in contemporary culture. Notwithstanding a distinct difference in central themes, these articles share a similar tone and cover crucial topics of disrespect and neglect from the authorities. Hence, this essay will compare and contrast Gilda’s and Williams’ articles, determining their touchpoints and distinctions.
Both essays underline the case of neglect, however, in different themes. “My Body is A confederate Monument” article talks about the dereliction of heritage and the rich history of African-Americans, which is not being recognized enough. Instead, Americans remember white slave owners, who have been torturing millions, and yet are being recognized as national heroes. The virtue of neglect in Gilda’s article is displayed by the executive’s choice to ignore currently highly valued sanitary rules essential for subway workers as the population who is at the highest risk of developing covid-19. Regardless of many deaths that occurred among the author’s co-workers, higher authorities still do not recognize the providence of strict sanitary conditions as urgent and vital.
The exploitation topic is one of the central themes in both articles, touching many social classes of the United States citizens. Williams talks about this notion in the context of African-Amerian history, particularly how the exploitation of black citizens continues to manage to put whites on the pedestal. Hundreds of years of slavery, and everyday repressions, slave owners are the ones being glorified at the cost of African-Americans’ existence. Ultimately, a similar theme is touched in “We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial”. The subway workers are utilized and put at risk every day, with dozens dying from covid, yet, none are appropriately acknowledged. They are the exploitation mechanism for millions of residents, left to be in the dark even with the risk they are facing coming down to work each day.
Despite many similarities, there is one crucial feature that fundamentally differs from the two articles, where one author is ready to fight for justice, and another only accepts the bitter reality. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has gained immense representation in the United States, which the author supports by voicing her demand to tear down the racist monuments across the country. Such a radical position displays Williams’ urge to change the system and defend her ancestorship to ultimately become free of discrimination. On the other hand, Gilda expresses disappointment by the subway’s management; however, does not list any plans on how she foresees to oppose it. Instead, the author intends to return to work after surviving the coronavirus, while many of the co-workers did not become as lucky.
Summarizing, Sujatha Gilda’s “We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial,” and Caroline Randall Williams’ “You Want A Confederate Monument? My Body is A confederate Monument” are two fundamentally distinct pieces. Nevertheless, they represent a united theme of despair and frustration with the current system that needs urgent changes. Gilda and Williams daily face neglect and exploitation by people they cannot influence alone, but only one refuses to leave things as they are. Such a crucial contrast is what makes the article’s messages so distinct, where Williams urges to stand up for what is right, and Gilda suppresses the reality.
Sujatha, G. (2020). We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial. The New York Times.
Williams C. R. (2020) You Want A Confederate Monument? My Body is A confederate Monument. The New York Times.