“Our livelihood and our brotherhood” – and the “brotherhood” of Massey Coal

“How can we fail them? How can a nation that relies on its miners not do everything in its power to protect them?” Obama said. “How can we let anyone in this country put their lives at risk by simply showing up to work, by simply pursuing the American Dream?”

President Obama delivered an eloquent “eulogy to the workers who died in the worst mine accident in a generations” as Obama: W.Va. miners died in pursuit of better life reported:

“In coveralls and hard-toe boots, a hardhat over their heads, they would sit quietly for their hourlong journey, 5 miles into a mountain, the only light the lamp on their caps, or the glow from the mantrip they rode in,” Obama said.

“Most days, they would emerge from the dark mine, squinting at the light. Most days, they would emerge, sweaty, dirty, dusted with coal. Most days, they would come home. Most days, but not that day.”…

“All that hard work. All that hardship. All the time spent underground. It was all for the families… these miners lived — as they died — in pursuit of the American Dream.”

Money earned working in the Massey-owned mine made it possible for the 29 miners to pursue the American Dream that became a nightmare for their families after the explosion at Upper Big Branch.  Massey’s owner had a bigger version of the American Dream – one that created the nightmare of equal justice for all revealed in Caperton v A.T. Massey Coal Co:

Justice Brent Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia refused to recuse himself from the appeal of the $50 million jury verdict in this case, even though the CEO of the lead defendant spent $3 million supporting his campaign for a seat on the court–more than 60% of the total amount spent to support Justice Benjamin’s campaign– while preparing to appeal the verdict against his company. After winning election to the court, Justice Benjamin cast the deciding vote in the court’s 3-2 decision overturning that verdict… Continue reading ““Our livelihood and our brotherhood” – and the “brotherhood” of Massey Coal”