The Ableist, Racist, Classist Underpinnings Of 'Laziness' - The Establishment
The people who get called 'lazy' are working harder than any of us.
By Lindsey Weedston

Hello, I’m a lazy Millennial.

In other words, I’m from a generation that has worked more hours for less money than any generation before me, but occasionally I eat a granola bar for breakfast instead of pouring myself a bowl of cereal.  According to some, including many writers of online thinkpieces, that’s enough to make me “lazy.”

But the problem isn’t me, or young people in general, or any group that’s historically been decried for its idleness.  Like Millennials, groups that are called “lazy” are often the hardest-working people around.  They’re just subject to ableism, racism, classism, and other bigotry that codes exploitation or exhaustion as “unwillingness to work.”

I myself have had a very confusing relationship with “laziness” from a young age, often being called “lazy” for enjoying reading and video games by the same parents who praised me for always getting my homework done on time.

Needless to say, I became rather confused about the quality of my work ethic.  Was I lazy or not?  In my teens, I developed an anxiety disorder and a perfectionism that made academic shirking impossible, but the constant state of worry disrupted my sleep and left me so exhausted that I would often come home from school and go straight to bed for a nap.  Sometimes, all I could do was lay in bed, awake, ruminating on everything I could possibly worry about.

But because I was in bed, this was called “laziness.”

I worked so little at that office job, I couldn’t believe it.  I could spend multiple hours each day scrolling through Tumblr or playing on social media.  My “work” time involved reading articles vaguely related to my work — mostly because there wasn’t much work for me to do.  Compared to being on my feet all day, being expected to work every moment on the clock, it was nothing.

I worked three times as hard at my food and customer service jobs as I did at any of my digital marketing positions.  And yet contemptuous thinkpiecers keep on describing people who work in those industries as “lazy.”  Why don’t you get a REAL job?  Like reading Tumblr while sitting at a desk, instead of busting your ass at McDonald’s.

According to Dr. Alison Munoff, a licensed clinical psychologist, “laziness” is nothing more than a value judgement.

“‘Laziness’ is not a personality trait, it is simply a matter of a lack of proper motivation and reinforcement, as it is a behavioral pattern rather than a part of who we are,” says Dr. Munoff.   “The ability to actively approach a task in a time-effective manner changes depending on the task and its value in our lives. For example, in a situation of obtaining limited resources, people find themselves quite motivated and resourceful, meaning that this task is simply a priority based on its value and necessity, and has little to do with someone’s personality.  Unfortunately I find that when asked about the first time people were told they were being ‘lazy,’ it was from a parent or caregiver who was unsuccessfully attempting to motivate the child without a good understanding of the way this idea would be carried forward.”

In nature, animals spend a lot of their time being idle.   Most of the footage shot of big cats like lions are of them lazing around.  Part of this is because many of them are nocturnal, but it’s also because animals will hunt, forage, and eat until they’re full, and then most of the rest of their time is spent conserving energy.  Laying around doing pretty much nothing is completely natural.  It’s adaptive.  Yet laziness has this negative connotation in many human societies.  And that negative connotation is often deployed in ableist, racist, and classist ways.

Today, we can all enjoy reasonably priced produce thanks to the many exploited Latin undocumented immigrant workers picking our fruit and vegetables — labor that is so intensive that we “non-lazy” white people simply can’t handle it.  And let’s not forget that all of this land was stolen from the Indigenous tribes that were here before we floated over and laid claim to it all.  Isn’t stealing other people’s hard work supposed to be lazy?

Or is it just that it’s easier to call people lazy than admit that you exploited them?

Even if you’re not racist, you’ve probably used the idea of laziness in a way that hurts a lot of people.  I still struggle with an anxiety disorder and go through bouts of depression, and a lot of what’s involved in these mental illnesses looks like what people call “laziness.”  Depression saps your energy and makes everything seem pointless.  Anxiety is paralyzing, making even some of the simplest tasks (like calling people on the phone) seem daunting, so I avoid them.

Combine the two and you’ve got me huddled into a ball on the bed, unable to do anything but listen to Netflix playing in the background.  It looks like laziness, but I’m actually engaged in an exhausting war in my own head.  Anxiety is like pushing a giant boulder in front of you wherever you go, and depression is like dragging a giant boulder attached to your legs by chains.

People with physical illness and disability are also prone to being accused of laziness, especially if that illness or disability is not visible to others.  There are people who are nearly constantly in pain or constantly fatigued, but you would never know by looking at them.  These individuals work much harder than able-bodied and “healthy” people.  Not only do they often have to work to survive because disability payments (if they can get them) are not nearly enough, they have to navigate a world that caters to able-bodied people, and they have to navigate that world while their bodies work against them.  But article after article decries the “laziness” of people who use motorized carts or take elevators up one floor instead of using the stairs, not for a second thinking that there are people who wouldn’t be able to shop or go up floors at all without these “conveniences.”

It’s easier to think of someone as “lazy” than to face the fact that school costs too much, that better jobs are inaccessible, that childcare is unaffordable, that people are forced to work so hard for so little that there’s no way they could have enough energy to attempt schooling or finding better work, and that what we give to people who can’t work is insufficient to the point of being shameful.  I could say that calling people lazy is, in itself, lazy, but it’s not just an intellectual shortcut.  It’s a defense mechanism.

Everyone has a finite amount of energy.  Some of us have greater drains on our pool of energy than others, whether it comes from the stress of racial microaggressions, the stress of poverty, or mental or physical illness.  Needing more time to recover isn’t laziness.  Having less time or energy to make breakfast than the previous generation isn’t laziness.  When you take a second to look into the reasons behind the behavior, you’ll never end up finding laziness.  Because laziness isn’t real.

^^^ THIS

  • Yes, capitalism is filled with opportunities for corruption: 
    • but in it’s purest form, it is corruption:
      • cooperation becomes competition,
      • productivity becomes profit,
      • organisation becomes exploitation,
      • community becomes alienation,
      • the human becomes the inhuman. 
  • Yes, rich people take advantage to maximize their profits:
    • but it is the existence of ‘profit’ in the first place which is the fundamental issue.
  • Exploitation is not a trick played on a ignorant people: 
    • it’s the basis of the system which brings that people into existence. 
  • ‘Rich people’ are not rich because they are criminals: 
    • but because they are members of a class. 
  • You are not poor because politicians take back-handers: 
    • you are poor because the wealth of the world relies on your poverty. 
  • Every day you go to work and do not receive the full value of that work: 
    • it isn’t a crime, 
    • it isn’t corrupt,
    • it is the way in which all wealth is produced, 
    • you must work in order that you do not starve,
    • because of your poverty.
  • Capitalism relies on your poverty continuing:
    • otherwise, you will not work, you will not be exploited, you will not produce value for capital.
  • There are no conspiracies: 
    • the facts are apparent. 
  • Capitalism announces itself as inhuman through: 
    • the form of the commodity
    • wage labour
    • private property.
  • There will be no salvation from the law. 
    • The law creates the conditions for capitalism and the circulation of capital.
    • That some people hide that circulation does not change the nature of capital and capitalism.
  • The answer is not a better and more honest capitalism,
    • the answer is not shutting down tax havens,
    • the answer is not taxing the rich,
    • the answer is the end of capitalism.

Uber and Lyft and this new women only drivers service are all equally bad. I get that people are excited but let me just toss a few concepts out there:

Cab drivers, as employees (when they are employees which is not all the time luckily in pdx we have radio cab) are held to certain standards. If a cab driver harasses you, you can report him.
Cabs have to be ADA compliant.
Cab drivers have to make minimum wage.

There is a REASON cabs are more expensive and that reason, in Oregon at least, is that your cabby is making minimum wage.

This is not true of your uber driver, your Lyft driver, or your fancy new all woman driver but male owned service.
They are abusing the independent contractor system, as strip club owners are! to be falsely competitive in a market place they could never otherwise survive in and they are doing it at the expense of poor, vulnerable people, at the expense of cabbies, and at the expense of every other marginalised and misclassified worker because we are ALL in the same boat.

So no, I’m not excited that some man saw an opportunity to capitalize on the frequency of sexual harassment into making a niche for himself in an already exploitative market.
I’m not excited that he is donating 2% of his profits to charity–this serves the exact same purpose as a pink yoplait top: if you want to do good, do good; don’t disguise your consumerism and liking for a product behind false altruism.
I’m not excited that in a city already drowning in literally tens of thousands of underpaid drivers, there will now be one more.

And if you think women can’t be oppressive, shitty, hate on strippers and sex workers, and otherwise totally unpleasant, you’re dreaming. Especially once these women realise what a ferociously competitive starving market they’ve entered.

You better fucking tip 30%, is all I’m saying. And at that point, you might as well have taken a cab.


So I did a bunch of research on High Tech Professionals under BC Labour Law. Has anyone in labour law heard of a legal challenge to this in the BC animation/VFX industry? I couldn’t find any in the law databases I have access to through SFU.

If you enjoy films and shows coming out of Vancouver, pay attention to what is happening in our industry right now. Artists are being exploited and they’re starting to fight back. We will need the support of our audiences to change this.

Milked in Africa - Milk Someone for Something

She is a nation, a provider  and a nurturer. Once owned but now (supposedly) set free. Basking all the riches and the resources, She continues to be exploited but She fear not.

More so than the female figure, more so than the black being, my continent has inspired this series. The hardships that each country has had to undergo but equally overcome is very inspiring. Nonetheless, Africa is now dealing with the aftereffects of the hardships, but what sets Africa apart is the fact that She remains thee power figure.

Just like a baby, the more they suckle, the more She produces

Wealth is not a ‘private matter’.

In capitalist society, wealth is produced socially

  • We make things by dividing tasks amongst groups of workers.
  • We use materials produced by other workers.
  • We use buildings and factories built by other workers still.
  • We transport goods with the labour of yet more workers.
  • We use ancillary services like administration and accounting provided by more workers.
  • We contribute to public services staffed by even more workers still.

And yet the boss’s profit - paying each link in the human chain less than the value that they create and taking the difference for himself -

is a ‘private matter’?

Now, however, I can’t view Buzzfeed the way I used to. Like most mainstream publications, they only care what sells and have found marginalized voices so unmarketable that they’ve gotten rid of their entire diversity team. What this is, in short, is exploitation. Buzzfeed is eager to cash a check that would have less zeros without marginalized voices, but “doesn’t have the budget” when asked to pay the same people for their work and their time. A lot of companies are doing this thing lately where they bring in a person of color or a person of unique gender experience and push them forward as to say “look how progressive we are”. These companies are very rarely invested in anything more than what “diversity” can do for the image of their company. Once they use all of their tokens, they go to the register and cash them out for a prize. In this scenarios the “prize” is that Buzzfeed can continue to publish Brittany, Gaby and Jenny’s content and still get the accolades for being progressive long after letting them go. This was a straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I can’t ignore this anymore and I’m writing this in hopes that people, like myself, will see these companies for what they are. Your story is marketable, your voice is important, their platform is tempting, but don’t bite. Do not doubt the power that you have to create your own media and do not think that websites like Buzzfeed are the only way you’ll ever be heard. We live in an amazing time where online video is how most people interact with news and entertainment. You can be your own boss and you can have your own voice without the fear of signing away your soul.

In 2014, when I filmed my first video for Buzzfeed, I was working on a Children’s Book as an illustrator. It was one of my first gigs and I put my heart and soul into it. This year, it’s finally being published and the dynamic has changed. Two years ago, I needed them; a big company with an established name and a reach further than mine. Today, I reach millions of people in the space of a week, travel the country speaking and have more job offers than I can honestly handle. Today I’m their asset, yesterday they were mine. The book will sell because people like me and appreciate my content, but I won’t see any residuals or further compensation because I didn’t know, at the time to ask for it. Do not doubt your power and your possibility. Don’t sacrifice your integrity for the vague promise of “exposure”. Exposure won’t pay your rent, feed you or pay your student loans back. “Exposure” will, however ensure that places like Buzzfeed make the maximum profit from your story.
Profiting from colonization: Airbnb rents illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land; REMAX sells them
By Ben Norton

Housing rental giant Airbnb profits off of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, Al Jazeera revealed in a new report.

The website lists segregated settlements in the occupied West Bank as if they were in Israel. In reality, these settlements were built in direct violation of international law, and are not legally considered part of the country.

Airbnb, which is headquarted in California, is popular in Israel, and growing. Settlers host lavish rooms for hundreds of U.S. dollars per night. Yet the website never informs potential customers that these are illegal properties, nor does it mention that, were clients to rent a room, they would have to travel through Israeli military checkpoints.

The U.S.-based company has previously been criticized for pushing up the cost of rent, “greasing the wheels of gentrification” and “hastening the breakup of working-class neighborhoods.”

New media reports show that Airbnb may also be facilitating Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian land.

How many times did they brush off everything you did as worthless merely because it’s you who did it? How many times did they devalue your effort, your passion, your heart, for no other reason than it being yours? How far did they go to forcefully prove to you that you’re inferior?
—  it’s not an accident you feel like you don’t matter.