Frontline healthcare heroes & ‘racial justice organizers’ named TIME’s (mutually exclusive?) Guardians of the Year

Frontline healthcare heroes & ‘racial justice organizers’ named TIME’s (mutually exclusive?) Guardians of the Year

Apparently trying to have its cake and eat it too, Time named “frontline health workers” – a crowd-pleasing category – and “racial justice organizers” as “guardians of the year,” a newly-devised category for its coveted “person of the year” selection.

However, the magazine’s selections served up a decidedly mixed message, as a video clip representing the health workers reminded the audience that “frontline workers are risking their lives to help save ours” and a voiceover chided Americans for sending hospitals pizzas and other goodies: “what we need is for you to stop exposing us.”

Yet Black Lives Matter initially reemerged in a series of lockdown-violating protests back in May following the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd and has somehow received special dispensation – from the media, if not always from authorities – to carry on in cities across the US even as other protests are quashed and demonized.

RT

While the frontline health workers were a crowd-pleaser, some couldn’t help but notice that the underpaid and often under-appreciated members of that category could use more concrete assistance than a splashy magazine cover.

And others observed that the ever-broadening range of “people of the year” diluted the purpose of the awards.

The two “racial justice organizers” named by the magazine were bafflingly obscure. Porche Bennett-Bey, whose big day was apparently taking the mic at a town hall in Kenosha, Wisconsin for then-presidential-candidate Joe Biden and calling for more understanding of the plight of the black community, scarcely appears in a Google search. Assa Traoré, a French activist whose brother died in police custody in 2016, is somewhat better known but barely appears in Time’s hagiographic writeup.

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