3539 CE: New Sydney University Department of Antiquities
…Don’t be fooled, claims by [corrupted] and other members of the one percent. Their privilege is on full display when they say that they don’t see themselves as better than those poorer than themselves. The rich and super wealthy can cruise through life without a thought about their place in society. … ignorant of the fact that the most disadvantaged must constantly remember that they are less than the elites who don’t even recognize their existence…
When Romneyesqe platitudes … ignoring the lived experiences …
The curator examined the artifact again and again. Even after several years of study, Late Period English was difficult for her to understand. However many times she tried to read this sermon, this passage twisted her in knots.
That word was giving her particular troubles. Despite many attempts she could not find a single source to compare the meaning of the word. Even searching for the root Romney pulled in no results. Jotting it down on her notepad she moved on with the text.
… Whiteness demands that others overlook the vast inequality it generates and absolve each individual of the crimes they perpetuate. They insist that by making empty assertions of class-blindness, that they are free from any spot of culpability in the system they benefit from… destroying and oppressing people of color and the most disadvantaged.
This was a common articulation in the holy texts, and this was not the oldest form. The piece was dated to the Early to Mid 21st Century, with similar passages being well known. Yet it was the first derivation that she had seen to absolutely equate whiteness with class. No hint of metaphor, but a one-to-one relationship. It was this passage that attracted her to this artifact. She felt it held a key to unlocking more information regarding the collapse of the ancient world.
A 5 minute warning popped up on the terminal. She quickly scanned the document again for any additional words to cross check, and then disconnected. As she got up to leave, a thought flashed through her mind. Perhaps he would know. She disliked the Maslow, but the more she thought about it the stronger she felt that she had to ask him for help…
She entered the Department of Anglo studies and walked down the long hall. The Stone Floor clacked as she stepped across it revealing her presence to the entire building, but nobody stirred to greet her. On the wall was a large board with a directory pinned to it. She scanned down the list. “Dr. Henrie Maslow: 115“. She proceeded down the hall. As she approached room 115 she could hear a muffled discourse before the door swung open and a young red-faced man walked out of room 115. Peering in, there was an older gentleman, white mustache half concealing a wicked smile. Their eyes locked, and he sat up straight.
“Well, what brings our beloved Curator to my humble office?”
“Is this a bad Time?”, she hoped.
“Hardly, that was merely an … academic discussion between a student and his professor”. He motioned her in with his hand. “What can I do for you?”
“It’s about a passage I’ve been studying, part of the Mother Jones collection, It has been particularly difficult to understand, it’s ancient from the Early Collapse”
“Hmm, yes the religious texts often are, especially from that period” He noted. She rolled her eyes and continued. “Yes i was hoping you could help me out with a few words.”. Maslow looked her over, “You know I had heard you were back at your studies of the Collapse, isn’t that what lost you your last job?”. She began to remember why she didn’t want to come see him. “Are you going to help or not?”
“Of course, of course, but kindly leave me out of your acknowledgments in your next paper, I have a reputation”. He may have been teasing but it still stung. She pulled out her notepad, sat down and they began to work.