Monday, April 17, 2017

New York: Order & Disorder and Swill Milk by D. C.

  1. The first source was a documentary called New York: Order and Disorder, we learned about the ways in which New York changed from a rural to an urban community through the years and through it’s inhabitants. Some of these intensely packed living areas of immigrants and poor civilians really changed a lot of the scenes in the city. Irish immigrants were flooding the streets and were forced to compete with black folk for the same jobs and positions in society. The economical and political points of view also took note of who was living because they had to see enough product and realize how to win future elections. Our second class source was all about Swill Milk and it was called, Organizing a Protest in a Changing City by Michael Egan. This swill aka diseased milk came from diseased cows. This became such a huge issue due to the skyrocketing infant mortality rates which stemmed from the diseased milk they were consuming off the market. These cows were producing such awful milk because of their conditions, cramped and dirty all stacked up on one another--sort of like the Irish and Black immigrants. Disease spread faster this way leading to worse and worse conditions for both.
  2. In the purpose of the documentary we watched is to give us a true understanding of the demographics of NYC’s struggles throughout the time period of 1825-1865. It gave us reasoning for why immigrants acted in the way that they had, it also made us see how horrible it was for them. The author’s point of view in the documentary seems to be a white middle class observer depicting the scenes of chaos. The text by Michael Egan was in the point of view of honestly a college department head describing the horrid struggles of poisoned milk and what was and was not done about it and its effects on society. The purpose is to show how powerful some industries can be and also how manipulative the are capable of being.
  3. Well in class we did a lot of talking about the swill milk portion and had many stories and examples of the conditions from first had experiences with diseased milk. The smells and looks are disgusting but it was right under so many people’s noses and they could have saved a lot of lives but the inspectors were fooled. Just talking about how bad the milk was in class made me realize how stupid or how much these inspectors were paid off to keep it as if everything was functioning beautifully. On the documentary when we talked about how the Irish and Blacks were seen as equal even though Irish men were white, that fact alone gave me a great idea as to how they were treated. Having to compete with another race for everything and survive in slums in America was truly awful.
  4. One of the big questions we talked about in class was dealing with the milk and why nothing was done about it. The Dairy Industry put chalk and magnesium into the pale blue diseased milk to make it a thicker white milk which stayed white for longer to fool the inspectors and the public consumers. Nobody did or said anything about it because there was so much economic benefit from it. The Breweries would give their left over grains to the Cow Stables to feed the cows, then the Butcher would get the cows to sell to people if he didn’t say anything. Also the Markets grew and had more product for the public the buy like meat and milk and alcohol so their businesses boomed too! The money everyone saved by cutting corners, lack of caring for people’s health, and this rapid population growth was honestly why nothing was done. It’s quite sad that it is all true and that there was no alternative source for any product, it was just how things were done back then.
  5. I’d want to know more about if any other industry pulled this off and if so how and how long did it go on? Also why could the government not get involved if they new it was costing people their lives? Could immigrant traffic be stopped so the cities didn’t get overwhelmed with unemployed people on the streets? What was the consequence for these Industries once Western Country milk was brought over in refrigerator cars on railroads?