Saturday, May 06, 2006
"Mexicans are doing jobs not even Blacks are willing to do"
-Vicente Fox, President of Mexico-
I think he has it half right. Talking to a Black buddy of mine, I got this little diddy, and I quote: "Damn right you won't see me bent over picking ANYTHING... think of the imagery, Man... the cotton fields.... if I owned the farm thats one thing...."
Interesting notion and one that I had not considered,.. the imagery of things still in our collective souls. Are migrants the "slaves" of today? Is it our fault that a entire race or group of people has virtually taken over the manual labor at the bottom of the pay-scale totem pole? picking veggies and fruits, day-laborers, janitorial services and lawn mowing services? Asians did the same thing during the great Asian immgration of the 20's and 30's. They virtually monopolized the laundry services on the west coast.... is this something we can control? Do we want to? Is this something we should be concerned about? or is this simply an unexplained inertia that has a life and ebb of its own...
The truth is, we as Americans of all races and creeds have crept up the food chain in our self-imposed expectations. Ask most kids nowadays, what do you want to be when you grow up? I dare you to find one that says "Gee, I'd love to pick Strawberries for a living...." This is not to say tilling the earth is in any way demeaning. This country's agriculture sector feeds the world. Sure they get a ton of subsidies, but that is another topic on its own. We teach our children to aim higher, to have it better than we ever did,... Engineering, Law, Medicine, Technology. In our eyes, to be a manual laborer is to fail. That is not a indictment of honest work, but a reflection on the levels we have set for ourselves as the greatest nation and economic power in the world. But for a simple poor person from a third world country, the idea of making $10 an hour bent-over picking berries is a blessing from God,... they would never make that back home. One man's junk, is another man's treasure. The cycle of life.
I Don't blame my buddy, during our music gigs together he has told me many stories about the Black plight of his ancestors...... so maybe ol' Vicente Fox has it right, but it doesn't just apply to the Black community. All of us, White, Black, Asians, Latinos, Natives,... have set the bar a little higher than the 3 foot high tomato vine.
Capitalism in its purest form is devoid of emotion in its efficiency