Cross posted from InMuscatine
Des Moines Register | Basu: Staying away on workers’ day :
International Workers Day isn’t much of an event in America, even though it was in this country that the labor movement’s call for an 8-hour work day spurred the first observance on May 1, 1886. But it’s about to become a very big event again tomorrow.
Across America, and in Iowa, immigrant workers will use the occasion to make a symbolic statement about their value to the U.S. economy.
They’ll do that by not showing up.
Why is May 1 not much of an event in America? Well, for that you can thank your local communist, socialist, anarchist, and other sundry Liberal moonbat types for co-opting it. In reality the Liberals celebrate this day for taking by force what they couldn’t win at the ballot box, or through the courts. I quote what may be the most unbiased and authoritative voice on the subject :
Through much of the 1870’s and 1880’s Chicago was a leading center of labor activism and radical thought. Early in 1886 labor unions were beginning a movement for an eight-hour day. Union activists called a one day general strike in Chicago. On May 1 many Chicago workers struck for shorter hours. An active group of radicals and anarchists became involved in the campaign. Two days later a shooting and one death occurred during a riot at the McCormick Reaper plant when police tangled with the strikers.
Gee… radicals and anarchists. Who knew the Des Moines Register had such an affinity for Liberals?
The workers are hoping their absence will demonstrate more effectively than a rally or petition can just how essential they are, and why they shouldn’t be taken for granted.
This so called Day Without Immigrants comes at a critical time for the 11 million to 12 million immigrants (mostly Mexican) here without legal papers, as Congress considers making them felons.
And why should they not? After all, Mexico considers illegal aliens to be felons.
This is unprecedented, though movies and plays have satirized similar scenarios. The stakes are high. Some immigrant leaders fear the action could backfire, be seen as anti-American or ungrateful. Some correctly question the value of keeping kids home from school. But as one boycott coordinator said, “We’ve shown our power politically, but if we can’t show it economically, we are going to lose it.”
What power? You are not citizens of this country. Believe it or not, we got along just fine before you showed up, and we will be fine long after you have left.
Whether it’s the housekeeper who cleans your toilet or hotel room, the nanny who raises your kids, the assembly-line worker or field hand who handles your food, our society runs on labor by immigrants, some of them undocumented. They’re repopulating empty cities and reviving small businesses.
And sucking up resources, and sending capital out of the USA to the tune of $20 billion per year.
Whatever else the boycott disrupts, the greatest risk is to participants themselves. But they’re focusing on a greater cause. They’re forfeiting badly needed pay and risking being fired, the kinds of sacrifices that have been an essential part of hard-won workers’ rights.
Hard-won CITIZENS rights. Do try to get the minor details right, will ya Basu?
As Juan Jose Gutierrez, national coordinator for Latino Movement USA, told the Washington Post, “You can only march for so long to make your point. You have to think of other creative ways to make it clear to Congress and the Bush administration that we expect them to behave responsibly.”
Of course, to a Liberal “behave responsibly” is code for “let us break the law and get away with it”.
Of course, the effort has to collide with the vitriol of Iowa’s misguided monarch, Congressman Steve King — admirer of Joe McCarthy, apologist for torture at Abu Ghraib, advocate of English-only, opponent of judicial independence and architect of a bizarre plan to fence off Mexico. Suggesting that open-borders advocates are a greater threat than Osama bin Laden, he’s written a piece saying without illegal immigrants, we’d lose only drug smugglers, murderers, child abusers and flooded hospital emergency rooms filled with anchor babies, imported diseases and hangnails. Hangnails?
Ah, yes… The specter of “hate speech” rears its ugly head. Don’t debate anyone on the basis of fact, just go after the messenger.
Rep. King is correct, and I have said many of the same things about the influx of illegals – how are we benefiting from this invasion? We are not getting the next Bill Gates, or Jonas Salk, or Norman Borlaug. What are we getting out of this deal? We are getting a whole lot of criminals, we know that as fact already. Are all of them criminals? Of course not. But we do know in the future we are going to be getting a whole lot of Mexico’s drug addicts due to Mexico legalizing possession of drugs we hold to be illegal.
One only wishes King would borrow a page from the immigrants and observe a day without dishonest political bombast. But until he comes up with a better way to stop the out-migration of Iowans, our economy will continue to depend on immigrant labor. For example, the Cargill Meat Solutions pork-processing plant in Ottumwa will be closed tomorrow, since half of its 2,400 employees are Latino.
One only wishes Basu were capable of writing one column based on fact and logic instead of emotion. We don’t “depend” on immigrant labor. Who was doing these jobs before immigrant labor arrived on the scene? Americans. They were working for much higher wages, too. All you can prove by the addition of illegal immigrant labor is the lowering of our standard of living by artificially depressing wages.
Wait a minute… I thought Liberals were all about helping the poor and downtrodden? Doesn’t that mean they also must be against illegal immigration and the subsequent lowering of wages? Nope, that would mean they have devoted thought to their position, and we know that isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Whatever the reservations about it, the Day Without Immigrants can be effective only if enough people take part in it. It should be supported by everyone who values immigrants’ contributions and believes they should be treated fairly. After all, it is International Workers Day, one more thing immigrants are helping to revive.
If we use this day to support illegal aliens, then I demand a day to honor and support the officers of Enron. I want a holiday to honor bank robbers. I want a holiday to honor rapists. After all, we can’t discriminate, now can we?
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let them know at what level you would like to participate.