About Me

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California, United States
A regular guy studying the country and everything we have spawned to believe, no matter where it leads me. What I express is my truth-pain. What you actively think after you leave my opinion-lair, is yours.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hand To Earth ...

"Mexicans are doing jobs not even Blacks are willing to do"
-Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico-

I think he had it half right. In talking to a Black friend, 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 that's one thing...."
Interesting notion and one that I had not considered,.. the imagery of things still in our collective hive-minds. Are migrants the "slaves" of today? Is there a "fault" to be be applied in that an 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 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 and mid-west. 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?" and 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, ... anything but putting our hands to the ground. In our modern eyes of achievement levels, to be a manual laborer is to fail. That is not an indictment of honest work, but a reflection on the expectations 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 the heavens,... 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 friend's view and emotional reactions to my query. During our music gigs together he has told me many "Black" stories and other things that make you re-calibrate your thinking about such matters real quick...... so maybe ol' Vicente Fox had it right. It's just that in my mind it doesn't just apply to the Black community. All of us, Natives, whites, blacks Asians, Latinos, ... have set the bar a little higher than the 3-foot high tomato vine.

A capitalism seed in its purest form may be devoid of emotion in it's mechanics and may be the most efficient system to rise above the ground, but the ethos of hand-to-earth may be the noblest of lasting treasures.