5/02/2006

Immies or outies?

The Globe has a front page story this morning about the immigrant rallies here in Boston. There was surprisingly little on the local news about local rallies, owing partly to a four-alarm fire in Worcester that happened right as the evening news was kicking off. The fire was "breaking news" and led broadcasts on all three networks.

Whether the local immigrant rally was more significant than a day-time blaze in a triple decker where no one was injured (even the old lady's cat got out alive) is a good question.

The Globe proclaimed: "Immigrant Day is felt most in Latino areas," like the Latino end of Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. So the consensus seems to be that the people most inconvenienced by the local immigrant rally were local immigrants themselves. Which is what happens when you live in ghettos, I guess.

It's like Goya closing shop for the day. It did not produce or deliver any goods in a show of solidarity with immigrants. But who buys Goya products? Immigrants.

I have personally been very impressed with how well activists have managed a population that is, in large part, not highly educated or well-versed in the "American way" of protest. They have stopped them from waving the flags of their native countries, after pundits expressed displeasure with this. They have stopped them (for the most part) from dancing around and shaking their junk for the cameras like it's a Cinco de Mayo celebration. This shows that they are assimilating nicely, I think.

And they have beautiful children, which is always a help. You will find pictures upon pictures in the papers (and in next week's Time, Newsweek, and so on) of little immigrant children swaddled in American flags, looking solemn and serious about American citizenship. Like so:

I say we let them in and start shipping our indigent white trash to Mexico. Make yourself useful and have pretty babies, or get the hell out of our country! And that means you, Britney Spears and Eminem!

But seriously. I still don't think the immigrants' shtick is airtight. Threatening not to clean white people's toilets? Not only does it lend a certain sordid tone to the protests, but, honestly, rich white people will always have someone to clean their johns. Count on it. That's why society was invented in the first place.

So if that's as indespensible as you can be, then, well, the truth is, you're not. Sorry. You might be doing the crappy jobs for cheap, but if you weren't, someone else would be. What happens to maids, nannies and dishwashers who complain? They get canned. Because replacing a maid, a nanny, or a dishwasher is not like replacing a rocket scientist. I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. It's just a fact.

But let me speak directly to the immigrants in the room: your whole argument hinges not on your usefulness in society--we all know there will always be janitors, dishwashers and gardeners--but in the low cost of the labor for these services you provide, precisely because you are illegal. Making you legal nullifies this benefit to your employers.

You're gonna have to come up with something more persuasive than "we do the jobs you don't want to." Especially now that the Pentagon is hard at work on its robo-army. Can Rosy versus Rosalita be too far off?

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home