Friday, June 25, 2010

Take Our Jobs. Please.

I am very fond of the United Farm Workers (UFW). In our household we "thank the farmers" daily for the food we eat and the coffee we drink. We do our best to maintain direct connections to farmers, but it is not always possible, and we know that this often means they are not adequately compensated for their difficult, skilled work.

The UFW has been at the forefront of protecting farm-worker rights, and when we lived in South Texas, we had the privilege of getting some of our produce directly from the local UFW organization, which offered a weekly delivery of the harvest.

My recent human sieve article described the ways that immigration laws are designed to separate a person's labor from his or her humanity and citizenship. I mention that senate candidate Rand Paul has specifically acknowledged this way of thinking, whereas fellow "conservatives" such as Mitt Romney are careful not to admit that this is precisely what they do.

Today a friend told me of a campaign by the UFW in which workers -- including many undocumented -- are taking the fight directly to their critics. The Take Our Jobs campaign will start formally on the Stephen Colbert show on July 8. Quite simply, the campaign invites unemployed citizens and documented workers to take their jobs. A few might be willing, but I doubt they will have many takers. The rest of us might be reminded that every time we enjoy good food at a low price, we should remember one thing:


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