5/02/2006

The Immigrants Were Still Here

Unless you live under a rock, you know yesterday was supposed to be a ‘day without immigrants’. The day that immigrants were supposed to stay home from work, school, and shopping just to show the rest of us ingrates how important they are. And they did.

They blunted both the impact and the backlash by organizing things so early. Word has been getting around for awhile now, so employers had time to adjust work schedules. In doing so they most definitely lessened the impact on the rest of us. Now obviously, the greater the inconvenience for the rest of us, the bigger the point made. But I suspect they were afraid of the backlash if there was too much trouble caused.

Honestly, I’m not sure what this proves. I think the main fact that came to light, at least so far, is that their employers are pretty generous. I haven’t read any accounts of rampant firing yet (though it is admittedly too early to tell). The Tennessean mostly reports that everyone who wanted was allowed to take a day off. I think mostly it just proves that it’s easier to give in than to try and find a one day replacement.

In the interests of satisfying my curiosity, I did a little research about the day without immigrants yesterday. I went looking to see the effect on our own office. The Chinese guy in the cubicle next to me… he was at work. As was the Chinese lady down the hall, both the Iraqi and the Iranian guys on the other side of the building, the Nigerian fellow downstairs, the British lady upstairs, my Swedish friend across town, and the Egyptian guy in the building across the street. I think immigrant solidarity isn’t that monolithic on this topic once you get outside the Hispanic community. I haven't once read anything mentioning the reaction of the non-Hispanic immigrant population to all this.

Also, the distinction between illegal and legal immigration seems to be getting greyer and greyer in the media, and in every day use.

I guess I did read one account of an employer willing to fire employees for skipping out on work yesterday. For some commentary Sarcastro style (i.e. mean and funny as hell) take a look here.

Let me also just add this.... a counter protest is just stupid. Phil Valentine has been reportedly urging his listeners to not patronize businesses that closed for the 'day without immigrants' going so far as to keep a list of businesses that closed for the day. That's bad enough, but Marsha Blackburn has apparently decided to use the list as a cheat sheet to figure out who is employing illegals. Both of them are penalizing legal immigrants who understandably sympathize with the plight of their illegal former countrymen, and businesses who had no choice in the matter.

4 Comments:

Anonymous brittney said...

WORD. I also think a counter protest is stupid.

Sarcastro says "of course, I won't visit any Hispanic owned businesses May 5th." I hope he's kidding. Because hispanic-owned business does not equate staffed by uppity illegal immigrants.

6:25 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger W said...

I assume it's some sort of punitive measure to punish people who try to support the 'wrong' side of the debate or to make a point about their own beliefs. I can't criticize Sarcastro for making a personal choice, but I do think Valentine is going way over board using his show to spread something like that. And Blackburn using law enforcement is just entirely too much.

10:57 AM, May 02, 2006  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Don't let this get around, but I don't really make my daily decisions based on what ethnicity owns what business.

I wouldn't go to a Mexican joint on Cinco de Mayo for the same reason I wouldn't go to an Irish bar on St. Paddy's. Too many dumbasses, not enough seats. Although there are some excellent Messican restaurants on bothCharlotte and Nolensville Roads that should be devoid of idiot gringos. If you pull in the parking lot and see a Williamson County tag, turn around and find somewhere else.

As far as Valentine is concerned. Listen to his show for a day. Make note of all the advertisers he does live spots for. You can tell because at the end of the spots he delivers his tag line, "Tell them Phil Valentine said 'hey'." Go to said advertisers and say "I won't be doing business with you because I don't agree with who you choose to represent you, oh, and Phil Valentine says hey." That would be more effective than not going to Jonathan's or whatever TV On the Fritz is advocating.

Blackburn is a nitwit. She is the same kind of moron that thinks that fining employers for not being able to use telepathy to discern if an employee has counterfeit documents is a peachy idea. You do your job Marsha, and let me do mine. I don't go down to Capitol Hill and knock the dick out of your mouth, now do I?

And for the record, my employees called Sunday night to see if they could have Monday off. I said "No, you need to be at work." So, they showed up, because they knew that getting involved in some dumb protest wasn't going to put food on the table.

Jesus, I should have saved all that for my own site.

5:01 PM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger W said...

If you'd put it on your own site word would get around. Nobody ever comes here, so your secret is safe.

7:02 PM, May 02, 2006  

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