Thursday, November 25, 2010

An American Thanksgiving

Depressing news this morning. The Wall Street boys are set to get millions in bonuses for their hard work this year while a charitable kitchen providing a Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate served 8000 people last year and expects to feed twice that many today. Most corporations are doing well for their stockholders but not hiring. Employees cost a lot of money. God bless those hardworking all-Americans raking in the big dollars up on Wall Street. And God bless those American corporations who now have citizen rights under American law.

I changed the channel. I watched a revisit of Edward R. Murrow's 'Harvest of Shame' about the migrant farm workers of 50 years ago. The news was that nothing had changed. Then an amazing thing was reported, something that should have made the news every night in America the moment it was discovered: authorities found farm workers in Florida who were virtually enslaved. Seven different slavery rings have been investigated and successfully prosecuted in that state, freeing thousands of workers.

From the St. Petersburg Times: "A major shame is that Florida's leading lawmakers, not to mention ordinary citizens, have rarely expressed outrage over such abuses, and even fewer have raised a finger on behalf of farmworkers. Former Gov. Jeb Bush and his labor emissary openly criticized the coalition for its work, and Gov. Charlie Crist has yet to show real interest."

"Farmworkers are and always have been excluded from U.S. fair labor standards and are prevented from unionizing. The overwhelming majority of farms hire contractors, or crew bosses, to employ, pay, house and transport workers, thus freeing the growers of culpability for wrongdoing."

God bless Americans privileged to purchase the cheapest food available on the planet.

There was some good news for the migrant farm worker in these modern times: a coalition of about eight or ten American corporate giants have agreed to pay one cent more per pound for tomatoes. The generosity is staggering. God bless those corporate citizens.

If you must watch television today, I recommend only watching the Thanksgiving parade or football. Everything else is a buzz kill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In July, the United Farm Workers started "Take Our Jobs" where they would train any citizen or legal resident to take the job of a farm worker. The web site got several million hits. Roughly 8600 applied. Out of those, seven actually took jobs as farm workers.

We don't need to worry too much about the Wall Street gang(sters) since we've been assured that all that wealth will "trickle down." I can hardly wait!

Happy Thanksgiving