Sunday, September 17, 2006

Supporting The Worker, Their Life Is Yours

I think this country is paying a desperate price to continually side with Israel in every decision in the Middle East. To do so seems to suggest that that the people of Palestine are second-class citizens, and we know something about bigotry in this country. We didn’t invent it but we have done our best to export it in un-search containers.
The fence built between Israel and Palestine mirrors the fence being demanded on the floor of the Congress between the U.S. and Mexico. Palestinians cross over into Israel to work everyday and without that work force Israel would be desperate for help. Without the help of illegal labor the U.S. would be crippled except the U.S. is too ignorant to realize this.
To side with labor does not make you a Socialist or a Communist. To side with labor makes you a realist and a realist more often than not understands the importance of a living wage. Union jobs in this country were torn from locked doors by blood and skin. Sweat is what makes the grass grow not blood as the old saying goes. If Jesus was a carpenter like the stories suggest I don’t imagine he would let his customers set the price. Jesus would have been a union carpenter, he would have walked a picket line and he would have prayed for those refusing to care for the worker.
Where is the union in the Holy land? A land so set upon its religious belief, a land so rigid in its procedure, a land so stiff in its process of retribution. Does a Palestinian receive the same pay of that of an Israeli worker? You’ll never hear any mention of that fact in the American media, ever. Can you imagine a Palestinian Tom Joad sleeping in the shadow of the fence separating these two lands as rockets crisscross over head, his small fire to keep warm drawing automatic fire, his companions using the fence as a wailing wall because they cannot cross over until daylight. Sticking their prayers into the barbed wire wondering if their scarred hands will become infected, wondering if their job will become obsolete with tonight’s bombing.
If you want to truly understand unemployment and what it is like to be homeless try to do it in a war zone. Refugee status is sometimes preferred to suddenly being awakened in your home and having to run off into the darkness as in the case of a writer I heard from once through a website I write for. The writer lived in Rwanda and one night during the genocide that took place there he was awakened by screams and he and his family got up and ran out of their house and ran off literally into the darkness. I don’t know if he survived or not. To the best of my knowledge we never heard from him again. This would have been different if he were in a refugee camp? No, not really? In Darfur the y are firing into refugee camps. There are no jobs, there are no unions, and there are barely any relief workers. Are refugees illegal aliens? Should we build a fence around them?
To be on the side of the workers of the world is to support life itself it is just that simple.

- Chris Mansel

No comments: