5.01.2006

May day! May day!

Our fridge went out completely last night. It had threatened us rather fiercely, so we already have a repair appointment set up, but I did not expect a complete and total strike. And a day early...

But it gives me a chance to blog a bit on The
Strike. Checking the news, I see lots of noise about how this strike is ineffective, about how the dollars it will cost are not the "right" dollars. Well, of course, no one-day strike can effect that much change. But as a kid whose family boycotted grapes out of respect for farmworkers, and Nestle products for their infant formula marketing practices, I find myself supremely receptive to this tactic. How else to make the invisible visible? How else to remind overwhelmed and under-engaged Americans of the role that immigrants play, have always played in this country?

Many have written eloquently on the nature of immigrant labor in America today, how personally it touches us through our children, in our homes and gardens, through the food we take for granted, and in so many other ways.

But today I'm thinking about my family and the paths they took to get here, some not so long ago. Of what they fled and how they arrived. Of the contributions they made, some visible and some known only to us. We are linked to today's immigrants in our daily lives and through the legacies of those who preceded us. "Illegal" is just a matter of the politics of arrival. How could I not honor this strike?

2 Comments:

At 3.5.06, Blogger meg said...

And how the oldest immigrants pitted later immigrants against one another. My great-grandmother's stories about how the German Jews had ships full of Eastern European Jews turned away in New York (so that they ended up in Galveston, and less often New Orleans) are pretty awful.

I mean, really -- how can anyone honor this strike? Except Native Americans, of course... and if anyone deserves to strike against immigration, it's gotta be they.

 
At 3.5.06, Blogger meg said...

Of course I meant "How can anyone NOT honor this strike."

 

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