The Labor America wants to Vilify

By Tracy Kronzak May 02, 2007

Tuesday, I filmed the Oakland immigration march and rally. Through the crowds of protesters, cheers of Si Se Puede and speeches from local politicians, I was reminded of one truth: many Americans would rather not consider the consequences of our rabid consumerism, because to do so would mean addressing the fundamental racism that fuels our economy. Perhaps this explains why the United States has not officially recognized May 1 as a worker’s holiday. America has neatly crafted Labor Day as our national(ist) holiday – along with its affiliated barbeque’s and sales – while the rest of the world celebrates May 1. Tuesday’s rallies, marches and protests in cities across the nation show us that although we’ve abolished slavery, our globalized economy and disproportionate consumption of the Earth’s resources continues to enslave people of color across the world in low-wage jobs, with little access to healthcare and education, and virtually no clear path to citizenship. Leaving new immigrants in a country of immigrants at the end of the rope because it’s easier to replace sub-minimum wage workers who have been deported with new sub-minimum wage workers that do not have documentation leaves us no better than we were in the 1800s. While President Bush and anti-immigration advocates tout “border security” and deportations as solutions to support a false sense of safety and security, real Congressional leadership to secure the safety, family unification, and civil rights of immigrants remains unseen. The time for comprehensive immigration reform is here. We can no longer hold on to the history of racial superiority that has fueled our labor, immigration and foreign policy decisions. Immigration reform that supports families and citizenship is the only real option. Cuando? Ahora!