What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Letter 102... Dear Mr. President... The missing 'chicken in every pot'

Letter 102

Dear Mr. President,

The “chicken is every pot” is about to come to a screeching halt for unsuspecting consumers all across the country.

“A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” is a quote often said to have come from a campaign speech by Herbert Hoover, but it was actually a Republican promise of better days ahead, day that would surely lead to the eradication of poverty. Now that same Republican Party has turned its back on a certain segment of our population that helped put the chicken in that pot… Latino’s.

After a recent court ruling in Alabama by Federal Judge Blackburn, upholding provisions in the law that allow local police to ask for immigration papers during routine traffic stops, and requiring schools to ascertain the immigration status of students at registration time, Latino’s are leaving the state in droves. Overnight thousands have pulled their children out of school, left their jobs, abandoned their homes, and pets that they are unable to take have been given to friends or set free.

Local property owners report their occupancy rate has dropped by as much as 25%, restaurants and stores are considerably slower… not just in the drop in paying customers, but also in the workers that provide services for those customers.

One poultry plant held a job fair seeking people to do the work many Latino’s were doing, and although they had plenty of applicants, time will tell if those hired will continue to do a job that most wouldn’t do before the recent recession.

Republican Senator Arthur Orr, of Decatur, said that labor shouldn’t come from outside, even though that labor pool actually cut costs for most businesses.

Meanwhile, farmers, contractors and home builders say the law has already had a devastating effect on their businesses, leaving crops rotting in the fields and critical shortages of labor. Poultry processors and home manufacturer must now choose from a pool of inmates to fill the jobs previously held by many Latino’s, even Latino’s that were fully documented.

I guess only time will tell if the law will bring jobs to the citizens of Alabama and protect the taxpayers as promised, or whether it will bring economic disaster as many fear. So when the price of chicken goes up and we can no longer afford to put one in our pot, we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves and our xenophobia.

Most of all Mr. President… it is a sad commentary on our society that human beings are driven from their homes, their jobs, their schools, and their community because they live in fear of being expelled from a country that has targeted them as the enemy, when the real enemy goes unchallenged and unpunished… corporate greed combined with xenophobia.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

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