Saturday, June 28, 2008

Muchas Gracias, Amigos!

There are five Mexican men working in the parking lot of my apartment complex today, and I am reasonably certain that there is not one Green Card among them. They are hauling wheelbarrow loads of gravel to spread around the landscaping, they are mowing, they are weed-eating, and they are doing what they have to do to take care of their families while the Anglos that live here run from one air conditioner to another or sit by the pool drinking cold beer out of their ice chests.

These Mexican men, and women, and children - legal and illegal - may have not built Phoenix and its environs, but they maintain it, and it is their sweat-soaked dollars and pesos that keep the local economy churning. And what do they get for their efforts? Anonymous and lonely death in the Sonoran Desert, harassment from opportunistic politicians and law enforcement officials (who use these politically powerless individuals to maintain their own lawns, pools, and homes), the scorn of poor whites who see them as an economic threat rather than as fellow economic victims, and crap wages.

But where would we be without them?

Muchas gracias, amigos! Thank you for being here!


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