North Santa Rosa

The Gunny

Almost a lifetime ago, the people of America had to deal with labor organizing as it hadn’t since the depression. America was transitioning from a former agrarian society, ended by the war and the vastly different living arrangement than existed before the war, and which hadn’t been balanced out since then.

The war moved our already rapidly changing society, mechanized farms moving workers into cities, in a culture which was solidly moving forward with the massive production of products, a never before scale of exports, and this change was re-arranging all of society.

During the war, with lots of the men gone, mothers working in factories, “victory gardens” became normal, mechanizing from the war moving into our farming and making manual labor minimal. At the war’s end, the majority of hand labor was solely for picking. Americans did the picking up north, where I was growing up, it was children between school years, with parents and older siblings, it was part time, a job of moving around, following the ripening crops, but Americans were doing the work.

Corporate farming had assumed power, the demand for lower wages began, and Caesar Chavez, one of the early outspoken leaders of the “Farm Workers Movement” made a dramatic appeal to America, to save the American Jobs for Americans who would otherwise be unemployed at the least, seasonally, and at the worst, displaced forever.

As most people in our neighborhood, we stood by “The United Farm Workers” idea, and boycotted all fruits and vegetables not identified as “picked by organized farm workers”. This was the beginning of the deliberate, corporate sponsored illegal alien mass movement which is being lied about in congress today, using the same lies.

At the beginning of the boycott called by Californian Ceasar Chavez, he was denigrated as “not even American” but that was a lie, the use of his name against him. The Corporate “talking heads” explained how the world had changed, and it was necessary for us to have a migrant worker system, and they did this; as if we hadn’t all read John Steinbeck in school; denying we had been with an “American migrant worker system” since the great depression and before, undermining with lies.

Without the full weight of a moral and ethical decision on the part of the average American Citizen, “the United Farm Workers Association” never could have come into being, and like every union, it came to life because evil was being done to people. Americans were working a hard life, full of challenges, and the fact it included moving around meant corporations from different states could use their movement to prevent workers consolidating, in the face of the demand to work for less than eating wages.

I don’t remember anyone who did not support that movement, the movement spoke to all who had ever picked fruits or vegetables for pennies, and the issue of “American workers versus foreign workers” was clear. As a “bag-boy, I heard all the considerations of customers, and almost everyone was a wage earner.

For all the time since the mid-sixties to the present, corporate farming has only grown larger, ever more encompassing, and controlling of produce. While our boycott worked, and what had been quasi-illegal immigration was formally made illegal, at the same time, it gave the corporate farm world the incentive to go to congress against the “American Farm Workers”, and demand congress allows them to import Mexican farm labor at far lower wages.

Congress is in the midst of a discussion of all sorts of B.S., but the bottom line is this; we will continue forward with corporate farms, but, if we don’t consider “our Nation and our needs as such”, one we expand and invigorate by our own cultural standards, by balancing our needs with our productivity and growing our nation with our own children, keeping ourselves fully employed; we cease to be a free standing Nation, and we will fall into the subject nation status by default, by our debt rising, our GNP is shrinking until they meet in “insolvency”, and our creditors demand payment, or the deed.

We stood with “The American Farmworker” in the late sixties and seventies, to keep Americans working. The issue is no different today, in that need, and it is the exact same threat, with the same advocates we face. We did the right thing last time we confronted them. We can’t expect Congress to do so.

Semper Fidelis,
John

Posted by on Jun 28 2013. Filed under The Gunny. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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