July 26, 2005
In the article, "The Lost Tribes of Faribault" by Paul Demko, I think it gave the reader a blunt perspective of immigration in a very local Minnesota area. The jobs that Demko describes pay less than $10.00 an hour to work in extremely dangerous conditions--to me this seems that this pay is extremely low in comparision to the average amount of money an individual in the United States needs to survive, not to mention if they have children. People that work in factories in the United States are often not better off than in poverished countries, because the standard of living is much higher and the pressure to be middle class is often strong.
I think that it is ironic that people, like Marlene Nelson, feel that the immigrant workers are taking money away from U.S. citizens when they are in high paying jobs that work in engineering and computer programming. I think that people often forget that each ancestor of the caucasian population began as an immigrant--settled in America.
Posted by mich0339 at July 26, 2005 7:18 PM
Reading Paul Demko's article "The Lost Tribes of Faribault" was lighten. In Paul's article, I also agree with Beth, that it gave the reader a blunt perspective of immigration in Minnesota especially the searching for jobs and searching for a place to settle and the staking to survive in Minnesota. I think that Romo and her family immigrantion experience is like any immigration experience too. In the article, Paul talks about Romo and husband working,but still unable to survive cause the living situation is difficult, to where they have to live in thier friend's basement or a trailer. I amazed more by the part when Paul talk about the clothing issues that Romo and her family have. And She quotes " Everything we could get for free we'd take", it almost me cry because it remind me back to when my family came to the Minnesota, and we were in her situation, taking almost anything is free to us, even though it is bad..and putting away our pride. Paul talk about how thier life situations got better and more immigrant are comming to Minnesota. I also find it ironic that old white women talking about how these immigrants are taking away high paying jobs from American citizens when these immigrants have to work very hard factories jobs for only a small amount of wages. I think that the old lady is just afraid that someday these immigrant might be better than they( whites ) are like what Paul Western say, " Now, don't blame the people who are here on H-1B, they are being told that American doesn't have the brainpower to do our own work, ...the congress ..that concoted this idea." I am not sure if this is what it means..anyway..what I seem to get from his article is that immigrants are helpful to Minnesota because they can work in the hard work that the American doesn't want to, but they are bad, when they started troubles such the knifes issues between the asians, or the immigrants getting in troubles with the polices or the issues about immigrants children going to college. In Paul's article about Fatima issues of her working low pay on a plant's assembly line and getting sick. I feel sad for that old lady, even after she got her surgery, she still have to return to work on the line again with a lower pay wages than before, even after she told the supervisor that she is sick. Her case is sad, but I don't like the fact that later when the case was being take care of, she blame the immigrant for taking away white resident jobs. I don't get this part because I think that she lose her job because of her health, not that she was being compared to the immigrants.
I felt too reading this article the conditins in which the Latinos and Somalis were working in (the factories) was horrendous. I thought I was reading something out of the Phillipines or about a factory somewhere in Africa or something. The working conditions were unbelievable. When just a short time ago, factory work was the backbone of America and families could earn a pretty damn good living. Before every thing was shipped off to other countries where labor is much cheaper, (no paying a federal income tax either)or to rural areas for the same reason. And these people bitch about immigrants stealing their jobs. Are they gonna work there (in these factories). Obviously the people who own the businesses don't want 'legal' immigrants or residents working there either, they benefit from any immigration policies that allow 'illegals' into our country because then they are undocumented, therefore much easier to exploit.. Of course these same companies won't do a damned thing about coming out in voicing any support for changing anything that will help the undocumented workers get any support for medical or housing. We can clearly see who has agency here, and who is benefitted by the Racial Contract. And these ignorent people of the town holding town meetings against these undocumented workers. What are they really afraid of. None of them sound like they are of an age where they can work. I don't understnd their fear, it's not based on any facts at all, and when you give them facts, they say stupid things like "It's not about facts" What is the real fear here. You afraid they gonna want your women, there gonna take your women away, there gonna emasculate you, there will be raping and pillaging!!! Talk about a total irrational fear of the Other. These same people are the ones who probably talk about how lazy these Others are too. Even though they will work at the jobs the white folks would never do, and even though every thing is totally against them succeeding. Maybe that's the real fear here. That they will succeed inspite of white folks racism and they will be even better at realizing the American Dream than white folks are. Oh, and that women ranting about a veiled women getting her license picture taken with her veil. And how does this affect her, what is she so worried about. Boy this present administration and it's supporters has done a great job in playing on people's fear of the Other. We're so worried about the Other that we forget to pay attention to what our government is really trying to do. Keep all the money and power in the hands of the few elite, perhaps?
In Paul’s article, “The Lost Tribes of Faribault,” we can see the hardships of the lives of the immigrants in Faribault and the racism that they face, even though it might be denied by some people such as Paul Westrum, their actions and reactions towards these foreign immigrants is pretty obvious. Paul Westrum shows his racism by selling T-shirts and sweatshirts that says: “Here in America We Speak English.” By doing this, it is like saying that anyone who is not white does not belong in America and that other languages are not acceptable. When I first read this quote, I was mad and though it was pretty harsh. These anti-immigrant organizations clam that they have formed to stop the flow of immigrants into America because they believe that these immigrants are taking high paying jobs away from American citizens but isn’t there more immigrants working the low paying jobs than the high paying jobs? So, should it really bother them when it does not make that much of a big difference and also, these immigrants are temporary workers which means that they are just there to earn some money for awhile. Also I agree with what Dan Burns says that that we need to look at the positive aspect of immigrants too. As mentioned in the article, these immigrants have contributed a lot to the economy; especially by increasing the tax base and they have done this through filling unwanted jobs and low paying wage jobs. These immigrants has also diversified this country so I do not really see how they are harming America and I also think that they are just saying these other things as an excuse for their racism against foreign immigrants? What do the rest of you think?
Also with that thing about the police suspecting the Somali people and then finding out later that they were innocent, I find that this is really how most people of other race are treated. Like for example, if there were two cars and one is driven by a white teenager and one that is driven by a color-skin teenager and they are both kind of speeding, a police would more likely stop the color teenager instead.
This article was very bizarre for me to read becaus I grew up minutes from Faribault and my dad works at SCTC. I knew that Rice County (where I am from) was racist. I saw it all the time when I was in high school, but I never realized it was as bad as it was portrayed in the article. I was shocked. The fact that there are actually organizations for immigrant reduction. I mean what does that mean, "immigrant reduction" that just seems like the most ridiculous phrase ever. And it seems clear that the people that make up these groups are varying from crack-pots to white supremacists to people like Esther Dabill who seems not to understand the system. . . she claimed that immigration was taking away benefits from native-born Minnesotans but it seems to me that she is targeting the WRONG group. I would definitly say that this article hit close to home for me and it makes me realize how much work needs to be done in rural areas like Rice County. It seems that the problems occuring with miscommunications and misunderstandings due to language barriors need to be tackled immediately which is why it is so sad that there is such a lack of funding for such services. It also seems that immigrant workers need to be educated on their employment rights immediately because it sounds like the factories are abusing their ignorance which is awful. I agree with Leslie that the conidtions in these factories is agregious!
Demko’s article highlights the trials of immigrant communities in a Minnesota’s rural white context. The anti-immigration mobilization of elderly white folks in South Central Minnesota reminds me of the Minutemen militias sprouting up near the U.S.-Mexico border. They seem to claim that immigration threatens the moral, cultural, and economic integrity of their lands, but they are quick to forget their own histories. One group fundraises with t-shirts that say "Here in America We Speak English"; obviously no one spoke English here 'til ppl from England came, and it become a dominant language by the institutional oppression of native and immigrant languages (cultural genocide), like english-only education. My dad tells me how, in a town of 90% mexicans, the white teachers would paddle mexican students for speaking spanish in school. Demko shows how a hierarchy of languages creates vulnerability and enables exploitation in the workplace and school.
"I would have always thought that the Hmong and the Vietnamese and the Cambodians, being from the same general part of the world, that they would sort of work together and cooperate, but they hated one another" This is a comment made by one of the members of the Steele County coalition, Amon Hilo (he is the old man that was ranting about the immigration problem and moving for a mass prayer); I thought this was an interesting comment because if you remove the ethnic references, this could be a statement about the conflict between "real" Americans and immigrants. It is so easy to blame the issues on the immigrants who are "stealing jobs" and receiving so-called special treatment from hospitals and the like. At the same time, the people interviewed in this article ARE from the same part of the world; they all live in the United states. One would think that THESE people, living in the same circumstances would want to band together and go after the government for its haphazard concern over such issues as uneven distribution of funds or lack of attention paid toward the debilitating problem of language barriers.
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation
Every time I read this book I swear not touch any mass-produced hamburger again. But it always gets me. The thing is that Schlosser is right in every
aspect, but fast food is such a big part of my life and I’m sure others too that it is really hard to cut back from one day to the other (Specially since McDonalds has the dollar menu). This tie also very good with the article from Counihan that as college student you have different thinking in terms of what you eat. You want something that is quick to grab and less expensive.Eric Schlosser article is the modern review of today mass-produced hamburger and other food; he is the modern Upton Sinclair.
While I found the article on immigrants to Minnesota disturbing, it was nothing compared to the shock that I encountered after reading ch 8 of Fast Food Nation. I look at the picture in the Citypages article of the two sorely misinformed white folks in Minnesota and I pity them, and try to remember that they are still people, just very, very ignorant people. However, when I read about the way that some people are treated in these mesat-packing plants in the United States, a supposedly proggressive, DEMOCRATIC nation, I nearly vomitted. The story of Kenny's life, and all that he gave of his body and life to Monfort, is actually one of the worst things I have ever heard in my life, for the exact reason that it is not the 'other.' I cannot say that 'oh yes it's sad, but it's so far away from me' because it is happening right here, in our country, to people we could see every day, and IT IS BEING DONE by people we think of as 'fellow americans'. I do not know ho to reconcile this in my brain...I am so ashamed.
Eric Schlosser's chapter called "Meat and Potatoes" really had my stomach churning. It was so bothersome, because as much as we all love all these fast food restaurants, it makes me sick to think of these horrendous working conditions these people are experiencing everyday just for these people to make an easy buck. One thing in particular that really bothered me was how it said, "the company kep two sets of injury logs:one of them recording every inury and illness at the slaughterhouse, the other provided to visiting OSHA inspectors and researchers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics." And during a three month period in 1985 1,800 injuries were recorded and the OSHA log ornly recorded 160 of those. These workers are being exloited right under everyones noses and nothing is being done to help these people. I find it sickening because if he's writing about just these few cases, you know its happening in so many othe places as well. People at these meatpacking plants are being hurt on the job quite frequently with injuries including: deep lacerations, amputations, lost fingers and more. And these people are expected to go to work the following day. Ugh, it makes me sick!
Demko's article was just a reminder of what happens day to day. Knowing people of different races and how immigrant families start out is never a happy story to begin with. Romo's family is just another story. Immigrants who are looking for any type of work to survive and feed their family will resort to almost anything and that's only the start. Once hired for a job they will continue to suffer long hours of back aching work.
"It's very hard work--low prestige work," notes Fennelly. "I think it's quite safe to say that the white U.S.-born residents are not coming to work in these plants."
It's pretty obvious that CEO's study this and ask themselve, how can we pay workers low wages, make profit and keep our business running? Their answer is immigrant workers. It is very obvious that the majority or workers will not be white because being white and being able to speak english means that they are already two steps ahead of the immigrant workers. Yet they have anit-immigrant advocates who think that just because immigrants cannot speak english or "choose" to work in assembly that they are taking away work for the Americans. If working these types of jobs were a choice then I really don't think anyone would work there.
"The medical literature on the causes of food posioning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat" (197). This piece of information that Eric Schlosser addresses reminds me of the language so many politicians speak. Instead of giving the public a direct and honest answer, that everybody and their mother can understand, they give you this drawn out reason that is full of unnessasary words. They hardly ever answer a question directly and give you a strict reason right away with why they feel the way that they feel. It is verbose bullshit. No pun intended when speaking about the "shit in the meat." The unnessasary language is used to confuse everyday people. Politicians speak that way for a reason the same way the medical literatures use these scientific terms explaining food posioning. It's disgusting and degrading to the people that consume these lies and elaborate explanations.
Reading the two chapters has greatly affected me. If there is a person that was not affected after reading Eric Schlosser's experience in the slaughterhouse then that person has serious mental issues and should go to the hospital to get their head checked out. It is insanity to me. I have not eaten red meat in about three years and I will continue to do so. The horrific acts that the cattle and the workers themselves go through in obtaining this need for people to have this slab of meat on their plate is unbearable to comprehend. I applaud Eric Schlosser for taking on a subject that is taken for granted and so rarely thought in depth about. The meat industry is a dirty concept and my heart goes out to those that support it or work for it. Kenny's story really got to me and because of his illiteracy and lack of everday knowledge the company took full advantage of it. I am sorry that it has to be like that. I am sorry that it seems like certain people believe that they cannot do any better or get any more money. I am sorry that people can treat others like the cattle themselves. I am sorry that people can be such an awful, awful influence. I am so sorry that it has to come down to that. It's really amazing that this sort of behavior happens. It's really amazing how a person can read that part of Eric Schlosser's book on Kenny's endless injuries and hospital visits and then go to work and then to a movie and then go out for drinks with friends the next day without discussing the terrible acts being done to people that are not as fortunate as us.
Yahoo says you...
Yahoo says you...
Do you still think this is relevant in today's economic condition?
After you've walked across the stage, did a little legwork, paid your dues, or received your doctorate, many entering the work force are looking to apply for high paying job position. Are you looking for the easiest high paying jobs because you're tired of busting your butt at a job that you hate? Most jobs pay little, and aren't at all considered to be in the realm of high paying careers. So it's important that you do a little homework to find the job that's right for you.
When it comes to landing the jobs that offer the most pay, education is key in making the grade in the high-paying work world. For some companies, at least a four-year college degree is required from their job applicants. In the United States, there are certain job fields that have consistently presented the most appealing salary packages over the years. Leading the way in high-paying job listings are positions in the medical, judicial, and technology fields.
Today's job market is highly competitive market place for locating jobs and careers. It's not uncommon, in some regions, to hear of a ratio of available job openings to actively seeking workers being in the range of 1:10.
Paul talks about Romo and husband working,but still unable to survive cause the living situation is difficult, to where they have to live in thier friend's basement or a trailer. I amazed more by the part when Paul talk about the clothing issues that Romo and her family have.
A common mistake that people make when working to high paying jobs is trying to save by using the same technology for both jobs. Never share cell phones, Blackberry or laptops. Carry 2 phones and 2 laptops. If you are worried about a co-worker noticing that you have 2 of everything and drawing a conclusion that you have 2 jobs, don't worry. On the phones just tell them that you keep your work and personal phones separate, you will just come off as taking your jobs seriously.
One question I conduct have though is actually more to do with how you go about developing a blog which cultivates consumers actually leaving comments and even moving from passive readers to proactive contributors. virtually any thoughts?
I would have always thought that the Indians and the Pakistanis and the Bangalis, being from the same general part of the world, that they would sort of work together and cooperate, but they hated one another
Could I just say nice to read a help to search out anyone who actually understands just what they may be discussing on the web. You actually learn how to take a major issue to light and allow it to significant. Even more people need to learn it all and understand it aspect of the story. I cannot believe you aren't very popular because you really have the gift.
In the United States, there are certain job fields that have consistently presented the most appealing salary packages over the years. Leading the way in high-paying job listings are positions in the medical
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
Well, we can't change anything unless we all change our mind, the only way to do so is to start loving each other.
Agree, the only way to solve this problem is to start loving, forgive and accept other people. In fact there is no reason for us to hate each other, we can judge that by looking at how little kids getting around together although they are from different races.
I think what happen now is that not only they are jobless, but a lot others due to economy crisis.
Thanks for the info, really helps out in my research
Job market is highly competitive market place for locating jobs and careers. Most jobs pay little, and aren't at all considered to be in the realm of high paying careers, pretty sad of that.
Whoever is performing very good in his/her field, he/she should get the pay. We shouldn't have forgotten what is thanksgiving.
Very interesting points made. I can definitely agree that the cost of living in the U.S. is high and therefore citizens are not necessarily better off with the same amount of pay. I'm glad I stumbled upon this post.