Friday, April 21, 2006

MAYDAY!

Apparently, there is going to be a general strike of undocumented immigrants this May 1st, which would be truly the real version of A Day Without Mexicans. It would be really interesting to see indeed what would happen if all the illegal immigrants, Mexican and not, did not show up for work that day across the US. As somebody said, forget about dinner!
I'm supposed to shoot a commercial in LA and over there they are already saying that that Monday is going to be a mess. Right on! I hope it happens.
LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens has asked immigrant people here in the States to refrain from making any consumer purchases that day, to show the economic impact the immigrants have in this country. Meanwhile, I got a chain email from a friend in Mexico that says that the Mexicans on the other side of the border have been asked to show their solidarity with their illegal brethren by undertaking a general boycott of everything American that day. This means: no Starbucks, no Haagen Dazs, no McDonald's, no Marlboro, no Coca-Cola, no Wal-Mart, no Krispy Kremes etc. This may prove to be a daunting task. I bet pretty much every household item and most packaged foodstuffs in Mexico, not to say all the electronics, come from American corporations. Are my spoiled rotten compatriots going to leave their American made cars at home and take sweaty public transportation with the rest of la raza? I doubt it.
I have a better idea:
How about if instead of boycotting American stuff, Mexicans at home fight to make the exploited poor of Mexico, those who, I remind you, work for pitiful wages, as your maids, cooks, drivers, waiters: everything they come to do here because it's better paid, how about you pay them more and start treating them as equals, not as your servant class? Perhaps if you did, they wouldn't feel compelled to risk their lives to come over here, where they may suffer the same racism that they do at home, but at least their work has more value that you have ever thought of giving it.
I just have to close my eyes for a second and think of the way most of the haves treat the have nots in Mexico, and the Mexican government has the gall to protest the Georgia laws against illegals for discrimination. That's freaking rich! Why doesn't the Mexican government look at its own discrimination of its own citizens at home? Because they get billions of dollars in remesas from the hardworking Mexicans who send money to their families and communities.
So let's not kid ourselves with our smug, self-serving, self-satisfied little boycott of American stuff. Let's look at ourselves in the mirror and ponder what makes millions of Mexicans want to get the hell out of their country in the first place.

Here goes in Spanish, pa que me entiendan:

Eso de boicotear los productos americanos por un día me parece el colmo de la desfachatez, considerando que dudo que ninguno de ustedes esté dispuesto a subirle el sueldo y el nivel de vida a la clase trabajadora que se explota en México desde hace siglos para la comodidad de las clases acomodadas. En lugar de boicots pendejos, mejor sería que nos pongamos a considerar de qué manera los mexicanos discriminamos económicamente a millones de nuestros compatriotas que no tienen las mismas oportunidades que nosotros y que se ven obligados a arriesgar sus vidas y trabajar como burros en un país ajeno, donde sufren el mismo racismo que en su tierra pero por lo menos sus esfuerzos se compensan mejor. Así que en vez de sentirnos tan heróicamente solidarios con aquellos a los que explotamos diariamente, porqué mejor no nos vemos bien en el espejo y nos preguntamos qué es lo que hace que millones de nuestros compatriotas prefieran largarse de su propio país.

3 comments:

  1. Gassend1:59 PM

    Y tú, ¿haces algo por tus compatriotas, viviendo desde hace 13 años en la "capital del mundo libre"?

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  2. Gassend asks: And you, do you do something for your compatriots since you've been living for 13 years in the "capital of the free world"?

    No, but at least I don't exploit them.
    No, pero yo por lo menos no los exploto.

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  3. D.H.H.10:32 AM

    Hasta que encuentro alguien que tiene opinones similares a las mías. Estoy hasta la madre de que me envíen ese mail pidiéndome no comprar nada gringo el primero de mayo. Como si realmente las grandes corporaciones se preocuparan por un día de pérdidas comparadas con el año entero de millonarias ganancias. Estas propuestas no son un verdadero sacrificio, sino un juego para sentirnos muy patrioteros. Los que nos quedamos acá no sabemos nada lo que significa vivir en un lugar ajeno y lejano a lo conocido, no nos hagamos, es mejor exigir a nuestro politiquetes ponerse a trabajar.

    Saludos
    Daniel Herrera

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