Sunday, June 3, 2012

NBC Implies Black Laborers too Lazy for Farming

In November 2011, NBC's Rock Center aired a Kate Snow story attacking Alabama's new illegal immigration law.  In the process, NBC portrayed Black laborers as too lazy to do the work that illegal immigrants were doing:
See the full NBC story here:

National Labor Front
Note the male farmer near the beginning of the clip who states that if "they" bring him a labor force, he will hire them.  Sounds like an advocate of Germany's Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF), a nationalized trade union system where all employers had to get their labor.  Contrary to popular myth, Hitler did not outlaw labor unions.  He nationalized them into one giant employment agency.

Yes, a portion of the farmer's plight is that the federal government has restricted the unskilled and farm labor supply to the point that it is no longer nearly free.  If the federal government had a more open immigration policy, like one that provided for anybody to immigrate as long as they were not felons, then the farmers in the clip would have plenty of labor at low prices.  So would most other employers.

The woman in the last portion of the clip, a tomato farmer, speaks of her illegal workers in a curious way too.  At least, it is curious for NBC to advocate a working environment where laborers jump before the boss says so and are described in terms once reserved for the best house slaves.

So the story continues on with the tomato farmer claiming that American worker's could not handle tomato farming while the camera shows to Black men toiling in the fields.

The story does not state what wages these farmers were offering, but several of them are on camera stating that they pay all taxes and other federal payroll fees for their workers, legal or illegal.  However, the question is, are they paying enough to draw the quality of labor that they desire?  Doesn't sound like it.  The farmers in the clip state that American workers cannot handle the long hours.  I find this hard to believe.  Every factory worker I know, and I know quite a few, works 12 hour shifts, all the overtime they can get, and some have a 72 hour week.  They start around $10/hour.  I recall in the 1970s or 1980s an agricultural union boss stating, "Americans will pick poison ivy if you pay them enough."  Sadly, I cannot find that quote on the internet, but my search continues because it really needs to be in my book.

Now, back to the problem that the federal government created and these farmers benefited from: illegal workers.  If these workers were truly of legal status, they should have had no fear of staying.  Alabama did not enact a law saying that people as tan as a paper bag had to get out of the State.  They enacted a law that puts State law in line with federal law on work eligibility and status.

The federal government has made the private employer the enforcer of immigration law for decades.  I know that everyplace I have applied for work, for decades, has required proof of citizenship or legal work status.  If all of my potential employers, and actual employers, had to do this, how did others get away without doing it?  Even the federal government requires proof of status for their applicants.

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