Freedom Folks

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What He Said!

Booker Rising is one of my favorite blogs. I don't stop by often enough, yet every time I do I'm glad I did. He has an excellent rant up today contrasting the true civil rights struglle with the pretend one we're hearing so much about today from the likes of Teddy Kennedy et al.

Being a denizen of a big city I see how black folks get displaced by illegal immigrants every day. When I started out in the restaurant business it was a solid place for an inner city black kid to get some job skills. Now, not so much, they are pushed aside for cheaper labor. Not that white kids aren't as well, but the cold hard truth is that a lot of the white kids have other options.

This thing is one of the most hurtful aspects of illegal immigration to me. Managing kitchens is one of those jobs where you deal with everybody and everything. Every social strata makes its way through a kitchen. College kids waiting tables during the summer, high school kids washing dishes, career folks. As a manager of a kitchen you have a tremendous impact on the youths that move through your kitchen.

You are often their first boss, you often hand them their first check. I don't know about today but we often had kids start out at sixteen as a dishwasher and then stick with the job through college to earn their *cough-cough* pin money.

And I can tell you honestly the kids I was always the proudest of were those who looked the most likely to fail, but didn't. Not that all of those were black, hardly, but too many were and every one that "made it" felt like a success. I can't tell you how many of the young men who moved through my kitchens ended up in prison or dead. Too many, and every one was a heartbreak. In almost every case you could see the despair in their eyes leading up to it too.

I have moved on to different jobs where I don't deal with those kids anymore, I wonder if any of those jobs are available to them anymore, I would wager the answer is no.

Black folks in this country have been pushed to the back of the line too many times in our history. Shame on our government for doing it to them again.

Read it!

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