I am waiting for a tour of the Pileta Cave in Andalucia when I begin speaking to Two Of Them. They are a couple from California by way of France (her), and Wales, (him), and I am asking them if they speak Spanish.
“No, but we should learn. 40% of Californians speak Spanish as their primary language,” replies the Welshman. “How about Florida?”
Me: “I would say that’s about right in the southern half, and much less north of I-4. It’s kind of a dividing line. It’s too bad you feel the need to learn another language just to get by.”
“Well, we need those immigrant laborers. They’re doing jobs Americans won’t do.”
By now, all of you who know me know that I don’t suffer fools gladly and really, REALLY hate it when an imbecile uses an unexamined talking point instead of his own pointy little head to come to a conclusion. The Welshman, I was sure, had more idiotic slogans at his disposal. I’d heard them all before, spewed by the usual suspects in (((the media))). They’re easy to memorize, after all. A child could do it. Globalism…good. “Tolerance”…good. Free trade..good. Mexicans…hard working. Undocumented migrants…saints. On the other hand, Racism-bad. Protectionism…bad. Walls…bad. Trump…horrible. Whites Like Me…Racist.
Got it, and don’t care.
“That isn’t true, of course,” I replied. The Welshman and Frenchwoman seemed surprised I would respond so directly. “Americans will do those jobs. What you mean to say is, they won’t do those jobs for Mexican wages. Personally, I don’t blame them. I don’t want to work for Mexican wages…do you?”
Up until now, the wife (?) from France had been quiet. “But don’t you see the White Americans won’t do that work? The California economy would implode if they left! Who will mow our lawns? Pick our fruit?”
I responded to her economy argument as best I could. After all, neither of us had statistics readily at hand.
“I’ve already addressed that. Yes, they will. Ever read Steinbeck? Anyway, you could try mowing your own lawn. I remember when I was a kid, I used to mow lawns for a little spending money. It’d be nice if native American kids still had that opportunity. And I reject the notion that the economy would ‘implode’. I think a good case can be made that the costs Mexicans impose on our country outweigh the benefits. But in any event, the economy isn’t so important to me as the culture. I’m more than willing to pay more at the grocery in order to preserve that. If you’ve ever been to Mexico, you know it’s not what we want here, unless you like dirt roads, rent a tire stores, and cheap hookers.”
The culture word got to the “Californian”. “Culture? Do you know that some people say that ALL undocumented migrants are rapists?” he asked.
“No, I didn’t. Who’s saying that?”
“That isn’t true. Trump said many are, and that IS true-more than their proportionate representation in the population-far more. And that is true. Illegals commit far more crime than the average citizen.”
“Let me ask you a question”, said my new “friend”. “What would you do with an Englishman who overstayed his visa?”
“I would have him arrested and deported, but at least he didn’t commit a felony merely by entering the country illegally.”
My new friend wasn’t finished yet. “Well the Mexicans I know work hard”. Now we were down to mere anecdotes.
Now the Frenchwoman chimed back in. “Well, at least we know we can’t deport them all.”
“Why not? It’s been done before. It was called Operation Wetback, and it was highly successful.”
They were both disgusted by my use of a term that was once so commonplace it had been used in a national program. Or was it a pogrom? :))
“You have to admit, cheaper labor is just capitalism at work.”
“True, and I’m no believer in unbridled free markets in labor or anything else. I mean, it’s great for the CEO’s and Banksters but it sucks for the little guy. How come there’s never any free market for smart Chinese to take over as CEOs of American companies? Or for Guatemalan lawyers to undercut our homegrown variety? Why is it always the blue collar worker you people aim to screw? It seems to me, the only beneficiaries of illegal immigration are way up the food chain. The CEOs of Monsanto or Cargill won’t lose their jobs when the illegals pick the fruit-no, they’ll get nice fat bonus checks. But the American workers get the door. And there’s a nefarious group that really wants to undermine America’s Middle Class for their own gain.”
“You’re a Trump supporter, aren’t you? I could tell right away.” I just couldn’t fool this guy.
“Yep. You’re a Sanders supporter, aren’t you?”
I would have asked, if he thought the USA’s immigration policy was so screwed up, why he didn’t just go to France with his wife, where it looks like immigration is turning out so well, but I was interrupted by the cave guide, and we entered into the black hole. It seemed to me that was a metaphor for the USA’s immigration policy, or lack thereof.
While there, we saw the paintings of paleolithic peoples. They are some of the best in the world, made by a tribe that had replaced a more intelligent species, the Neanderthals. Sometimes it isn’t the smartest that survive. Raw numbers matter, and I suspect the Neanderthals were simply overwhelmed by the more primitive homo sapiens, or were absorbed into them via cross breeding. It really doesn’t matter. The point is, they’re gone now. Forever.
I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the Neanderthals listened to the French. Or the Welsh. Or a liberal.