I spent the morning reading February’s issue of Z Mag from cover to cover as I am wont to do if I have a free morning once in a while. I was reading Bay Area photojournalist David Bacon‘s excellent article “Should we defend Undocumented Workers?” and found myself being profoundly moved in particular by a paragraph near the end. Bacon has discussed labor abuses of immigrants and some recent immigration raids (including the large one in Postville in my home state of Iowa), then moves to the scene of a mega-raid by I.C.E. at a Howard Industries factory in Laurel, Mississippi in 2008, after there were multi-racial unionization efforts:
“That fight is not over. In fact, we have to fight harder now than ever. But we don’t have to assume that fear is hardwired into us or that we can’t overcome it. Mainstream newspapers said people applauded in the Laurel plant when the immigrants were arrested and taken out in handcuffs. But after the arrests, Black workers came out of the gate and embraced the immigrant women sitting outside in their ankle bracelets, demanding their unpaid wages. African American women offered to bring food to Mexican mothers, and supported their demand for back wages.”
Human. Solidarity. That’s what it’s all about.
Please, less criminalizing people for working and more treating people as human beings with dignity.