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Blacks Claim Racism In Hiring Of Migrant Workers

From the New York Times:

Workers Claim Race Bias as Farms Rely on Immigrants

By ETHAN BRONNER | May 6, 2013

VIDALIA, Ga. — For years, labor unions and immigrant rights activists have accused large-scale farmers, like those harvesting sweet Vidalia onions here this month, of exploiting Mexican guest workers. Working for hours on end under a punishing sun, the pickers are said to be crowded into squalid camps, driven without a break and even cheated of wages.

But as Congress weighs immigration legislation expected to expand the guest worker program, another group is increasingly crying foul — Americans, mostly black, who live near the farms and say they want the field work but cannot get it because it is going to Mexicans. They contend that they are illegally discouraged from applying for work and treated shabbily by farmers who prefer the foreigners for their malleability.

Wow. On first glance this would almost seem to be an anti-amnesty article. In any case, it’s the first time we can recall the New York Times has published a story about how illegal aliens migrant farm workers might be taking jobs away from blacks.

“They like the Mexicans because they are scared and will do anything they tell them to,” said Sherry Tomason, who worked for seven years in the fields here, then quit. Last month she and other local residents filed a federal lawsuit against a large grower of onions, Stanley Farms, alleging that it mistreated them and paid them less than it paid the Mexicans.

The suit is one of a number of legal actions containing similar complaints against farms, including a large one in Moultrie, Ga., where Americans said they had been fired because of their race and national origin, given less desirable jobs and provided with fewer work opportunities than Mexican guest workers…

But, don’t worry. It turns out that The Times is claiming that once illegal aliens are given amnesty, they will no longer be hired instead of blacks. So it is a pro-amnesty article, after all:

“We have tried to fill our labor locally,” said Brian Stanley, an owner of Stanley Farms, which is being sued by Ms. Tomason and others. “But we couldn’t get enough workers, and that was hindering our growth. So we turned to the guest worker program.” …

The vast majority of farm workers in the country are not in the guest worker program but are simply unauthorized immigrants. The plan to place those workers on a path to legal status would reduce the chances of their being exploited, the bill’s sponsors say, and thereby also improve the status of Americans who feel they cannot compete against vulnerable foreigners…

But wait. There’s more…

But the situation is filled with cultural and racial tensions. Even many of the Americans who feel mistreated acknowledge that the Mexicans who arrive on buses for a limited period are incredibly efficient, often working into the night seven days a week to increase their pay…

Jon Schwalls, director of operations at Southern Valley, made a similar point.

“When Jose gets on the bus to come here from Mexico he is committed to the work,” he said. “It’s like going into the military. He leaves his family at home. The work is hard, but he’s ready. A domestic wants to know: What’s the pay? What are the conditions? In these communities, I am sorry to say, there are no fathers at home, no role models for hard work. They want rewards without input.”

Such generalizations lead lawyers — and residents — to say there are racist undertones to the farms’ policies…

In other words, The Times is worried that these new citizens might still have such a strong work ethic that farmers will still hire them over other groups (meaning blacks). And they see this as racism.

Jim Knoepp of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group that has campaigned against the guest worker program, said that farm work, like other difficult labor, could be made attractive to Americans at reasonable cost, and that farmers should not be excused from doing so.

“There used to be lots of American pickers who moved around the country,” he said. “But wages have stagnated and conditions have deteriorated, and agriculture is unwilling to make these jobs attractive. Think of trash collection. That’s not very appealing, either. But if you offer a decent wage and conditions, people do it.” …

In other words, according to The Times, via the Southern Poverty Law Center: the solution is that these farmers should be forced to pay higher wages so they will attract a more ‘diverse’ (meaning black) workforce.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Blacks Claim Racism In Hiring Of Migrant Workers”

  1. bousquem25 says:

    If people wanted $10 or $15 an hour to pick produce then the price of those things in the stores are going to go up even higher. Then there is going to be cries from the left for goverment investigations into “price gouging” or demands for price controls.

    • mr_bill says:

      Price controls went out of fashion decades ago. The problem is that the policy and the ensuing shortage of the proce-controlled good are too closely linked. The politicians end up paying a political price for their policy. These days, the political class favors a suplemental payment (that’s a subsidy to us pleebs). It’s harder to see the impact. Instead of placing price controls on a good or service, the government simply pays you a stipend, or tax credit, or some other form of subsidy to use the service. Your bottom line isn’t any different, the supplier still gets full price for the good/service, wages can stay high, and skittle-pooping unicorns give the government the money to pay the subsidy the “rich” pay for it all. The only down side is that the cost of the good/service tends to rise continually. See also United States College System

    • SinCity says:

      I was talking about to my better half a few weeks ago. I seem to remember, for years, that the pro-illegal folks would always ask, “Would you rather spend a few dollars for a head of lettuce for five dollars or more?”

      Then, of course, the debate (as usual with a libtard) is cut off, because the answer is obvious. Anybody seen the price of lettuce lately? Or any other ag. product for that matter? Yet we have MORE illegals than ever and the price of food continues to go up.

      If people wanted $10 or $15 an hour working in the fields (even though it should be framed as an “entry level” job with entry level wages, that’s where the debate should begin) that’s actually is kind of doable. When the price of labor goes up, farmers will utilize more machinery rather than manpower. The fewer workers that are left to work in the fields will be more skilled, in that they would be more Machine Operators, rather than mere Pickers.
      Just my $0.02….

    • mr_bill says:

      SinCity, I have heard that argument. It would be interesting to see what the actual impact is on a price of lettuce or any other produce. I think I read somewhere that the price increase would be negligible, a few cents per pound. One has to consider the amount of time it takes to pick a single head of lettuce (probably only a few seconds).

      My response to the “would you pay more for produce” question is always the same. You’re right, it’s typically liberals who pose the question. I always answer them with a resounding “yes.” Then I explain how much less I would have to pay for social services if we could get rid of the illegal aliens. I would rather pay 6 cents more for lettuce and hundreds of billions less for illegal aliens’ welfare, obamaphones, ESL classes, WIC, SNAP, TANF, uninsured driver premiums, etc. etc. Liberals look at the marginal cost of the produce, but fail to see the marginal cost of the illegals…probably because it isn’t their money that’s being spent.

    • SinCity says:

      Nicely put Mr.Bill. It staggers comprehension how little of a grasp liberals have on just basic micro-economics. In the market, labor and capital should be balanced, optimally. That would maximize wages to what the market could bare. Instead Central and South America exports their peasants to us, they work for practically nothing. Throwing the equation way out of whack. Why buy that harvesting machine when you can bus in hundreds of peasants that the farms could pay essentially slave wages?

      I remember hearing, years ago, about a study that said that, simply increasing wages of the farm workers has a negligible effect on the final price at market. Transportation costs, for example, has a much larger effect.

  2. canary says:

    Whites were complaining before the Blacks of losing jobs to Mexicans

  3. canary says:

    Obama concluded that Mexicans do jobs that Black people and he needed immigrants in order for his personal success, and that he was going to make sure his daughters learned to speak Spanish, after that cute little girl came to his office interpreting for her parents.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    Blacks complain about everything. Browns complain about Blacks hating them. Whites complain about all the bitching and no work getting done. Blacks and Browns team up to hate on Whites while Whites and Browns team up to put the smackdown on Blacks for complaining and not working.

    Where are the Yellows and Reds? Plenty of dance partners to go around, kids …

  5. thetriguy says:

    Sorry folks, but these complaints by the blacks are nothing new in our country. Check out the Insular Cases that were before the Supreme Court in 1901. There the question was whether or not the Philippinos deserved the same rights as American citizens under the US Constitution since they were—at the time—a US possession. It was the blacks, through the person of WEB Du Bois, who argued that these individuals should be behind the blacks in line for constitutional benefits. What I think we are beginning to see is a resurrection of that dislike between the two. If it boils over, the mess will be difficult to clean up.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      My problem is trying to figure out the hierarchal oraganization chart for victimhood.

      Being black trumps everything?
      Where does a lesbian black female fall in this structure?

      I need to get this straightened out before the next board meeting.

      But then being a white, anglo, Christian male, I’ll probably just let my “priveliged” status guide me.

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