Sunday, November 23, 2014


Cartoon by Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star
Well, isn't this a switch. White people serving Thanksgiving turkey to immigrants.
There's been a big brouhaha over the Indianapolis Star's cartoon which started out when a dude with a mustache climbing through a window, then they edited out the offensive 'stash, then they removed it altogether.
The Indianapolis Star had to apologize for their racist cartoon.
I don't know where white people get the idea that we somehow just ended up here in America, even though few people I know ever identify themselves as American.We're either saying we're Italian or Irish or some of us just say we're Jews or Catholics. It's confusing. Adding to the confusion is the whitewashed (pun intended) history of a Happy Thanksgiving that just magically happened and the country it happened in wasn't already occupied by Native Americans, making Pilgrims the illegal immigrants. Which is why I call the coming holiday "Thankstaking"
There's nothing like a big disconnect and supreme panic over millions of undocumented immigrants hardly being helped by executive action, since this issue hasn't been revisited since the time of Reagan.
It's not lost on me that there have been times in the past that other immigrants have been the focus of racism.
I know Reagan didn't have much of a memory, however his great-grandfather and great-grandmother were  Irish immigrants you have to wonder what kind of effect this had on him? Was the amnesty he put into effect 30 years ago a result of his own heritage? According to one politician, Reagan's amnesty act is directly responsible for President Obama's election.
There's a history of anti-Italianism starting with mass lynchings in New Orleans to the tragic Sacco and Vanzetti trial and Italian-American internment camps during World War II. We weren't very nice to Germans either, and not just during World War II.

 Then there was the phrase "Yellow Peril" used in association with Chinese immigrants, which was transmitted to Japanese immigrants too. "mass immigration of Asians threatened white wages and standards of living, and the fear that they would eventually take over and destroy western civilization, replacing it with their ways of life and values."
Sound familiar? Doesn't any of this get old? 
Underneath all of this wierd outrage over undocumented workers is a history of Americans using immigrants as cheap labor or forcibly taking human beings and using them as slaves.
It's not lost on me that on our sacred national holiday of Thanksgiving, a day of feasting and giving thanks, millions of workers all over the country are being forced to work or get fired.
It's not that we aren't very nice to immigrants, we aren't very nice to our own people either. They seem to have one thing in common. They are working class. There's seems to be a lack of gratitude, to immigrants or ordinary American people who are working at Walmart, working jobs that barely sustain a person. If these people figure out that they have common ground, despite a language barrier or the color of their skin and decide to form a more perfect union, Then there really will be something to celebrate. 


  1. The thing that really pisses me off about this cartoon is that the food production and processing industries are largely staffed by latinos who work in dangerous conditions for low pay and no benefits or paid days off.

  2. You are right Bad, wonder what Upton Sinclair would think? You have to wonder how much has really changed and is probably worse. I bet no one thinks about who slaughtered their Butterball for Thanksgiving.

  3. Look at Harvest of Shame on You Tube. Edward R. Murrow did it long ago, it shocked the nation. Farm and food industry raised hell, eventually got some newspapers to attack it as unfair and untrue. But in it one farmer said we use to own our slaves, now we just rent them for the harvest. Small changes did come out of it, but overall things are much the same.
    I remember reading about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 (I think that was the one). The cops shot Chinese on sight during the hours after the quake, assuming they would loot or kill people if left on their own.
    Thankstaking, thats a good way to describe it Patricia.