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Wine

How do I feel about illegal aliens… I feel a lot and have a really simple solution.

First of all, this is coming from a white woman who was born in Maine, and still has deep Yankee roots… I’m so white that I can go out on Halloween without a sheet and be taken for wearing a ghost costume, so don’t let the name “Diaz” fool you. I picked that up when I married my husband, who was born in Puerto Rico.

Next, and back to that white thing…

I have great grandfathers that I’ve identified, who came over to the US in the 1600s. They immigrated, there were no borders, but they invaded land owned by others – Native Americans – and just took the Native Americans’ land to be their own. My great grandfather Reverend William Blackstone took over what today we call Beacon Hill and Boston Commons, so I’m thinking that there were some Native Americans who were there first, and he just moseyed onto the property and took it over for King James.

Consider that the people from Mexico are Native Americans. While we think of Native Americans as the Sioux, Cheroke, Abenaki, Algonquian, Apache, Arapaho, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Cheyenne (full list here), our history has not recorded our friends from Mexico, who were living in what we call today California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas… but history has recorded their presence with city names, like Santa Rosa, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Los Alamos, etc. So, they were here before Padre Junipero Serra came from Spain to convert the people in North America to Christianity. I believe the Spanish began this conversion in New Mexico, but I could be wrong. I do know that Padre Serra began establishing missions in San Diego, then once built walked about 30 miles up the coast to establish the next mission, and so on until the California coast line had 21 Spanish missions established. (The town of Sonoma was the last mission, and the only one that went inland.)

So, here we are with California being taken over by the Spanish… Serra was accompanied by an Army, and the natives (of North America, so they’re Native Americans, right?) were brought into servitude. Once they began to build the mission for the lovely padre, they were not allowed to leave by the soldiers. So, they were taken over, right?

Once borders were established, these Native Americans who were below the borders weren’t let back in again legally.

Consider animals (other than humans) whose migrating patterns have been altered by the encroachment of towns… They still return on occasion, because there’s something in their DNA that makes them go back, again and again.

Now consider the migrating patterns of humans. On the east coast, they’re called Snow Birds. People still migrate, when we need to, for some reason.

So, here we are with closed borders. Mexico doesn’t provide enough work for those who are natural farmers, and the farms are over a border that’s hostile. And yet, these migrating Central Americans still have the urge to be farmers in order to feed their families.

Yes, coming over the border is illegal, and if I invaded another country illegally, I’d be held accountable… I don’t have to migrate, because I’ve been able to find employment and I’m not a threat to our government, so I’m in a pretty good place… But… that place was established for me by my grandfathers over 400 years ago.

There is a simple solution, I believe… Seasonal worker passes, establishing more than are needed, so we don’t have a cut off, and then we’re back on track.

In Maine each year, Jamaican farmers are brought in to harvest apples. They come, and they go… It’s quiet and simple.

Migrant workers with visas from Mexico must be established now, because those idiots that hold signs “will work for food” don’t get their hineys to the vineyards during harvest. This tells me they really won’t work for food. I had a friend about 15 years ago try to hire a white dude with a sign, and he told her his price was $20 an hour… (For unskilled labor?) She left him on the street.

Fred Franzia (Bronco Wines ~ Great Web site, Fred) weighed in yesterday… A man whose existence is dependent upon Central Americans doing for him what white America just doesn’t see as a career path, unless they own the farm – for the most part.

Bronco’s Fred Franzia Speaks out on Farm Workers and Immigration

Wine Business Monthly’s editor Cyril Penn quotes Fred as saying, ““Let me tell you, you wouldn’t have any wine on your table if it wasn’t for Latinos working in the field.”

This is so true.

While our government’s wracking its collective brain to find a solution, (or is it?), we have the way to farming  the east coast with immigrants from Jamaica, and this methodology simply needs to extend that program to the Mexican work force.

Is that so hard, and why hasn’t that been put on the table, yet?

Working visas seem to work for every other culture coming into the US from all over the world. Seems like if there was a better plan in place, President Obama, a lot of illegal immigrant problems would just simply be resolved.

How can something so easy be so hard?

It’s been 23 years since the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 began the concept of legalization to agricultural seasonal workers and immigrants.

What’s the big hold-up?

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27 Responses to “How do I feel about illegal aliens… I feel a lot and have a really simple solution.”

  1. Rich Tanguay says:

    Very well put Jo. I totally agree with your idea and thanks for adding the historical… puts it all into perspective.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Rich,

    Sometimes the most complex issues are just so basic.

    How they get this way? No one wanting to just take responsibility… The ability to respond…

    Meanwhile, I just heard a young woman (NPR) talk about that she’s just graduated from college; and now can’t apply for a job, because she can’t prove citizenship to a potential employer. She was brought to the US from Mexico at the age of seven, has been here all of these years, considers this her homeland, and can’t use her education.

    This is deplorable, as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Chris says:

    Jo, I too appreciate the historical aspect you bring to this topic. I agree strongly with what you’ve written and really admire the elegence with which you have presented your solutions. I hope these or similar ideas get good traction and get implemented soon.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Chris,

    Honestly, I felt this is probably the least elegant of anything I’ve written. I see it as “from the gut” and my pure sense of common sense. When things are reduced to the least common denominator, therein always lies the truth.

    At first I found myself stunned, the first time I REALLY realized that Central America extended north by so much land. So much so that today it’s a good chunk of the United States that I’ve mentioned above. We’re so far away from those warrior days that we’ve all forgotten – on the Northern side of it, at least. But, I’m betting that the southern portion, like the guys in Dixie still waving flags, that they’ve not forgotten… and are so powerless, save the secret channels and underground railroad.

    It’s so simple that I hope people, who are in power to do something about it, have a similar revelation… and get it soon.

    I wonder how long any good idea finally sinks in? Maybe an open letter to legislators is in order. Hum… I did spend two years selling the idea of scholarships to immigrants and refugees in Portland, Maine, a port of entry, to finally pass two – for one student per semester – in the English as a Second Language program at the University of Southern Maine. (You can see how I wear down the bureaucrat to do what HAS to be done, once it’s presented itself.)

    I just beg… and beg… and beg….

  5. Jo Diaz says:

    I’m loving that two of today’s readers went to the Bronco Wine link. It’s priceless!

  6. andrew graef says:

    Dear Ms. Diaz:

    This is a beautiful and eloquent dispatch.
    This place (land) is Hispanic and before that Native American. There is a rich history realized in its place-names (San Diego, San Francisco, Pacific, etc).
    As is the case in Europa, high-tech societies don’t want to work with their hands, not much.
    Govt. contracts can arrange for foreign labor to work here with respect including health care.
    Anglos picking lettuce? Please.
    The present conservative movement to exclude the Mexican and Central American worker is merely an excuse for (conservative) meanness.
    Too, the integrity and work-ethic of the migrant worker mustn’t be overlooked.

    A moment of consideration to the great work of César Chávez Estrada.

    Let’s honor and embrace our heritage, honor our fellow worker, and someday we’ll all be Californios.

    In Peace, a-

  7. Jo Diaz says:

    Andrew,

    Thanks you very much for your thoughts.

    Conservative meanness is a sad, but likely, excuse.

    You also bring another very important issues to the surface, and that’s health care while here.

    Living conditions are also important.

    I’d like to see visas happen first, to get this resolved, and conditions and health care be wrapped into that bill.

    Is it so hard to pass a humane bill? Could that be the hold out?

    Something’s not right. I’d love to see the backdoor wrangling, and what disconnected issues are being wrapped into this one to benefit what lobby group. Isn’t this what our government has become… on all sides of the fence?

  8. Gregg Burke says:

    This is not that simple. There is no question that without migrate workers our food system would crash. There are questions in regards to tax revenue to cover costs of hosting these immigrants. There is the question of national security. How do we shake out the 1 or 2 percent of people who will use this system for activities that damage our society? I want the good hard working migrant farmers in this country because they are an asset. The issue of how we let them in and out is complex and being muddied up by politicians playing on people’s fears. Eloquent post but a little bit naïve.

  9. Jo Diaz says:

    I agree, Gregg, there is the question of tax revenues. I also appreciate your comments, insights, ad questions.

    I believe most of it should come from a really good shake down of government spending. I’d like to see a panel of citizen homemakers, who have had to squeeze every penny out of their family budgets to survive, being the investigators. They’ll ferreting out the $4,000 toilet seat covers that are eventually found within military spending. Plenty of those examples are found within our government…and all we ever do when we hear about it is shake our heads. But, it does register within, and I can’t help but ask, who’s cleaning that up?

    Yes, a panel of citizens will never happen (and sounds preposterous), but something needs to happen, because our government is no longer serving us…

    How to save money? We can start by putting the Halliburton contracts out to bid. The money saved there – alone – would fund some of this.

    How do we screen them out? A really good screening process for visa’s would expose anyone who might be a national security threat. Family histories should be investigated… Birth certificates. Putting some really intuitive people into place with excellent interviewing skills. These people exist… Jobs would be created.

    There have always been dangers in our world, simply evidenced by the Grimm Brothers fairy tales… The big, bad wolf has always been out there, so we’ve *always* had to beware. I’m astounded when a see a child of six or seven years still walking to school by him or herself. I never did that, and am all for protection. I do believe that when the right system is in place, and protective measures are taken, *most* dangers can be avoided in our country… But not all. That would be a Utopian world, and earth is not a utopia.

    It’s doing what’s right… that is what’s wrong… with today’s government.

    Naïve r’Us around here, because this all just seems so simple to me… Just doing what’s right for the good of humanity. But then, this would be utopia not earth school, right, so we all just go around and around chasing our tails.

  10. Lorrie S. LeBeaux says:

    Jo,

    You made some good points as well as Greg. Our society is built on capitalism. So, money is the main issue in this debate. Who pays for the illegal workers existence? Also, the fear of people who are different from the norm, white Americans. We fear what we are not familiar with, just as African Americans are still feared in some circles. Yes, the workers are needed to farm, and in the case of New Orleans, to help clean and rebuild the city. The illegal workers “work hard”, on the streets of New Orleans, with their lives on the line on Friday evenings; they are called “walking ATM’S.” This is because they are paid in “cash”, and the crooks rob them for their hard earned money; doing work that no other American black or white will do to support their families. I saw them go into abandon houses, “no masks” or protective gear, with mold of all type abound, which is a health hazard, all to make money to send home. They have worked to re-build homes, so NOLA would rise again. No talk of their role in that disaster/recovery has come to light! So, find a way for those who want to remain to stay to stay, and pay taxes, etc, and live the American dream. Some, just want to make money, not leave their homes, families and culture. For them the idea of a working pass is fine. Now the others who want to stay, live and raise their families, there needs to be a way of doing it the right way; an easier way, that satisfies the powers that be and the Americans who are against their residing in their cities and states.

  11. Jo Diaz says:

    Lorrie, I didn’t know that Mexican workers (as you’ve stated, no one knows) have been helping to clean up Katrina. As a New Orleans resident, you would know that, and we don’t… Because news teams have left the building…

    It’s all an issue that needs resolution. I wonder how long something this simple (as human rights) is going to go on as unresolved.

    Thanks for your thoughts…

  12. Lorrie S. LeBeaux says:

    Jo,

    Putting their lives on the line in my city of birth and residence until the day before Hurricane Katrina. Their contributions have been downplayed by the media in terms of the recovery of New Orleans. They are targets for crime in our already crime ravaged city. So, we all need to rethink the merits of all humans, including Hispanic/Mexican individuals.

    Amelia Ceja is of Hispanic origin and has made a name for her family and herself in CA wine country, Ceja Vineyards. She has been kind to me before and after Hurricane Katrina. An extraordinary woman!

    Cheers,

    Lorrie

  13. Jo,
    A fabulous article reminding us that we are all here illegally. Its time for AZ and all the rest to understand the contributions of those who come here to better their lives, their families lives and our own. Just watch the film “A Day Without a Mexican” and we can see how much the ‘illegals’ add to our economy. I think amnesty must be initiated and passed. One correction to your piece – Padre Junipero Sera did not convert native people to Judiasm – Christianity. All those missions up El Camino Real established by Father Sera – Christian.

  14. Fabius says:

    Great post! The historical perspective is especially good, simply because no-one ever talks about it, or even knows about it. My own family also has a history of emigration: my direct family (grandparents) went to Scotland early 20th century from Italy, and I myself (re)emigrated to Spain 20 years ago!

    The whole legal/illegal stuff also has a massive historical parallel: think all the other empires over the last 2000 years, starting with the Roman Empire, ie towards the end they (tried to) close the borders and instead of accepting everyone and anyone all sorts of ‘legal’ criteria were established. Then (after 1000 years of Dark Ages) the same thing happened with the Portuguese, Spanish, French, etc emprires and to a lesser extent the British, and the exact same thing is happening now with the American.

    IMHO, we have maybe another 50-100 years of endkampf, and then our children/gradchildren/descendants will have to deal with it!

  15. Jo Diaz says:

    Fabius, all really good points. It’s just a continuation of history. IMHO, one would think that humanity would have become a bit more humane in the process over the years, but I guess greed is what it is, and that human trait doesn’t evolve easily.

  16. Jo Diaz says:

    Very good, Sondra,

    You’re right. I wanted to write Jesuit, not Judea… It’s taken me a the morning to backtrack what I really wanted to write.

    The were Jesuit Padres… I wrote “Judaism” while thinking Jesuits. Even this morning, when I was piecing it together, I was still thinking Jesuit for Judaism… totally off my world history.

  17. Jo Diaz says:

    What an amazing story… Katrina’s unsung heroes, our Mexican neighbors. I do remember hearing that there was a Mexican population moving into the New Orleans area… And, that they would now start becoming a part of NOLA’s history, but that’s as far as it went… They were solely migrating, as the story went.

    I – and the media world – didn’t take that to the next step; that they were coming to work – as they always do. (I can hear people now saying, yeah and some of them are bringing in drugs… Yeah, and so is the rest of the world, like South America, the Middle East, etc. Let’s just not got there, as it’s another subject entirely.)

    The real subject is that Mexican workers are building New Orleans, mold and mud and must and dirt et al.

    Where are the news crews? I’m really surprise that Anderson Cooper is missing this one. Maybe he needs an Email from me/us.

  18. Lorrie S. LeBeaux says:

    Jo,

    I am going to google this concept, and see what I find out. The idea of google is wonderful (smile).

  19. Jo Diaz says:

    Great, Lorrie. Let me know what you find out. Maybe you can break the story!

  20. Richard says:

    Jo,

    Before I begin, I will say that I am part Native American (Cherokee, notice the spelling, not “Cherokee”) – and will say that the people who settled the land of America and the laws eventually put into place by the United States accomplished the greatest genocide of native peoples in the history of the world – the Australians with the aborigines did not complete such a genocide; nor the Turks with the Armenians; nor even Hitler with the Jews as did the US with it’s native populations.

    Having said that, does this mean all Americans who are not native blood should leave the US now? Because it seems to me, if we put your comments/theory into effect and go back in history, then this is what you are saying? – how far back do we go? Don’t get me wrong, I like what you wrote and agree with most, however, and for the sake of argument, and perhaps I misinterpret what you say, but by your standard of “history” all people in the US today who are not of native blood, should go back to whence they came? All the Celts who invaded Ireland in waves over the years should go back to? uh, wait, where did they come from? nobody really knows… All of the Saxons, Normans, Celts, Romans, etc. who invaded England (primarily) and Europe secondarily should go back to, uh? wait – can we do this? I don’t think so. Just too unrealistic.

    Yes, I’m being a bit sarcastic and cynical and while I like your elegant and simple solution, it really is too simple. Work visas would be great, but you will still have a huge influx of people, most, certainly, simply seeking a better life. But the workers who come to pick grapes and work in the wine industry is a small portion of the overall immigration into the United States. So, much as I like your idea, it simply is not workable for all immigration… Even if we gave out 20 million worker visas, there would be a line of people waiting for number 20,000,001… The fact is, immigration will not stop until either:
    (a) the countries the immigrants are immigrating from provide them with a standard of living that is close or equal to the US.
    (b) the standard of living in the US declines to such an extent that immigrants no longer want to immigrate.

    With the current problems in the US, I think the latter may be a real possibility in the next 20-50 years. Having said the above, fences, arrests, Arizona laws, Federal laws, unless they are completely Draconian, will never completely stop immigration. Lining the border with military and shooting people on sight will not stop immigration – certainly it might discourage a great number of people eventually, but what would this do to the moral and relatively altruistic nature of the United States (despite the treatment of native populations, the US has been relatively mild compared to Persia, Rome, the Spanish, the French, and the British in their world conquering)?

    Of course, I’m a fine one to criticize since I really don’t have a specific solution – frankly, I don’t think there is a solution unless (a) or (b) above come about. All the laws in the world won’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. So, yes, by all means, let’s try to implement your solution, but I do not believe it will resolve the immigration problem.

    Cheers,

    Richard.

  21. Jo Diaz says:

    Richard,

    Thanks for your perspective, too; most especially given your roots.

    We can’t go back in time… Not possible for any of us. We only live in the now with a forward vision and the benefit of history for knowing. Yes, the genocide was horrific… period. Any attempt or actualization is simply horrific. By the way, Christoper Columbus all but wiped out the island of Puerto Rico’s natives, as their history tells it. How much of that happened during the 1400 explorations we’ll never know, but it happened.

    I’m not suggesting that anyone leave.

    I’m suggesting that we look at who we are, and expand ourselves, given the people who want to be here in this Mexican border problem that we’re having. I’m not even looking at all other countries and other cultures. I will say this for anyone immigrating from one place to the next, as someone who moved from Maine to California. After being a professional in Maine for many, many years of my life (PR director for a radio corporation with about 11 stations nationwide), when I got to California, with no one knowing me, I scrubbed a lot of toilet bowls for a while, made a lot of beds, washed a lot of windows, stoves, and refrigerators.

    This is how it happens when no one knows you, and no one cares.

    I’m not concerned with immigrants and refugees, because they historically work their way up, starting – as I did – at the bottom. We have room for those jobs being filled. Good workers are hard to find at every level of work.

    Finding a way for working visas for Native Mexicans to come into this country is a far better solution – and a whole lot easier – than trying to guard the borders with rifles, bullets, guard dogs, etc…

    That’s what I’m saying.

    If you’ve got a leak in your roof, you fix it… The sooner the better, to minimize the damage.

    Two things I’ve done, which speak to what I do, not to what I say…

    1) I started a scholarship for immigrants and refugees in Portland, Maine, a port of entry, for one student per semester – in the English as a Second Language program at the University of Southern Maine.

    2) I started the Association of African American Vintners.

    I’m for human rights and equality… I find solutions and find a way to get it done. When I first started both of these campaigns, I got a lot of confusion (why would I want to do such a thing), and a lot of suspicion (why should I care). The people most concerned with me wanting to make things better were the most suspicious.

    Been down this road before, so I’m not surprised by your confusion. There are a few among us who care… period.

  22. Richard says:

    Jo,

    I think I did not make my initial comments clear, either that or you misinterpreted what I said (there is a lot of room for this on blogs either way!). I completely agree with you and your solution, period. There was no confusion on my part. My question to you, is “how.” How do we implement what you want to do?

    Do you believe our current Congress, Senate, and Administration will or even have the ability to implement such a program to empower workers? I don’t. And when someone does try to do something, we end up with a law (so called) like the one recently passed in Arizona based on fear, stupidity, and ignorance. A fear and ignorance based, I think, on eight regressive years of the Bush/Cheney team ingraining fear into America and making “foreign” or “immigrant” synonymous with “terrorism.”

    And I would like to think everyone would join you, however, the fact is, most Americans won’t. That great divide of Americans between the coasts and half of the ones on the coasts, simply don’t care (apathy), or are to frightened and ignorant to get on board.

    I liken this to a friend who tells me we should destroy all guns and weapons – I completely agree – but when I say the suggestion is not realistic, I’m immediately labeled a “war monger” and gun-toter. I am not, it’s a great and noble idea and I’m all for it, just as I am for your idea, yet, I ask, “How?”

    Last, I’m sure I’m misinterpreting your comments, but you seem a bit testy when you go into the toilet cleaning part; and the
    “I’m for human rights and equality… I find solutions and find a way to get it done.” and “The people most concerned with me wanting to make things better were the most suspicious.” and “Been down this road before, so I’m not surprised by your confusion. There are a few among us who care… period.”

    Jo, I am not your enemy – I agree with you but I think your comments, especially, the last one, are, confrontational at best, and taken with a very superior tone – I care as well Jo, period! I am not suspicious of you, I applaud you and what you are doing and if everyone joined you and me, then I would like the think the world would be a better place – not sure what in my comments made you think I oppose you, or what precipitated what I feel, is this last little bit of vitriol.

    To give you some background on me – I did not tell you my “other parts” besides the Native; I am about 1/3rd Hispanic, 1/3rd Native; and 1/3rd white… I was born in one of the, if not the, poorest areas in the US; I grew up poor and started working when I was 12; when I was 14 I, too, started cleaning toilets and did so for a Hispanic immigrant who had his own business; by the age of 18, he wanted me to take over the business, but my parents insisted I get an education; I did; then proceeded to travel the world. I have worked in a vineyard beside immigrants, both legal and illegal, so I feel your comments, at least to me, seem a bit misplaced. When I was growing up or later when I was working somewhere in my hometown, I would get the somewhat ironic comment “why don’t you go back to where you came from?” and the always pervasive name calling of which “half breed” was the least and I won’t repeat the worst. So, Jo, you are preaching to the choir.

    Having said that, I know people who have not worked a day in their lives, are extremely wealthy, who have never cleaned a toilet! and also agree with you. A good friend of mine, however, is second generation Mexican born in Texas, who was poorer than the dirt floor he was born on; he worked his way up to now where he is retired and a multi-millionaire – he spends thousands a year keeping immigrants out and hates the very thought of anyone else coming into America.

    So, my question again, is “how do you implement your idea?” given the divisive, angry, frightened, and yes, racist environment in which we find ourselves today?

    Richard.

  23. Jo Diaz says:

    Richard, this is were I saw possible confusion, when you wrote…

    “Having said that, does this mean all Americans who are not native blood should leave the US now? Because it seems to me, if we put your comments/theory into effect and go back in history, then this is what you are saying? – how far back do we go?”

    I wanted to clarify that’s not what I was thinking/saying at all.

    Good to know we’re not enemies; and we agree on a lot, based on your thoughts. I’m not testy, I’ve just been tested by so many, that I have examples from past to indicate where I’m far from being a shrew. Again, not using the word shrew to incite that I’m bitchy… I just know what a shrew is, and I don’t have time or temperament for being that person.

    When voice inflections are missing, we can’t hear the empathy in each others voice. When I was much younger, I might have put my hand on my hip a few times, now I prefer to debate. ;^)

    So, how to turn a battleship around? I can only speak to how I did it successfully in the past. I lobbies for my immigrant and refugee scholarship by using hard facts, while appealing to decision makers. I didn’t give up on them (although I sometimes felt like pulling my own hair out), and kept going until they all saw it logically. I actually got the 200+ of them on board… one-by-one.

    How I lobbies was to find the perfectly logical, paradigm shift apex, used it as a mantra until every single decision maker heard my story, and believed it.

    Here’s what it was…

    We’ve got an immigrant in our community. He’s already here, so we can’t turn him back. In his own country, he was a brilliant surgeon. In our country, he’s cutting chickens in a meat processing plant. This is a terrible waste of talent in our community. He can’t get into our ESL program without having $500 to get him into their system (that’s what it was at the time). Once he’s in, he can apply for grants, scholarships, and loans. Until then, he’s locked out, making minimum wage, so he doesn’t have the money to apply for all those things… Getting him into our system means that he will eventually make our community a better place to live.

    I got two scholarships, not the one I was asking for. Again, it took two years, so I know this isn’t an instant fix problem.

    FOR THIS ISSUE: We’re all from somewhere else, with the exception of our Native American citizens. There are people who can’t work to their potential, because we’re closing the door to them. (In an earlier comment, I pointed out a college grad who now can’t work, because she’s not documented, but has been here almost her entire life. This seems to be the same issue as what I had in Portland, Maine.) Once the doors of discrimination are opened, we have tax paying citizens, paying their own way, rising to their greatest potential, and building a better, more humane society.

    This message has to get out to every decision maker in our society… Decision makers put out good press releases to the media and their constituents, so it then trickles down.

    I can only help by pointing out the simplicity. Honestly, if I had great wealth and could afford to take this on without having to make a living, I’d take it on. I feel that passionate about it.

    I am not superior to *anyone,* Richard, so please don’t misread me. I’m sorry that you don’t have access to my voice inflections as I write this, because you’d read me differently. When it came time for me to serve people as a housekeeper, I did it with a lot of dignity and was the best housekeeper I could possibly be… I held no animosity to anyone else for my circumstances. They were of my own making. I moved to CA for more opportunity.

    FINAL THOUGHT: An objection (divisive, angry, racist behavior) is more of a request for more information, than a road block, and it’s based on not enough info and is all based on fear. If one can stay focused on the message, and not become emotional along the way (with those practicing these behaviors, because they’re being emotional), intelligence will eventually win out. It might take a few catastrophes along the way (Dr. Martin Luther King, for example), but progress does get made, and the battleship does get turned around. It just takes time and focus.

    Nice to have you as a friend, Richard. I appreciate you staying with me until we can resolve that we’re both on the same page.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through the things you’ve had to endure. Having a blended background gives people more reasons to question things that are none of their business. I’ve found some of the most beautiful people in the world have blended backgrounds…. Puerto Ricans are wonderful, as my family has become. I’ve also been given the privilege of studying the Portuguese culture right now in my life. Martin Page wrote about this culture being the first Global Village. As blended as they are, their culture is rich and warm. May American move in the right direction… I’m just one voice with simple thoughts…in a complex world.

  24. Richard says:

    Jo,

    Thanks! Appreciate your comments. And, as far as me going through things – I really haven’t – it’s just life and we either learn from our experience or we grow resentful. I think one of the issues today, as we have both touched on, is the fear, anger, and hatred of immigrants bred by ignorance (and in some cases stupidity). And I believe a lot of people are resentful today because of their circumstances and they blame everyone but never look in the mirror (of course, W is a lot at fault, I believe). Ultimately, though, despite politics, people need to take responsibility…

    I too would work on these issues full time if I didn’t have to hold down a day job! and/or happened to be independently wealthy. Perhaps we can find someone who is independently wealthy to support the issue at some point.

    Richard.

  25. Jo Diaz says:

    Richard,

    Amen to it all.

    I’ll be thinking about who would write a grant for this kind of effort. It seems like a higher calling, and how I go off in totally new directions, when I see the light.

    The answer is simple, the resolution is complex. There’s the balance.

  26. Howard says:

    I don’t think our government can handle dealing with the illegal aliens because they can’t even deal with our own people living here.

    Make your wine look better. Use personalized wine coasters.

  27. Jo Diaz says:

    Howard,

    No kidding… My mother always told me that charity begins at home. I have one word for that, and one word for what you’ve noted… Katrina.

    Personally, I am one of those people who believe that our government has become too big to manage itself… too big to know what’s going on within each department.

    How do we simplify, to get back to basics? It’s a puzzle with no puzzle maker.

    When my kids were little, and I’d tell them, “Go pick up your room,” after some hard playing, the mess was so substantive that they’d have fits. They couldn’t see how Humpty Dumpty could possibly come back together again; but I had faith, seeing the big picture of what the room once was. I’d tell them not to look around, but pick up one piece at a time, and simply put it away. A half hour later, the job was done, and we moved on.

    First, the mess has to be recognized, then elbow grease needs to be applied… So, I’m not concerned that it can’t get done, it just has to start… One piece at a time, or Rome shall fall again…

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