I walked around the neighborhood again yesterday for a little while. Our little town is a small mill town, population about 1600 or so. Used to be, back in the fifties when I grew up around here, most of the houses were owned by white families whose owners worked in the local cotton mills. They kept the houses up pretty well. The black people had their own part of town which was over on the west side side of town, on the left hand side of the road headed out of town. The school is up that way now. They had their own cemetary also, up behind the black church. There’s some kind of business in that place now.
As I was walking, I guess it was around noon, the only people I passed were Guatemalan’s. There was two Guatemalan Mothers out walking with baby carriages with their kids in them. That was over by the Town hall as I was walking down to the river. I passed a Guatemalan lady and her little child coming down the hill on the sidewalk as I was walking by the tennis courts. As I went up the hill going up towards West pine street, I walked pass a couple of Hispanic men in a work van, getting out to do some work on one of the very numerous rental houses in our town. They had a sign on the back of their van, said “handyman services” They nodded and said “hello” as I went past them. I’m thinking that probably more than 50% of the houses in my little town are now rental houses. A lot of them are owned by the same people. There’s some people here in town that make a good bit of money buying up the old mill houses that the white families used to live in, and renting them out to the Hispanic people who work in the mill here and in the mills over in Dalton and other places. I see a lot of them getting in their cars about 6 am for the hours ride to Dalton. I’d say most of the rental houses in this tiny town are now rented by Hispanics. When I go to the school to pick up my four year old pre-k kids I see a lot of little Hispanic children going to school there. Quite a few.
I came back home and I thought about it. How’d it get this way? It’s super complicated I believe.
I remembered back in the late eighties and early nineties, I had to go to Laredo, Texas a couple of times a year because the company I worked for had a warehouse there and I was in charge or Quality, and we had to audit that warehouse. We’d go across the border into Mexico and I remember seeing signs there advertising for people to go to work in Dalton, Georgia in the carpet factories. All the way in Nuevo Laredo…imagine my surprise. There were phone numbers on the signs too! A lot of the Mexicans took the big industries up on their offer and came to work over here. The Hispanics came from other countries also. They came here because they were “invited” to begin with. A lot of them lived in squalor and poverty and military supression and war in their countries, and they wanted a better life for their children and themselves. America seemed to offer that life. I remember back in the ensuing years as they worked in the factories, I would see them going to the Post offices every week and sending money back home to relatives who were left behind. I talked with a lot of them who worked for me who were saving up money to go back home and live. I had this one Guatemalan guy who had already bought a home back in Guatemala city and was fixing it up. “I got a big kitchen with a stove and refrigerator already” he said.
So, it’s a lot different walking around here, than it would have been back in the fifties and sixties when the white middle class was still building and growing, and Pete the truck driver was the only Hispanic I even knew who lived in this area. Things change. Our economic system was raped and pillaged by politicians and billionaire who didn’t care about middle class Americans. They destroyed our status quo and rearranged it to be as it is now. We mostly stood by clueless as to what they were doing until it was too late. Our parents and us got to where we were making too much money, and the profit margins for the super rich wasn’t high enough, so they decided that fact must change! They invented “voodoo” economics. They brought in workers who they could pay less than they could us. They started sending jobs out to other countries in order to make more profit. They closed factories in America, and opened them in China and Mexico. I know for sure that’s what they did. I was a witness to it. The place I worked at in the 1990’s started sending our Purchasing agent to China on a regular basis. Next thing I knew, we were getting goods from there. Quilts, blankets, throws. From Mexico too. That’s why I had to go to Laredo to check the quality of the goods which were coming in from Mexico. “We are making a hell of a lot more money on that stuff, than if we had to pay to get it made here” said our purchasing agent. Yep, there were. But, we started to lay people off back home. Many of our looms were shut off. We “downsized” Yes, that was the phrase back then to describe a company who was farming out their goods to another country, “downsizing”
So, I don’t buy the bullshit about the Hispanics coming over here to America and “taking our jobs away” I know better. I was there, and I saw what was happening.
They sold our “medium” sized business to one of the mega huge carpet companies in 1999 and I was laid off in another one of those “downsizing” events.
But, back to walking around. I started wondering about “internment” camps.
If we “round up” all of the illegal immigrants who are here in America now and send them back “to Mexico” and build that big huge wall, we are definitely going to have to have interment camps to hold them in until we can work out how we are going to get them back to wherever it is that they came from. Maybe Nuevo Laredo. I know that people have been fretting about our current president building “internment” camps for his entire presidency. They have been worrying about a lot of stuff he was going to do. I’m including a link about all that stuff.
You can let me know next year after the elections, when Donald Trump may become President, because everyone is “angry” how many of the things on the conspiracy list have come true. I still have my guns…do you still have yours?
I wrote a post yesterday about Donald Trump, but deleted it because frankly, I don’t like to make other people uncomfortable. I heard a speech online yesterday by John Kennedy, which I had never hear before and there was a quote which he referenced by the Greek lawmaker Solon which decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. Ostensibly, this particular speech by Kennedy is often cited by conspiracy theorists as being the one which got him assassinated. I listened to it, and it could be.
In any case, Trump continues to gain power and become more and more the despot, and we have to ask ourselves if we want a despot for a leader. He rails on and on about this and that, but never really says anything much in any of his speeches. He simply incites people. He now threatens there will be rioting in the streets if he is not the Republican nominee. Blood in the streets!
I’ll probably go for a walk again today. I’m going to continue to go, no matter who passes me by on the street as I go, whether it’s a white person, or a black person, or a hispanic person. I know that things change. Life changes. There is very little that we as single individuals can do about it. Only when we band together in logical protest against the systems which have been instituted to destroy our society, especially our middle class, only then can we start to improve things. If we continue to let the demagogues (and you know who they are) incite us to hate other peoples, other groups, different thinkers,…if we continue to let them make us hate and want to murder, and want to harm, then…we are lost. Our country will disintegrate into anarchy.
Just my opinions though folks, formulated while walking around town….