The headline of the LATimes article excerpted & linked below caught my attention because of the “should be.” My first reaction was “Farm work is honorable” but I have to say my mind went to the reality that very few people in my neighborhood would realize that. I’m sure the Los Angeles metro area would be even more so. My hope is there are at least some people in my neighborhood that realize farming is honorable but they may not make the move to farm workers. That’s a mistake.
The same sort of slanted perception is true in lots of other occupations I would think, for instance many think contracting is different from doing construction. Having a brother-in-law who is a contractor and a nephew who does the actual work on other peoples homes or business in the hot sun, I can tell you there is honor among many tradesmen that get overlooked. Most of us have likely seen it with a neighbor And to Mr. Rodriquez’s point, a lot of these jobs are done by immigrant or migrant workers.
This passage from the end of the article also made me think:
Of course, farm labor will never be for everyone. But neither should it be a laughable prospect. It should be honored work, with decent wages and working conditions. Our civilization is possible because someone plants the seeds, prunes the vines and picks and packs the fruit and vegetables that feed the nation.
This takes a silly skit on a humor show too seriously for me. Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report makes his living out of taking things and turning them into humor. His brand of humor may not be for everyone but come on — laughing in this case is not different than the laughter he induces talking about the oil spill in the gulf, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the pitiful state of our educational system. Let’s realize that the humor he creates (whether you agree or disagree) is usually the sort that leaves you thinking and more often leaves you uncomfortable later.
Farm work should be an honored, palatable job for Americans
If the very thought of working in the fields didn’t make so many Americans laugh, we’d all be better off.
By Douglass Adair
July 10, 2010
Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Thursday to invite Americans of all races and backgrounds to participate in the farm labor that feeds our nation. The UFW, Rodriguez said, only partly tongue in cheek, is ready to welcome folks who want to put an end to the need for foreign nationals to pick our crops.
Colbert volunteered; the audience chortled. But it shouldn’t have been all that funny. The truth is, if the very thought of doing farm work didn’t make so many Americans laugh, we’d all be better off.