Today, in addition to being the labor day for communists all over the world, was the first ever "Day Without an Immigrant." Roughly one million immigrants skipped work today to demonstrate that they like to wear blue jeans and white t-shirts, and that they are capable of gathering in large groups and standing around, as if we didn't know that already.
Supposedly, the plan was to convince us gringos that illegal aliens are necessary to American life. Of course, to really make it convincing, they should have asked only the illegal aliens to show up. I say that not only because it would make it easy to just drop a couple of world's-largest dragnets over the crowd and deport their asses, but because the message was diluted when the crowd was full of not just illegal aliens, but their friends, relatives, political supporters and kids who just wanted an excused to cut class. When I read about participation by all of the American born Mexicans, and the guys with green cards, and the others who were not illegal aliens, any effect the display may have had on me was lost. I already know and acknowledge that America needs its own citizens, and the guys we gave green cards to; I'm just not sure about the 12 million illegal folks. I'm not quite sure we need those. The demonstrations did nothing to persuade me.
As a matter of fact, I was more than a bit underwhelmed by the whole thing. The only effect today's demonstrations had on me was that they eased freeway traffic in Southern California. That, and they kept me away from the Mexican businesses for a day, not because I had a point to prove, but because I figured that they might be understaffed and not be having their best customer service of the year today. I didn't really miss them.
I watched some of the coverage on TV at lunch. The chants of the day seemed to be "Si su puede," (Yes we can) and "Aqui estamos y no nos vamos," (We're here and we're not leaving). I was impressed by how easily you can make phrases rhyme in Spanish if you just use the first person plural. Blah, blah, blahamos. Babble babble babblamos. Yes, it sounds good. I couldn't help but wonder, however, if it wouldn't have been a slightly more effective tactic to chant "Yes we can" and "We're here and we're not leaving," so the gringos who never worked in restaurants would be able to understand them.
I was happy to see more of them carrying American flags than last time. The last big rallies seemed to contain nothing but Mexican flags. Still, a few lessons on respecting the flag might have gone a long way. If you want the right to be an American, you need to know, at a minimum, that waving an American flag with your arm until it is tired, and then dragging the flag on the fucking ground while you rest your weary muscles is a piss poor way to endear yourself to the average American. Seriously. You want to drag the American flag on the ground, go the hell home.
I enjoyed some of the common sense points raised by some of the counter-protesters. "You should send all of the 13 million aliens home, then you take all of the welfare recipients who are taking a free check and make them do those jobs," said one Jack Culberson, a retired Army colonel who attended a rally in Pensacola. "It's as simple as that." Well, it isn't really quite that simple, but it could work a lot like that.
For example, I heard on the news that a lot of truck drivers did not report to work today. If that is because the drivers are illegal aliens, then that is yet another class of good jobs that Americans would do, that are being performed by illegal aliens. A lot of the construction jobs could easily be filled by out of work Americans or documented and regulated resident aliens.
"I want my children to know their mother is not a criminal," said Benita Olmedo, a nanny who came here illegally in 1986 from Mexico and pulled her 11-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son from school to march in San Diego. I'm not sure how making her kids truant pulled that off, but if Benita is still "undocumented" (or, to be more accurate, "falsely documented"), then their mother is, in fact, a criminal. I could want my children to know that their dad craps gold coins, but if it isn't true, it isn't true.
One sign that pissed me off said "All Gringos Are Immigrants." That is so not true. I am a "gringo." And I am most certainly not an immigrant. I was born in California. My father was born in California. My grandparents were all born in the U.S. And my grandfather's great-grandmother was a full blooded native American whose ancestors once shared prairie lands with woolly mammoths and buffalo. You know how long Mexico had claim to California? About three decades. That's it. But if I had explained that to the asshat holding that sign, he'd have probably just stared at me and said that even the Indians were once immigrants. And maybe so, but they never broke the freaking law to get here.
"We are the backbone of what America is, legal or illegal, it doesn't matter," said one Melanie Lugo, who let her third-grade daughter ditch school to attend a rally in Denver. Sorry, Melanie. It does matter. If you are illegal, you are basically a cheater who is cutting in line ahead of all the law-abiding immigrants. Since when does that not matter? One of the signs in Denver said "Proud to be a Mexican." I wondered, does that mean he's proud to be part of a country that seals off its southern border and arrests, jails and beats the snot out of illegal aliens it catches within its borders? I'll bet he isn't hoping that I will someday be proud of my country for the same reasons....
But when all was said and all was done, the traffic was the big thing I'll remember. Other than the roads right smack in the middle of the demonstrations, traffic was great. All day. In fact, it occurred to me that if it was a million protesters causing this, then we just needed to figure out a way to make a million illegals up and disappear overnight, and my traffic problems would disappear. I'd pay extra taxes to make that happen.
Congressmen, do you think that would be possible?