Monday, May 01, 2006

A Public Display of Direction

So today is Immigrant Day. Immigrants are planning a nationwide boycott to show in mass how important they are to the economy of America.

In DC, we have a protest almost every week. It’s hard to get excited about them anymore when it just means my Metro ride will be twice as long and I most likely won’t get a seat until the last stop. Most DC residents have become immune the different causes and we sometimes lose track of what the demonstration is about.

One year I looked over at Larry and said, “Are all these black men pro-life?

He just shook his head. “No, this is the million man march. The abortion rally was last week. I think next week is drilling is Alaska.

In the city where protests are supposed to be symbolic, we habitually go on with our daily lives. It is almost embarrassing being so apolitical. Even the rallies that have something to do with our lives seem to slip past.

Shit. This was gay pride weekend?” (We’ve missed that two years in a row.)

Immigration is a touchy area and everyone has an opinion. We are usually Switzerland in most of these protest situations. During the World Bank/IMF debates, I understand the fact that third-world countries won’t be able to pay back billion-dollar loans, but it’s tough to believe their countries will be better off by just eliminating them. I respect a woman’s right to choose, but it’s hard not to feel a twinge of anguish when I look into my son’s eyes and not see a life. And I know this country wouldn’t have what it does without immigrants, but I don’t necessarily think the national anthem should be sung in Spanish.

But another Monday morning, another display of solidarity that won’t affect us. Or so I thought.

We came home last night to find a call from our cleaning lady, Bertha. She won’t be coming today. In a mixture of Spanish and English (which is exactly how my Spanish sounds back to her), she explained that she’d be here on Tuesday instead. And right at the end, she said…. “ah, it’s my birthday tomorrow.

I’m not sure if that’s the real reason she’s off, but it made me laugh. It reminded me of senior ditch day in high school. About 1/3 of the senior class decided to ditch on a certain day; our day of solidarity against the Jesuit educational system. Did we raise our flags high? Did we march the grounds carrying signs and banners?

No, we had our moms call in sick.

I smiled as Bertha’s message played on the answering machine. She could have said she was marching for all we cared. She’s an amazing person and adds great value in our life, personally and professionally.

In some ways, I hope she is out there, standing up for something she believes in. We all need to believe in something and how we are treated, ranks high up there.

But on Tuesday, we’ll just say “Feliz Cumpleanos.”

2 Comments:

Blogger BIYF said...

We don't know each other really/yet, but since I'm one of your Bosses, I thought I'd share this little nugget with you, about how the immigration protests affected my economy today ... being all topical and shit.

I am working on a charity golf tournament at the moment - a tournament that includes some sponsors from a little los angeles based cottage industry that produces elegant little films for adults. You've probably never seen any of them. Anyway, I needed to get a logo from one of these companies today, so I called Carlos, their web guy. As I was on hold, the wife called. In case Carlos happened to pick up while was on the phone with my wife, I conferenced the lines. A minute or so later, a young lady picked up and told me that Carlos wasn't in today, but would be back tomorrow. I thanked her and left a message.

My wife then appropriately said, "Gee, I wonder where Carlos is today," to which I responded, "All I know is that he better be leading the march to my office with a copy of their logo, because I need it hoy and not mañana!"

1:33 AM  
Blogger Moxie said...

Clicked over from Blogfathers (I'm Laid-Off Dad's wife) after reading your very sweet introduction story.

I wrote a post just like this last night, about how the immigration protest affected us in small ways and was a great opening to talk about immigration with my 4-year-old.

BIYF, I'm absolutely rolling that an adult film production company is sponsoring charity golf tournaments. My FIL would be absolutely shocked.

8:42 AM  

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