Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Practical Effect of HB 1804

You seldom get a chance to actually see a law working but I have in the past few days and it was refreshing.

The Monday after HB 1804 went into effect I had to go downtown. As I was driving the so-called streets that lead to my office, I noticed something strange ... very strange ... I saw a crew of mixed white and black construction workers on the streets of downtown Tulsa. There was even a pert little lady in a hardhat moving around with the crew. Shocked, I drove around the block and noticed that, while there still plenty of Hispanics working on the streets, there were now people of other races as well. What a concept, racial diversity in the workplace.

After leaving downtown, I headed for my favorite lunchtime fast food restaurant. I had placed my order and sat down with my coke before I noticed that there were a couple of white teen-aged boys waiting tables and bussing dishes, jobs that always been done by Hispanics before. They were working hard and doing a good job as far as I could see. So much for the excuse that Hispanics were taking jobs that Americans wouldn't do.

I am from a blue collar family. I made my first quarter picking cotton alongside my mother in a field where Mexicans, blacks and poor whites all congregated for a days work. I worked my way through high school on a huge poultry farm, doing work almost exclusively done now by Hispanics. After graduating, I worked my way through a couple of years of college in a steel factory alongside my father.

It was all hard work but it certainly made me appreciate the day that I could get up in the morning and put on a fresh shirt and tie to go to work. It also gave me a soft spot for blue collar workers. In my mind, I call them all "Bubba." Bubba is an interesting character. He will work hard for you but he will not be mistreated. He is an American. If you get in Bubba's face he will clean your clock. If you short him on his paycheck, he will at minimum turn you in to the Labor Department and you should probably be happy if that's all he does. If he gets hurt on the job, he knows all about Workmen's Comp, so he goes to the hospital and expects his employer's policy to pay the bills. And, Bubba expects to support his family in a typical American lifestyle. That means he expects a living wage in the American economy and reasonable benefits. And, if you seriously violate his rights, he will sue you, because he is an American and knows that he has rights.

All of the above are reasons that illegal aliens, particularly Hispanic illegal aliens, have become the crack cocaine of American employers. You don't have to treat them as well as you do Bubba. And that is a shame.


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