Pocho

Damn straight, Jack

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Even when it hits 115 degrees outside, all some guys can think of is playing beisbol, going to ballparks throughout the Valley in mix-and-match uniforms, cheered on by family and vendors selling raspas y churros as they chase their new American dream of beisbol y apple empanadas.

This reminds me of the hot summer of 2003, when Dusty Baker, then manager of the Chicago Cubs, said to reporters that black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players. Órale pues.

Whatever your take on the political correctness of Dusty’s opinion, it does shed light on another controversial question: Are immigrants really taking away jobs in the sweltering heat that Americans would take otherwise? I’m not so sure.

I’m not questioning the work ethic of Americans, which, for the most part, is strong, and for the most part, no longer includes backbreaking work in dizzying heat. Let’s get someone else to do that, por favor.

What it really boils down to is a confirmation of the work ethic of someone who has little or no other choice than to make a living, however possible; someone who has likely risked his or her life just to get to their version of a field of dreams.

You don’t need fancy research to show you the majority – if not 99.9 percent – of the workers braving extreme temperatures have brown skin, and it isn’t from a tanning salon.

This phenomenon extends to work done indoors in kitchens, meatpacking facilities, poultry processing plants, you name it – if it’s one of America’s undesirable jobs, especially those in the most exhaustive environments, then it’s likely an immigrant doing it.

Yet, people like Russell Pearce continue to claim that Americans will take those jobs. Chale, Holmes!

It’s a distorted reality. Just ask John Augustine, a farmer who recently spoke at the Arizona Immigration Solutions Conference hosted in part by The Real Arizona, a group that attempts to infuse practical dialogue in solving the immigration debacle.

With his cowboy hat on the table in front of him, he spoke highly of the type of worker heavily relied upon to keep many American businesses alive, and lamented the industrious ones who don’t stick around longer than a few days. He doesn’t see the issue in terms of skin color, but rather as determined workers needed to keep his industry afloat.

Completely unlike people like Pearce, who I believe initially started to use anti-immigrant sentiment to gain political favor and now really believes the bile he’s spewing, the farmer spoke words that are rooted in reality, not rhetoric.

Come to think of it, I’d like to see Mr. Pearce pick lettuce in Yuma for a few hours. If he complains that he’s too old for that kind of work, then I invite him to get his son out there. Not gonna happen.

About that Dusty Baker, the three-time National League Manager of the Year. He refused to apologize for his remarks. When asked why, he said, “I was just saying the facts, Jack.”

Good for Dusty.

And John Augustine.

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