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Labor Day: From the Other Side.
Yesterday I published a nice story about a man in Alliance Nebraska, who found his place in America with relative ease. A number of you expressed how good you felt reading it.
Then I received this from a reader:
I read your nice reflections on Labor Day.
The struggling early immigrants made America better by protesting the horrible conditions they were forced to endure when they arrived in America. The greedy and immoral employers exploited them with 70 hour work weeks, no benefits, unsafe working conditions, child labor etc. If you complained, you got fired. The workers had to organize in secret. When the men finally walked off and refused to work under deplorable conditions, they were often replaced by newer immigrants or attacked by goons hired by management. It was a difficult struggle.
The Republicans have done a lot to hurt organized labor but under our current Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh, the unions will come out big this fall for Democrats.
Oh my. Did I “white”-wash history with my original story? Clearly both immigrant experiences have millions who will say one or the other mirrored their experiences.
Truth be told, our foray into building a democracy is filled with horrendous abuse by those in power who seek to keep that power, or exploit their power to fill their coffers.
Both stories need to be told. Need to be acknowledged. Need to be improved upon.
So, I wanted to share the other side of the coin I celebrated yesterday. You choose which you want to put your focus upon. As for me, I want to know them both; apologizing to those who have suffered under our watch, and celebrating where we got it right.
Either way, the action at the end of the contemplation is the same. Vote. Vote every time you have the opportunity.