Jesse and Al, Wrong Again!
And, so was Vicente!
“There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work, are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States.”
– Mexican President Vicente Fox, May 13, 2005
Of course, there was huge American outrage over these insensitive remarks by the President of Mexico. But, this is not what the Mexican leader wanted. He intended the comment as a criticism of the new law that makes it tougher for immigrants. The controversial legislation put into the military spending bill, the Real ID Act, will make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license and paves the way to construct a wall on the border between California and Mexico.
But, in the racially heated climate we have in this country (at least that is what we are told every day in the media and by black “leaders”) this became a huge story last month. These comments by Vicente Mr. Fox’s revealed that he is obviously influenced by the notion that blacks are capable of only menial jobs. At first, Vicente stood his ground and defended his comments:
Vicente said Mexican and foreign news media have misinterpreted the remark as a racial slur. He said the president was speaking in defense of Mexican migrants as they come under attack by the new U.S. immigration measures that include a wall along the U.S.-California border.
This was like pouring gasoline on the flames of “this racist country”! The uproar was predictably huge, substantial enough that Vicente made an apology the following Tuesday, using the standard line…
“If anyone felt offended by the statement, I offer apologies on behalf of my government.” (by his Assistant Foreign Secretary Patricia Olamendi).
An emotion-filled “Durbin-esque” apology made by an able assistant.
But the story didn’t end there. We knew it was going to be a huge politically charged story when racial opportunists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton decided to jump into the racial firestorm. Jesse decided he must get a photo-op for his scrapbook and took the next flight to Mexico City. He met with Vicente Fox on Wednesday and proclaimed to the gathered press:
“We cannot let the forces of greed manipulate blacks and browns into confrontation.”
(Excuse me,… but isn’t that a racist comment?)
So moved was Jesse with his meetings with President Fox that he decided to start his own Black-Latino Coalition.
Al Sharpton, not to be outdone by Jesse, also stepped in to demand an apology and Vicente obliged.
Meanwhile, La Shawn Barber’s Corner was mostly ignored by the MSM.
But, just how factual are Vicente Fox’s words and assumptions on the illegal Mexican immigrants coming to the United States to work? And, how “right” were Jesse and Al with their facts?
One quarter of illegal immigrants in the U.S. have some college education and another quarter completed high school.
And, in contrast to what Vicente Fox claims, this pool of Mexican immigrants are filling a wide range of positions…
Only 3 percent of the undocumented immigrants work in agriculture. The greatest numbers, 33 percent, work in the service industry.
The rest work in construction, production, installation and repair, sales and administration, transportation and material moving, and management and business.
And, this was an interesting recent statistic on the number of Mexicans living in the US…
1 in every 11 Mexicans born in Mexico will end up living in the US.
So, how about Jesse and Al? How do their actions weigh out? How helpful were their actions for the Black Community?
Not very well… at all! David Gorak in The Chicago Sun Times put it this way:
Jackson and other black leaders have stood mute for decades while our federal government has kept in place an immigration policy that has imported millions of cheap foreign workers, many of them illegal, who have displaced black workers in the low-paying jobs they once did but for better wages. Mexican President Vicente Fox’s racist comment about black workers is not the root cause of why 40 percent of black males between the ages of 18 and 65 are out of work.
Jackson’s meeting with Fox in Mexico accomplished nothing.
Were Jackson a responsible leader, he and other prominent blacks would’ve gone to Washington years ago to meet with our president to demand an end to an immigration policy that has turned back the economic and political clock on black Americans and made them this nation’s second largest minority.
Among the more celebrated examples of how immigrant workers have hurt black Americans is the decline of the janitorial industry in Los Angeles. In the early 1980s, janitors earned about $18 an hour. But by 1985 black members plunged to 600 from 2,500, and only 100 of them earned union wages.
But this is nothing new. What mass immigration is doing to black Americans today is a carbon copy of what the “Great Wave” of immigration from Europe did to them at the end of the 19th century. But then there were responsible black leaders like Booker T. Washington who, in his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech to American industrialists, urged them to hire blacks before the newly arrived immigrants.
NAACP Chairman Julian Bond has invited Fox to address his organization’s annual convention in July in Milwaukee.
Two years ago black journalist and motivational speaker Tony Brown said to me during a conversation about immigration: ”It’s all over for blacks in this country.” If it is, black Americans won’t have to look any further than their own leadership to see why.
So there you have it!
Vicente Fox was way off base with his comments about illegal immigrants in the US. Many illegal immigrants are taking jobs that many Americans, including unemployed blacks would love to have.
And, Al, Jesse and Julian Bond do a great disservice to the Black Community. To address the comments by Vicente Fox was a start. But, it wasn’t the whole story. Sadly, their showy deposits to their own political accounts repeatedly hurt the people they pro
fess to represent.