Monday, April 30, 2007

Now it is the 1st of May

As a young child I looked forward to the 1st of May every year. We did the Maypole thing at school and arts and crafts too. The real fun started after school. We would take the smaller of the wicker baskets we used at Easter, and with mother's help we filled them with homemade cookies, candy, and anything else that was appropriate. An old toy, a Cracker Jack prize, maybe a premium from a cereal box.

Each basket was put together with a particular person in mind. The last item was a tag indicating the person's name. We then would deliver the basket by placing it on the porch. The next step was to ring the doorbell (or knock), and run like hell.

The whole idea was to never acknowledge who the gift came from. I sometimes came back from delivering a basket and found one for me on the front steps.

Later, at about age 12, I learned this: Now it is the 1st of May, Outdoor necking starts today.

Then... If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? (Pilgrims.)

I was never aware until many years later that May Day had political implications. I like that. I was brought up in a house where the term 'by rights' was used on an almost daily basis. My dad would say: "By rights a feller should be able to..." or "by rights a person should be able...(to return a defective toaster) (refuse Sunday work to go to church). "By rights" is a catch-all union term, i.e. "by the rights allowed workers in the union contract."

May Day has been dumbed-down by corporate media for my entire lifetime. There are sparks of life here and there. The Wisconsin Green Party has events scheduled in Milwaukee and Madison concerning immigration and boycotts on May 1. That's great. I'll go along with that. Don't buy anything.

The Mayflower descendants (English Protestants mind you), decided around 1700 to allow Catholics, Germans, Danes, Norwegians and more, to settle in America since they couldn't bring slaves from Africa fast enough.

The same mentality exists today. While the Red Neck Republicans continue to hate new immigrants, the Corporate Republicans, the ones with the cash and power, continue to bring more immigrants into the country to have a source of cheap labor. Red Neck Republicans continue to vote for whoever the Corporate Republicans tell them to which perpetuates the curse. (Note that at least 70% of the Democrats in office are corporate controlled.)

In a complete reversal, the party of Abraham Lincoln rather than freeing the slaves, has decided to bring them back under the kinder and gentler name: Guest Workers.

Horseapples. We don't need no half-citizens! Full citizenship in a reasonable amount of time, say 5yrs, should be able to be obtained by anyone professing to be human that resides here.

America was this grand experiment to try attaining a caste-free society, at least in theory. I have more respect for folks who are bilingual than for those who only know English. My grandmother could speak and write in both English and Norwegian. I can't!

Support those Spanish speaking people from Mexico in their quest for citizenship.

A point to ponder...

One hundred years ago in Oshkosh a new church began. It was called "First English Lutheran Church." It began because many of the younger Lutherans of the time couldn't understand services conducted in German. Late June 1907 was the date. Note that Germans had been present in Oshkosh for well over half a century at that point!

Please allow immigrants time to adjust, generations of time.

Let us re-ignite May 1 as a workers holiday, an anti-corporate holiday, a holiday in which we spend no money and work on schemes to take back this country from the corporations.

Start now. Spread the word.

Adios mi Corazon.


mikem said...

enjoyed visiting your site. isn't the internet an amazing tool?

Gary said...

Amzing? Yes. After this column was published I learned something new from someone much older than I. Classes at Sacred Heart School in Oshkosh were still being taught in German in the early 1940's. That's almost a century after the first Germans settled here.

Do we really expect Mexicans, Hmongs or anyone else to adapt to English at the snap of a finger? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Gee Gary, just discovered this site a few days ago. You're a feisty SOB, aincha? How dare you question our government's plans to return slave labor to our economy? I mean, since none of us will have jobs soon, who else will do the work?

Once we've offshored everything that can be, of COURSE we'll need to import cheap labor to fill in the gaps. Someone is going to have to pay the taxes to support us on welfare; the corporations sure aren't. Duh.

As far as the language thing, every ethic group that has imigrated here over the last 300 years has taken a generation or so to learn the language. But that doesn't mean that this current bunch can't learn it overnight, as long as they keep their laptops dry on the way here. They should be able to use the English language just as well as our President in no time.

A word of advice: Do as Brittany says, trust our Prez and believe in him. After all, he's smarter than we are, right? Right?