“The food movement has been slow to recognise the fact that worker rights and working conditions should be a key part of any discussion about the ethics of food. Reforms to the food system need to incorporate workers and their welfare, not just better farming practices, more humane treatment of animals, and other measures focusing on food as an end product. Food is also a process, and the people involved in that process have a right to fair treatment, something they don’t have currently. The continued marginalisation of farmworkers and the focus on other issues in the food movement speaks poorly of the movement overall, and reveals some telling attitudes about labour, race, and entitlement.”
“Everyone keeps saying that immigration is bad because immigrants might be dangerous. Well, I looked it up, and immigrants kill an average of twelve people everyday, while Americans kill an average of 6,457 people everyday. To me, it looks like when compared to Americans, immigrant are angels.”
“If you look for immigrants, you won't find us sitting on the sofa in the local mansion, on the phone to our relatives as we work out how to claim yet another benefit. You'll find us working early cleaning leisure centres and tube stations, working late in fish and chip shops, McDonalds and strip clubs, working in the afternoons in factories and schools, on farms and building sites. Most of it is service work, the kind of jobs you don't notice people doing, with low pay and long hours, poor conditions and little career progression. Immigrants are invisible, working hard and late for low pay, stigmatised and hated. Lots of hard work, for very little reward: that's most immigrants' experience of their own lives and of the lives of others in their communities.
The facts back this up. Two million immigrants have come to the UK from the eight Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004. Of those, only 13,000 have claimed Jobseeker's Allowance. Those who have been on benefits haven't stayed on them for long: the average time on Jobseeker's Allowance is a mere thirteen weeks. And the cost of benefits is nothing compared to the five billion pounds that these immigrants have added to the economy.
Immigrants don't get much of reward themselves. They cycle home six miles from a late shift at minimum wage because they can't afford the bus, risking their life because they can't afford lights on their bike; scrimp and save to send money home or look after elderly relatives or young children; or live in a small flat above a fish and chip shop, managing a business and looking after four children. Something for nothing? More like a lot of back breaking work for next to nothing.”
When Republicans appointed Pablo Pantoja to State Director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee, they hoped he would be able to bridge the sizable gap that only expanded during the 2012 elections, when the state’s 4.7 million Hispanic voters supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a 20 percent margin.
But after months of inaction by Congressional Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform and stiff resistance by Republican-leaning groups like the Heritage Foundation, Pantoja has had enough; on Monday, he announced via email that he was leaving the party and registering as a Democrat:
Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.
Pantoja goes on to specifically cite last week’s revelation — that an author of Heritage’s false report on the cost of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill wrote a dissertation in which he suggested that Hispanics are at a permanent disadvantage because they have lower IQs — as the final straw in his political evolution.