mexican workers


Long-Lost Photos Reveal Life of Mexican Migrant Workers in 1950s America

1.  Portrait of Mexican farm laborer, Rafael Tamayo, employed in the United States under the Bracero Program to harvest crops on Californian farms, 1957. 

2.  Mexican farm workers, on a farm in California, 1957.

3.  Mexican laborers show their ‘permission to work’ papers in California, 1957.

4.  Mexican laborers in line at a reception depot for processing and assignment in El Centro, Calif., 1957.

5.  After the various medical examinations, the men are dusted with DDT.

6.  A Mexican farm laborer climbs a ladder under a date palm tree, California, 1957.

7.  Tamayo and his fellow workers take a break for food during their work day on a ranch in California, 1957.

8.  Tamayo relaxes with a fellow worker inside the temporary living quarters, California, 1957.

Equality with men is nowhere a revolutionary program. It isn’t even real. In one of his flashes of genius, Lenin once wrote about this debate:“ What nation is equal to what nation? What sex is equal to what sex? And what class is equal to what class?” What Lenin was pointing out with such sarcasm is that within the capitalist system, nations, genders, and even classes cannot ever be equal in reality since they were created to be oppressors and oppressed. How can a capitalist and an undocumented Mexican worker ever be equal since the capitalists cannot even exist as a class without exploiting women? Or men and women, since the definition of a man is someone who is of the gender class that owns women and children? How can the united states and Panama ever be equal except in capitalist diplomatic fictions (founded by the u.s. empire to serve its own interests, Panama is owned by the u.s., its national currency is the u.s. dollar, and its former president is a lifer in u.s. prison). There is no equality in the world of men. Rather there is difference between oppressor and oppressed. It is the recognition of this difference that women’s liberation is rooted in.
—  butch lee
Under The Volcano

Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities. We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back huge amounts of tequila, mezcal and Mexican beer every year. We love Mexican people—as we sure employ a lot of them. Despite our ridiculously hypocritical attitudes towards immigration, we demand that Mexicans cook a large percentage of the food we eat, grow the ingredients we need to make that food, clean our houses, mow our lawns, wash our dishes, look after our children. As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy—the restaurant business as we know it—in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers. Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are “stealing American jobs”. But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had ONE American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position—or even a job as prep cook. Mexicans do much of the work in this country that Americans, provably, simply won’t do. 

We love Mexican drugs. Maybe not you personally, but “we”, as a nation, certainly consume titanic amounts of them—and go to extraordinary lengths and expense to acquire them. We love Mexican music, Mexican beaches, Mexican architecture, interior design, Mexican films.

So, why don’t we love Mexico?

We throw up our hands and shrug at what happens and what is happening just across the border. Maybe we are embarrassed. Mexico, after all, has always been there for us, to service our darkest needs and desires. Whether it’s dress up like fools and get pass-out drunk and sun burned on Spring break in Cancun, throw pesos at strippers in Tijuana, or get toasted on Mexican drugs, we are seldom on our best behavior in Mexico. They have seen many of us at our worst. They know our darkest desires.

In the service of our appetites, we spend billions and billions of dollars each year on Mexican drugs—while at the same time spending billions and billions more trying to prevent those drugs from reaching us. The effect on our society is everywhere to be seen. Whether it’s kids nodding off and overdosing in small town Vermont, gang violence in LA, burned out neighborhoods in Detroit— it’s there to see. What we don’t see, however, haven’t really noticed, and don’t seem to much care about, is the 80,000 dead—mostly innocent victims in Mexico, just in the past few years. 80,000 dead. 80,000 families who’ve been touched directly by the so-called “War On Drugs”.   

Mexico. Our brother from another mother. A country, with whom, like it or not, we are inexorably, deeply involved, in a close but often uncomfortable embrace. Look at it. It’s beautiful. It has some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches on earth. Mountains, desert, jungle. Beautiful colonial architecture, a tragic, elegant, violent, ludicrous, heroic, lamentable, heartbreaking history. Mexican wine country rivals Tuscany for gorgeousness. Its archeological sites—the remnants of great empires, unrivaled anywhere. And as much as we think we know and love it,  we have barely scratched the surface of what Mexican food really is. It is NOT melted cheese over a tortilla chip. It is not simple, or easy. It is not simply ‘bro food’ halftime. It is in fact, old– older even than the great cuisines of Europe and often deeply complex, refined, subtle, and sophisticated. A true mole sauce, for instance, can take DAYS to make, a balance of freshly (always fresh) ingredients, painstakingly prepared by hand. It could be, should be, one of the most exciting cuisines on the planet. If we paid attention. The old school cooks of Oaxaca make some of the more difficult to make and nuanced sauces in gastronomy. And some of the new generation, many of whom have trained in the kitchens of America and Europe have returned home to take Mexican food to new and thrilling new heights.

It’s a country I feel particularly attached to and grateful for. In nearly 30 years of cooking professionally, just about every time I walked into a new kitchen, it was a Mexican guy who looked after me, had my back, showed me what was what, was there—and on the case—when the cooks more like me, with backgrounds like mine—ran away to go skiing or surfing—or simply “flaked.” I have been fortunate to track where some of those cooks come from, to go back home with them. To small towns populated mostly by women—where in the evening, families gather at the town’s phone kiosk, waiting for calls from their husbands, sons and brothers who have left to work in our kitchens in the cities of the North. I have been fortunate enough to see where that affinity for cooking comes from, to experience moms and grandmothers preparing many delicious things, with pride and real love, passing that food made by hand, passed from their hands to mine. 

In years of making television in Mexico, it’s one of the places we, as a crew, are happiest when the day’s work is over. We’ll gather round a street stall and order soft tacos with fresh, bright, delicious tasting salsas—drink cold Mexican beer, sip smoky mezcals, listen with moist eyes to sentimental songs from street musicians. We will look around and remark, for the hundredth time, what an extraordinary place this is.  

The received wisdom is that Mexico will never change. That is hopelessly corrupt, from top to bottom. That it is useless to resist—to care, to hope for a happier future. But there are heroes out there who refuse to go along. On this episode of PARTS UNKNOWN, we meet a few of them. People who are standing up against overwhelming odds, demanding accountability, demanding change—at great, even horrifying personal cost.
This show is for them. 

Children of farm workers! Please don’t let your parents struggles go unnoticed! The hardest thing for undocumented workers is to speak out; whether it be from fear or embarrassment, which is why their children, our youth, need to demand justicia. Especially for our our hermanas who have been sexually harassed out in the fields. Survey says 90% of the farm working women in California have listed sexual harassment as a major problem. These women are exploited and traumatized. An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawyer in Fresno, CA said that hundreds and thousands of women had to have sex with supervisors to get or keep jobs and/or put up with grabbing and touching and propositions for sex by supervisors. Undocumented female farm workers are often times too scared to speak up for fear of getting deported. We have to be the voice, we have to speak up for them and let their stories be heard. Give them a chance to demand rights and let them be heard. Use your platforms. These are not just some immigrants picking your food, these are real people.

anonymous asked:

So I'm White but I've got a tan and my co worker is Mexican but she has light skin and we're kind of a duo and let me tell you I'm learning Spanish from the people that ignore my co worker with a "Yo hablo Español" pin and go straight to me the whitest dude here. Sometimes I get people yelling at me and I just can't understand? We have the pin thing for a reason I can speak French but not Spanish go look for an associate with the fan pin don't just go assuming!

Mexican actress Rosaura Revueltas in Mexico City, 1956

Rosaura Revueltas made one film in Hollywood, Salt of the Earth. It tells the story of Mexican American mine workers and the harsh working conditions they were forced to work under. Salt of the Earth ended up being the only film to be ever actually be blacklisted during the red scare. During the filming of Salt of the Earth, Revueltas was deported and then blacklisted under the alleged claim that there had been passport violations. Her remaining scenes had to be filmed using a double. Despite this, she was awarded a Best Actress award by the Académie du cinéma de Paris in 1956. Due to the blacklist, she stayed away from films, acting in German theater until 1960 and writing her own plays. She would not appear in another film until 1976.
Grapes Of Wrath: The Forgotten Filipinos Who Led A Farmworker Revolution
Cesar Chavez inspired the world; Larry Itliong inspired Cesar Chavez. In 1965, the Filipino laborer led California grape pickers on a strike that would spark the modern farmworker movement.

For decades the migrant, bachelor, Filipino farmworkers – called Manongs, or elders — had fought for better working conditions. So in the summer of 1965, with pay cuts threatened around the state, these workers were prepared to act, says historian Dawn Mabalon.

“They’re led by this really charismatic, veteran, seasoned, militant labor leader Larry Itliong,” she says.

He urged local families in Delano to join Manongs in asking farmers for a raise. The growers balked. Workers gathered at Filipino Hall for a strike vote.

“The next morning they went out to the vineyard, and then they left the crop on the ground, and then they walked out,” Mabalon says.

Cesar Chavez and others had been organizing Mexican workers around Delano for a few years, but a strike wasn’t in their immediate plans. But Larry Itliong appealed to Chavez, and two weeks later, Mexican workers joined the strike.

Soon, the two unions came together to form what would become United Farm Workers, with Larry Itliong as the assistant director under Chavez.

Mabalon says, “These two groups coming together to do this? That is the power in the Delano Grape Strike.”

It took five years of striking, plus an international boycott of table grapes, before growers signed contracts with the United Farm Workers.

Those years weren’t easy: on strikers, families, or Delano.

anonymous asked:

I;m really glad I am not the only really like Justice League Gods and Monsters!

it’s so good right? i love everything about it and it’s actually one of my favourites so i’ll be watching it again at some point. 

for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the movie is set in an alternate universe with

  • Superman (who is the son of Zod and was raised by Mexican migrant workers after he crash landed to Earth as a baby). 
  • Batman (renowned scientist Kirk Langstrom who inadvertently turns himself into a vampire and feeds on criminals to survive – yeah you read that right)
  • Wonder Woman (Bekka who’s a New God from Apokalips – i love her character so much and I don’t wanna spoil it but her origin story is so sad!)

i heard it’s on netiflix but you can also stream it here:

Sweet Robbie Schneider knows what’s up!

I’ve actually seen people on social media trying to defend his statements by “explaining” that Trump was only referring to illegal immigrants and it doesn’t matter cuz they can’t vote.

Yeah, we know; but it doesn’t change anything. In insulting undocumented people, he insulted the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of every first, second, etc., generation offspring of these people. And guess what? We can and do vote. And more and more have been registering to vote following his ignorant statements.

Make your voices heard. Society already tries to marginalize us. Let’s not do it to ourselves. Make the most of the power you have. Only then can you hope for more.

All attempted revivals of Spanish folkways in Southern California are similarly ceremonial and ritualistic, a part of the sacred rather than the profane life of the region. The 3,279 Mexicans who live in Santa Barbara are doubtless more bewildered by these annual Spanish hijinks than any other group in the community. For here is a community that generously and lavishly supports the ‘Old Spanish Fiesta’ - and the wealth of the rancheros visitadores is apparent for all to see - but which consistently rejects proposals to establish a low-cost-housing project for its Mexican residents.

The residents of Santa Barbara firmly believe, of course, that the Spanish past is dead, extinct, vanished… the Mexicans living in Santa Barbara have no connection with this past. They just happen to be living in Santa Barbara. To be sure, many of them have names, such as Cota or Gutierrez, that should stir memories of the dolce far niente period. But these names are no longer important. They belong to the profane, and happily forgotten, side of the tradition.

The sacred side of this tradition, as represented in the beautifully restored Mission, is worshipped by all alike… The restored Mission is a much better, a less embarrassing, symbol of the past than the Mexican field worker or the ragamuffin pachucos of Los Angeles.

—  “The Growth of a Legend,” Southern California Country: An Island on the Land, Carey McWilliams, 1946. 
Jesus in front of the Home Depot

In California, migrant Mexican day workers will hang out in front of the Home Depot to be picked up by contractors for a single days work. They do all kinds of labor such as masonry and carpentry and a lot of them are named “Jesus” pronounced in Spanish as “Hay-Soos”. These migrant workers speak some English but their mother language is Spanish. Of course, California was originally a Spanish land until conquered by the Americans in the 1800s.In fact, many Americans of Mexican ancestry are bilingual while many others speak only English are entirely assimilated into the dominant culture.

This was precisely the situation in ancient Judea in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. The dominant culture was Greco-Roman with Greek being the primary language,. The Greeks had conquered Galilee three hundred years before. Jesus was, in Greek, a “tekton” which means day laborer, not carpenter.Nazareth was a small hamlet just outside of Sepphoris a huge Greek city which was being rebuilt during Jesus’ youth and he and his father and brothers walked to Sepphoris where they did day jobs. They would have spoken Aramaic but also a smattering of Greek with heavy accents and were paid a few copper coins a day. Of course, we know Jesus spoke Greek because when he renamed the apostle Simon (a Hebrew name) he gave him the Greek name “Peter” meaning stone rather than the Hebrew “Eben”.of the same meaning.

‘So you pious Christians think twice before you laugh at the dark men with the rough hands named Jesus in front of the Home Depot. If Jesus does return it won’t be in Rome or some American megachurch. He will come among those people. The men in front of the Home Depot.

Gael Garcia Bernal On Mexico’s Plan to Save Its Image With Documentary Films

The 2017 Academy Awards ceremony was a largely apolitical affair, but Gael Garcia Bernal changed that. Co-presenting the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, he acknowledged the current tension with the Trump Administration over immigration issues, specifically as they pertained to Mexico. “As a Mexican, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that separates us,” he said.

Over the last 12 years, Bernal has been putting that message of unification to work within the boundaries of his native country, pushing a country marred by reports of a drug war and other problems to find itself at the movies. Along with his close friend and “Y Tu Mama Tambien” co-star Diego Luna and the producer Elena Fortes, Bernal co-founded the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival in 2005. The traveling screening series focuses on non-fiction film that brings its vast programming to cities and rural areas around the country over the course of two months.

READ MORE: Mexico Detains, Then Frees, Undocumented Subjects of an Ambulante Documentary Ahead of Its World Premiere

Bolstered by generous government funding and the support of the national theater chain Cinépolis, Ambulante’s 2017 edition featured 106 documentaries screened across 64 days in 42 venues. The lineup is an eclectic blend of highlights from the international documentary scene — from “I Am Not Your Negro” to “Last Men in Aleppo” —to locally-produced projects and students films depicting everyday life in Mexico.

On opening weekend in Mexico City, screenings were packed less with industry figures than curious locals intrigued by the prospects of unfamiliar programming, starting with a free outdoor screening of “The Eagle Huntress” in the city’s plaza. That weekend, more than 300 moviegoers camped outside in the mountainous region known as Los Dinamos for a free screening of the documentary “Brimstone and Glory,” about the fireworks celebration in Tultepec, Mexico, and engaged in a prolonged Q&A session with the filmmaker that ran almost as long as the movie itself.

Such widespread enthusiasm is exactly what Bernal and Luna had in mind. “There’s an interesting dialogue that happens when people are in the same room watching a documentary,” Bernal said in an interview. “The singular discourse disappears. Arguments become more sophisticated. This is what happens when you see a plaza full of people watching a documentary for free.”

Bernal was inspired to start Ambulante after seeing that Eugenio Polgovsky’s 2004 documentary “Tropic of Cancer,” about an isolated community in Mexico in which villagers trap animals to sell them to tourists, failed to get a release in its home country. “It made me feel that there was no chance for someone to see the film — specifically, the people who are portrayed in it,” Bernal said. “Maybe a few film festivals could screen it, but that would be it. So we decided to take that film and others to the places where they were shot. It was more utopian euphoria than frustration.”

Notably, Ambulante receives 44% of its funding from U.S. sources, although some 40% comes from federal and state funds, while an additional 15% comes comes from private sponsors, and just one percent comes from ticketing and merchandise sales. Ambulante has been designed more as a form of advocacy than a business, and that goal has extended to its educational initiative, Ambulante Mas Alla.

The program involves filmmaking workshops in rural areas of Mexico, where participants ranging from teenagers to senior citizens produce short films about topics such as farming and family traditions. Since the program launched with the start of Ambulante, program instructor and documentary producer Carlos Rossini said that he has seen significant improvement in the sensibilities of his students. “It used to be that when I asked what was the last documentary students had seen, they would say ‘Shark Week,’” he said. “Now, after 12 years, that has changed. They talk about the films they saw at Ambulante.”

The communal progress underscores a broader goal for the festival, now run by director Paulina Suarez and director of programming Meghan Monsour: the capacity to push beyond stereotypical impressions of the country and its hardships. “This is the most important thing for us now,” Rossini said. “To discover that people are all on one side. It’s not what everybody says it is. It’s not a war, it’s not that everybody’s a corrupt police officer or politician. It’s a big country working through things, sharing thing. There are many difficulties, but most of us believe that this place has a future.”

For Bernal, the festival allows Mexico both a window into its own identity and the ability to scrutinize other cultures. “Watching otherness, understanding and creating empathy, can only lead to good things,” he said. “All films are political to me.”

The 2017 Ambulante Film Festival runs through May 25, 2017.

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