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View Diary: Alabama reconsiders immigration law after not-brown person gets arrested (296 comments)

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  •  Totally on point Fiona!!! (21+ / 0-)

    I tried to discuss this a few weeks ago with members  of the dKos community who have absolutely no idea of the reality of small farm operations.  They blew me off because of course living in San Francisco makes you more qualified to discuss agriculture in Alabama than someone who actually lives here....

    What really got me were the comments along the lines of "farmers pay $2/box for a 20lb box of tomatoes but I pay at least $1/lb at the grocery store."

    Well, yes.  Because there's more involved in a farming operation than picking the freaking produce.  Farming doesn't start with the harvest; it starts with conditioning the soil, starting the seeds, transplanting the seedlings, fertilizing, weeding, watering, picking, and shipping.

    Obviously, some town folks assume that we still have #$%$ plantations down here.

    But let me tell you that the majority of these farmers are NOT living high and making a killing off modern day slave labor from illegal workers.  They're barely making it because they're squeezed on the one side by high fuel & fertilizer prices and on the other end by corporate farms and middlemen.

    They aren't living at Tara, y'all.  They're barely making it from season to season and generally the owners are out in the fields working alongside their employees.

    These families complaining about the immigration bill were complaining before it passed, but our crazy GOP-led legislature was hell-bent on passing the damn thing.  The legislature KNEW what they were doing - there are NO unintended consequences unless you count that they were totally unprepared for criticism.

    Farming is hard, dirty work.  My hubby and I have a BIG garden by most standards - 30+ tomato plants, melons, peppers, herbs, greens, etc. etc. - and I can spend at most 3 hours at a time out in the heat working the garden.  And I'm acclimated to the climate and pretty fit and healthy.

    It's not something some unemployed desk worker or even retail worker can walk out and do for 8 or even 4 hours at a time.  

    Americans ARE doing this work though - and a lot of it is done by small farmers out in the fields along with the folks they're paying.  

    Please quit talking about them like they're sitting on the patio slamming mint julips while the cook prepares a splendid dinner and the nanny puts the kids to bed.  Damn... you have them confused with Wall Street executives....

    Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

    by countrycat on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:35:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hi, countrycat -- I know that rural Dems coming (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, scotths, wishingwell, BachFan, ErikO

      to DKos do get blown off at times -- especially if they're from the South.  BUt hang in there and keep sharing your experience.  It takes people time to hear something that's really outside their own experience. And of course the rural south is so identiied in people's minds with racism and superconservatism... for obvious historical reasons...  But the fact is that those things exist all over the country, really, as black Kossacks keep trying to tell us.

      I'm not a farmer, but I think it's really important that our progressive community include -- and welcome -- rural Dems and southern Dems.  WHo deserve our respect and support, for sure.  I'm glad to hear about "Left in Alabama," which I'd never heard of before.

      Stay strong.

    •  I grew up in farming country and I have friends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, ErikO

      who are farmers and there are farms surrounding our town.  

       So you are spot on.  

      •  I grew up in an urbanized farm family (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        who were a generation off of the farm.  

        When I saw this law go into effect, I figured it would be the farmers that suffered the most.

        the only blame I place on them is that they did not fight hard enough to stop this law.  Now that they are looking at a horrible 2012 growing season, maybe they will do what they can to reverse this law properly.

        The difficulty facing farms in this country that are not run by the congolmerates come largely from the shift to a service industry base in this country.  Who wants to pick veggies at $10-12/hr when you can make almost that much flipping burgers at a chain?

        There are those who do the jobs here that citizens feel are beneath them.  These workers are the ones that need protection from exploitation in order for us to keep our standard of living.

        Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered." Member of the Liberal Gun Club

        by ErikO on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 11:30:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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