Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More subtle racism

Just the other day I called Pennsylvania, my home state, the land of subtle racism. And the gods have answered with this gem coming from one of the local papers back home:

More Good Workers Wanted

This article DESPERATELY wants to say "Puerto Ricans" but can't. My favorite lines are:

"They don't want to follow rules, and in a workplace there are certain rules,'' Bunner said. ''It's almost like it's a cultural thing."

Cultural thing? Whose culture? Do tell.

"We've had such poor luck with them, and we've had better success with people over 40,'' he said. ''It takes that long for them to get the wildness out of their system."

The "them" in that last sentence is supposedly referring to people under 30. Knowing the Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton area well, my guess is that there's more to it than that. And hey, I'm sure it's a huge problem, but I just wish this article would be honest and get to the point. Dare I say they're pussyfooting around the real thrust or their article? Dare I?

The real theme of that article is that these employers are trying to fill shitty jobs and to no one's surprise, the young Puerto Ricans don't want to do the shitty jobs anymore. Maybe my dad's or uncle's generation was the last to suck it up and take crap jobs, but I have a feeling that's no longer the case. Young Latino boys and girls are exposed to a constant barrage of media telling them that there's better stuff out there. They're also exposed to cultural role models who glorify the "fuck you" attitude. It just doesn't surprise me that you can't pawn off a job on them that pays $13 an hour.

And believe me, I'm not justifying their behavior. It's just genuinely shocking when you see someone take pride in what they're doing anymore. I understand it may not be what you want to do with your life, but why not take pride in what you do while you're doing it? It would certainly help your self-esteem.

That being said, the salad guy at Pfizer's cafeteria is the most exemplary employee of all time. Seriously, if anybody wants to meet him, I would gladly bring whole tour groups down to watch him.

1 comment:

D.W. said...

What you need is to replace all of your good-for-nothing, non-appreciative Puerto Ricans with some good old-fashioned Mexicans. Now there's some Latinos who know how to work hard and obey.