How do we teach our children about equality?
Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned in our current politics. A lesson that seems to have escaped the media. In listening to an interview regarding Alabama’s newly passed state law regarding immigrants, here is what I surmised:
- the reason the authorities need to immediately intercede in the growing illegal immigrant community is because of economics. Local farmers are paying immigrant workers less than they have to pay citizens; thus, law-abiding farmers can’t compete with the farmers who hire illegals.
- Nobody wants to pay the extra money that would be charged if the fruit/vegetables were picked by US citizens.
- Local farmers complain that they simply can’t hire US citizens to do the back-breaking work of harvesting hand-picked fruits and vegetables, as US citizens can not provide the amount of physical labor needed. As one man put it: “It’s in their [Mexican] culture to work hard.”
The lesson that nobody has mentioned? Equal Pay For Equal Labor. Didn’t we women already have this struggle? Don’t we know from experience the negative feelings attached to this inequality? (And isn’t it a good value to have to be “hard-working?” Don’t we want people to be “hard-working?”)
When we talk with our children, wouldn’t it be helpful to point out that by not paying immigrants the same as we pay citizens, we are demonstrating a biased equality? By creating Equal Pay For Equal Labor in the farming industry, don’t we create an oblivious opening for “hard-working” immigrants to seek either visa or permanent citizen status?
The day where we will be living as a WORLD COMMUNITY is not far off—why don’t we reach out to our hard-working neighbors and extend a handshake of EQUALITY?
Be gentle with yourself and your children. There is Light in all of us.