MEDIA, MIGRANT WORKERS AND MAY DAY…. (OOPS, WRONG COUNTRY –AT LEAST FOR NOW, PETE WILSON)

September 3, 2007

(NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO SKIP THE TEXT, COOL. BUT MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THE LAST VIDEO CLIP!)

The entire working world honors workers on May 1 (Mayday). The whole world except for the US, that is; This despite the fact that Mayday was actually born in Chicago following the largely (radical German) immigrant-led general strikes culminating in the Haymarket riots and massacre in 1886. Since then, the US says it celebrates workers on the first Monday in September. This perennial need to put up borders between US workers & the workers of the world has, for some time, been the business of government, media and politicos. We see this in the creation of a May 1rst “Loyalty Day” by Bush I, who (unsuccessfully) admonished people to use this day to:

“express allegiance to our nation and its founding ideals, we resolve to ensure that the blessings of liberty endure and extend for generations to come.”

OK. Sure…

In any case, we also see this same sowing of divisions -class, racial, ethnic, national-behind the initiation of the current national immigration wars in 1993 by then-California Governor Pete Wilson, who’s legacy still inspires conflict like that taking place in San Diego, CA. During his re-election campaign in 1993, anti-immigrant godfather Wilson mixed media and migration politics in innovative but noxious ways with ads like this one:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Though we’re living the political and media legacy of Wilson in terms of dishonoring migrant labor, we also owe him; He pushed many of us, including Spanish language TV and radio (Spanish language media has a long history of supporting immigrant movements) and other Latino media, to create, continue and assert our own legacies like the now reinvigorated Mayday and the upcoming September actions or this MUST WATCH CLIP by the Latino Comedy Project that contains echoes of Wilson:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Barbarians rule; Feliz Labor Day.

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