Fire in North Chicago sheds light on American’s views of “illegals”


A fire broke out in a strip mall in West Rogers Park in Chicago on Friday. After investigation, it has been said that the fire was started by a blow torch being used by roofers. The roofers allegedly left the scene and did not return once the fire broke out. An extremely unfortunate situation that put many in danger and led to vast destruction of local businesses. A mistake, indeed, to not stay at the scene of a fire if actions taken by the roofers were the cause (intentional or not). Certainly, we can all agree.

But what I can’t agree with are the comments that readers of articles covering this story were saying.

I’ll bet $1,000 they’re illegal immigrants and will never be found or come forward.- iuriggs6


I agree. My guess, and I think it’s a damn good one, they were indeed illegal aliens. Maybe they were hired to torch this place, maybe not. In any case they need to be tracked down like the mad dogs they are and arrested. -CamelPaw357


Those roofers are already back in Guadalajara by now…. – fefifo2466

In my last post, I discussed the idea of viewing through particularities and not generalities. The readers (which by the way, these comments were on an article written by the Huffington Post) of this story demonstrated that they view the world through generalities. No where in the news story does it mention the race of the roofing crew that were working on the American Matress Store. Readers jumped to his extremely racist conclusion. Even so, if the roofers are Mexican, readers also jumped to the conclusion that they are “illegal” and deserve to be arrested. I find it both fascinating and sad how quickly Americans jump to judgmental conclusions regarding  scenario they, quite frankly, know nothing about.

In a country where we are battling immigration reform, Americans are so incredibly misinformed about the reality of immigrants in this country. Sweeping numbers — 11 million illegal aliens — are often cited when talking about immigration reform. Through media representation of this issue and commentary by readers, immigrants (illegal or not) are quickly categorized as undeserving, lazy, and criminal. But what Americans refuse to admit is that these “illegal aliens” are taking jobs American’s do not want. A large majority of Mexican immigrants in this country are working the fields growing, picking, harvesting, and distributing food to dinner tables across America. Indeed, slavery in America never ended, it just shifted to a different race. Many immigrants are working in the back of restaurants ensuring your meal is brought to you fresh, warm, and on clean dishes.  Many of these workers are struggling to support their families because our welfare system is built to only support those who aren’t working. For those that are, their benefits are cut and still their wages are not enough to feed their families.

The readers who made these ignorant, offensive comments likely won’t give up the food they eat, the clothes they wear, or the products they use because they were made by “illegals” — because of course, these readers are far more deserving of life’s necessities than these workers, right? Give me a break.

Until readers of these sorts of articles can read it with a empathetic heart, a critical lens, and a moral compass that isn’t pointed only at the well-being of themselves, we are never going to achieve equality and humanity will never witness ultimate dignity and respect.


Equal Pay for Equal Work. Or Not.


Every Republic Senator voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act today. What exactly did they vote against? They voted against barring companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities. They voted against helping female employees sue for punitive damages in cases of paycheck discrimination. They voted against employers being required to show that any wage discrepancies are based on genuine business requirements and are related to specific characteristics of the position that are not based on gender.

So we’ll remain in a world where women make 77 cents to the dollar that men make. I am greatly disturbed that it is 2012 and I am writing this blog. I can already here Rom-ster and his staff now — “it’s just another shiny object being dangled for distraction during this election year.”And this war on women is just some more propaganda for Obama.

Of course it’s political — but that is no excuse. It’s political because big companies are in the pockets of the GOP and these companies do not want their wages disclosed to their staff because they know they’d be bombarded with law suits by female employees. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY), the Minority Leader, second highest contributor is JP Morgan. In 2006, JP Morgan had a lawsuit against them: Quinn v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. Also, John Cornyn (R-TX) is the NRSC Chair and in the chief fundraising position for members of their own party in Congress. His third highest contributor is JP Morgan Chase & Cop. Mr. Cornyn’s top industry contributor is lawyers/law firms. The salary discrepancy between male and female lawyers is very large. I could go on and on pointing out clear incentives for GOP to vote against equal pay for women.

The ways in which policies make it onto the agenda and the way decisions are made by political leaders is extremely sickening. Senators will only vote if some wealthy dude’s hands are in his pockets.

It is SICKENING. It’s a simple concept really: equal pay for equal work. But that is way too hard to comprehend for conservatives because they have a really hard time leaving their egos and testosterone at the door and siding with equality for women. Respect for women. Fairness for women. I am in a profession that is primarily made up of women and yet, the few male counterparts that I work with are getting paid more than me. My partner will always be making more than me because he is in the advertising/management consulting world — a primarily male profession. Families are struggling because women are not paid well. Single mom’s are slipping into poverty at exponential rates because they continue to be paid less than their male counterparts.

The GOP has been in it’s prime over the past six months to a year. I have no rights to my uterus, vagina, nor do I have a right to be rightfully paid for the hard work that I do based on my experience, education, and skills rather than the fact that I have breasts that males like to stare at instead of working. I hope every male Republican Senator has to sleep on the couch tonight, but I know this is not true because there are many women that are okay with being less than equal. It is terrifying. That’s all I can say.

Every time I am in line — rather it’s at the store, coffeeshop, or grocery shopping — I am going to turn around to the guy behind me and ask him to pay — chances are he’s making more than me. Maybe that’ll get guys heads out of the sand and help them stand up for their mother’s, sister’s, daughter’s rights. Maybe, just maybe.