This is an empirical, very up close and personal study of American Life. An ontic journey that started back in the fall of 2009. Living in the American propaganda machine, it wasn’t always evidently clear what was really going on.
With a bit of distance from my formerly myopic vision, I still find it a bit scary to admit things to myself given a new framework of ideas (such as those on TOO) that still seem uncomfortable. But the replacement vision is frothing to the surface. I am reminded of something John Steinbeck said, “you don’t take a journey, a journey takes you.”
So here I am, barometer reading rising.
Like most Whites, I considered the concept of whiteness too taboo for words other than letting people of color refer to it. That all changed when I first set foot onto California soil. After driving through desert and mountains, I took what I still consider to be an epic drive down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Everything seemed so new and exciting. California. The Dream. Blue skies and palm tress, cool shades and valley girls. Slowly but surely the cliché Beach Boys record playing in my head scratched to a halt … “Where are all the White people?,” I thought aloud.
Six years later after trying out several locales along the coast, I can’t say I’ve had too much traction with pegging the Golden State down. Actually, talking to people born and raised in the state hasn’t gotten me much further either.
With the recent immigration diktat from the White House in the teeth of high unemployment, I harkened back to my own experience in our soon-to-be, just-around-the-corner multicultural paradise.
Back in August 2012 like thousands of Americans I was let go from my job. It was a sales job I’d settled for at the time when low wages was the option of the day for keeping a roof over my head. I looked for work at neck-breaking urgency, all the while repeating under my breath, “my house is burning, my house is burning” — the way you do when this kind of disaster strikes you personally. You want to take to the streets. Talk to your neighbors. Get some help.
Only you can’t. Because they’re not as supportive as you imagined. You’re not as valued as you thought you were. So I wasn’t prepared when my Jewish slumlord came banging my door down with a 30-day notice even though I was caught up on rent (with nothing left over). I know it’s a stereotype and we should avoid applying too widely. But what can I say? It was part of my ethnic reality. Of course, she wears damnation well with a pleasant smile. And she’s telling me how easy it is to find equitable housing at a time when there was nothing of the kind in the area where I live.
Perhaps you’d forgive me for quickly reaching for the victim’s cloak. It’s always harder to deal with such things from an ethnic outsider. But as mentioned before, I was a bit naïve. And perhaps a bit stubborn in not accepting the world as I had come to know it. A typical White American blaming myself for my misfortune, I supposed that a strong independent spirit would be rewarded. But as it goes, I would come to realize I was wrong about that. Many times over.
It’s one thing to lose your house. Lose your house and your job, well, that’s a whole lot of losing. And figuring a way out is a very hard doing all by your lonesome.
As I struggled for resources, I started to see the problem as the individual vs. the collective. Which was only partly true. I came to that conclusion because of seeing how outnumbered I was in my job in the hospitality industry, which is dominated by a Mexican workforce. The other thing I detected was a certain kind of snootiness, and what I mistook at the time for an aversion for higher education.
At a previous job in the same region, a White co-worker put some perspective on this. “No, it’s tribalism,” she corrected. But that was as far as the conversation went. She and I certainly weren’t on the friendliest of terms due to the competition among Whites and Hispanics in the workplace — thus isolating the Whites from one another. It left us fractionated. Whereas Hispanics play the game with a different set of rules.
Our politically correct world leaves little elbowroom for Whites to do anything about it, doesn’t it? We seem to concede to Hispanic whims, and they are certainly banking on it, even without merit. We assume that problems be thought out rationally in order to avoid future missteps. This is also considered good leadership.
My ideas on all this began to concretize as I observed these racial politics play out during lunch breaks. Where simple math spoke volumes. Upon entering the lunchroom you were immediately face-to-face with your difference via bronze colored faces communally eating and speaking their native tongue in total abandon. Suddenly they were rudely awakened by your presence. So you try to appease with a “hello” or break the ice with “what’s for lunch?” Short of apologizing for yourself, you find yourself naked in front of blank stares, in-group comments and snickers.
Those Whites who were in good standing with some of the management, which was also mainly comprised of Latinos, sometimes sat at the same table. But for the most part Whites swallowed the sweet taste of unrefined prejudice. Lunchtime also provided a short break from the veil of political correctness thinly disguised while on the clock. I say “thinly” because even on the clock the Mexican staff avoided the English language. When it comes to communicating with one another that is. It is allowed. It is overlooked. And failing to catch the demoralizing effects this is having on non-Spanish speakers. Who in the long run appear to be showing a lack of certain speaking skills in the marketplace. The fact that the primary customer base where I worked need not be spoken to in Spanish need not be mentioned.
Some of the Whites intermarried with Mexican counterparts learned to live in muzzled conformity. Surely I’d come across the realities of multicultural marriages before. This was different. What I saw in their wearied faces was how shackled they are by the stinging reality of a decision not well thought through. Even amidst the celebratory cohesion of their hosts who are having such a jolly good time in their company. Perhaps it was my problem. I just didn’t get it.
I was stuck with the worst schedule, from 11 to 7, which took up my days and part of my evenings. Even though I went through the proper channels of requesting certain days off, I would find a copy of the schedule in my box without such changes. Instead, the same mid-level supervisors, a snarky Polish Jew and a Mexican who lived to imitate her. They were responsible for writing the schedule, penciled themselves in for those days instead and had themselves a good laugh. Minor infractions of being a few minutes late got me reported and written up.
Even so, keeping it on the positive, I sat there at my post, and kept producing. But I can’t remember a day without the Mexican woman who wore her supervisor title on her sleeve, and hung over my head, tapping her fingernail on the computer screen to point out my mistakes — even as she proceeded to murder the English language. By her count, you’d think my faults far outweighed my productivity. But that wasn’t the case at all. My numbers were legendary by most standards at this famous hotel on the California coast, which was overrun by Hispanics and inhospitable — not just to me, but Whites in general. They, even with kindness and understanding showered upon them, never saw me as member of the team. My output spoke for much of the revenue that wrote their paychecks, but this was lost on them. There were no high fives. My productivity essentially would only be seen as something to be exploited.
The meme of the day may be that Hispanics are taking jobs from Whites simply because “Whites don’t want to work,” but I beg to differ. One of the two other co-workers in my department was a 19-year old Mexican woman without a high school diploma. Amazingly, the grammatical errors in emails, misspoken words, the elevated voice mimicking a lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous manner in order to sound legitimate were tolerated at a place where incoming calls by high-profile individuals were an everyday occurrence. In order to hide her educational shortcomings, she ended calls in outbursts. Because too much was demanded of her. It was always someone else’s fault. Namely, that White so and so on the other line, who didn’t get how helpful she was really being. “They,” whoever they were, apparently deserved all the colorful labels she slapped on them. The labels were almost always in Spanish. And we who were her audience couldn’t really tell what they meant, could we? What I liked about her most though, she wasn’t a phony. She said what was on her mind. Always letting things slip out. Let me put it this way. We knew how the would-be majority of the staff thought of Whites.
One afternoon she told a story I have since tried to forget. She had just made an announcement that she was three months pregnant, and the father with whom she had had a previous child was sent back to Mexico to get his documents in order. She explained that he went back to Juarez, a dangerous and violent place even by Mexican standards. She was terrified her boyfriend wouldn’t return for her and went on to tell a chilling episode. I tried covering my ears but she continued anyway. She went on to tell about Mexican men playing a grotesque game in which they tossed one of their babies up in air and across the room like a football. She described how they frolicked back and forth like this — at times coming near to dropping the baby on the ground and killing it.
How valueless and replaceable that child was! She spoke of it as not uncommon among Mexican men.
The supervisor who had given me a hard time, we’ll call her Angelica, described those who had anything she doesn’t as “lucky”. Her constant reference to this was uncanny and deliberate. You may think I’m picking on the poor Mexicans who work so hard and make up so much of the labor force in this country. Angelica imagines is that people are given things arbitrarily. Never in a million years would she comprehend the fact that people sometimes get things by actually achieving them.
Needless to say, when I was handed a pink slip from that place it was a blessing in disguise. Nonetheless, the animosity I’d encountered was not something I was familiar with. But here I was beginning to understand the consequences of the Mexican onslaught firsthand.
What I learned is what we are all learning — that the multicultural paradise is a dangerous delusion. And of course it’s worse with the activist Mexicans and picketers who are amped up by the Audacity of Hope to hold up signs that read: “Stop Dividing Families” — which of course need not happen if they would simply make the decision to move the entire family back to Mexico.
The blatant feelings of entitlement that they should be immune from deportation, the disregard for the rule of law, and the dream of “Reconquista” of the Western U.S. advocated by La Raza and its ilk are beyond staggering. These “Dreamers” certainly have a different brand of The Dream in mind than anything I grew up with. I suspect that the final act will not stop at territorial occupation and secession but ethnic cleansing of European Americans, Africans, and Asians out of “Aztlan,” their fictional ancestral homeland.
Now with millions of illegals allowed to work and receive benefits (whichever is easier), I am reminded of a conversation I heard in passing on Franklin Avenue in L.A. about four years ago. Two White co-workers talking amongst themselves while they set up for lunch in a restaurant. One says, “I wanna go to Mexico for a couple of days, relax — a week maybe.” After a short pause, the other replies, “I already live in Mexico.”
I don’t find that very funny. Do you?