[Marxism] Trump's rural white working class is not so white

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 23 09:01:31 MDT 2017

The Trump administration’s attempts to translate popular xenophobia into
public policy means that the growth of this vital industry in small town
America takes on a much greater importance than it appeared to six months
ago.  Many have objected to the travel ban with the assertion that it goes
against their notions of “what America represents.”  However, in the
absence of a travel ban, would we be content with the status quo whereby
immigrants and refugees are not welcomed but merely accepted and consigned
to the most difficult and unpleasant jobs?  For generations of immigrants,
this has been exactly “what America represents.”

Yet undertaking dangerous low-paid labor does not have to be treated as a
rite of passage.  We can’t go back in time and change the legacy of Gilded
Age employers, but by confronting the poultry business, we could disrupt a
present course that threatens to reverse nearly a century of legal
protections aimed at protecting the safety of industrial workers.  We have
an opportunity to harness the abilities of rural activists and poultry
workers and build connections among immigrant rights, food safety, and
environmental organizations.  Achieving this would create a bulwark against
the poultry companies’ exploitation and a greater movement for economic
justice in the heart of “Trump Country.”


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