When I first moved back to North Carolina last January, my wife and I started frequenting the same pizza place pretty regularly. It's attached to an Italian Restaurant, no delivery or anything but a good place to get a slice. Anyway, as time went by I got to know the fella behind the counter, Enrique or Ricky. Now, I'm not saying that my neighborhood is snotty, but it's not the kind of place where everyone is going to chit-chat with the illegal working behind the counter. Me, I'm blue-collar, reformed white trash through and through - so Ricky and I get along just fine.
I was talking to him tonight and it got me thinking. See, Ricky has a wife and three kids in Mexico that he sends money to every month. He hasn't seen his kids in almost three years, because he's illegal, and they live outside the US. Here's the interesting part, Ricky is one of the many illegal aliens that uses an Individual Tax Identification Numbers to pay taxes.
What sense does this make? We have a hard worker who has been in this country for years, paying taxes, filling a key job...okay for ME - pizza is a key job. The workers at this shop are either 16 years old (this group changes weekly) or illegal (these guys have been there all year). You know once upon a time Ricky would not have been called an illegal alien, he would have been called an immigrant. He would have passed through Ellis Island or another port of entry farther down south and worked hard to find the American Dream. But now that dream is denied him. Now Ricky has no chance to get ahead, instead the system has locked him down as sure as if he were chained to that pizza counter.
But, it's not just Ricky. To some extent its all of us. Under the Bush regime we have moved slowly but surely towards the days of aristocracy, where the haves will become the ruling class and the have-nots will toil in their sweat-shops - whether they be factories, cubicles, or behind the counter at Bojangle's.
The fight today isn't about black and white, it isn't about Democrat and Republican, it isn't about God and Godless, or Gay and Straight or any other frame on which the Neocon movement would like us to focus. This is really all about creating an Aristocracy in America. A wet dream of the Skulls at Yale that they were just rich enough, just connected enough, just evil enough to push forward, no matter the cost.
God may have mercy on their souls, but I won't.