Photo Courtesy: New York Times (for non-profit, one-time-only, academic use.)
I express my sadness, frustration, and anger on such cowardly terrorist acts, and offer my sympathy for those who were hurt. Thank God, nobody lost their life.
Then, we talk about Islamophobia and Immigrant Bashing.
Every time something like it happens, it automatically makes people even angrier against immigrants and especially Muslim immigrants. People start calling names, and refuse to be in any discussion, any dialogue, or any debate.
Some media flare up the sentiment, and profit more. I am sure tomorrow’s papers will be flooded with sensational, front-page stories, with zero substantive discussion about the immigrant communities. In fact, immigrant communities will continue mistrusting one another, and even more.
I am also sure people like Trump of USA and Modi of India do not mind that hiked-up hatred, to win more elections, exploiting the anger. Misplaced anger also diverts attention from other real-life issues, such as money, jobs, education, health, environment. Violence on women and children. Police brutality. War. Gun violence.
It works so well! They have done it over and over again.
Yet, based on reports today, this idiot named Akayed Ullah, who blasted the bomb at Port Authority today lived in Brooklyn, and was from Bangladesh, and I know literally hundreds of Muslims from Bangladesh living in Brooklyn and New York. I live here. I work here.
I have no doubts in my mind that this nut represents a small, miniscule number of nuts, and the vast majority of immigrants — Muslim, Hindu or Christian, with papers or without — do not believe in violence. They believe in peace. They condemn violence of any kind.
Let us not divide ourselves even more, and fall prey to the traders of bigotry and hate.
Let us come together. Let us live in harmony and peace.
Today, I am saluting the “ordinary” America. Because, it’s extraordinary.
(People who copy the “American” lifestyle — copy this America. This real America.)
It’s ten degrees Celsius below zero in New York. Here in the U.S., we use Fahrenheit: it’s about 15 degrees F. It’s extremely, bitterly cold. It is dangerously cold. Without the proper protections — layers of warm clothing and scarve and woolen cap and warm gloves, etc., you could die. In fact, without them, you would die. Just the same way, poor, homeless people are dying on the frigid streets of Delhi, Darjeeling or Dhaka.
And it’s not even snowing (snow is on the ground only in some places in Long Island: thanks to global warming, we’ve been having a less brutal winter for the past few years). It’s brightly sunny, coupled with a frigid chill breezing down from North Pole. For people who never experienced it, real snow — like rain — happens when the sky is overcast, and that cloud cover makes it less cold. A sunny day with a Northerly “wind chill,” it becomes even more severe. Today is one of those very, very cold days.
The weatherman gleefully announced on the morning TV: “The wind chill temperature is near zero.” That is, zero degree Fahrenheit.
Yet, the extraordinarily thing is that: all the ordinary people are working — on time. Little children are going to school. As the picture above shows, volunteer “school crossing guards” who carefully help the school kids cross the street are in attendance, on time. They show up to work — voluntarily — at 7 A.M. School buses pick up the kids around 7.30 A.M. In New York City, bigger school kids do not have the privilege of the yellow school bus: they travel on their own (like the kid shown on the photo above). They are all up, on time, to attend their middle school or high school. Primary school children wait patiently with their parents on the street — for the yellow bus.
Parents who work outside wait until the bus picks up the kid, before they walk to the nearest subway station to catch the communter train; or, they start their car and wait for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Parents who work inside wait until the bus picks up the kid, before they walk back home to start working a full day — cooking, cleaning, or even shoveling snow. Mothers work round the clock — rain or shine, snow or sleet. (Sleet is…well..you look it up. Bad stuff.)
The work-a-day life is in full swing. This is the brave, working spirit of America, and I salute it.
I came to work and it was 100 percent attendance. Nobody missed work because of the bitter, severe cold.
Last night, it was even colder than today. Temperature dropped to perhaps 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I took my car on my way back from work to a garage (car shop). Had to wait for a couple of hours before they could order in a new fan belt and install it. I saw all the workers working in full swing, defying the cold. Inside the garage, it was not as fully heated as your home; garage doors were pulling up and down frequently as customers and workers were coming in and out frequently. Frigid air was blowing in (I remembered last year my wife and I were waiting at a first class waiting room at Haridwar train station, it was frigid, and the faulty door of the first class waiting room would not shut tight, and we were shivering even after wrapping us up with a blanket).
I am not posting a photo from the car garage here because the workers are poor and mostly undocumented; they do not make much money (most of the money they make go to the shop owner’s pocket anyways). And they must work to feed the family and send some money home. I was awestruck to see the level or work ethics.
Who said the “illegal alien” is only here in America to rip off the country? Come here and see for yourself: they are MAKING the economy, not breaking it.
This morning, on my way to work, I took the subway train as my car was waiting to be worked on at the garage. I took the G train. I saw American workers already up and running: some of them were already working on the Gowanus bridge station they’re putting back together. These guys must have been there at 6 A.M. Based on my own experience with some of these workers, I know some of them leave home at 4.30 or 5 A.M. to get to their work place at 7 or 8.
Four thirty or five in the morning when the outside temperature is perhaps fifteen degrees below zero, these ordinary workers — men and women — are ready to go to work. Would you like to be in their shoes? Do it. Try it at least once in your life.
Ordinary American workers? If they are ordinary, who is extraordinary?
Just think. It’s even hard to think at -10 degrees Celsius. Just try.
(And…for those out there…people who copy the “American” lifestyle — copy this America. This real America.)
For those who need more clarification about this blog below (especially after some questions I got about my purpose to write it — with the “dirty” words and everything): the point of this article is that, this is how many otherwise decent people (because of their own prejudice without first-hand knowledge and stereotype in corporate media) paint poor workers, even though these workers keep the economic machine running day and night, and the privileged (such as me) take advantage of their hard work, sweat and blood, and often behind-the-scene, 24/7 efforts. Very few of us appreciate what they do for us, and how they do it. This slant, ridicule and denigration now turned out to be a global phenomenon: work and workers are generally looked down upon. Media especially here in the U.S. rarely paint a positive picture about our workers and their enormous contribution. Working men and women — especially the blue collar and poor workers — are almost always taken for granted. Their hardship, pain and struggle are rarely mentioned.
This post is a response to the name calling and stereotyping — written with a sarcastic flavor. I do not ever want to hurt the feelings of these workers, their families, or anybody else. I apologize if somebody gets hurt: it could be my wrong word choice. But I wrote it this way on purpose — to drive a point home.
I have worked with American workers for many years now. All I wrote here is from real-life experiences I gathered in bits and pieces at various places and opportunities to meet, teach and work with these unsung heroes.
Can You Believe that? Geez…!
I met a bunch of American workers. Lazy, illiterate, fat, foul-mouth, stinky American workers.
Those parasites! No work and big pay. Lifelong life support by our no-good big government.
I didn’t spare no words. I gave them a mouthful.
I said, “Hey! Come! Look at this photo (worker in hard hat taking a nap on his tractor). This guy is sleeping on the job. And that too, on his CAT.” I said, “I mean, how stupid this jerk is! Would you believe! He could be squashed and killed between those big wheels.”
I said, “this guy is what you are all about, you know? Lazy. Idiot. Illiterate. Don’t get it between good and bad. Don’t you see?”
They didn’t protest for once. Good, I said. How could they protest? What could they say? They didn’t say a word. Ha! What can they say, I said. They were busy eating their lunch. One guy even finished his bologna sandwich and coke, climbed up his pickup truck, and lied down by a bunch of garbage-filled plastic bags — on a piece of plastic — with his stupid, dirty jeans on. Another guy got into his parked Ford Taurus, and started takin’ a nap in the back seat. He started snoring after just half a minute, right in front of my eyes!
So uncivilized, I said. Not only they’re lazy and stupid, but they got no manners too! They’re snoring in public!
Lazy! Fat! Overeaten! Overdrunk! Can’t do no job without taking a big break.
And do you know how much money they earn? A big, fat bundle. I didn’t ask, but I know they make big bucks.
I know they’re all overpaid.
I also heard that they wake up everyday at 4 A.M., get out to work at 5, and in the evening they even go to school. Some labor college, they said. And their union pays for their college. See, that’s the other problem. Why do you waste so much time going to some no-name college? I know many of us didn’t go to college. We’re doing okay. Why can’t you?
Wake up at 4? Why? Like, is there a special reason you need to get up so early? You don’t show up to work until 9. And then you take a break at 12…and take a nap too!
And think about these rich, fat unions? Think how much money they have! No wonder they have so much power. Money and muscle. Isn’t that what American labor unions stand for? All fat liars and crooks.
Makes me sick!
Those stupid plumbers. Man, they smell so bad! And they tell such filthy stories.
I saw them once. And I saw them all. Man, these people are really dirty! And oh yes, they’re really stupid.
I knew it all along.
So, I met a bunch of plumbers in Long Island City, Queens, and in ten minutes into meeting them, I know why people do such cartoons about’em. I mean, look, there’s a reason for it. They tell such filthy stories and say such filthy jokes!
And they smell so bad! Now, why in the world do those plumbers smell so bad especially when they’re on the job?
Like, just ten minutes into our meeting, one guy started telling his buddies how they were forced to work on some Goddamn thirty seventh floor of some Goddamn Manhattan building with no bathroom anywhere, and they were on an emergency twelve-hour shift, and they had to pee in a bucket. And then the other guy said he saw a coworker shitting in a plastic bag and stuff! I mean, WTFH, don’t they have no shame? He said there was no bathroom, the water was turned off for their big plumbing work, and the elevator was shut off, so they had no other choice.
I said, oh, man! I said, no man!
I said, yeah right! So, why don’t you stop overstuffing yourself with so much food and drink so much Heineken on the job? I mean, if you knew there would be no proper place to pee, why do you have to keep drinking your booze all the time?
They said they didn’t drink beer on the job. But I knew they were lying in a straight face. They drink, they smoke, and they do stuff you can’t even imagine!
These people were not just foulmouthed, smelly plumbers, they were big liars too.
No wonder people have such bad impression about American workers. Just look at the cartoon. You’ll know.
I saw a handful. And I saw them all.
And, why would people go into that stinky plumbing job in the first place?
Asbestos Removal: What Bullshit!
I then met a bunch of asbestos guys. Man, what bullshit they give you 24/7. As if your life depends on their stupid asbestos abatement! I just laughed and laughed hearing their crap.
So, they dress up like astronauts…you know…the guys landing on the moon and stuff! I mean, just look at them…don’t they look funny!
They said they were removing asbestos flying in the air in some old, dilapidated building in East Brooklyn. Now, why in the world do you have to wear those stupid clothes? And what are those on your face…are you ghostbusters or something? Gosh, don’t get me started!
They said asbestos was so dangerous that unless removed properly, it could cause lung cancer and all…in your lungs. You can cough blood doing asbestos work. And you can like…die. Yeah, right! So, wear a white filter paper cap on your face and cover up your nose. Worried about your hair? Cover it up! Use a pair of rubber gloves. Don’t talk while your work, right? Nothing can get in unless you breathe it in! Take a shower when you get back home.
See, this is how they really jack up the price tab on the employer and then force them to buy those fancy suits and masks and stuff. Respirator, negative pressure pump, HEPA filter, three-layered plastic, loads of duct tape, helmet, amended water and all those expensive items. Then, the special landfill. I mean, gimme a break. I know what you’re doing: you’re blasting your employer and your contractor with a huge bill. And then you’ll charge us big bucks too. Don’t think for a moment we don’t get that.
I know how you do it, make big money, and then get those pols to pass laws to save your little white, black or brown asses. I mean, who cares about what the employer sacrifices for you? Nobody!
How many people actually died of asbestos black lung…just tell me?
Many? Thousands? Since when? Where?
Here in the U.S.? Cananda? China? India?
Not here in the USA, no siree. Not here. We always took good care of our workers.
And they never complained too. And never showed us those OSHA, EPA and HEPA stuff.
Enough is enough!
Parasites. No work. Lazy. Big breaks. Stupid jokes. Still get lifelong support by our no-good, big government.