July 17, 2006

IF ONLY THERE WERE CARPET ELVES...:

U.S. Border Town, 1,200 Miles From The Border (Dale Russakoff, 7/17/06, Washington Post)

Jerry Nelson steered his grocery cart out of the Wal-Mart on a recent night, fuming about globalization, Southern style. "Another great night at the Mexican Wal-Mart," he groused to no one in particular.

The mass migration of Latinos to this corner of northwest Georgia known as the carpet capital of the world has changed the character of everything from factory floors to schools to superstores. On this night, Wal-Mart's ubiquitous TV monitors alternately promoted arroz and rice, aparatos and electronics.

Like many working-class natives of this once lily-white area, Nelson blames the changes on the carpet industry, which he insists lured the Mexicans -- and more recently, other Latinos -- to keep down wages and workers' leverage in this nonunion region. "We all know who the culprit is: Big Business. That's who's running our country," he said.

But the immigration-driven transformation of work in the United States is not simple, and Nelson played a role in the story, too. For decades, displaced farmers were the backbone of carpet mills. Nelson's mother left a farm in Appalachia to work in one until age 82. But Nelson didn't follow her. Neither did his wife, Georgia, also a mill worker's daughter. "We wanted more than our parents," said Jerry Nelson, who spent most of his career as a heating and ventilation contractor.


...Tom Tancredo would be sponsoring anti-elf legislation....

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2006 8:52 AM
Comments

If you took Tom to the Wal Mart Supercenter at the intersection of Loop 375 and Zaragosa in El Paso, his head would explode.

Posted by: John at July 17, 2006 10:46 AM

What's happening in Dalton is no different than what happened in places like Lexington, NE and Fort Morgan, CO after the Mexicans found jobs in the beef packing plants. Although I seriously doubt any Anglo in Lexington would have been so silly as to claim that the local packing plant was "theirs," a racially loaded phrase if ever there was one.

Posted by: Brad S at July 17, 2006 11:07 AM

Nothng wrong with this country that adding an illiterate and easily manipulated peasant class can't fix, right? Just wait for the AFL-CIO organizers find these guys. (Something about selling rope comes to mind...)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 17, 2006 11:48 AM

And I forgot to add an article that won't get top billing around here:

How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 17, 2006 11:55 AM

Yes, Raoul, those damned Scots-Irish . . . Germans . . . Irish . . . Slavs . . . Jews . . . Italians . . . Darned unskilled and uneducated peasants, speaking a furrin language, never should of let any of them in.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 17, 2006 12:51 PM

Those groups didn't make a historical claim on the land, they wanted to assimilate, and their home country wasn't next door along a porous border.

If the new immigrants assimilate similar to the old ones, great. But if not, history shows that bicultural societies rarely work. They tend to have major divisiveness and instability.

Posted by: Gideon at July 17, 2006 2:00 PM

Yes, which is why the culture of the immigrants will help us to defeat the aculture of the secular.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2006 2:08 PM

You changed my posting. The original link was to an article by Steven Malanga in the CIty Journal.

If you are going to edit postings, how about at least not alterning the meaning to something I didn't say. (Or is this your way of saying I'm no longer welcome here?)

[Editor's note: We edit for accuracy and taste]

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 17, 2006 2:58 PM

Tom Tancredo would sponsor legislation to keep the Scots-Irish out. America is for Congregationalists and Cavaliers, you know.

Posted by: Steve White at July 17, 2006 9:29 PM
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